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Another trailering post? Tekonsha Zero Contact Wiring

John Ranalletta

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John Ranalletta

I'm probably late to this party, but I traded the '11 335d, my trailer-towing vehicle and the SO just got a '17 X3 to take on the towing task.


I just hate punching into wiring on new cars, fearing a short or severing of the wire; so, I bought a Tekonsha Zero Contact rig.  Very cool.  Essentially a big, multi-channel relay.  There's a lead for right and left turns, stop, ground and power.  Isolate the correct wire and a "saddle" clips around it and senses when the circuit is energized, sending battery power to the appropriate light(s).  Very easy to install and no chance of screwing up the cars wiring. It's a bit spendy but easily moveable. 



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John Ranalletta

Bill, the build list has a tow ready option which I think is a harness (S8SLA, Trailer Coupling Preparation) but the Tekonsha looked too easy and it was and I wanted to avoid the local dealer.  Also, everything I read about hitch wiring for BMW involved recoding the ECU and associated issues.  Perhaps, I could have chased down the OEM solution...


...and, the best trailer supplier/installer (do all the signal work for local LEOs) said it was the only  one they recommend.

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14 hours ago, John Ranalletta said:

Also, everything I read about hitch wiring for BMW involved recoding the ECU and associated issues. 

Leave it to BMW to figure out a way to charge $1500 for plugging in a wiring harness and mounting a trailer connector.


I had a '98 540i, and one of the reasons I got rid of it was that once it was out of warranty/free service, it cost $1500 every damn time it saw the shop.

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John Ranalletta

Check out the price for a new remote fob and pairing it!!!  Nearly $600 depending on dealer.  BTW, pairing means holding it in a certain spot relative to the steering column.



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