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CliveB

VAG vehicle with Westfalia towbar electrics

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I have a VW Caravelle from new with a dealer fitted VW/Westfalia towbar and electrics.

No problems with caravan electrics. All lights/fridge/charging/ATC fully functional so assumed all was well.

However have recently been told that when towing on the towcar:

  Rear reversing sensors

  Reversing lightsk

  High intensity rear fog light

Should be automatically disabled, as should the start/stop engine facility.

Also when reversing a trailor icon should also appear on the display in place of the rear sensor.

If this is the case I'm assuming that the supplying dealer did not carry out some reprogramming?

Can someone with  a VAG vehicle confirm (or otherwise) the above?

Thanks

 

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I have a VW Touareg with factory fitted towbar and yes the stop start function is disabled along with the lights you mention. I believe it also keeps the intelligent alternator charging to power the fridge etc as if car battery is fully charged the alternator only charges when decelerating - saves fuel and emissions apparently. However, my previous Touareg had a dealer fit towbar and electric and behaved similarly to yours. May be worth going to a towbar specialist to see if the system needs programming.

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If it's the same as our Skoda it will need a tick in checkbox with a programmer to make it realize it's now fitted with towbar. The dealer will have the programmer so perhaps they just forgot it?

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They do vary, ours is non-factory but dedicated electrics - it powers the fridge, turns off the rear sensors and reversing lights along with showing the trailer pictograms when you reverse, but it doesn’t disable stop-start or ‘economy’ as an option on the drive select thingy although I never use this (and turn stop start off)

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In a VW look at the lights on the dash when you start the engine. The two are the ABS and traction control lights. Without a trailer connected they go off together: if a trailer is connected and the ECU <has> been reprogrammed and detects the trailer, one light goes off about two seconds after the other - can't remember which way round.

Most vehicles at least start to recognise a trailer connected by the presence of the rear fog light on the trailer before it checks the others.

Confirm the BMT is overridden and the reversing image on the big radio display should change from showing a whole car to showing the rear of the car and the caravan A-frame.

Edited by Woodentop

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Many thanks to everyone for the replies.

The dealer who fitted the towbar is over 150 miles away. The local dealer is quite helpful and I am booked in at the end of the month for an AC compressor replacement and will ask if he can work his magic with the diagnostic computer.

 

Edited by CliveB

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I have a 2019 Tiguan with a factory fit towbar fully wired.

 

What you get varies from model to model and year, so you need to get answers for your model only IMO.

Mine does not disable stop start, and shows no A from on the screen, only thing I get is an extra indicator light for both left and right indicators, I would have prefer one for each.

 

And I appear to get high alternator output upto 14.8volts at times, I have a plug in voltmeter.

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2 hours ago, xtrailman said:

I have a 2019 Tiguan with a factory fit towbar fully wired.

 

What you get varies from model to model and year, so you need to get answers for your model only IMO.

Mine does not disable stop start, and shows no A from on the screen, only thing I get is an extra indicator light for both left and right indicators, I would have prefer one for each.

 

And I appear to get high alternator output upto 14.8volts at times, I have a plug in voltmeter.

 

In that case your ECU has not been properly programmed for towing. We have an 18 Passat and had a 14 before and they both showed the lights I described above. When the 18 car had the towbar fitted last September the fitting shop also had a 68 Golf in for fitting and that did exactly the same as mine.

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Our Skoda which is out of the VW stable had to be programmed by the towbar fitter 

 

 

Dave

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9 hours ago, Woodentop said:

 

In that case your ECU has not been properly programmed for towing. We have an 18 Passat and had a 14 before and they both showed the lights I described above. When the 18 car had the towbar fitted last September the fitting shop also had a 68 Golf in for fitting and that did exactly the same as mine.

 

If it wasn't for other owners with 2019 cars having the same with the factory fit towbars I would agree.

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VW factory fitted towing bracket or a towing bracket retrofitted by Volkswagen disable and/ enable functions in a different way to a aftermarket fitted one i.e. ECO mode blocked if trailer attached and automatically switches to normal profile.
  Stop/start functions as normal if fitted by VW, Towing brackets not fitted by VW stop/start must be disabled manually.
 The list goes on in my handbook anyway but anyone buying Tiguan for towing or any car I guess would read the handbook to see recommendations of that manufacturer.

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8 hours ago, weekender said:

VW factory fitted towing bracket or a towing bracket retrofitted by Volkswagen disable and/ enable functions in a different way to a aftermarket fitted one i.e. ECO mode blocked if trailer attached and automatically switches to normal profile.
  Stop/start functions as normal if fitted by VW, Towing brackets not fitted by VW stop/start must be disabled manually.
 The list goes on in my handbook anyway but anyone buying Tiguan for towing or any car I guess would read the handbook to see recommendations of that manufacturer.

 

It depends on the model - don't assume that all VW's work the same.

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On 10/05/2019 at 19:00, Woodentop said:

n a VW look at the lights on the dash when you start the engine. The two are the ABS and traction control lights. Without a trailer connected they go off together: if a trailer is connected and the ECU <has> been reprogrammed and detects the trailer, one light goes off about two seconds after the other - can't remember which way round. 

Just checked and this is what happens with my VW so assuming it knows I am towing 

Also in the handbook (know I should have done earlier) and for factory/dealer fitted towbars it states start/stop will not be deactivated, so assume normal operation.

Nothing on disabling rear sensors, reversing lights, fog lights etc.

Lots of info on the towbar and towing techniques, but very thin on technical information.

 

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