This LRO reader emailed LRO.email@example.com to ask Steve Jones for advice on unruly electrics when towing with a Land Rover Freelander 1.
My partner has a very reliable 1998 Freelander 1.8 petrol. It came with towbar and electrics fitted when we bought it four years ago. When we recently used it to tow a small trailer for the first time, the offside rear light wouldn’t work. Nor would it would work on a different trailer.
My towball wiring socket tester showed the nearside rear side light was on, but the offside rear foglight was on instead of the sidelight. So I removed the socket from the rear of the Freelander and swapped the offside rear and foglight wires, and everything then worked fine (the socket was correctly wired from one to seven).
I assume that the previous owner probably bought a pre-wired socket and mounting plate. Unusually, there were eight wires, not seven (ie, a metal spur was coming off the foglight connection with a purple wire). Could this be an older way of switching the foglight off on the car but activating it on the trailer?
Stephen Haywood, Par, Cornwall
If I read this right, your trailer has a properly wired plug, so it would seem that for an unknown reason the original owner crossed some wires. If it’s working fine, I wouldn’t worry. And yes, the extra connection would be to turn off the foglights on the towing vehicle.
This workshop advice appeared in the November 2014 issue of LRO. Back issues are available to download on digital devices here.