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Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:57 pm
by Exmilade
Yes the old old story.....
You know, I wish I hadn't started this now.
I wonder if I should have gone the bypass relay route, but, no I chose Westfalia dedicated wiring kit for the wife's Q2 thinking it will be easier and all the car's systems will work in harmony - how wrong could I have been?

Fitted the kit and found the wiring colours given in the Westfalia instructions for the can bus connection are different to the actual wires in the car, so I chose to go by the pin numbers given as there were wires in those places.

To get to this lot you have to remove the clove box and one of the retaining screws is behind the CD drive, so I had to manufacture a pair of removal tools to get it out.

The kit shows that their additional fuse holder just clips to the side of the existing fuse box, but, no one has told Westfalia that that is where Audi have placed the charcoal filter holder, so I have cable tied it somewhere else.

You need to attach the new power wires to the back of the fuse box, but, the instructions are vague as to which terminals you are to attach them too. At the moment it seems I have chosen the right ones as the trailer lights work and no wires have melted (yet?).

But the most stressful bit is the car systems and coding.
The instructions say the car needs to be coded. They also say that the car/system cannot be coded on line.

As per the instructions it says disconnect the battery before starting work.
At the end reconnecting the battery and turning on the ignition resulted in loads of faults displayed.
Pre-sense system failure
Steering system failure
TPMS failure
ECS failure
and all the trailer light failures.

Thankfully just a short drive removed the Steering, ECS and TPMS faults, but, I am left with the Pre-Sense system failure and the trailer lights failures.

My wife called the Audi garage who suggested calling Audi Roadside Assistance.
The chap turned up and couldn't code it for us as he asked for the SVM number.
He also hasn't cleared the Pre-sense failure.

So I called in at the local Audi service centre who say they cannot help me.
They would need a SVM number that would do it all automatically, but, it seems aftermarket additions are not catered for by Audi SVM numbers, therefore, they can't help me at all.
If the car goes in for a service and the car's systems get a software update any non-Audi programming will get wiped out!

A call to PF Jones (the original supplier of the kit) has not resulted in the promised call back.

I called Westfalia UK and their tech support guy said that there is no such thing as SVM numbers now for fitting their wiring kits.
I have to get it coded by a third party.

My dilemma is this: do I get a third party company in to code it for me (current quote is £100), but, what if I find that the Pre-sense Failure isn't cleared by this?
If not then I'll probably have to get Audi to fix it which could easily wiped out the third party coding and then am I into another £100 to get t re-coded? Blimey this is so stressful!!!!!

Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.

At the moment I would recommend fitting a bypass relay system to avoid all this coding stuff and possible future deletions at software update times.

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Thu Mar 29, 2018 7:40 pm
by Exmilade
Decided the dashboard warnings are too annoying, so went in again and removed the can bus connections and the single power connection on the other BCM plug.
HOORAY! the car started up without the Pre-Sense fault and all is well again.

Obviously we have no tow bar electrics at the moment but it feels good to get the brand new car back to how it should do.
At the moment we will use it for a Thule Bag & Rack, so the rear lights aren't obscured so no need for electrics really.
The Thule rack has a number plate, so ideally it should be lit but we won't be using it in the hours of darkness.

We are thinking of paying Audi to fit their tow bar electrics and sod the cost, but, first we'll see if we actually need them.
Might even change the rack's bulbs to LEDs and wire in a battery and switch for darkness driving so that number plate is lit totally separate from the car's electrical system.

We'll see.

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 9:31 pm
by keeper
What was the outcome of the project?

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:11 pm
by Exmilade
I have not progressed on with it any further. We only use the rack once or twice a year and I don't think we have ever used it at night.
So, I have not gone further with an Audi fitted electrics pack.

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 3:46 pm
by PFJones
Dear Exmilade

I am sorry you are facing issues with your recent purchase, are you aware of the person/ or team the person who did not call back was? Did you speak to our tech support team ? Also have you been quoted off ourselves to code the towbar?

We would strongly advised against fitting a by pass relay to any new vehicle aas this invalidates the manufacturers warranty.

If you decide to complete the install at any time please call and connect to the internet sales team , they can ut you in touch with the tech department, or book you a fitter to program the kit.

Kind Regards

Duncan PF Jones web team

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Mon Jun 25, 2018 4:49 pm
by Exmilade
Hi Duncan
So long ago I can remember who I spoke to etc etc.
As mentioned I have removed the wiring from the car and have actually managed to sell the kit on ebay with a corresponding financial loss.
I don't think I'll ever fit the electrics myself as this whole issue of coding and possibly having it wiped out at an Audi service bugs me.
Its annoying as I am a qualified aircraft electrician and have worked on cars and motorcycles for the last 35 years or so.

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 2:58 pm
by PFJones
Hi Exmilade

"I am a qualified aircraft electrician" OK so we cleared what is the issue 99.9% of the time, the person attempting the DIY wiring install has no real experience of fitting wiring to vehicles.

" this whole issue of coding and possibly having it wiped out at an Audi service bugs me."

The fact the software is not already installed on the vehicle is down to Audi, they decided to not install it as standard. This is not something ourselves or our manufacturing partners have any control or say over.

You could raise this with Audi, but the whole " towing prep" scandal comes to mind.

Kind Regards

Duncan PF Jones web team

Re: Tow Bar Electrics and Coding

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:43 pm
by keeper
So if I get a tow bar coded by P F Jones and Audi do a software update does it get removed or is it a permanent install?