Troubleshooting Tow Ready OEM Tow Package Wiring Harness # 118265 in 2013 Honda Pilot


A couple of months ago I purchased the 118265 wiring kit for my 2013 Honda Pilot from etrailer. The install went well and everything tested out fine. It worked great after I hooked it to my boat and towed it a couple of hours to a lake. However, shortly after that I was towing an old utility trailer and I think I shorted out the ModuLite Converter. I only know this because the same trailer shorted out the converter on an older Jeep Grand Cherokee I had years ago. On every trailer I now hook up to my Pilot, the same thing happens, the drivers side tail light stays lit with no matter what lights I turn on, including the turn signals and brake lights. When this happened on my Jeep, I was able to just replace the converter and everything worked fine again. I have checked all of the fuses and they are all good. Do you sell just the ModuLite Converter that would work on my Pilot? Thanks for the great service.


Expert Reply:

My technical contact at TowReady advised that they have no reported issues with this particular harness in the application in a 2013 Honda Pilot.

Based on the symptom you report (a driver-side tail light that stays on no matter what trailer is connected and no matter what light function is activated) he suggested that it could be that one or both of the relays included in this kit is damaged. You can try swapping the two black relays to see if the problem changes sides on the vehicle. If reversing the relays causes the issue to move then you know you have a bad relay; a local auto parts store should be able to supply a replacement relay since the ones included in this kit have multiple applications in a number of vehicles. If swapping them out does not alter the vehicle behavior then it could be that both are damaged and you may need to replace both.

The relays and fuse from this kit are not sold separately by TowReady. Since this harness has an auto-reset circuit breaker (that resets after the fault has been removed) it should not have suffered permanent damage.

Since you have history with the utility trailer damaging converters you will want to do your testing with another trailer, or you will want to find and correct the fault in the utility trailer wiring before reconnecting to your Pilot to avoid a repeat. You might refer to the linked article which includes a section on troubleshooting.

Check all trailer side wiring, from the 7-way connector through all wiring on the frame all the way to the trailer lights. Check the connectors for bent or corroded pins. Check wiring for cracks or worn spots in the insulation. Pay particular attention to the trailer white ground wire. This must be firmly affixed to a clean rust- and paint-free spot on the trailer frame. A weak or intermittent ground can cause a whole host of problems. Any issues found on the trailer connector or within its wiring should be corrected before reconnecting the trailer.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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