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New tow bar fitted - this is a first!


Glen and Les
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Yesterday we had a tow bar fitted to our new Ford Kuga and, as we were about to leave, the fitter said that if we ever removed the tow bar we would need to refit the bit of metal that was now in the boot. Curious, because we’ve never been told this before, we opened the boot and stood there open-mouthed! It would appear that the “bit of metal” is actually the rear bumper crash barrier, which is removed to fit the bar - the bar then becoming, in effect, the crash barrier. It’s a lot more than “a bit of metal” and, more worrying, was the fact that we were originally going to have the Towbar transferred from our 16 plate Kuga to the new car, and we were never given this “bit of metal” from that car (fitted by mobile Towbar fitter 35 miles from home). Thankfully we left the Towbar on that vehicle, but I wonder how many others are aware that a major part of the car has been removed and substituted by the tow bar? Maybe different brands fit differently, but I thought it was worth bringing to members’ attention.

 

Glen.

 

A4B5CF85-47DD-43DF-A4A8-27C19395FE8B.jpeg

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On our 2016 Kuga which we brought second hand the piece of metal was in the boot, asked salesman what it was and he told me that if the tow bar was taken off the this had to be refitted. The tow bar is a Tow Trust detachable .

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Actually I've got two of those in my loft:rolleyes:. One for the present car and one for a previous one that we left the bar on when we sold it.

 

I did ask for it otherwise I suspect it would have been binned

Edited by matelodave
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10 minutes ago, Hoddy said:

On our 2016 Kuga which we brought second hand the piece of metal was in the boot, asked salesman what it was and he told me that if the tow bar was taken off the this had to be refitted. The tow bar is a Tow Trust detachable .

This new tow bar is a Tow Trust Swan neck. Our previous Kuga we bought second hand and the Ford Dealer arranged with the mobile guy to fit the bar as part of the deal. I can only think that the mobile guy has a good relationship with the local scrap merchant! 

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35 minutes ago, matelodave said:

Actually I've got two of those in my loft:rolleyes:. One for the present car and one for a previous one that we left the bar on when we sold it.

 

I did ask for it otherwise I suspect it would have been binned

 

Me too, although mine are in the garage ‘loft’ (rafters).

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On my X3 BMW to fit the towbar they had to leave out a plastic composite honeycomb looking object from behind the bumper. Didn't worry me the towbar looked far stronger to me! When I sold it just left the towbar on.

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I suspect that most bumper armatures removed to fit a towbar DON'T get given to the owner - I also suspect that many tow cars traded in with the towbar still on, get it removed by the dealer and spend the rest of their life with no armature!

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I have two from my previous Touareg's they are fitted to the car as part of the crush area structure in event of an accident. 

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The one from the Passat is in the garage, should we buy another Passat I’ll swap this over so that we can at least save a few quid.

 

Perfectly common for there to be a replacement beam; you’d think there would be just one beam with the ability to connect the towbar into it but seemingly not always!

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57 minutes ago, Glen and Les said:

I can only think that the mobile guy has a good relationship with the local scrap merchant! 

 

There doesn't seem to be any market for these things!

 

I have 2 from my previous BMW's and I can't even give them away ☺

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2 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

I suspect that most bumper armatures removed to fit a towbar DON'T get given to the owner - I also suspect that many tow cars traded in with the towbar still on, get it removed by the dealer and spend the rest of their life with no armature!

 

That’s what worries me!

 

2 hours ago, AlwynMike said:

 

There doesn't seem to be any market for these things!

 

I have 2 from my previous BMW's and I can't even give them away ☺

 

You may find your local scrap metal dealer will give you something for them.

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Some vehicles the bumper reinforcement needs to be left as it adds strength and the instructions need to be followed by fitters and some might remember a few years ago when we had a few members with the same vehicle model found towbars bending and sagging and after official enquiries it ended up the fitter automatically took the reinforcement off which made the towbar weak .

 

 

I have my Skoda bumper reinforcement in my garage that will go with the car when sold .

 

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave
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You could not fasten a towbar to the Kuga bumper part that has been removed - it looks to have  brackets that would deform in a rear bump.  If the towbar was fastened to it these might deform when the car brakes were used with the caravan on the back.  With it removed and a towbar in its place the car might suffer more in a rear end bump. When insuring a car with a towbar this should always be mentioned as a modification so they can not reject a claim and is probably more important for a car like the Kuga that might suffer more damage from a bump.

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6 hours ago, FrankBullet said:

The one from the Passat is in the garage, should we buy another Passat I’ll swap this over so that we can at least save a few quid.

 

Perfectly common for there to be a replacement beam; you’d think there would be just one beam with the ability to connect the towbar into it but seemingly not always!

 

+1 - three Passat estates down the road!

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This is normal, I have one in the garage and have had several over the years, my fitter says that if people do not want the rear beam they sell it for profit. when we change the car I always put one in the boot as most garages do not want a car on their forecourt with a towball and will remove it prior to sales.

 

Good luck with your new Kugar, could be our next car

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21 minutes ago, Les Medes said:

This is normal, I have one in the garage and have had several over the years, my fitter says that if people do not want the rear beam they sell it for profit. when we change the car I always put one in the boot as most garages do not want a car on their forecourt with a towball and will remove it prior to sales.

 

Good luck with your new Kugar, could be our next car

Thank you. Surprisingly the Ford Dealer we bought the new car from asked us to leave the tow bar on - we were going to get it transferred to the new vehicle, but so glad we didn’t now. Les says if he ever buys a second-hand car again he’ll be checking it hasn’t had a bar removed and nothing put back in its place!

 

53 minutes ago, Paul1957 said:

You could not fasten a towbar to the Kuga bumper part that has been removed - it looks to have  brackets that would deform in a rear bump.  If the towbar was fastened to it these might deform when the car brakes were used with the caravan on the back.  With it removed and a towbar in its place the car might suffer more in a rear end bump. When insuring a car with a towbar this should always be mentioned as a modification so they can not reject a claim and is probably more important for a car like the Kuga that might suffer more damage from a bump.

I think they call it the “crumple zone”- the bar takes the impact and absorbs the shock  by crumpling. Insurance company advised of Towbar fitting. 👍

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I had exactly the same experience as Glen and Les at a Ford main dealer 2 years ago.

I gave the armature a coat of Wd40 and wrapped it in bubble wrap for storage.

The Ford fitted towbar on mine is made by Brink, as a matter of interest, and there are labels on the bar, hatchback and B pillar giving technical data.

It's good to know that some dealers do their jobs properly. 

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my 2004 for focus is the same, wen i sold the old focus i put my crashbar onto it as the towbar was swapped from old to new and wen i sell this 1 il buy the bar to put back on  too

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Thank you all for your comments - they are very reassuring. In all our years of caravanning we have never had this piece of metal handed back to us previously. Years ago Les used to fit our own tow bars and nothing was ever removed from the car. Just confirms that cars are better made, safety-wise, today.

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I have similar one of these in the shed, taken off my E Class Merc.

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Not all cars have a rear beam.

The Xtrail didn't have one, but you were given two short brackets required to fit the bumper should the towbar be removed.

 

Cx-5 has nothing to replace, and I don't recall either Primera needing parts replaced after bumper removal, same for the Cavalier and Carina.

 I don't know about the Tiguan as it has a factory towbar.

 

Only car I've had with a rear beam was a Audi A4 I had, but the beam was aluminium.

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Towbar fitting company told me to keep the part as they wouldn't swap the towbar to another car without it, dealer said to put it into the boot at trade in, as this would be reflected at trade in.

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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1 hour ago, xtrailman said:

Not all cars have a rear beam.

The Xtrail didn't have one, but you were given two short brackets required to fit the bumper should the towbar be removed.

 

Cx-5 has nothing to replace, and I don't recall either Primera needing parts replaced after bumper removal, same for the Cavalier and Carina.

 I don't know about the Tiguan as it has a factory towbar.

 

Only car I've had with a rear beam was a Audi A4 I had, but the beam was aluminium.

My BMW X3 also had Alu Beams, again when I traded them in I put them in the boot

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It's good to hear so many examples of dealers providing the removed beam for subsequent refitment.

 

An anomaly is the factory-fit towbar - if a dealer removed it to hide the fact that it had been used as a towcar, there's no beam available to refit - fortunately many factory-fit towbars are completely hidden when not deployed so some dealers don't even know a car is fitted with one - work checking out if you're buying a used car!

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