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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So due to unwillingness to pay skoda £850 for a towbar and the lack of local towbar providers who will fit to the Kodiaq yet, I decided to buy a kit off ebay for £280 (user transportsysteme24_com) and fit myself. The kit is well made in Germany, it's the real deal - totally bespoke to the car and there's no cutting wires or anything like that - everything fits perfectly with proper fittings. Unfortunately, while the Instructions are clear for the kit itself, and they tell you exactly which trim pieces you need to remove, they helpfully don't offer give you any idea of how to actually remove them! There lies the hard bit - the whole process was A LOT trickier than I thought to be honest and it took me and a friend (neither with any meaningful experience whatsoever mind you) an entire afternoon. This isn't a guide really but I hope it might just help someone. Of course, doing this is totally at your own risk!

Starts easy. Black plastic bits have a screw at the bottom on both sides, then just pull off.

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Lights come out easily enough, just the one white plastic screw on the back from inside

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The screws holding the bumper on are easy enough to find all round the edge and underneath, a couple under the plastic back lip which just pulls off. Then just give it a tug to release the clippy bits (mind to disconnect the parking sensors)

Automotive tail & brake light Grille Automotive lighting Automotive tire Hood

Remove the crash bar with the 6 easy bolts, then the towbar fits into the chassis bars. We found it quite tricky to locate the 4 bolt holes as they are covered with sealant of some kind and not visible from the outside, stabbing it with a screwdriver did the trick to locate them!

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On the right hand side we did have to release one bolt to drop down what I assume is the Ad-Blue tank just half an inch just to make one of the holes accessible.

Hood Automotive lighting Automotive tire Vehicle Bumper

The socket for the removable hook is easy enough to bolt in place (we didn't do this, but I recommend fitting the electric socket to it at this stage as it's quite fiddly to do later)

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Instructions tell you where to cut but in fact the inside of the bumper is already marked for the hole so we just cut that out.
Close enough, remember this can't be seen really anyway.

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Remove the boot floor paraphernalia which mostly lifts out, then for the 7 seater you need to remove the rear 2 seats. We made this difficult for ourselves by unbolting them from the floor. In fact it turns out this isn't necessary, as you can just disconnect the little struts by pulling them sideways, only found this out when reinstalling!

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To be honestIt might be possible to get this panel off without removing the seats completely, but we took them right out - for the front 2 bolts you need an annoying size 'M' Spline socket - or, since we didn't have one, a large Torx socket seemed to do the trick by fitting in every other tooth, sorry I forgot to take pics of the next couple of stages

Removing the huge side panel was the trickiest part, which required a lot of guessing and tugging. There's a few screws to undo, one behind the luggage hook, 2 low down and 2 underneath the 3rd row seat drinks holder (the cover for which pulls off leaving the drinks holder itself in place, this had us stumped for ages. You also need to release the two light-colour panel pieces on the C and boot Pillars, these just pull out but it's a bit scary as you think you're going to break them. In reality I think it's just the clips you risk breaking not the piece itself, we did break one from another trim piece - I think by not pulling it out straight.

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I realise it looks really bad here but although a pain to release, it's actually really easy to reinstall afterwards. Running the electric cable behind the panel is easy enough, secure the earth there and the little control box. The kit is provided with a rubber bung to run through an obvious hole in the floor (under the side panel) out to the back.

At this point I would seriously suggest you consider ignoring the instructions and manually tying the various wires into the rear brakelight cluster (ie the old-fashioned way). Honestly, this is what I'd do if I had to do it again. All the coloured wires are marked up in the manual with what they are, and you could bypass the control box altogether, cut the wires and just splice them inline. However, instead we pressed on to connect it properly to the CAN system as it's designed, and this means running it all the way to the front.

Again sorry there's no photos but all the trim pieces along the floor front to back just clip out, albeit this is far from easy you think you're going to break them but with much swearing and skinned knuckles they do come out eventually. Then remove the airbag switch panel (again just pulls out with a good tug - don't make the rookie mistake of forgetting it disconnect the battery first

Last step but you need a good sense of humour for this one. The instructions show a left hand drive car - but for RHD the bits you need to get to appear to be much harder to get to.

Despite it being in the skoda handbook how to remove the glovebox, we found this very hard! The skoda instructions are rubbish. Release the dampener on the right (it pushes away from you first then up) then BOTH sides have a stopper that you need to release (the manual says it's only one side) we used fingers and swearing but a ruler would probably be the best tool to release the stops.

Once that's out of the way the live wire is easy to hook up via the piggy back fuse into the empty socket. Then the fun really starts - In the manual there are 3 plugs of which you need to replace a wire in plug 1 and plug 3. It took me nearly half an hour (yes really) to find the plugs at all, as I expected them inside the fusebox somewhere but that's not where they are.

Hood Vehicle Motor vehicle Bumper Automotive design

Instead, they are located through the side panel facing outwards from the glovebox - you can just see the white plug 3 if you use a torch and the other 2 plugs are ridiculously inaccessible behind it. The wiring itself is an absolute cinch - the instructions are fairly clear, once the plug is out take the block out of it and there's no cutting, everything clicks into place and clicks back in after. HOWEVER, getting the plugs out requires someone with hands about a quarter of the size of mine and a lot of patience. I also found the wires leading to the plugs unhelpfully wound round each other and required a lot of pushing and shoving and loss of skin and bleeding, yes really. Perhaps there's a better way of doing it, but I didn't find one. The wiring part itself is easy, then it's back to the swearing to get the plugs back in again.


Finally, it's all done! Getting the trim back together is A LOT easier than taking it apart thankfully. Once finished it looks great, as if it never happened! as you can see totally invisible unless you get on your hands and knees under the car, and the electrics just fold down too. Certainty a feeling of accomplishment, even if to be honest it's probably just worth paying an expert for.




The instructions also tell you what codes you have to ask the dealer to change for you, presumably to turn off the rear parking sensors and maybe something about traction control - I haven't bothered yet. Even without doing that, because it's correctly wired into the CAN system, you do get an extra flashing light on the dash when you indicate; to remind you the trailer's there. Just as well probably because my trailer is small enough that with the kodiaq I can't see it in the mirrors, which makes reversing with it quite hard. Anyway I hope this helps someone, if you're inexperienced like me this is a project for the brave only, good luck and let me know if I can help, I'm a total amateur but if there's any questions I can answer I will.
 

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Impressive that you managed all this on your own!! Some pictures will help.
 

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2019 Kodiaq RS - Brilliant Silver
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Hi there, it seems there's an issue with your images - can you fix them?
 

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You still call yourself an amateur??? :shock: :eek:
 

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I think the reason the factory retractor tow bar is so expensive is that it includes the Trailer Assist. The car parks the trailer where you want!
A huge party piece when you get to a camp sight!

You also get the self car park button together with the Trailer button with this option even if you did nor order self parking.
 

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Dr_Pepper said:
ok, that was a pain but I think I fixed the pictures - let me know. It would only let me upload 10 so here are the last 2
Is that a fixed tow bar or removeable. Also does the tow bar itself, if fixed, set off rear parking sensors?
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.
 

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Dr_Pepper said:
Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.
So doers the swan neck come off and then electrics fold up?
 

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RCRCRC said:
I think the reason the factory retractor tow bar is so expensive is that it includes the Trailer Assist. The car parks the trailer where you want!
A huge party piece when you get to a camp sight!

You also get the self car park button together with the Trailer button with this option even if you did nor order self parking.
I thought the retractable towbar on it's own was an £850 option, but when included with trailer assist and area view is nearer £3000.
It will be a very nice surprise if mine arrives with trailer assist but I don't think so ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Jacro said:
Dr_Pepper said:
Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.
So doers the swan neck come off and then electrics fold up?
That's right yes. In my second post the first picture is what the car looks like now, after installation but without the Swan neck and with electric folded. You have to get down on hands and knees to see the hole.

The same seller does the same kit with a non-removable version and it's a lot cheaper but I wanted this one because I don't tow very often and I'd always be whacking my shin on it while using the boot.
 

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H2UBS said:
RCRCRC said:
I think the reason the factory retractor tow bar is so expensive is that it includes the Trailer Assist. The car parks the trailer where you want!
A huge party piece when you get to a camp sight!

You also get the self car park button together with the Trailer button with this option even if you did nor order self parking.
I thought the retractable towbar on it's own was an £850 option, but when included with trailer assist and area view is nearer £3000.
It will be a very nice surprise if mine arrives with trailer assist but I don't think so ;)
You are correct. The £850 buys you JUST the towbar and NOT the trailer assist which is as you thought roughly another £3K.
 

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Yes, I've got the £850 towbar but don't have the self parking button.
 

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Dr_Pepper said:
Jacro said:
Dr_Pepper said:
Hi Jacro, it's removable, once removed it's as if it wasn't there. Also has a lock should you wish to. Not sure if it would trigger sensors while installed since I always remove it straight away. But I will try to check for you.
So doers the swan neck come off and then electrics fold up?
That's right yes. In my second post the first picture is what the car looks like now, after installation but without the Swan neck and with electric folded. You have to get down on hands and knees to see the hole.

The same seller does the same kit with a non-removable version and it's a lot cheaper but I wanted this one because I don't tow very often and I'd always be whacking my shin on it while using the boot.
Could you post a link to the exact bar you got. There's too many to chose from on their site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi Jacro

There's lots of choice, from cheapest to most expensive

Non Removable no electrics
Non Removable 7 Pin
Non Removable 13 Pin
Removeable no electrics
Removable 7 Pin
Removable 13 Pin

Mine was the removable 7 Pin, albeit it looks like the price has gone up a bit, perhaps it varies. if you search that user I gave then you'll see them all, anyway

I'm not really sure what 13 Pin is for - probably caravans - but all the trailers I've ever dealt with are 7 Pin. And to be honest, if I did it again I would definitely buy it without the electrics and just buy a cheap electrics kit and splice in the wires. The kits these come with, the one i used, are made specific to the car and connect to the cars systems.
 

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Good thread. The one thing its taught me is that I'm not going to do this myself, and if i do get a towbar I'll be getting it fitted by a third party installer!
 

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meduk1 said:
Good thread. The one thing its taught me is that I'm not going to do this myself, and if i do get a towbar I'll be getting it fitted by a third party installer!
Hahah - was thinking the exact same thing :) Good thing that mine comes installed...
 

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Dr_Pepper said:
I'm not really sure what 13 Pin is for - probably caravans - but all the trailers I've ever dealt with are 7 Pin.
Correct .. all caravans built from 2008 have the euro 13 pin plug. As well as the road lights the extra pins are for things like the fridge, caravan battery charging and electric trailer stability controls (ATC).
 

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Thanks for posting this Dr Pepper, really helped me out part way through my install.

So I was quoted around £650 from third parties to fit and £1000 from dealer to fit a detachable tow bar with dedicated electrics. Having fitted to my previous Tiguan I decided to do it on the Kodiaq.

I chose the Witter one below, choosing again I would have gone for a different one as the mounting bracket can be seen out the bottom of the bumper (see photos at end of post) -

https://www.towbarandtrailercentre.com/witter-skoda-kodiaq-suv-2016-detachable-swan-neck-towbar.html?mc_cid=ea92e10982&mc_eid=0c51a65b20

And I went with the dedicated 13 pin kit made by ECS electronics also sold by the Towbar and trailer centre here -

https://www.towbarandtrailercentre.com/skoda-kodiaq-dedicated-13-pin-electric-kit.html?mc_cid=ea92e10982&mc_eid=0c51a65b20

Total cost £360

Electronics fitting instruction are here -
http://www.ecs-electronicsuk.co.uk/downloads/instructions/VW146B1%20Skoda.pdf

The Witter instructions are useless, they don't detail anything about taking the car apart, I ended up following the Bosal instructions here -
https://www.pfjones.co.uk/Bosal/040971.pdf

and the instructions in this post by Dr Pepper. The entire process is a big job and I can confirm does indeed leave you with cuts, grazes and blood loss!

Additional tips to add from my experience -

Removing the bumper top black trim was not easy, a lot of carefully pulling eventually removes so you can get to the two screws at either end.

You don't need to remove the 3rd row seats or the huge side panel. Pull back the edge of the trim by the rear door arch then get someone to shine a torch through the air vent hole in the boot you should see light where you can poke a feed stick through with the wires attached, easy (after giving up trying to work out how to remove the large panel).

You don't need to remove the front bottom door plastic, again just feed the wires through from rear with a long stick.

The trailer module its self was fitted right by the boot vent hole, there is a grounding point nearby.

Removing the glove box is as Dr Pepper describes very hard! The damper is awkward to remove. You may not actually need to remove it as we ended up unscrewing the entire glovebox surround removing the SIM / Card reader unit also. This along with the side airbag key panel then made everything more assessable.

Check your new trailer wiring hardness terminal pins carefully, had the car in bits and the 3 white plugs out and then realized one on the CAN terminals pins had snapped (maybe when feeding through car). Had to fix by doing a couple of extra joints using separate connectors (I do hope they won't cause issues later).

Coded using VCDS, borrowed a friends genuine kit. Having only used once before on my Tiguan (also coding a Towbar) I had to quickly relearn the software and spent an evening googling issues with the ACC. Coded as per the electrics instructions for the modules the car has. I enabled the towbar module in 09, added tow bar to following modules using the long coding helper - 6C reverse camera, 6D boot lid and tried 13 controller distance control which was rejected due to security code. The car recognised a trailer light board and showed the trailer image on the screen in reverse gear but I had and Front Assist error all the time and ACC was disabled. After more googling I found the security codes are in VCDS so after adding the coding and it being accepted all is now back to normal and ACC has returned to my relief. I was reading posts of people paying £200 to get the system realigned after installing a tow bar!

Having completed the work it is satisfying that it now works and I know how it has all been fitted and I know exactly which panel clips are broken! I dread to think what damage some of the third party fitters may cause removing some of the panels!

I reckon the entire fit took just over a day, I did the install work in two afternoons.

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Old crash beam removed.

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New crash beam fitted. Anyone have any idea what the 3 sensors (red in middle and 1 each rear corner of the car are for) are for? I noted Dr Pepper's Kodiaq did not have these. I don't have lane assist or the blind spot detect.

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The removable Witter is not entirely hidden! But its good enough for me.

(Hopefully the images show up correctly this post!)

Sorry cant get the photos inline to work correct!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks for posting Nige and glad mine may have helped a little. Also glad to see that it wasn't just me, it really is that difficult!

In retrospect I wouldn't remove that side panel, but my instructions had not only the relay box itself under there but also a specific earth point which you wouldn't have been able to get to without removing it.

Like I said in retrospect it wasn't really worth it doing the electrics properly at all. Having said that now it's done I do get the extra warning light, the trailer reminder on the parking sensors and the beeping disabled when trailer fitted. I actually never bothered to get it coded in the end and I don't seem to have suffered for it!
 
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