We always produce our wiring kits to be vehicle specific, based on the sockets and the vehicle preparation of the car manufacturers. The installation process is shown in pictogram format in the installation manuals that are provided with every towbar. Always closely follow the step-by-step plan as described in these manuals.
Complete video instruction
Fitting towbar instruction
Step 1 - Check electrical circuits
The installation process of the vehicle-specific wiring kit starts with a careful check of the electronics in your car. Test whether all electric circuits are functioning properly and that no warning lights are activated on your dashboard.
Step 2 - Write down customer-specific settings
Of course, you will have adjusted the settings of your vehicle to your own preferences, for example, settings such as radio code (older vehicles only), seat position and seat heating. Write down all these settings, to ensure you can set them back correctly after installation.
Step 3 - Make the car electricity-free
It is essential to disconnect the battery terminals in order to be able to work safely. This prevents malfunctions from occurring when you establish an electrical connection at a later stage.
Hybrid and electrical vehicles
Pay special attention to making the car electricity free if you have a hybrid or electric vehicle. When these cars were introduced, so were new technologies with accompanying new risks, such as dangerous electric voltages up to hundreds of volts. As a result, you always have to uphold the NEN-9140 protocol when installing wiring kits in hybrid and electric cars. This protocol describes how mechanics can safely handle installation in hybrid and electric vehicles.
Step 4 - Check vehicle preparation
Car manufacturers can supply cars with and without towbar preparation. This is invisible on the outside and can also not be derived from the vehicle details. Brink anticipates this problem by including an additional cable harness in most vehicle-specific wiring kits. That way, you can mount the wiring kit to the prepared connector, or to another location in the vehicle does not have the preperation installed.
Step 5 - Determine entry point
The entry point for the cable harness is always listed in the installation manual. This point is usually located on the back panel of the vehicle, in order to minimise the risk of water damage. The entry point location is always prescribed by the car manufacturer and in most cases has been primed for installation. However, it may be necessary to drill some holes in some cases. If that is the case, remember to treat the new holes with anti-corrosion paint. Any grommets installed should have silicon around them and be checked the cable sheathing does not crease on entry or exit of the grommet.
Step 6 - Wiring the socket
Wire the socket and mount it to the socket plate of your towbar, ensuring the grommet on the back of the socket has been sealed correctly. When using a 13 pin socket, the first seven pins have the same function as those of the default 7 pin socket. If you have ordered a 13 pin kit, your wiring kit will include all the necessary wires at the socket, however to have the kit full function you may need to order an additional kit for either Permanent Power (Pin 9) and Fridge Feed (Pin 10) or Fridge Feed ONLY (Pin 10)
Step 7 - Wiring EasyPin
Many of the Brink vehicle-specific wiring kits have been equipped with EasyPin. Using this system, you can easily connect the pins of the wiring kit to the socket. Every wire can be manually attached to the socket in a flash. With the help of a disassembly tool, you can easily disconnect a possibly incorrectly installed pin and reconnect it properly. However we also have a number of kits with the screw terminals and also pre terminated.
Step 8 - Feeding the cable
Taking your time pulling the cables through the back panel of your car, will save you any unforeseen issues. If you pull the cable too roughly through the metal of the vehicle, it can result in damage to the wiring harness. This will expose the actual wires, potentially leading to short circuits. You will also have to feed the cable from the boot to the front of the vehicle. To achieve this, carefully remove the interior panels on the inside of your car. Place the wiring in the space behind the panels in such a way that they are no longer visible, and take care to ensure the panels snap precisely back in place afterwards. When reinstalling the panels, please make sure not to damage the wiring.
Step 9 - Trim removal kit
The panels in your car are often installed with fragile mounting clips. To prevent damage, please use a trim removal kit consisting of U-shaped and Y-shaped handles. These can easily be slipped behind the clips, ensuring you can quickly and carefully disassemble the interior.
Step 10 - Placing the cable
When you are removing the tape around the cables, use a carpet cutter instead of a utility knife. The curved head of this tool minimises possible damage to the underlying cables, whereas a utility knife increases this risk
Cable ties come in handy to contain the wiring. However, pay attention when tightening the cable ties. If they are too tight, it may break the cable.
Step 11 - Establishing connection
The next step is connecting the wiring kit to the vehicle. It is of the utmost importance that you follow the instructions listed in the manual. This is the only way you can ensure a good installation.
Step 12 - Plug terminals
In several car brands, it is relatively easy to use plug terminals, the interfaces on the end of a cable. You can easily add them to the connectors at the desired and numbered positions. Please note that the terminals are subject to orientation. It is quite easy to improperly install a cable, but just as easy to undo this with special release tools.
Step 13 - Installing clamp connections yourself
Clamp connections are small connectors that at first glance closely resemble the old-fashioned scotch locks. However, they are completely different. Scotch locks are suitable for cables with an average diameter of 0.75 mm2 to 1.5 mm2. Clamp connections have been specially designed for wires of 0.35 mm2 diameter, which exactly corresponds with the thickness of a CAN-Bus cable. The clamp connections insullation displacement connectors. This ensures the wire is not interrupted while still establishing a stable connection.
Step 14 - AMP plugs
In some cases, it may be necessary to cut a wire, usually a fog light. If that is the case, you should make a new connection by attaching a new AMP plug to the end of the wire. You can create the best connection by using a pair of AMP pliers.
Step 15 - Establishing connection with CAN Bus
Establishing a connection with CAN Bus requires fewer wires and connectors in the vehicle. Again, it is of the utmost importance that you follow the instructions listed in the manual. This is the only way you can ensure a good, safe and malfunction-free connection to the CAN Bus.
Keep the twist intact
The CAN Bus in the vehicle has been deliberately twisted to properly conduct the signal without it being interrupted by external sources. Therefore, it is very important that the twist remains as intact as possible after installation of the wiring kit. Otherwise, the signal may be interrupted.
Do not solder
Despite the fact that some product groups ask for it, we strongly advise against soldering on the CAN Bus. In many cases, car manufacturers void the warranty if you use this method, as it increases the resistance in one location in such a way that the CAN Bus can start to malfunction.
Only install the supplied materials
In order to guarantee correct installation and be able to offer warranty afterwards, it is of the utmost importance that only the supplied materials are used during installation and the instructions are followed to the letter.
Do not use scotch locks
The CAN Bus wiring is very thin, which is why you may only use the supplied clamp connections to establish a connection with the CAN Bus. Scotch locks are utterly unsuitable for this task. Never use them in combination with CAN Bus. They are designed for use with larger wire diameters and will cut through the thin CAN Bus wires.
Step 16 - Connecting ground points
Once you have made the connections, continue with connecting ground points. Again, it is of the utmost importance that you follow the instructions listed in the manual. This is the only way you can ensure a good, safe and the cable loom will fit correctly. The manual lists exactly where the ground points for the wiring kit are present in the vehicle. These have been tested by the car manufacturer. Only connect the wiring kit to these points.
Step 17 - Establishing a power connection.
You can establish the power connection in several different ways. In the most modern vehicles, the best place to the power the circuits is in the fuse box. Brink has developed fuse taps for this option, are must be taken with the orientation and fusing. These taps can easily be plugged into the fuse box and automatically takes the required power for the wiring kit. This usually compromises of 2 circuits one for each side of the trailer.
Should you need to power the Permanent and Fridge feed these can be taken directly of the battery.
Step 18 Activating the wiring kit
You may need to Code the vehicle to put the electrics on to the vehicle gateway after installation. When activated, the towbar is registered with the car electronics, to ensure all electronics present in your car will keep functioning properly and adjusts to the presence of a trailer as soon as it is attached. Most wiring kits can be activated by yourself using general diagnostic devices. The following actions will be performed: deactivation of PDC, mist lights and lane assist and activation of TSP, additional cooling and the automatic gearbox.
Step 19 - Visiting the dealer
For several types of cars, only a dealer can activate the wiring kit. This results in additional costs. Brink always makes the client aware of this by listing the manner of activation in the technical specifications of the wiring kit. This will hopefully prevent any surprises.
Step 20 - Follow-up inspection of wiring kit
Before you can use your car again, you have to perform a careful inspection of all functionalities of the installed wiring kit. There are several ways to perform this inspection.
Many of the Brink vehicle-specific wiring kits have been equipped with a self-diagnostics function. This built-in module shows a red or green sign after installation. Red means the installation was unsuccessful and that you should check it again. Green means all steps have been successfully completed. More details of the lights are contained within the instructions. Thanks to the self-diagnostics function you can always be sure that the installation of the wiring kit has been completed correctly.
Automatic lights check
If the vehicle-specific wiring kit does not come equipped with a self-diagnostics function, the Easy Trailer Check could be a solution. This function has only been added to part of our wiring kit collection. Thanks to the Easy Trailer Check, you will no longer have to check the lights of your trailer with two people, but can do it by yourself. The Easy Trailer Check will start automatically after you turn the ignition of your car, press the button to turn on the warning lights and, finally, place the trailer plug in the socket. Over the course of 11.5 seconds, the Easy Trailer Check activates the tail lights, brake lights, blinkers, mist lights and the reverse light in turn. This cycle is repeated five times. Should you have any issues with any of the light functions, please check the lights are functioning on the trailer before checking the kit.
Do not use test lights
In modern vehicles, the use of old-fashioned test lights are no longer a solution. The same goes for small testers with LED lights. Due to the minimal power consumption of these products they no longer activate the CAN Bus system and switch to sleep mode after only a few minutes. If your wiring kit is not equipped with an automatic lights check, you will have to perform the check with two people. After placing the plug of your trailer in the socket, sit down behind the wheel, turn the ignition and manually activate all lighting functions of your car. The other person checks whether the tail lights, brake lights, blinkers, mist lights and the reverse light on your trailer are actually working. Should you have any issues with any of the light functions, please check the lights are functioning on the trailer before checking the kit.
Perform other follow-up checks
When installing your wiring kit, it is necessary to disassemble several interior panels. Mount these back in place after a successfully completed lighting test and check whether the interior components have not been damaged. Next, test all functionalities of your car, from the electric windows to the system that adjusts your exterior mirrors. Finally, reset all personal settings as you wrote down prior to installation.