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I have a 2012 LX that I am trying to install a factory trailer wiring harness. However, the female receptor and dummy plug had detached from the pins and melted together on the tail pipe. I was able to uncouple the plug and the dummy but the plug is still bad. When I hooked up my trailer only the right side tail lights worked and the only for braking and signaling. Some of the pins were affected by the melting plastic. My Honda dealer said the proper way to fix the plug was to replace the entire wiring harness from the engine back to the hitch. The harness cost $104 but the labor would be 7 hours for a cost of $700. Has anyone replaced the entire harness from the engine back? Or has someone spliced on the plug alone - the service manager advised against this as it would longe be a factory setup. I appreciate any insight...
 

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It's not clear where and at what point your harness is damaged... have a look here to see if this helps
 

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It's not clear where and at what point your harness is damaged... have a look here to see if this helps
Thanks for your response. There is a harness that runs from the engine to the hitch, and it is the plug on the hitch end that melted. Before they are used, the plug has a dummy connected to keep the contacts from corroding. Here is a picture of the dummy after it was cut away from the harness plug.
 

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It looks like the connector they were connecting underneath (in the video)... so a good option would be to buy the harness and take it's connector (same as the melted one you have) and splice it in to your existing harness. Not complicated. If you don't know how, get a local garage or someone good with electrical. It'll be much cheaper than what Honda wants.
 

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I would go to etrailer.com or an equivalent site and buy the vehicle end receptacle. Get one with screw terminals as they are easier to deal with compared to the crimp style. It sounds like you should have sufficient wire from the existing harness since you only lost a couple inches where you had to cut it. If you do this yourself just remember to disconnect the battery negative cable from the battery terminal prior to starting the project.
 
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It looks like the connector they were connecting underneath (in the video)... so a good option would be to buy the harness and take it's connector (same as the melted one you have) and splice it in to your existing harness. Not complicated. If you don't know how, get a local garage or someone good with electrical. It'll be much cheaper than what Honda wants.
Thanks! I appreciate the advice! If it is done right it should last as long as a new harness.
 

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If you've got enough undamaged wire I would go with ratfink's suggestion... If everything is soldered and heat shrank I'd consider it a permanent fix.
 

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If you go the solder and heat shrink route, be sure to use adhesive lined heat shrink as it will be more water right.
 

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at my Honda dealer in Canada I asked them to quote me installation of a brake controller on a new pilot. The controller itself was $112. and they quoted me $950. to install it. He gave me the link to the controller manufacturer and on their site they claim full installation including the wiring was 15 minutes maximum (basically plug and play). Unbelievable.
 

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The wire harness schedule in the workshop manuals is a little confusing, as there are options for the factory trailer lights controller, plus "optional" connectors and wiring for some cars/trims that did not have factory trailer wiring. From discussion here in the forum, the "optional" harness is not usually installed in lower-trim 2WD models, and may be installed in lower-trim 4WD models. There's no distinction called out in the WSM, so one would do well to go to their favorite parts site and plug in the VIN to find exactly the wiring that came in the car.

In any case, the "from the engine bay" body harness the OP asks about, including the trailer (and the rest of the rear) lighting, runs along the left side floor and sill, and has a lot more in it than just the lighting. There are a couple dozen stub-outs and connections for things between the MICU (relay and fuse panel by the driver's knee) and the left rear wheel arch area. That just looks like a lot of work to change, and it doesn't include any of the wires that the OP suggests are melted by the exhaust.

Instead, the OP's description fits either a factory retrofit or aftermarket wiring package that attaches to the left side floor harness aft of the left rear wheel arch. The factory retrofit harness has a plastic part tag on it, and if that hasn't been melted it will tell exactly which piece they should buy and install.

The factory retrofit harness and better aftermarket harnesses include detailed instructions for routing and securing the wiring to prevent the reported damage. It's often tempting to try and save some time and effort by short-cutting the installation instructions. There's often a very good reason why you get all those clamps and ties, and guidance to place and secure the wiring in places that are hard to get to without removing the rear bumper cover (for instance). One reason might be so the wiring isn't exposed to as much physical damage. Another might be to keep it from melting on the hot exhaust.

Regardless, all the circuits in the subsection to the trailer connector, factory or aftermarket, are protected by fuses and circuit breakers either at the MICU fuse panel or in the area aft of the left rear wheelhouse.

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To ratfink, know that the trailer brake controller is in fact a simple plug-and-play in trims equipped with the factory towing package or optioned with prep wiring. If you have an LX, or EX 2WD without that optional prep, you'll need to pull two new conductors back to behind the left rear wheel arch area to connect to your trailer connector harness, whether factory retrofit or aftermarket. Dealers may be loathe to install non-factory wiring, and instead farm that work out to a third-part specialist of shop and mark up that cost.

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Honda makes enough Pilots to justify manufacturing wiring specific harness sections for every possible options combination. We'd love to assume that we could plug-in add a factory higher-trim accessory to a lower-trim car that didn't come with that accessory. But the wires and connectors simply aren't included. The Good News might be that we can still buy wire harness sections that add the connectors and conductors, but you still get to install them. Anything that requires a function or control via a Canbus module still won't function without a lot more parts and pieces. Moral: choose the options you want prior to purchase, or plan on getting aftermarket stuff rather than harvesting used pieces to do your own retrofits.

We sort of lucked into our Touring trim, and use only a fraction of the upgrade features it adds. Still, adding just that fraction as aftermarket to a lower-trim example would cost significantly more than the original Touring trim price premium would have been, had that option even presented itself.


Now, back to the fixing-the-melted-wires saga.
 

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Go to a junk yard and locate a pilot get underneath and cut back at least 18 inches of the harness ..go home you tube on how to properly splice the wires. (if not experienced)
Color match the wires place heat shrink around them. Solder them. then electrical tape them and place them in an plastic tubing cover ..done.. can not get anymore permanent than this other than re running a new harness.
 
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