7-pin wiring harness for 2017 Highlander Limited? - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 3rd Generation (2014-2019) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 3rd generation Toyota Highlanders.

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post #1 of 19 Old 07-15-2017, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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7-pin wiring harness for 2017 Highlander Limited?

I bought my 2017 Highlander Limited hoping to get the happy medium between daily driving and towing my 3500 lb (max with cargo) hybrid travel trailer. But the 7-pin wiring harness/brake controller has been making me regret my purchase.

Dealer couldn't install 7-pin (said no OEM available) and sent me to The Hitch Man across the street. They installed it in late April, and it was giving them fits, but they finally got it done.

Took the trailer out over Memorial Day, tried to adjust it while the engine was running, got a pre-collision sensor (PCS) error message on the display screen that told me to take it to the dealer. Turned the Highlander off and on again, error code gone.

Got back from camping & took it back to Hitch Man who promised to make it right (no more money required - I appreciate their integrity). After another 4 hours, the error code was constantly on along with another safety related code. They sent me to the dealer with instructions not to give background so that the dealer could look at it with fresh eyes. Dealer pinpointed the brake controller connection as the issue, Hitch Man took it out of the system and the error codes went away.

I haven't had time to get it back in yet, but I have an appointment with Hitch Man in a week to get the brake controller moved. This time they plan to tap into the 3rd brake light.

Has anyone done this successfully? Do you have tips/tricks that I could show Hitch Man? I think it is outrageous that they didn't design this vehicle with a 7-pin wiring plug and play setup to begin with, since it is rated for 5000 pounds. How are you supposed to safely tow that much weight without a brake controller anyway?

Thanks!

--Sarah
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post #2 of 19 Old 07-15-2017, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff4Me View Post
the 7-pin wiring harness/brake controller has been making me regret my purchase. Has anyone done this successfully? Do you have tips/tricks that I could show Hitch Man? I think it is outrageous that they didn't design this vehicle with a 7-pin wiring plug and play setup to begin with, since it is rated for 5000 pounds. How are you supposed to safely tow that much weight without a brake controller anyway?
Only the oem 4 pin is plug/play. Some info..."Search this Forum" enter "7 pin wiring harness" on installing, Utube etc. Does sound like a wiring issue. Hitch man should be able to figure out issue.

2014 HL Blizzard Pearl XLE AWD V6 Ash Int. M. Latitude Tour 245/60R18. OEM Tow hitch/4 pin. B/D 04/14
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-15-2017, 10:45 AM
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Someone else mentioned this issue and I sent a note to Tekonsha (a top rated brake controller manufacturer). They replied that you need to install a 1 amp diode between the brake light switch connection and the controller. I did this and it has worked perfectly.

A diode only allows current flow in one direction. So, the addition of the diode prevents the controller from back feeding a signal into the computer, yet allows the "brakes on" signal to come to the controller from the vehicle.

Initially, I installed a second brake switch so I didn't have to connect to the Toyota wiring, but I decided the Toyota switch was more reliable.

https://www.radioshack.com/products/...ro-1-amp-diode

Last edited by Redbelly; 07-15-2017 at 10:49 AM.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-20-2017, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your help! I'll forward to the Hitch Man and see what they say. I think they tried something like the diode already, but I'll check.


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post #5 of 19 Old 07-24-2017, 07:43 AM
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You might also consider the Tekonsha Prodigy wireless brake controller. I just put one on my 2011 HL / Rpod 171 combination. Since the system is wireless, there is NO installation other than mounting the "power unit" on the trailer tongue. The hand controller is merely a remote brake power display and manual controller.... the actual sensors are in the power unit mounted to the trailer. The hand controller plugs into any cigarette lighter outlet. The trailer 7 way plugs into the power unit, which plugs into the 7 way plug on the tow vehicle. If your 7 way connector is wired to provide 12V power, other than the four mounting screws it is plug and play.

On the 2011 (and I assume the 2017) Highlander it is not QUITE plug and play..... it DOES require that the 7 way connector on the tow vehicle provide 12V power so I had to run a fused 10 ga. wire from the battery to the connector. But no additional connections to the vehicle are required.

In use, the hand controller can be placed anywhere (including in the glove box) since it does not contain any sensors and therefore does not need to be stationary / level.

Paul
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post #6 of 19 Old 10-19-2018, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff4Me View Post
Thanks for all your help! I'll forward to the Hitch Man and see what they say. I think they tried something like the diode already, but I'll check.


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Sorry to resurrect an old thread but I am wondering if you ever resolved this issue?

Thanks!
J
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post #7 of 19 Old 10-25-2018, 09:57 AM Thread Starter
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I finally gave up and had them install the Prodigy RF brake controller. No more interference with the safety systems on the Highlander! The only issue I had with the Prodigy was that the fuse they put on the box coming off the engine was too small - I think it needed 30 but they only installed 20??? Once we got that figured out last summer it has been fine ever since.

With these fancy new cars and sophisticated systems, if it doesnít come pre-wired for a 7-pin, I would recommend the Prodigy from the beginning. I expect you will have significantly fewer problems.

Hope this helps!
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post #8 of 19 Old 10-25-2018, 11:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff4Me View Post
I finally gave up and had them install the Prodigy RF brake controller. No more interference with the safety systems on the Highlander! The only issue I had with the Prodigy was that the fuse they put on the box coming off the engine was too small - I think it needed 30 but they only installed 20??? Once we got that figured out last summer it has been fine ever since.

With these fancy new cars and sophisticated systems, if it doesnít come pre-wired for a 7-pin, I would recommend the Prodigy from the beginning. I expect you will have significantly fewer problems.

Hope this helps!
Not a bad solution and you can easily move it from vehicle to vehicle.
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post #9 of 19 Old 10-28-2018, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuff4Me View Post
I finally gave up and had them install the Prodigy RF brake controller. No more interference with the safety systems on the Highlander! The only issue I had with the Prodigy was that the fuse they put on the box coming off the engine was too small - I think it needed 30 but they only installed 20??? Once we got that figured out last summer it has been fine ever since.

With these fancy new cars and sophisticated systems, if it doesnít come pre-wired for a 7-pin, I would recommend the Prodigy from the beginning. I expect you will have significantly fewer problems.

Hope this helps!
Thank you for getting back to me.

I finally found some free time to test the diode. I soldered a 1 Amp diode in line on the red wire going to the brake controller just to test before I went all in on the prodigy setup. I just finished up by taking a test drive and luckily that resolved the issue.

On another note, it would be much easier if the brake controller contained a diode rather than having to solder one after the fact.

Many Thanks
Jason
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post #10 of 19 Old 10-28-2018, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by jasond View Post
..
On another note, it would be much easier if the brake controller contained a diode rather than having to solder one after the fact.

Many Thanks
Jason
There is one minor drawback to the diode solution. With no diode, your brake lights operate when you manually actuate the controller, like when testing it. With a diode in place, manual operation does not turn on the brake lights.
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-14-2019, 06:02 PM
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resurrecting an older thread, but I am chest deep in my 7-pin plug and Prodigy 2 brake controller install. Everything is wired in and I am under the steering wheel. I stopped today because I did not have a 12V test light that could just piece the wire to test. I did not want to start cutting wires to test for the cold brake line. In order the etrailer 12v tester kit.

I am glad I stopped.

My HL is a 2019 LE. It has all the safety features that I now understand can cause problems with the Prodigy 2. It seems a 1 amp diode in line on the red Prodigy pigtail solves the issue.

I now see there are many variations of 1 amp diodes. Which type of 1amp diode has proven to be successful?
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-15-2019, 08:04 PM
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........
I now see there are many variations of 1 amp diodes. Which type of 1amp diode has proven to be successful?
For this purpose, a diode is a diode. Just make sure it is at least one amp and watch the orientation when you install it.
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-16-2019, 06:35 AM
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Thanks, Redbelly. Last night I received a response from Tekonsha. They now make the pigtail harness with the diode already installed. I found it on etrailer and ordered one. Certainly a few more dollars that. single diode, but this is one of those jobs I want to be sure is done properly.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-16-2019, 07:41 PM
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VTH...Going by ole mem, but recall a thread on how 2017 & newer HLs might not charge 12V batt. in trailer being towed? Maybe n/a, just aheads up in case.

2014 HL Blizzard Pearl XLE AWD V6 Ash Int. M. Latitude Tour 245/60R18. OEM Tow hitch/4 pin. B/D 04/14
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-16-2019, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by BUFFO View Post
VTH...Going by ole mem, but recall a thread on how 2017 & newer HLs might not charge 12V batt. in trailer being towed? Maybe n/a, just aheads up in case.
The trailer connector on the Highlander has always been a flat four. At least on my 2011 and 2017 HLs. There is no 12V feed in a flat four so it will not charge a battery or supply 12V to the trailer. You would need to convert to or use a round connector and run your own 12V and ground wires.

Paul

Paul Goelz
SE Michigan
2017 Highlander SE
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