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Author Topic:   Trailer wire harness
Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 02:15 PM ET (US)   Profile for Newtauk1   Send Email to Newtauk1  
My trailer lights with a 4 prong connector do not work on my new Honda Pilot with factory installed tow package. I had Honda inspect the Honda wire harness and they said it was fine. I tested the Honda wire harness with a simple light and two wires and there is power. Each color coded wire is connected to the correct light as well (ie running lights, right turn signal , and left turn signal)

I have hitched two different trailers to the Honda and neither trailer lights work. I connected the same two trailers to another tow vehicle and they both work.

What am I over looking?

kglinz posted 11-20-2006 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for kglinz  Send Email to kglinz     
Maybe a ground connection
Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
On the trailer or the tow harness?
Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 03:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
How to test?
Chuck Tribolet posted 11-20-2006 04:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
1. Did you actually hitch the trailers up when you tested
them? If there's a bad ground, you can get a ground through
the hitch.

2. Two different trailers work on another vehicle and don't
work on the Honda? I'd be looking at the Honda, and since
all the lights don't work, I'd check the ground wire first.

3. When you did your test with the simple light, you did it
between the male pin and each (in turn) of the female pins
on the car plug, right?

4. BTW, a good quick test of trailer lights is to turn on
the parking lights and the hazard lights. All trailer lights
should come on, brake/turn lights should flash bright-dim.
The one thing it doesn't test is left/right brake/turn being
crossed, but it's a great quick test for new corrosion problems
before hitting the road (can you tell I launch in saltwater?).


Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 08:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Thanks Chuck for all the insight.
1. I did plug both trailers in to both vehicles.
Both worked on one and not the other (Honda)

2. I did the test to the Honda harness as you outlined.
touching one wire to the male prong and the other into the female pin. Each time power was present as the light was steady on the brown and flashed on the yellow(right) and green (left).

3. Will try the hazards to see what happens.

Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 08:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
PS. I shouild note the one set of lights is removable as they are mounted on a bar. They are basically new and have zero wear. Very frustrating to have this on a new vehicle with a factory mounted hitch that was pricey. Guess it is back to the dealer.
Chuck Tribolet posted 11-20-2006 08:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I asked if you HITCHED them up, not plugged them in. The
metal to metal contact can provide a ground return (not a
good one, but sorta works) from the trailer to the tow

If the test at the plug you did worked, then the hazard light
test will probably work too. I was just giving you a quick
and easy test that doesn't involve the ignition key, flipping
the turn signal, and walking to the back of the trailer two
or three times.

This bug is strange: your test on the plug indicates the tow
vehicle is good, the fact that two different trailers didn't
work would point at the tow vehicle. I'm confused.


Newtauk1 posted 11-20-2006 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
I hitched one trailer to both and plugged the portable to both as well.
Newtauk1 posted 11-21-2006 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Newtauk1  Send Email to Newtauk1     
Bad ground on both trailers. What are the odds? Glad it was just that. Thanks for the help and a Happy Thanksgiving to all and yours.
swist posted 11-24-2006 11:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for swist  Send Email to swist     
The odds are pretty good. Most trailer wiring materials are crap and don't hold up to weather, mud, salt, vibration, etc.

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