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"Coding" for non-factory tow bar?

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Old Feb 16th, 2021, 16:31   #1
GaryB1969
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Default "Coding" for non-factory tow bar?

I have a non-factory (Thule) tow bar fitted to my 2018 V90, the wiring used was a PF Jones dedicated (plug-in) 13 pin harness. While these are a simple plug-in system they use a module that bleeps to let you know the indicators are working (just like the old style used to!). This module also has a set of LED's that can be used as a diagnostic check. I was told by my tow bar fitter that the Volvo cannot be coded to use the vehicles in-built trailer systems (bulb failure etc) in the way that some other cars can.

Anyone found a dealer that claims they can do this?
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 17:51   #2
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Others will no doubt confirm but one of the last actions in the Volvo installation instructions is to download the software for the trailer module.

This not only deactivates the rear fog light and rear parking sensors when the van is connected but also uses the cars light checking system to check the van lights and most importantly uses the cars DSTC system to control and prevent any snaking.

Anyone who tells you different is telling you “ porkies”.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 18:15   #3
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Originally Posted by Whyman View Post
Others will no doubt confirm but one of the last actions in the Volvo installation instructions is to download the software for the trailer module.

This not only deactivates the rear fog light and rear parking sensors when the van is connected but also uses the cars light checking system to check the van lights and most importantly uses the cars DSTC system to control and prevent any snaking.

Anyone who tells you different is telling you “ porkies”.
Thanks, this isn't a Volvo wiring harness, but a PF Jones plug-in harness. The only "cut & shut" required on the wiring is for the fog light delete. The new loom has two connections that are connected to either end of the cut black/yellow fog light feed and ensure that it is deactivated when the trailer socket is connected.

All well and good but when we tried it after he'd fitted it the fog light stayed on but the fuel gauge dropped to empty...... Apparently Volvo use the same colour wire for both fuel gauge and fog light.

I wonder whether the non-Volvo loom cannot be coded but a Volvo one can? I asked my dealer last year when it went in for a service and he said "no" as did the loom manufacturer but I'll ring a few others and ask for advice as from what I can understand most other makes of car can do this.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 18:21   #4
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It's a No... the non Volvo system interprets the basic Canbus signals to operate the lights.

The Volvo system has intelligence within and can be programmed, as well as interact with other systems on the car such for bulb failure, traction control, parking sensors etc.

The big clue is the fog light delete function involves cutting the wire to it and inserting the relay, the Volvo trailer module does this through the software.

As said above there are a number of features on the Volvo system :

Rear fog light off (some third party systems have this)
Parking sensors off
Trailer Stability Assist (not available any other way)

The Volvo system is not expensive to buy and have fitted to a third party towbar.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 20:00   #5
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It's a No... the non Volvo system interprets the basic Canbus signals to operate the lights.

The Volvo system has intelligence within and can be programmed, as well as interact with other systems on the car such for bulb failure, traction control, parking sensors etc.
Thanks for that, at least I now know. The complete Volvo retractable system was quoted by the dealer at around £1,100 which is why I went with an aftermarket system. It works fine but having had a factory system on a BMW I do miss the bulb failure warning feature!
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 20:50   #6
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What was meant there was that the Volvo wiring harness will fit to any towbar as its only the 13 pin socket that's visible. And it's a dawdle to fit as the cars loom its prepared for it.
Its got nothing to do with the actual towbar installed.
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Old Feb 18th, 2021, 22:40   #7
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^^^ That

You can buy a kit with the trailer module and full wiring harness including 13-pin socket that simply plugs in to the cars existing loom through existing sockets - that costs around £120 - £150.

Then you need the software installing at the dealer, which should cost about the same or less, the labour probably twice the cost of the software.

If you can find a good indie with a licensed VIDA instance - that would be cheaper.
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Old Feb 21st, 2021, 15:00   #8
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So does anyone have an actual cost for adding towbar.

I was quoted around £350 from a volvo independent dealer who then told me they would out source it to the local towbar company guessing this would not be with the vovo loom or software update
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Old Feb 22nd, 2021, 12:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by laing View Post
So does anyone have an actual cost for adding towbar.

I was quoted around £350 from a volvo independent dealer who then told me they would out source it to the local towbar company guessing this would not be with the vovo loom or software update
My towbar was a Thule fixed swan neck, it was on offer from an EBay supplier for just over £100. The wiring kit was a PF Jones 13 pin plug-in system at around £150. Fitting by an independent fitter (at home) was £150. I was quoted just over £1,000 for a genuine Volvo tow bar system, so I saved over £600 BUT with hind-sight I'd have gone for the Volvo wiring kit.
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Old Feb 28th, 2021, 23:27   #10
robertjary
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I had a Witter towbar fitted to my V70, but with Volvo wiring kit. My local independent dealer downloaded the software.
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