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NewRangerFamily

2017 Volvo V90 Tow bar electrics

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I  bought my Volvo secondhand, it was fitted from new with the Volvo folding towbar. I have not towed with it before but am due to collect my new caravan tomorrow. I was amazed and disappointed to find that it only has a 7 pin socket not the usual 13 pin.  I know I can get a cheap adaptor but this will only give me the road lights on the caravan. My local Volvo dealer says the only option is to change the entire tow ball for another £1,000 !    I can't believe this....any helpful ideas or comments?

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Surely you only need to purchase the 13pin wiring loom, I have noticed that new detachable bars have the 13pin socket on the bar itself, mainly German cars.

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Hi New Ranger,

 

I suspect the previous owner just towed a trailer.

Most cars are prewired for tow bar electrics (fully or partially) and have on board additional functions for towing embedded in the electronics. 

Extra wiring is sometimes needed to cover the additional functions required by a caravan such as the fridge power, leisure battery charging and ATC function.

Some cars are more involved than others when it comes to installing the wiring. Most require changes to settings within the ECU's. This may involve dedicated tools to connect to the electronics on the car.

When main dealer fit tow bar kits they often use local tow bar fitters rather than tie up a technician for half a day.

I suggest a ring round the local fitters, they will almost certainly do the job for far less than the dealer.

 

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Posted (edited)

That really is very odd.  The Volvo factory fit towbar (which may be factory or dealer fitted) comes with the 13 pin fully wired.  Unlike many brands Volvo dealers do fit towbars and can fully retro-fit the factory towbar (at the same price as factory fit i.e circa £1,000) in fact some don't order them from the factory and always fit the towbar themselves.  I would suggest some investigation into the history of the towbar, a Volvo dealer should be able to help with this, because if it is a genuine Volvo towbar it should not have the 7 pin socket.

Edited by Birdingbilly

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I'm awaiting a call back from the dealer who supplied the car from new. I have a copy of the original invoice with the last owner kindly gave to me and it shows "S & F Towbar" at £1,000 inc  VAT.  I have asked them why only a 7 pin socket was fitted . It may be that the last owner (purchaser of the car from new) specified a 7 pin socket only.  

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2 minutes ago, NewRangerFamily said:

I'm awaiting a call back from the dealer who supplied the car from new. I have a copy of the original invoice with the last owner kindly gave to me and it shows "S & F Towbar" at £1,000 inc  VAT.  I have asked them why only a 7 pin socket was fitted . It may be that the last owner (purchaser of the car from new) specified a 7 pin socket only.  

Can you check with the previous owner ? V5 should give their details.

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I suppose S&F means swing and fold. I have had several VW fitted with tow bars from new and the dealer always used a local fitter to do the job. 

VW wiring for a tow bar did not include the addition wiring for a caravan as standard. 

It became necessary to include on the order for a tow bar with full wiring for a caravan on the order to get the full functions.

Could the previous owner had the socket changed to suit his trailer(s)?

 

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Birdingbilly,  I bought the car from the lady who purchased from new so have her details, she's a nice lady and I've emailed her to ask if she knows why a 7 pin socket was fitted.

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1 minute ago, Gd485 said:

I suppose S&F means swing and fold. I have had several VW fitted with tow bars from new and the dealer always used a local fitter to do the job. 

VW wiring for a tow bar did not include the addition wiring for a caravan as standard. 

It became necessary to include on the order for a tow bar with full wiring for a caravan on the order to get the full functions.

Could the previous owner had the socket changed to suit his trailer(s)?

 

This is not the case with Volvo.  Volvo "always" fully wire the 13 pin socket and as a complete off-topic aside Volvo electrics do work with LED trailer lights.  This is one of the best things about towing with a Volvo. Volvo and their dealers actually understand what towers want unlike VAG, BMW etc who generally couldn't give a t*ss !

2 minutes ago, NewRangerFamily said:

Birdingbilly,  I bought the car from the lady who purchased from new so have her details, she's a nice lady and I've emailed her to ask if she knows why a 7 pin socket was fitted.

Ah ok - well best of luck - unless she specifically specified it I would be discussing it with Volvo UK - either way if its the genuine Volvo folding towbar I cannot see why the whole thing needs replacing as that just sounds rediculous.

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I've now had a reply back from the lady i bought the car from.  She didn't specify a 7 pin.   They opted for the factory fit towbar and  she doesnt even know that you can get 7 pin or 13 pin. She just ordered the electric folding towbar. Seems like I will need to take this up with Volvo UK 

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2 hours ago, Gd485 said:

I suppose S&F means swing and fold. I have had several VW fitted with tow bars from new and the dealer always used a local fitter to do the job. 

VW wiring for a tow bar did not include the addition wiring for a caravan as standard. 

It became necessary to include on the order for a tow bar with full wiring for a caravan on the order to get the full functions.

Could the previous owner had the socket changed to suit his trailer(s)?

 

 

That used to be the case with VW and siblings but factory-fit now includes caravan specification wiring as standard.

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I may be completely wide of the mark here, but is it possible that a 13 to 7 adapter has been fitted? I have heard some people advocating this as a way to avoid the 13 pin socket being tested during the MOT, as 7 pin sockets are not tested.

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Is there any way you could post up a picture of the said S & F towbar.

 

I have just taken delivery of a V90 with the Volvo electric tow bar fitted by the dealer and find it hard to believe how a seven pin socket could have been fitted as the socket and wiring is an integral part of the tow ball arm not bolted on the side like traditional ones.

If I get a minute later today I'll post up a photo of mine for comparison.

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It looks like it has a 13 to 7pin adapter in it. If you lift the flap and twist the socket 90 degrees anticlockwise the adapter should pull out leaving the original 13 pin socket.

 

 

 

RbItIspTQ6+4k8AhQtTpTg.jpg

oUrSJ2R5Sh+LLX5p7E6Bvg.jpg

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Volvo offer a seven pin or thirteen pin option on a new car.  I recently took delivery of the new V60 and I opted for the thirteen pin tow bar.

 

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2 hours ago, NewRangerFamily said:

Here's photos of what I've got

IMG_3317.JPG

IMG_3318.JPG

Exactly as Deno says, you do have the 13 pin socket....once the 7 pin adapter is twisted out. I have same factory fitted bar and electrics on my XC90. It is very good.

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2 hours ago, Deno said:

It looks like it has a 13 to 7pin adapter in it. If you lift the flap and twist the socket 90 degrees anticlockwise the adapter should pull out leaving the original 13 pin socket.

 

 

 

RbItIspTQ6+4k8AhQtTpTg.jpg

oUrSJ2R5Sh+LLX5p7E6Bvg.jpg

 

Deno - as an aside I have the same towball as you on my XC90, do you know what the purpose of the 2 knobs on either side are for ?

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1 hour ago, Birdingbilly said:

 

Deno - as an aside I have the same towball as you on my XC90, do you know what the purpose of the 2 knobs on either side are for ?

These “knobs” are used for the Volvo bike rack that mounts on towbar 

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1 hour ago, Birdingbilly said:

 

Deno - as an aside I have the same towball as you on my XC90, do you know what the purpose of the 2 knobs on either side are for ?

 

Mine has them too and have wondered the same. My only thought is they help anchor a Volvo towball mounted bike frame????

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1 hour ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

These “knobs” are used for the Volvo bike rack that mounts on towbar 

mystery solved - many thanks - been puzzling me for a while

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19 hours ago, Gd485 said:

I suppose S&F means swing and fold....

Or supply and fit?

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Well, picked up the new van this morning and feel such a stupid numpty....I never realised that there was a 13pin to 7 pin adaptor in place, The salesman saw it, gave it a turn and off it came revealing the 13 pin socket!!!

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