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Tow Bar Wiring Recommendations for Flat Towing a 2011 Chevy Malibu 1LT with a 2010 Jayco Seneca

Question:

I will be pulling a 2011 4 cyl Chev Malibu 1LT with 2010 Jayco Seneca HD 35 GS 08 Kodiak 5500 diesel chassis. Is the diode wiring kit my only option besides magnetic mount lights? How much trouble/how reliable are the diodes? Can they be easily checked/replaced? New car dont want to fry computer or void warranty.

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Expert Reply:

For tow bar wiring you basically have three options to choose from.

You can use the magnetic lights like you are familiar with, like a RoadMaster Standard Magnetic Tow Lights, part # RM2120.

You can use a diode kit like the Tail Light Isolating Diode System, part # 38955, that you referenced. If you are looking for the highest quality diode kit on your 2011 Chevy Malibu you would want the Roadmaster Universal Hy-Power Diode Wiring Kit, part # RM-154.

Or you can use a bulb light kit like the RoadMaster Tail Light Wiring Kit with Bulbs, part # RM-155. To install this kit you will use a hole saw kit to drill a 1 inch hole in the back of your tail light housing and install another bulb into the tail light assembly and that bulb will operate the tail lights in conjunction with your tow vehicle. However, for your 2011 Chevy Malibu this method is not recommended.

I attached a link to an FAQ article on how to pick the right tow bar wiring setup.

Diode kits are fairly straightforward to install, and will not interfere with your factory wiring at all. What is great about diodes is that they prevent the tail light signal from feeding power back to the electrical system of your tow vehicle. I attached an FAQ for diode wiring for you to check out.

To replace a diode would be very simple as you would just simply unplug the female connectors from it and reinstall them onto the new diode.

To test them I would put a power source to one of the connectors on the in side of the diode and then ground the connector on the out side of the diode. Now, to test to see if power would feed back into your vehicle electrical system you would use a Multimeter, part # BTMT15, to test the unused connector of the diode to see if any power is coming out of the diode.

You will want to check with your vehicle manufacturer to see if any of the above mentioned products would void the warranty of your vehicle.

Finally, you will need to check with the manufacturer and/or your vehicle owners manual for instructions on the proper procedure for towing your vehicle because some vehicles must be equipped with a transmission lube pump, an axle disconnect, drive line disconnect, or free-wheeling hubs before they can be towed.

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Jameson C

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