Why is a wiring kit is required when installing a Tow-Pro in a Ford vehicle?
Why you need a Tow-Pro Wiring Kit when installing a brake controller in a Ford vehicle
Post 2018 (MY19) Ford released Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Technology for many of their vehicle ranges. Due to the sophisticated Trailer Modules in these model vehicles, the common connections for the brake signal to the electric brake controllers are now not viable without adverse effects on the vehicle and onboard safety systems.
REDARC has engineered a solution to overcome this issue and designed a vehicle specific Tow-Pro Wiring Kit (TPWKIT-012) to suit this application.
The harness in this kit is more than just a standard wiring installation. The wiring kit consists of a harness plus a Signal Conditioning Module which safely filters the brake signal from the brake light circuit sourced from the trailer socket which is controlled from the vehicle’s trailer module.
The addition of the Signal Conditioning Module ensures there is no interference from your brake controller installation with the vehicle’s electronics, onboard monitoring, and safety equipment.
To summarise, additional parts are required in electric brake installations for modern Ford models with AEB, when installing any aftermarket brake controllers due to the vehicle trailer detection system being extremely sensitive. It is a requirement to use the correct wiring harness for these applications.
There are two suitable options, either the Genuine Ford Electric brake harness kit or the REDARC TPWKIT-012 Tow-Pro Wiring Kit.
Common issues are seen when no trailer is attached, if the brake trigger is taken from the brake light circuit of the vehicle or trailer base without using the required wiring kit include:
- Trailer warning lamp on with no trailer detected
- Dashboard indicator pilot light flash at a faster rate
- Logged fault codes relating to brake light circuit
- Reverse Sensor/alarm does not operate
- Reverse Guidance/Camera does not function correctly
Why can’t I simply connect the brake light trigger to the brake pedal switch as with earlier models?
When the AEB system applies the vehicle brakes, the brake pedal & therefore the brake pedal switch are not activated, meaning that in an AEB emergency braking situation, the trailer brakes WILL NOT BE ACTIVATED, increasing the stopping distance of the vehicle/trailer, possibly resulting in a collision.
The trailer socket brake light pin will always be activated, whether by foot pedal or by AEB, therefore a brake controller must be triggered from this point.
Although The TPWKIT-012 is a requirement for Ford Ranger and Everest with AEB, this kit is also backward compatible, is suitable for all earlier models without AEB and other Ford vehicles with AEB.
To meet ADR compliance, the only option is to install either the Genuine Accessory Kit or the TPWKIT-012 wiring kits. This requirement means the trailer brake lights must operate when pressing the Electric brake override, if an installation doesn’t support this operation, then it's not ADR compliant.
To find out more about the Tow-Pro Elite or its installation contact the REDARC Technical Support Team.