7 pin problems - Fiberglass RV


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Old 07-13-2014, 07:39 AM   #1
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7 pin problems

Earlier this year I took a 1/2 day and wired my wife's 2013 Ecoboost Escape with a factory tow package (3500#) for a 7 pin connector, using etrailer's ETBC7 kit.



After everything was done, I tested it and it worked fine.

Fast forward a week or so. Gail takes her new car through a car wash and gets some kind of message on her display that the trailer brakes are not working.

Finally yesterday I got a chance to trouble shoot it, and without going into gory detail, what I found was the factory 4 prong is messed up. With only 17,000 miles on this 2013 car, this should be a warranty issue shouldn't it?

I have to deal with this tomorrow morning. It sure seems like it should be factory warranty doesn't it?

Frank
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Old 07-13-2014, 08:38 AM   #2
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You want to get the dealer to preform TSB 13-1-5. Part number is DT4Z-15A16-A. I just got it done on my 2013 Ford Escape. It is a warranty repair.
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:11 AM   #3
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You want to get the dealer to preform TSB 13-1-5. Part number is DT4Z-15A16-A. I just got it done on my 2013 Ford Escape. It is a warranty repair.
Rick, isn't that just for towing something with LED lights? I knew about that TSB, but I don't tow anything with LED lights. Think it is still applicable?

Thanks!

Frank
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Old 07-13-2014, 11:55 AM   #4
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It is a 4 hour mod to the harness, would not hurt to have it done as it is FREE. Never know when you will change over to LED's and should do it now while they offer it on warranty.
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank_a View Post

Finally yesterday I got a chance to trouble shoot it, and without going into gory detail, what I found was the factory 4 prong is messed up. With only 17,000 miles on this 2013 car, this should be a warranty issue shouldn't it?

I have to deal with this tomorrow morning. It sure seems like it should be factory warranty doesn't it?

Frank
Did the factory 4 prong come with a brake line on it? If not can't see how that would be a warranty issue.

I also know that many vehicles require another little electronic box connected between the 4 prong and the 7 pin wiring harness. Sorry don't know what the little box is called but possible they call it a power converter? When I look up the wiring harness on e-trailer for a Ford Escape 2013 it shows the little electronic box - for Escapes without the factory tow package but I don't see one in the photo you posted. I know on my Subaru which only came from the factory with a 4 prong connection need that little box & if it isn't working properly it does strange things to the trailer lights and brakes....
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:12 PM   #6
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Did the factory 4 prong come with a brake line on it? If not can't see how that would be a warranty issue.

I also know that many vehicles require another little electronic box connected between the 4 prong and the 7 pin wiring harness. Sorry don't know what the little box is called but possible they call it a power converter? When I look up the wiring harness on e-trailer for a Ford Escape 2013 it shows the little electronic box - for Escapes without the factory tow package but I don't see one in the photo you posted. I know on my Subaru which only came from the factory with a 4 prong connection need that little box & if it isn't working properly it does strange things to the trailer lights and brakes....
No Carol, the 4 prong did not come with a brake line on it. 4 prong flat does turn signals, tail lights, & flashers. Usually they're white for ground, brown for tail lights, yellow for left and green for right. In this case, my factory four prong flat is not working.

My 7 pin controls brakes, but has a plug (see pic in my 1st post above) that plugs into the factory 4 pin for turn signals, tail lights, & flashers. See the thing that says "Connect to Existing 4 pole"? That factory 4 pin that connects to is screwy, so my add-on 7 pin is too. I need the factory 4 pin fixed for my add-on 7 pin to work.

I hope this makes sense to you Carol. It does no good looking at etrailer for 4 pin connectors to add to an Escape without the factory harness. We bought it equipped for towing, and it came with a factory installed 4 pin plug, which of course is useless for towing most travel trailers, and in our case, just doesn't work anyways!

I'll find out tomorrow what Ford will do.

Frank
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:22 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post
No Carol, the 4 prong did not come with a brake line on it. 4 prong flat does turn signals, tail lights, & flashers. Usually they're white for ground, brown for tail lights, yellow for left and green for right. In this case, my factory four prong flat is not working.

My 7 pin controls brakes, but has a plug (see pic in my 1st post above) that plugs into the factory 4 pin for turn signals, tail lights, & flashers. See the thing that says "Connect to Existing 4 pole"? That factory 4 pin that connects to is screwy, so my add-on 7 pin is too. I need the factory 4 pin fixed for my add-on 7 pin to work.

I hope this makes sense to you Carol. It does no good looking at etrailer for 4 pin connectors to add to an Escape without the factory harness. We bought it equipped for towing, and it came with a factory installed 4 pin plug, which of course is useless for towing most travel trailers, and in our case, just doesn't work anyways!

I'll find out tomorrow what Ford will do.

Frank
Oh it makes sense which is why I asked. You indicated she is getting an error that the brakes are not working - the brake line does not go through the factory 4 pin in any way - but you indicated you thought the 4 pin was the problem..... how could that be if the brake lines doesnt go through it?
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:51 PM   #8
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Oh it makes sense which is why I asked. You indicated she is getting an error that the brakes are not working - the brake line does not go through the factory 4 pin in any way - but you indicated you thought the 4 pin was the problem..... how could that be if the brake lines doesnt go through it?
When Gail went through a car wash after I had the 7 pin working (and the brake controller hooked up in her car), she got this error message. I traced all my wiring and could find no faults. I have 4 pin and 7 pin testers which I've used for years testing plugs when and if I have problems (and for friends as well). The 7 pin tester showed numerous inconsistent errors.

Then yesterday I thought maybe I should try testing the factory 4 pin the 7 pin in part plugs into. The factory installed 4 pin plug is defective, i.e., it does not work. Does this make sense to you now?

I guess I'm not being clear enough.

Frank
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Old 07-13-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
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Have you cleaned the 4-pin contacts?
That's what fixed my problem with a turn signal. The connection to the 7-pin was under the vehicle and exposed to elements.
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:05 PM   #10
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Is the "Error Message" appearing on the brake controller display or the vehicles computer display ? The 4 prong connector that is shown in the picture of post #1 does not appear to have 4 wires connected to it ( No White or Ground Wire) Is it possible that the ground wire (WHITE) coming from the 7 pin receptacle has a poor connection to the frame and then not allowing the brake diagnostic circuit to read through the brake ?
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Old 07-13-2014, 03:08 PM   #11
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Have you cleaned the 4-pin contacts?
That's what fixed my problem with a turn signal. The connection to the 7-pin was under the vehicle and exposed to elements.
No I haven't. It's a brand new car last year, and the plug was protected from the elements. Nevertheless it is a good suggestion and I will try that.

Thanks,

Frank
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:16 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by frank_a View Post

Then yesterday I thought maybe I should try testing the factory 4 pin the 7 pin in part plugs into. The factory installed 4 pin plug is defective, i.e., it does not work. Does this make sense to you now?

I guess I'm not being clear enough.

Frank
Your clear on how you determined the 4 pin connection is faulty. But it brings back my original question. As you have confirmed the brake line doesnt run through the 4 pin connection and goes straight to the 7 pin as it does with most vehicles how could the faulty 4 pin be generating an error on the brake controller? Assuming its the brake controller she is getting the the displayed message on? Whats the code that it is reading on the display?
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:26 PM   #13
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A 4 pin connector has 1 White Wire. If U do not have the White Wire going to the trailer, U do not have a GROUND. U must have a ground for things to work correctly. U must not rely on the trailer hitch/ball to provide the ground.
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Old 07-13-2014, 06:31 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Your clear on how you determined the 4 pin connection is faulty. But it brings back my original question. As you have confirmed the brake line doesnt run through the 4 pin connection and goes straight to the 7 pin as it does with most vehicles how could the faulty 4 pin be generating an error on the brake controller? Assuming its the brake controller she is getting the the displayed message on? Whats the code that it is reading on the display?
The message came on the car's display (info box, bottom center) in front of the driver as she put the car into drive to pull onto the highway from the car wash. She tells me she thinks it said "trailer connection failure."

The trailer was not connected. The brake controller said N.C. for "not connected" and still does. Nevertheless, the 7 pin connector does not work, and neither does the factory 4 pin it is plugged into. How these relate is a mystery to me. It doesn't make intuitive sense, but these cars are electronic more than mechanical, so I have have a feeling the problem may well be on the Ford end.

I want that factory 4 pin plug fixed no matter what. It should work but it doesn't. I'll figure out the 7 pin once the 4 pin is fixed.

Frank
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