A3 8V sportback OEM tow bar retrofit, control module required?

bentwenty

Registered User
Hi all, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here, mainly because my 8V has been such a lovely reliable daily!

Over the last couple of years I’ve only really changed wheels, done routine services, replaced the timing belt and water pump, and replaced the clutch and DMF. I put the DMF failure down to having driven 75K miles with 30% more torque, and some hard launches.

Anyway, my next mod is to fit the OEM tow bar, they seem to be pretty cheap, and readily available used on ebay. I do have a couple of questions though;

I can see that the factory kit comes with a wiring harness, I assume it would plug in to a trailer control module? If that’s the case, is that likely to already be fitted on my car (63 plate S-Line 2.0 TDI 150 FWD 5D)? If not, does anyone know the part number I’d need, and where to fit it?

It looks like the factory tow bar drops and then pivots when released, does this mean that no cuts are required to the rear valence?
I’m not opposed to cutting my rear valence if required, but I have a fancy Reiger rear diffuser, so if I’m modifying it, I want to ensure I can do it neatly.
8519ef240ab9ab179bfc20adabdeaa78.jpg


Many thanks for any help! I’ll update the post with pics and any info I find once I fit it.
 

RichardT

Registered User
The rear bumper has a removable flap (sod to get off ). I think that is probably specific to the oem towbar.
 

eribaMotters

Registered User
I have a 2019 A3 with the factory fit towbar. An electric switch inside the boot on the lhs releases the ball assembly that rotates into position. Set into the side of this is a 13 pin socket. It is a very nice set-up, but I did have an issue in that pin 11? for feed to fridge was not enabled.
I'm not sure if you could realistically retro fit this set-up. I know from previous experience of VW and Skoda that https://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars.html have been a good source of towbars for owners.
I don't know what you plan to tow, but the model specific wiring kit is defiantly the way to go along with the obvious coding. I do know that providing feed for a caravan fridge and battery will be at extra cost and can be a pain.

Colin

edit, just noticed the above reply and looking at your rear end photo you will need some bumper cut out work.
 

RichardT

Registered User
I have a 2019 A3 with the factory fit towbar. An electric switch inside the boot on the lhs releases the ball assembly that rotates into position. Set into the side of this is a 13 pin socket. It is a very nice set-up, but I did have an issue in that pin 11? for feed to fridge was not enabled.
I'm not sure if you could realistically retro fit this set-up. I know from previous experience of VW and Skoda that https://www.pfjones.co.uk/tow-bars.html have been a good source of towbars for owners.
I don't know what you plan to tow, but the model specific wiring kit is defiantly the way to go along with the obvious coding. I do know that providing feed for a caravan fridge and battery will be at extra cost and can be a pain.

Colin

edit, just noticed the above reply and looking at your rear end photo you will need some bumper cut out work.
Nice! Latest one sounds very cool. Mine you just have to crouch down, remove the panel and pull the hook down. It is tidy though. But I would love a switch
How much did it cost as an extra. I think mine was around £700.
 

eribaMotters

Registered User
As a factory fit I think it was about £800. As an after market I could see you having to pay double that.

Colin
 

bentwenty

Registered User
Thanks for the replies guys! From digging about online, it looks like I need this module:
86fda23b0e2d3000ac443be7c0865a15.jpg

Described as a towing control module, and seems to fit all MQB platform cars. They go for about £100-£150 on ebay, so not too bad. Connector A looks to be the mating connector for the loom that comes with the tow bar, so that’s a good start. Now I need to work out what else is needed, and where the control module sits. It sounds like it would go behind the cubby with a 12v socket on the LHS of the boot? I also need to work out if my loom already has the mating connectors for connectors B and C of the control module.
I’m expecting to have to code the module in, but I have VCDS and a genuine micro-CAN cable, so that’s no trouble.
From your replies, it sounds like I’ll need to make a removable hatch in my rear diffuser. Could be tricky to make it look nice, but it must be done!
In answer to your question about what I’ll be towing, it’ll be a braked twin axle low bed trailer, with my MX5 track car on the back. The legal mac braked towing weight is 1800Kg, so it should tow nicely! I’ve been borrowing my mates PD130 mk4 golf up until now to tow it, so the A3 should be more than capable.

Edit: if possible, I’m hoping to do a complete OEM install. It seems like it should be possible, but if it comes to it, I’ll go for an aftermarket kit.
 

bentwenty

Registered User
As a factory fit I think it was about £800. As an after market I could see you having to pay double that.

Colin

So far it looks like £300 for a complete used tow bar and electrics, and £100 for the control module. I’ll be fitting and coding myself, so I’m optimistic that I can do it for £500.
Tracking down exactly what parts I need seems to be the challenging part!
 

cemerson

Registered User
Be warned that the towbars changed with the 2016/17ish facelift. The PFL car had a removable towbar with a panel in the rear bumper that needed removing and replacing manually each time, and that is the one your car would have had based on its age. The FaceLift car has the swivelling tow bar with the electronic release switch in the boot. I wouldn't like to guess if you could fit the FL towbar to the PFL car or not, so be warned.
 
Top