Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
staffordshirechina

Rejecting a tow bar

Recommended Posts

Following on from my other thread about exactly what a dedicated wiring harness should and shouldn't do, I am considering rejecting the one that has been fitted and doesn't work properly.

I generally know my rights and I am well within the magic 30 days but how are things like towbars viewed. Obviously there is some considerable fitting work involved. (and de-fitting)

I assume that I have the right to be back at square one again with all my money back.  I can foresee resistance but that is the line I would take. What does the team think?

 

Sadly in a moment of inattention, I paid with my debit card instead of credit card. Not that that matters, it just would have been ammunition.

 

Les

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am not aware that one can reject without giving the dealer an opportunity to rectify the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Lutz said:

I am not aware that one can reject without giving the dealer an opportunity to rectify the problem.

Under the Consumer Rights Act 2015 goods can be rejected for a full refund within the first 30 days without the requirement to allow one repair attempt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
53 minutes ago, Lutz said:

I am not aware that one can reject without giving the dealer an opportunity to rectify the problem.

 

In the first 'magic' 30 days you have the absolute right to reject if faulty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
59 minutes ago, staffordshirechina said:

Following on from my other thread about exactly what a dedicated wiring harness should and shouldn't do, I am considering rejecting the one that has been fitted and doesn't work properly.

I generally know my rights and I am well within the magic 30 days but how are things like towbars viewed. Obviously there is some considerable fitting work involved. (and de-fitting)

I assume that I have the right to be back at square one again with all my money back.  I can foresee resistance but that is the line I would take. What does the team think?

 

Sadly in a moment of inattention, I paid with my debit card instead of credit card. Not that that matters, it just would have been ammunition.

 

Les

What is faulty, wiring harness, tow bar or both? If it's only the harness you cannot reject the tow bar as it isn't an integral part which it depends upon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Depends how good the towbar company/fitter is. I had a problem with an aftermarket wiring harness -  aWestfalia dedicated harness and module for a previous S-max.

 

It was possibly not fitted correctly in the first place but the fitter came back and re-installed it but it still didn't work properly so I got a specific Ford harness and module and the fitter  removed the Wesfalia kit, installed the Ford kit and gave me a full refund on the cost of the Wesfalia kit. All the work was done on my drive. I did anticipate a lot of buck passing between the fitter and dealer but it all worked out OK (even though the car had several trips on the back or Mayday & AA trucks, once with the van hooked as well)

 

As it happens we had further problems with that particular car after about eight months which could not be cured ( it's final journey in my ownership was on the AA's big yellow taxi ) It was rejected and I got the car replaced with a brand new one with a fully fitted Ford towbar & electonics.

 

TBH I now would not contemplate an aftermarket kit (dedicated or not)- only from the main dealer. there was too much hassle which could have been a lot worse of the dealer or fitter had decided to be awkward.

Edited by matelodave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As said above what is the dealer saying about the problem?

Is he a member of a trade association?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The complete kit was fitted by a well known towbar company, not the Kia dealer, as a car compatable , dedicated towbar/13 pin. It was an all inclusive price for towbar and electrics, effectively one item? So one part fails, it all fails?

 

My big problem is that it is booked in on Wednesday "to be sorted". Now, for me that can be attempted repair or rejection.

I have not made my mind up yet.

However, if I accept a repair, I will be able to test the direct functions using my trailer BUT I will not be able to test the fridge problem until late July when I next go on big holiday. The car can run several hours before the fridge cuts out, basically until the car battery is fully charged and the voltage drops back. It needs an extended trip to discover, not five minutes on a test rig. By then we are into the six month rule so rejection becomes more difficult. Or are we if I allow them one chance previously?

So do I allow them to mess with it or, while inside the 30 days, just get rid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seen many posts from people having electrical issues with aftermarket electrics kits. I always fit my own towbars usuall from Jones but the electric kits always come from the dealer. Never had an issue, plug and play, easily fitted without bodgery in the fusebox and interfacing with the cars electronic systems. Might cost a fair bit more from the dealer but you know its going to work and not damage the vehicle electronics.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, staffordshirechina said:

The complete kit was fitted by a well known towbar company, not the Kia dealer, as a car compatable , dedicated towbar/13 pin. It was an all inclusive price for towbar and electrics, effectively one item? So one part fails, it all fails?

 

My big problem is that it is booked in on Wednesday "to be sorted". Now, for me that can be attempted repair or rejection.

I have not made my mind up yet.

However, if I accept a repair, I will be able to test the direct functions using my trailer BUT I will not be able to test the fridge problem until late July when I next go on big holiday. The car can run several hours before the fridge cuts out, basically until the car battery is fully charged and the voltage drops back. It needs an extended trip to discover, not five minutes on a test rig. By then we are into the six month rule so rejection becomes more difficult. Or are we if I allow them one chance previously?

So do I allow them to mess with it or, while inside the 30 days, just get rid.

I would have a chat with them and find out whether they really know what they are going to do because they know for sure  what is wrong, or whether they are going to "investigate" it. I would not want any investigating done as it may easily lead to further complications. Car electrics are becoming a bit hysterical these days and sometimes don't react well to "investigation" (trial and error approach).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the start/stop function still work when the caravan is plugged in?

 

A lot of cars have a system that only charges the battery when on the overrun. This is know as re-generative charging.

If the cars electrics haven't been correctly re-configured to accommodate the tow bar then the car battery could discharge sufficiently to stop the fridge working. When the cars battery voltage gets low the alternator is switched on to recover the charge.

Maybe this is the cause of your problems.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, Gd485 said:

Does the start/stop function still work when the caravan is plugged in?

 

A lot of cars have a system that only charges the battery when on the overrun. This is know as re-generative charging.

If the cars electrics haven't been correctly re-configured to accommodate the tow bar then the car battery could discharge sufficiently to stop the fridge working. When the cars battery voltage gets low the alternator is switched on to recover the charge.

Maybe this is the cause of your problems.

 

The stop/start on my VW doesn't operate when a trailer is plugged in.

 

My 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe had a smart alternator, of the type you refer to, and conventional trailer wiring didn't function properly as the voltage was varying too much - fixed by an old-school auto electrician who fitted a heavy-duty latching relay so that the constant drain of the fridge keeps the alternator working.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Black Grouse said:

 

The stop/start on my VW doesn't operate when a trailer is plugged in.

 

My 2011 Hyundai Santa Fe had a smart alternator, of the type you refer to, and conventional trailer wiring didn't function properly as the voltage was varying too much - fixed by an old-school auto electrician who fitted a heavy-duty latching relay so that the constant drain of the fridge keeps the alternator working.

 

The stop start on my 2019  factory fitted tow bar fully wired VW Tiguan still operates with a caravan attached, I've checked and other new owners are the same?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Gd485 said:

Does the start/stop function still work when the caravan is plugged in?

 

A lot of cars have a system that only charges the battery when on the overrun. This is know as re-generative charging.

If the cars electrics haven't been correctly re-configured to accommodate the tow bar then the car battery could discharge sufficiently to stop the fridge working. When the cars battery voltage gets low the alternator is switched on to recover the charge.

Maybe this is the cause of your problems.

 

in my experience even if the car is giving out plenty of volts its not a given that the caravan fridge will get sufficient voltage to operate or operate at the full rated voltage.

 

Voltage drop in the car and caravan takes place which depends on the fridge fitted, and the wiring installed.

The 170 watt fridges in particular can be a problem as it requires over 14 amp at the rated voltage of 12volts, although my Tiguan battery/alternator voltage could be as high as 14.4volts I was getting only 11.9 volts at the fridge on load with 13.66 amps not the 14A plus.

 

Obviously 14.4 volts isn't always likely to be available (although at times it has been as high as 14.8v), even when running with head lights on, and last summer the heat was particularly  high in the UK to cause the fridge to warm up on only a 1.5 hour run, so I've looked into where the voltage drop is.

 

While some is in the car, and also the 13core wiring which is only 2.5mm, I was still loosing around 1.5 volts in the caravan.

 

Sargent told me the wiring was 6mm and should be adequate, only it isn't 6mm probably around 4mm , so I've added a 6mm thin walled pair of wires across the existing wiring (only cost £17) so now being nearer 10mm which should give very little voltage drop, approx. 0.5 volts I believe, so I am now confident that the fridge will at times be seeing the full 12volts some of the time.

 

So if you are trying to reject the harness due to inadequate fridge cooling I think you might have a problem....

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Over many years there have been topics concerning the ability of a caravan fridge to maintain low temperatures when towing, apparently with varying degrees of success. As far as can be ascertained the consensus  who have had success in retaining low temperatures when towing seem to use combinations of overnight pre-cooling of the fridge and packing the fridge with frozen foodstuffs and other cold items immediately before leaving. There seem to be very few examples where simply relying on the car electrics to reduce the fridge temperature except for situations where keeping cool a few pre-cooled tinnies or other such drinks is all that is needed.

If the OP has previously been successful by simply plugging in the towing vehicle connection, then there there is a time dilemma, which may or not be satisfactory. Otherwise it seems to be a straight forward decision-retain or reject.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Had a similar issue, auto electrician upgraded a 7 pin factory fit to a 13. He took both feeds from the accessory socket and to top it off both earth's were wound together in the socket and taken off the same point.

The standard wiring is usually too thin resulting in voltage drop. 

I remade my power connections straight from the battery via a relay to the socket using 3mm squared wire. I also re made the earth's using separate 3mm wire. Last time out on the way back from Wiltshire, it worked. Even with this though the voltage drop was just giving a bit over 10v which is just enough to power the fridge, the relay cuts out at 10 apparently. 

My bet would be wiring too thin causing voltage drop coupled with possible smart alternator issues.

The fridge isn't the end of the world for me but if doing it again I'd go for 4 or 5mm wiring if I could get it in the plug pin.

As said above I would precool the night before and the fridge looked like it was working on 12v until it tries to cut the heater in and then the voltage drop would cause the system to fault. It will now run properly but would never cool the fridge down from ambient.

I also add a small frozen bottle of water to the freezer compartment to assist.

Edited by Jiffy176

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Tuningdrew said:

Seen many posts from people having electrical issues with aftermarket electrics kits. I always fit my own towbars usuall from Jones but the electric kits always come from the dealer. Never had an issue, plug and play, easily fitted without bodgery in the fusebox and interfacing with the cars electronic systems. Might cost a fair bit more from the dealer but you know its going to work and not damage the vehicle electronics.

 

 

The system is PF Jones and fitted by them at their workshop.

It is not that the fridge isn't cooling, it is that it is getting NO power at all when the system is up to full charge and the feed shuts down. The only reason I know this is because I have a rear view camera fitted with a wireless link, powered from the fridge feed. When the power goes off, I lose video feed. Flip on the headlights and back it comes!

On other cars I have wired in a 30 amp relay and fed it's coil from a source that is only live when the ignition is on.

However, having paid a fair sum for "proper" wiring, I do expect it to work correctly.

Fridge apart, the other dedicated functions don't work properly either. For instance, the rear fog lights on the car should be out of circuit when a trailer is coupled. Oddly, one does and one doesn't! The reversing lights are not disconnected either, nor the overtake warning system. In fact the car doesn't appear to know it is towing so presumably the trailer stability assist system is not enabled either?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For background reading on problems with modern alternators and charging systems there are a couple of very good articles on the “Caravan Chronicles” website.  Car manufacturers don’t really cater for anybody towing a van as it’s only a very small proportion of their sales.     

 

As for the problems with the lights it sounds as if the ECU hasn’t been recoded properly.  Or there is actually a problem with the ECU itself, something I have come across before.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
51 minutes ago, Jiffy176 said:

Had a similar issue, auto electrician upgraded a 7 pin factory fit to a 13. He took both feeds from the accessory socket and to top it off both earth's were wound together in the socket and taken off the same point.

The standard wiring is usually too thin resulting in voltage drop. 

I remade my power connections straight from the battery via a relay to the socket using 3mm squared wire. I also re made the earth's using separate 3mm wire. Last time out on the way back from Wiltshire, it worked. Even with this though the voltage drop was just giving a bit over 10v which is just enough to power the fridge, the relay cuts out at 10 apparently. 

My bet would be wiring too thin causing voltage drop coupled with possible smart alternator issues.

The fridge isn't the end of the world for me but if doing it again I'd go for 4 or 5mm wiring if I could get it in the plug pin.

As said above I would precool the night before and the fridge looked like it was working on 12v until it tries to cut the heater in and then the voltage drop would cause the system to fault. It will now run properly but would never cool the fridge down from ambient.

I also add a small frozen bottle of water to the freezer compartment to assist.

 

My CX-5 had 4mm fitted direct to the battery but it was still too small for a 170W fridge, although ok for my previous caravan with a 135watt one.

 

IMO you need ideally 10mm for a 170watt fridge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stop/Start

Peugeot system only works with car solo if the battery is well charged if below a set limit it doesn't work by design.

My car battery is over 3 years old so past it best so after starting is lower so S/S doesn't work until a couple of hours down the motorway.

So I'm wondering if even with a really good condition car battery when your caravans being towed and the extra load for charging caravan battery and running fridge causes the car battery output to be under the systems limit for s/s to operate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rejected a towbar for not having a plate about 5 years ago when I pointed out it was a legal requirement . The company changed it for a new one .

 

 

Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, staffordshirechina said:

 

The system is PF Jones and fitted by them at their workshop.

It is not that the fridge isn't cooling, it is that it is getting NO power at all when the system is up to full charge and the feed shuts down. The only reason I know this is because I have a rear view camera fitted with a wireless link, powered from the fridge feed. When the power goes off, I lose video feed. Flip on the headlights and back it comes!

On other cars I have wired in a 30 amp relay and fed it's coil from a source that is only live when the ignition is on.

However, having paid a fair sum for "proper" wiring, I do expect it to work correctly.

Fridge apart, the other dedicated functions don't work properly either. For instance, the rear fog lights on the car should be out of circuit when a trailer is coupled. Oddly, one does and one doesn't! The reversing lights are not disconnected either, nor the overtake warning system. In fact the car doesn't appear to know it is towing so presumably the trailer stability assist system is not enabled either?

 

I believe PF Jones use VS harnesses by "right connections"  I had such a system fitted too my 2009 Xtrail, the harness was only for the road lights, the Fridge supply and permanent feed was wired separately and only a VSR fitted, it is possible to adjust the VSR so it comes in at a much lower voltage, that could be where your problem lies

 

I've always thought using the fridge supply for a rear camera a bit silly for the reasons you mention, mine is fed from the permanent feed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, xtrailman said:

I've always thought using the fridge supply for a rear camera a bit silly for the reasons you mention, mine is fed from the permanent feed.

I am wondering if I need to change as this car has stop/start. It has never been a problem before with cars I have wired myself. Also, if it wasn't wired that way, I wouldn't have known the fridge was turning off until we arrived with a freezer full of half-thawed food!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, staffordshirechina said:

The complete kit was fitted by a well known towbar company, not the Kia dealer, as a car compatable , dedicated towbar/13 pin. It was an all inclusive price for towbar and electrics, effectively one item? So one part fails, it all fails?

No. The tow bar and electrical wiring are two separate items even if bought as a package. The ability of the tow bar to function, i.e connect a trailer hitch, is not affected by the wiring and the ability of the wiring to provide power would not be affected by the tow bar failing. If the wiring harness is not functioning as described then it can be rejected for a replacement or refund.

However, you could try focusing their minds on a solution by stating an intention to reject all under the CRA 2015 if they don't sort it out straight away.

Edited by Legal Eagle
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My present Alhambra Seat has a Brinks tow bar and dedicated wiring harness fitted by PF Jones.

Works faultlessly perhaps because my 2017 Seat has electrics from my 1980s Volvo 850?

My 2014 Citroen Picasso had a Witter removable swan neck fitted by PF Jones the electrics were dedicated.

Problem was the wiring harness buzzer would sound at any time when the ignition was switched off-the remedy was turn ignition on switch fog lamps on and off this reset the system I just put up with it as it seldom occurred.

My Ford Galaxy swan neck detachable Witter system was installed by a Ford approved agent.The harness rendered the rear sensors u/s when reversing after many failed attempts by the u/s “approved” fitter I just switched them off when reversing.

Regarding factory fitted tow bars I have been quoted a waiting time of 5 to 7 months on my new Citroen Picasso Grand Volvo 60 and VW Touareg in the past 10 years.

In the Touaregs case it has a long history of problems with non factory fitted electrics-that and its poor value for money made me go for the Alhambra-all the toys for a cheaper cost and it seats 7 adults.

Getting back on OP regarding fridge it’s the same problem as the ATC if you have 13 pin electrics.

This was my concern as our caravan has ATC and 13 pin electrics.

In an attempt to save 3 pence per harness the heavy power wire on pin 9 is to light on many harnesses I discussed this with the PF Jones fitter he agreed it was a well known problem but not on dedicated harnesses and so in my case it turned out to be.

My understanding-as pointed out previously- is that the fridge will not be cooled down by the cars electrical power but temperature will be maintained.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  



×
×
  • Create New...