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fitting a towbar and wiring to a new Berlingo
#1
Hi all. First job to be done when the new car finally arrives is to fit a towbar. Fitted lots of towbars over the years but as we all know can bus wiring now seems the norm. Has anyone any experience of fitting a tow bar to the new shape Berlingo? I'm in 2 minds as to whether to fit wiring using a bypass relay or bite the bullet and get a dedicated wiring kit at considerable expense. Also it is said that a trip to the dealer is required to download some software?? Anyone know why? Many thanks in anticipation!
[+] 1 user says Thank You to kaspian for this post
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#2
I would have thought that you would invalidate the warranty if you go anywhere other than Citroen. Have you checked with them? I would be interested to hear what they say.
2005 Berlingo Multispace 1.6i Desire (Iron Grey)

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.


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#3
Don't quote me on this but I am told that on the newer Berlingos with full CANBUS systems the towbar electrics have to be programmed into to Electronic Control Unit, which will entail a visit to the dealer. Any unauthorised or impromptu delving may damage expensive electronic units and of course invalidate your warranty.... Without a doubt you will need a full bypass relay. Not like the good old days of hacking into the wiring loom and away you go.
Berlingo Multispace 2.0HDI '54 reg Mediterranean Blue
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#4
when I paid a towbar specialist to come out and fit mine, he opened up the nearside rear panel / light cluster and connected whatever to that. I have since had first service at dealer and they said nothing about warranty being void.....they were aware of towbar being fitted ,....not sure if it was programmed into system....but all works, has done for 18 months.....only single electrics. It beeps when i turn, to let me know all lights working...if that makes sense,...
When I bought the car from a dealer I argued that their prices were too high for towbar and I would get one from local fitter...they were fully aware of my intentions and never once said I would invalidate warranty.
Pete
2010 artic silver VTR with EXTRAS.......Confusedunny:
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#5
(26-09-2011, 09:03 AM)pch Wrote:  when I paid a towbar specialist to come out and fit mine, he opened up the nearside rear panel / light cluster and connected whatever to that. I have since had first service at dealer and they said nothing about warranty being void.....they were aware of towbar being fitted ,....not sure if it was programmed into system....but all works, has done for 18 months.....only single electrics. It beeps when i turn, to let me know all lights working...if that makes sense,...
When I bought the car from a dealer I argued that their prices were too high for towbar and I would get one from local fitter...they were fully aware of my intentions and never once said I would invalidate warranty.
Pete

You are right Pete, common sense should dictate that as long as it is professionally fitted, that Citroen (or the warranty provider) should be happy. I am always sceptical though when it comes to any sort of insurance, that if it comes to a claim, they will look for any excuse to wriggle out of paying. I think that the best advice would be to check first, just to be on the safe side.
2005 Berlingo Multispace 1.6i Desire (Iron Grey)

If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.


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#6
Having a towbar fitted by an outside fitter won't invalidate the warranty in itself. If the fitter causes any electrical damage that he cannot fix himself, then obviously having this fixed by Citroen won't be covered by the the vehicle warranty. The maindealer fitted swan neck towbar & 13pin full electrics cost me £400 so about right for cost of parts + labour which is normally about 2hrs.. The Citroen supplied swan neck looks far better than the Witter flange bar imho. If a main dealer download is required to activate electrics then this is normally about £50.
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#7
Many thanks for the replies so far. To make things a little clearer , the wiring is indeed canbus and needs a decoupling relay unit but the dedicated wiring unit comes prefitted with connectors that plug straight in to the manufacturers socket fitted to the wiring loom at the rear lhs of vehicle. ie easy plug and play fitting- albeit at 10 times the cost . 2 main dealers both quoted around £400+ to fit but when pressed on detail both admitted they farm the work out to local specialists!
All bars sold must now be type approved and must pick up manufacturers designated fitting points so I would doubt manufacturer can wriggle out of warranty as long as it is fitted as per..but lately have had some shocking dealings with Peugeot over warranty claim so I suppose any excuse will do! No doubt manufacturers 'own' brand bar will be made by one of the main towbar manufacturers anyway.
My preferred bar has flange mount to allow fitting bike racks stabilizers etc but is also removable by taking out 2 bolts so nothing much is seen normally when not in use but is not a full removable swan neck at over double the cost. I personally have never trusted removable towballs after having to avoid a caravan which came off the towcar in front, still attached to the ball causing chaos on a main road!
I have asked supplying main dealer as to download required but they did not know as they also farm task out- but will get an answer for me as to what is required and costs . Normally this download tells the car for example to switch off rear fog light on car when trailer attached and can alter any exotic traction / stability programming to allow for trailer being connected. When I get an answer from dealer I'll post it .. again many thanks...
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#8
where are you in the country? My fitter covered north wales and chester. He obviously used that special connector in the left rear section. Its a whitter towbar. Solid and permanent, greta for backing into tight parking spots, when no one is about....who me officer....not guilty....
2010 artic silver VTR with EXTRAS.......Confusedunny:
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#9
Hi PCH sorry but I am in Bonny Scotland or would they travel that far ?!! After much investigation I have come to the conclusion that even Citroen dealers do not know (or want to admit) what the download does to the car and anyway they all farm out the work of fitting towbars to local specialists.
Having contacted a few of the so called specialists the general answer was 'save your money and fit bypass relays at around £20- we have fitted lots and never have any problems ' . No one, when asked, would fit the dedicated looms at over £140 alone, unless specifically asked for by a customer. I only require lights and not the 12s caravan socket anyway.
With this in mind I ordered a towbar and relay unit for £95 today online and am preparing now to travel the 170 miles to pick up our new car tomorrow. ( My 3 local dealers could not source a berlingo VTR plus without at least a 12 week wait!) and this dealer had a blue car being delivered last week that was available ) . I will post and let you know how easy and/or successful a task it is to fit the bar later!
Wife and kids are not exactly overly impressed so far and have already christened it Big Bertha! ( my wife liked her Mini which is being traded in as part of the deal ! ) Now all I have to do is sell my Hyundai Terracan and with only 11,500 miles from new it will break my heart -the most reliable and solid towcar I've ever driven. Wont miss the 2 insurances,2 road taxes,mots etc etc etc so hope to have a few pence left at the end of each month from now on. ... Now all I need to source are some XTR ROOF BARS for carrying my canoe !!
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#10
Hi dont worry, I got rid of my VW westfalia camper for my berlingo and I `m pleased. I have roof bars, across my fitted rails for carrying 2 sit on canoes. See my photo`s. Good luck
Pete
I fitted halfords bars with extra long rails so I could get 2 canoes on.
2010 artic silver VTR with EXTRAS.......Confusedunny:
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