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SpinneyA6
14-07-2009, 11:56 AM
Hi,

I'm looking at fitting a detachable towbar to a 2007 A6 saloon 3.0 TDI S Line. I phoned the local Audi who quoted me an impressive 1260! :aargh4:

I phoned a local independent fitters who can fit a detachable Thule towbar for 339.25. However, inorder to make sure he orders the right one he needs to know if the car has air suspension, I'm assuming it hasn't??? I don't pick up the car until tomorrow and when I spoke to the Audi dealership they weren't particularly helpful as their computer system was down.

Can anyone advice? Also, what towbars do Audi usually fit?

Many thanks.

a8 tech
14-07-2009, 08:56 PM
Only allroad supports air suspension and allroad are avant only,normal dealer price is around 800 fitted for 13 pin din without charging circuit


fridge circuits are not installed from the factory or in the normal 13 pin din from Audi so additional wiring required and this available from Westfalia


and westfalia are the supplier for Audi tow bar kits

SpinneyA6
15-07-2009, 02:07 PM
Thanks for the response.

I spoke to the local independent fitter and they can fit the Westfalia detachable towbar for 399. Less than a 1/3 of the price quoted by the Audi dealership.

From what I've seen on the internet, when the swan neck is removed the fittings are virtually hidden which is what I'm after.

a8 tech
15-07-2009, 10:09 PM
if you need a charge circuit make sure they fit it as its additional

first_timer
19-07-2009, 09:07 PM
I have a 2009 A6 Avant and towbar fitting turned into a bit of a saga. First the towbar part. Audi OE is a Westfalia detachable. This is a very substantial (heavy!) piece of kit. Gives an impression of quality but has two problems: first, there is no eye to attach a breakaway cable, second my caravan has an Alko stabiliser and the clearance between the stabiliser head and the rear bumper is less than the thickness of a finger. Oh and there's a third thing: it is higher off the ground than I would like, meaning that my caravan tows slightly nose up, when it should be slightly nose down. For these reasons, the Ford/Brink detachable on my 2002 Mondeo was much better.

Then the electrics. Turned out that this was subcontracted by the Audi dealer, and the contractor did not fit an Audi-approved wiring kit, but cheaper generic components instead. Why is this important? The car should recognise when a trailer is attached and enable numerous systems/changes: the A6 dash has a separate built-in warning light for the trailer indicators, the vehicle rear fogs should be inactivated, the rear park sensors should be inactivated (or they howl continuously when reverse is engaged, and most important, the TSP (trailer stability program) should be activated. None of this was working when my A6 was delivered because the fitted universal towing relay was not capable of interacting with the A6 systems! I asked for the towing electrics to be completely removed and replaced with the correct Audi kit. Now everything works as it should.

So, what are the conclusions? First your Audi dealer may not actually fit towbars and, if the work is outsourced, you have no control over it. Therefore, I think it is better to go to a trusted independent. I think a member of NTTA would be my choice in future - their website has a list of members nationwide. Second, ask them which towbar they recommend, bearing in mind factors such as least intrusive fit, where the bumper will be cut and how this can be concealed, adequate clearance between towball and bumper, whether an breakaway cable eye is included etc. Third, only ever go for a vehicle-specific wiring kit!

Good luck!

a8 tech
19-07-2009, 10:08 PM
There should be no bumper cut for 4f A6 a modified lower defuser is fitted with a blanking plate for when the detachable swan neck is not in use.Sales departments try to save cost on labour by contracting out but not at my dealer due to poor installation from third parties in the past.Don't forget the charge circuit for fridge etc is not a standard fit from factory and additional wiring kit is required

first_timer
19-07-2009, 10:54 PM
Hi

That's true - there is a replacement lower bumper spoiler, with removeable cover, for A6 with towing facility. However, I've been trying to get one since January. It has been on back-order but finally arrived last week. But my local Audi dealer found it did not appear to fit my car! They have taken photos and sent them to Audi, meanwhile they refitted my original bumper spoiler, which has had a 'temporary' large hole cut out of it since the car was delivered.

This modified spoiler is designed to accommodate the Audi OE Westfalia detachable towbar, which is the one I have. In my opinion, for the reasons stated in the previous post, the Westfalia falls short of expectations. However, the downside of going for another make could be that it does not fit the window of the modified bumper spoiler (if you could even obtain one). Personally, I wouldn't want to order a Witter or whatever and then find an unsightly bumper cut is needed. It's a case of being between a rock and a hard place.

first_timer
19-07-2009, 11:03 PM
Just to add that it's good to hear that not all Audi workshops outsource towbars! Unfortunately, mine did not make this clear until it was too late and the job was bungled. So I guess you would have to look them in the eye and ask the question.

And that's a very good point that if you want a 12V/30A supply for the fridge whilst towing, you have to ask for it and an extra kit is required. I have heard of several VAG owners being caught out by this.

SpinneyA6
20-07-2009, 04:36 PM
I'll only be towing a trailer so I just need the single electrics.

How noticable is the cut in the rear bumber when the Westfalia is fitted? Is it worth getting the replacement lower bumper spoiler, with removeable cover and if so, what do they cost?

Thanks

first_timer
20-07-2009, 07:09 PM
If you're up close to the back of the car, it's not very noticeable, because the Westfalia detachable fits vertically and the cut-out is underneath the bumper. However, if you stand back a few yards, it does not look good in my opinion. If you wish, I'll try (!) to post a photo.

But here's the latest installment. My Audi dealer rang today to say they had received another A6 Avant bumper spoiler with towing cut-out which was considerably wider than the one delivered last week, and looks like it would probably fit my car. Now the bad news. The blanking plate was shown on the parts computer diagram as having a separate part number. They ordered one of these but it turned out to be a honeycomb diffuser about 4 feet long. They then tried to convince me that no blanking plate exists, which I didn't accept. I asked them what happens if you order a factory-fitted towbar - does the factory send the car out with a big hole in the bumper? They said they would try to find out...

By the way the price for the bumper spoiler with cut-out but no blanking plate is approx 30.

Steve

SpinneyA6
20-07-2009, 10:51 PM
Blood hell, sounds like you're having a bit of a nightmare.

if you can get a photo up that would be most appreciated. I think for 30 it might be worth ordering on in as well, especially if there on back order.

first_timer
20-07-2009, 11:36 PM
OK, photo attached - sorry it's taken in the dark with flash, not ideal. It shows the cut-out in my original bumper spoiler, to accommodate the Westfalia detachable swan neck and 13-pin single universal socket. The towball is inserted vertically and snaps into place, and the socket pivots down when needed. Obviously, it would be nice for the hole to be covered when not in use, if only to protect the towing kit from winter road salt.

Steve

SpinneyA6
21-07-2009, 04:30 PM
That looks like quite a sizable cut, why does it need to be so big?

If it's necessary, I'll definetely order the new spoiler cover.

first_timer
21-07-2009, 06:04 PM
Here's another photo, this time with the Westfalia towball attached and the 13-pin socket flipped down. It is a pretty big cut-out, and the space to the right of the towball is not actually needed, but I presume the fitter thought it would look better if the cut-out was symmetrical, rather than off-centre.

Steve

first_timer
24-07-2009, 03:56 PM
For anyone interested, I'm having my rear bumper spoiler with a free-hand cut-out changed for the factory version of the spoiler with towing cut-out, but my dealer cannot locate a cover plate for it! They ordered in a cover plate for a Q7 and an earlier A6 model year hoping that one of these might fit, but neither is suitable. I'll post another photo after it has been changed on Monday.

Steve

SpinneyA6
27-07-2009, 05:07 PM
I'd be interested to see how it looks.

Do you have a part number for the spoiler and cover? I've had a look round but haven't been able to find one. Was there a charge for having it sprayed, I assume it would have arrived in just primer?

first_timer
27-07-2009, 10:15 PM
OK the new rear bumper spoiler, "for vehicle with towing facility", was fitted today. To me, it is an improvement, mainly because the cut out section has sides, at 90 degrees to the opening, making it more 'solid'. See attached photos with and without towbar fitted. Bear in mind that these are taken up close and from ground level. I've also included a more normal perpective of the back of the car, which looks OK.

However, I'm not happy with the lack of a cover plate. I asked the Parts Dept to look again on the system - this time they found something that might be the right part, and they will check again with Audi. Why is this so difficult?!

The part number for the spoiler is A4F0 807 521 D0 1C, cost 28.49 + VAT. BUT - this is for a 2009 A6 Avant. On my car, the bumper spoiler is not painted, it's satin black. I think they were body-coloured on earlier model years, and would require painting - this could be expensive.

Steve

SpinneyA6
28-07-2009, 09:28 AM
Hi First Timer,

That looks much better. I'll call in to my local dealer this evening and give them this info, I'm sure they'll be able to locate the part nedded for my 07 saloon.
I phoned them yesterday and was quoted:

88.59 for the spoiler
120 to paint
114 labour

Somehow I think they must have been looking at the wrong part!?

SpinneyA6
28-07-2009, 06:01 PM
I went to the local dealer to price up this part for the saloon.

I've been quoted 82 but this will then need to be sprayed as it comes in primer.

The part number is 4F58 075 521 QG RU As far as I'm aware, this comes with the clip on cover.

Does anyone know if this is correct?

Many thanks.

SpinneyA6
04-08-2009, 10:25 AM
Hi First Timer,

Did you manage to get the cover sorted out?

I've ordered the part for mine through Central Audi 79 but this will require spraying as it comes in primer

first_timer
04-08-2009, 05:24 PM
No, the dealer hasn't been able to find one and the spoiler doesn't seem to be designed with a cover plate in mind. The opening has solid smooth sides, and there's no obvious way of fixing a cover plate. The bumper design is a bit different on the 2009 model.

I think it would be better covered, if only to keep out winter road salt. Hey-ho.

SpinneyA6
05-08-2009, 12:57 PM
I'm sure the one for the saloon 2007 model comes with a cover, not sure how it attaches.
I'm having mine fitted next Thursday so will post some pics when it's done.

It's not going to be a cheap job though.
Part ..................79
Paint................ 60
Spraying.......... 90
fitting labour.....50
+VAT
= 320.88

Should just live with the bumber cut !

DR_A6
09-08-2009, 10:15 PM
OK the new rear bumper spoiler, "for vehicle with towing facility", was fitted today. To me, it is an improvement, mainly because the cut out section has sides, at 90 degrees to the opening, making it more 'solid'. See attached photos with and without towbar fitted. Bear in mind that these are taken up close and from ground level. I've also included a more normal perpective of the back of the car, which looks OK.

However, I'm not happy with the lack of a cover plate. I asked the Parts Dept to look again on the system - this time they found something that might be the right part, and they will check again with Audi. Why is this so difficult?!

The part number for the spoiler is A4F0 807 521 D0 1C, cost 28.49 + VAT. BUT - this is for a 2009 A6 Avant. On my car, the bumper spoiler is not painted, it's satin black. I think they were body-coloured on earlier model years, and would require painting - this could be expensive.

Steve

Hi Steve, did you get a response about the part number for the 2009 avant cover plate?

Going through the same irritation as you at the moment!

Thanks
Peter

DR_A6
09-08-2009, 10:17 PM
Hi Steve, did you get a response about the part number for the 2009 avant cover plate?

Going through the same irritation as you at the moment!

Thanks
Peter

That will teach me not to read the full thread before asking a question.....

first_timer
09-08-2009, 11:18 PM
Hi Peter

No, the part they thought they had found was not for a 2009 Avant. Actually, having looked closely at the replacement spoiler, I don't think it has been designed to take a cover plate - there doesn't appear to be any way of attaching one - and it does look OK as it is. I personally think it would be better to have a cover plate, to keep out road dirt, salt etc., but I guess I'll have to learn to love it the way it is.

If your dealer manages to locate a cover plate for a 2009 Avant - let me know!

Steve

DR_A6
10-08-2009, 08:36 PM
Hi Peter

No, the part they thought they had found was not for a 2009 Avant. Actually, having looked closely at the replacement spoiler, I don't think it has been designed to take a cover plate - there doesn't appear to be any way of attaching one - and it does look OK as it is. I personally think it would be better to have a cover plate, to keep out road dirt, salt etc., but I guess I'll have to learn to love it the way it is.

If your dealer manages to locate a cover plate for a 2009 Avant - let me know!

Steve

Cheers for that. Quick question, is that the 'audi fit' towbar which i think it westfalia? I am asking as it looks to fit a bit closer to the bumper than the others i have seen on the web.

Trying to decide between a dealer fit bar supposed to be this westfalia for around 850 and a specialist who wants to fit a witter one. Any advice would be appreciated.

Evidently the audi fit one comes with a 'removable panel' so i will let you know.

Peter

first_timer
10-08-2009, 09:27 PM
Hi Peter

Yes, it's an Audi/Westfalia detachable towbar. It might be worth investigating other options - I'm sure most/all manufacturers will produce something that fits the A6. They will all do the same job, but they will all look different and some will be a better/neater fit than others. Actually the Westfalia has 3 disadvantages: first, it is VERY close to the bumper - I have to use a piece of 6mm plywood with a notch cut in the bottom as a temporary bumper protector every time I hitch up; second, it is VERY heavy - drop it on your foot and you'll never walk again; third, and this is a serious fault, there is no attachment point for a breakaway cable. On the other hand, it is of course designed to fit Audi's bumper spoiler. With another make, you could end up with a bumper cut.

Remember that the towbar and electrics are completely separate. If you decide to go with a Witter towbar (or whatever), I would still only use the Audi A6 dedicated wiring kit and towing control unit. It's important that the car knows when a trailer is attached and that the towing electrics work properly with the car electrics. If you fit a cheaper universal kit, you could find that the trailer indicators in the dash don't work, the rear parking sensors will howl whenever reverse is engaged, and most important, the TSP will probably not be enabled. As you probably know, the ECU has to be programmed for towing using VAG-COM, so if you use an independent fitter, make sure he has access to this, or you will have to go back to your dealer to get the final set up done.

If you do decide to have the work done by your Audi dealer, ask whether they are doing the work themselves or outsourcing it. If the latter, I suggest you politely tell them to forget it! In that case, I would look for the nearest NTTA towing centre and ask them to talk you through the options.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Steve

DR_A6
10-08-2009, 09:58 PM
Hi Peter

Yes, it's an Audi/Westfalia detachable towbar. It might be worth investigating other options - I'm sure most/all manufacturers will produce something that fits the A6. They will all do the same job, but they will all look different and some will be a better/neater fit than others. Actually the Westfalia has 3 disadvantages: first, it is VERY close to the bumper - I have to use a piece of 6mm plywood with a notch cut in the bottom as a temporary bumper protector every time I hitch up; second, it is VERY heavy - drop it on your foot and you'll never walk again; third, and this is a serious fault, there is no attachment point for a breakaway cable. On the other hand, it is of course designed to fit Audi's bumper spoiler. With another make, you could end up with a bumper cut.

Remember that the towbar and electrics are completely separate. If you decide to go with a Witter towbar (or whatever), I would still only use the Audi A6 dedicated wiring kit and towing control unit. It's important that the car knows when a trailer is attached and that the towing electrics work properly with the car electrics. If you fit a cheaper universal kit, you could find that the trailer indicators in the dash don't work, the rear parking sensors will howl whenever reverse is engaged, and most important, the TSP will probably not be enabled. As you probably know, the ECU has to be programmed for towing using VAG-COM, so if you use an independent fitter, make sure he has access to this, or you will have to go back to your dealer to get the final set up done.

If you do decide to have the work done by your Audi dealer, ask whether they are doing the work themselves or outsourcing it. If the latter, I suggest you politely tell them to forget it! In that case, I would look for the nearest NTTA towing centre and ask them to talk you through the options.

Hope this helps with your decision.

Steve


Hi Steve, that is helpful but also worrying, I need minimum 65mm clearance between the towbar and the bumper to be able to fit the bike rack i have. Do you reckon this is the case with the westfalia?

I am a bit more confident about the wiring now thanks, but am still in two minds about using main dealer or indespension who are my local fitter. My problem is it is planned in for early next week, and we are off to france at the end of net week so i cant really afford to be messed about.

Peter

first_timer
10-08-2009, 10:41 PM
Hi Peter

Do you mean 65mm of clear space between the nearest point of the towbar and the bumper? I suspect there is that much, but I can measure it tomorrow for you. My caravan has an Al-Ko 1300 stabiliser, which leaves only about 10mm clearance from the bumper when hitched up. Are you planning to tow and use a bike rack at the same time? That's not usually possible with a detachable towbar, as far as I know....

Steve

DR_A6
10-08-2009, 10:54 PM
Hi Steve, Yes 65mm gap between the ball and the bumper. I have had a bad experience with roof bar mounted bike racks hence the exorbitant costs associated with this one........

Also got an old trailer which i will use for the 2 mile tip run...

If it isnt too much trouble it would be fantastic if you could measure that difference. That would put my mind to ease. I have spent more time fretting about getting the right tow bar than i did buying the car in the first place......

Cheers
Peter

first_timer
11-08-2009, 07:15 PM
Peter

Just measured the clearance between the edge of the Westfalia towball and the nearest point of the bumper (2009 A6 Avant) - it's 40mm! The distance from the centre of the towball is about 70mm - just over the minimum of 65mm for compliance with the EC directive.

Steve

DR_A6
11-08-2009, 11:31 PM
Steve,

Thank you very much for that. I am off to see a couple at an independent installer tomorrow morning to check the distance on those. The 65mm i need is from the bumper to the centre of the ball (i got this bit wrong!) but it is still pretty close. On my SAAB there was about 90mm so I am surprised it is so tight.

Thanks again for your efforts.
Peter

SpinneyA6
17-08-2009, 11:55 AM
I've finally got it all sorted, cost me a lot more than I'd anticipated but think it's been worth it! Total cost for parts, painting and fitting 328.

I'll post some pics this evening.

PFJones
10-09-2009, 02:12 PM
P F Jones Ltd offer Audi A6 towbars (http://www.pfjones.co.uk) as well as all Audi towbars (http://www.pfjones.co.uk).

We can supply and fit via our national towbar fitting (http://www.pfjones.co.uk) network at unbeatable prices.

All towbars including flange, swan neck and detachable towbars (http://www.pfjones.co.uk) are available from Original Equipment manufacturers such as Westfalia and Witter.

Further information visit our website or contact Brian on 0800 5200 478.

A6Dave
28-12-2009, 05:48 PM
I have posted in this thread as I am also on the hunt for detachable towbar for my 2007 Audi A6 2.7 TDi Saloon Le Mans - which I think has S line styling. Having looked at the various offerings including Westfallia there appears to be something about the S line that presents a problem for both Westfallia and Witter - up until 2008/9 (Westfallia don't show a detachable for the S-Line >04 <08) - I am guessing there is some difference about the bumper external profile that causes the problem. Has anybody done a succesful fit (Saloon) with either Witter or Westfalia for this particular year (2007 and S line saloon)
Or know about any bumper profile diffrences between the various trim levels ?

Thanks

Dave

DR_A6
28-12-2009, 07:45 PM
Hi Dave,

The issue i have is the distance between the towbar and the rear bumper. By EU directive this should be 65mm between the centre of the towbar to the rear of the vehilce, and maintained vertically down for 50mm from the top of the towball. It doesnt as there is a lip which catches my bike rack (Thule and meets EC directives).

It has taken three months, but Audi have now agreed to fit a 'retractable [westfalia] bar' which is not normally allowed as a retrofit, but the attitudes of both Audi engineers and those of westfalia who agreed that there were issues but that they hadnt addressed them. I could go on....

Hopefully being rectified on Wednesday, but the length of time it has taken and the attitudes are absolutely shameful. As an ex Toyota and Nissan Engineer i understand that any failure to comply with EU Driectives is pretty serious and could mean driving uninsured, but ....

If you want more info pm me.
Cheers
Peter

A6Dave
28-12-2009, 11:29 PM
Thanks for the reply - Do you have the Saloon or Avant version of the A6 and is it S line trim between 2004 and 2008 ? . I will be doing a bit more digging to make sure I end up with the right combo. I'll PM you if I need some more info on your particular dealings with Audi.

Cheers

Dave

DR_A6
29-12-2009, 07:16 AM
Hi, I have a 2009 lemans avant. i went through the main dealer but i reckon the best bet is to take it to a specialist who can order a couple of kits in and try them, its a 10 minute job once the bumper is off.
Peter

DR_A6
03-01-2010, 02:28 PM
Hi, Just a quick update, collected the car yesterday with 'retractable bar fitted'. Much much better, 78mm between the centre of the bar and the rear of the car. If you want some more details send me a mail.

Thanks
Peter

Nickmiksmith
15-01-2010, 02:16 PM
I have a 2007 A6 Avant S-Line. I Priced the tow bar up and it was around 1300.00 so i bought the parts trade for 600 and fitted them myself. Then just sent the car in to Audi for them to code it to my car. I have a friend who works at Audi and he told me not to go with the non-std kits as the coding tothe car is quite important as it reconfigures the ABS, traction control and engine cooling as well as other things.
The annoying part was that I had to buy the complete towbar and then purchase a different swan neck as my car is S-Line which cost an extra 136.00, so I now have a useless brand new swan neck on the shelf.

A6Dave
15-01-2010, 05:30 PM
Thanks for the reply - I have purchased the Witter detachable following advice from PFJOnes towbars (www.pfjones.co.uk (http://www.pfjones.co.uk)) along with a specific car wiring kit. I havn't fitted it yet so will see how I get on. Included in the kit are the reprogramming instructions for the Audi Garage.

fozzie10
09-03-2010, 08:34 AM
Hello, 1st post...

I'm due to pick up my 2010 A6 Avant Le Mans (S-Line) on Friday. I'm reading these posts with horror. As the car war already in stock I didn't get the option of a factory fit tow bar so will have to get either the westfellia or other aftermarket detachable bar. I'll only be towing a small leisure trailer and perhaps a folding camper.

Any suggestions or pointers on getting a towbar fitted (excluding the ones in the thread above) . not sure I want to pay the 800 main dealer price

Nickmiksmith
09-03-2010, 08:57 AM
Not sure what your options are. I spoke to a friend who works at Audi before I got mine and he told me of some horror stories of non standard electics causing problems with the BUS wiring system.
I would not expect that you would need the ABS, Cooling etc reprogramming if you are only towing a small trailer though. I called a local towbar installer and he quoted a couple of hundred pounds for a kit with a general CANBUS wiring adaptor, although after hearing the stories I thought it best to pay the money and have something that was right for the car as I am towing a large caravan.
The ball is in your court really, let me know how you get on.

fozzie10
09-03-2010, 04:45 PM
Hello, 1st post...

I'm due to pick up my 2010 A6 Avant Le Mans (S-Line) on Friday. I'm reading these posts with horror. As the car war already in stock I didn't get the option of a factory fit tow bar so will have to get either the westfellia or other aftermarket detachable bar. I'll only be towing a small leisure trailer and perhaps a folding camper.

Any suggestions or pointers on getting a towbar fitted (excluding the ones in the thread above) . not sure I want to pay the 800 main dealer price

I think I have sorted the Bar and the wiring out. I can get a fitter to do it with the OME Westfallia bar and a car specific wiring kit. They will also sort out the dash lights and stability/ABS. The only thing I need to get sorted now is the part numbers for the bumper spoiler and the cover. I have phoned Audi and they are very vague on what they are. Does anybody know the part numbers required for the A6 S-Line Avant?. P.S asked the dealer how much for an aftermarket fit 1800:aargh4:

first_timer
09-03-2010, 06:46 PM
Fozzie

I have an Audi/Westfalia detachable towbar and Audi OE wiring kit. I think the correct vehicle-specific wiring kit is a must if you want the electrics to work properly. However, I'm not happy with the Westfalia for 3 reasons:

1. the clearance between it and painted section of the bumper is very tight - it just meets the EU specification for minimum clearance, but makes hitching up difficult.

2. it is higher than ideal - my caravan tows in an ungainly nose-up attitude

3. there's no attachment eye for the breakaway cable

If I'd known all of this, I would have gone to an independent towing centre (e.g. http://www.ntta.co.uk/) and asked their advice on better options. But the towing electrics should be a no-brainer - best to go with the Audi kit, though it costs more of course.

Regarding the replacement bumper spoiler for towing, my dealer also had trouble tracking this down. They ordered one which had to be returned as it didn't fit! I suggest you visit your dealer and sit with the Parts guy and look at his screen with him! I can't give you a part no. as my Avant is a 2009 SE and the S-line might not be the same. One thing that confused us is that Audi don't make a cover for the cut-out section, which you normally get with a detachable towbar. It looks OK nonetheless. Good news is that it is self-coloured matt black on the current models, so no painting required and it only costs about 30.

fozzie10
09-03-2010, 08:24 PM
Fozzie

I have an Audi/Westfalia detachable towbar and Audi OE wiring kit. I think the correct vehicle-specific wiring kit is a must if you want the electrics to work properly. However, I'm not happy with the Westfalia for 3 reasons:

1. the clearance between it and painted section of the bumper is very tight - it just meets the EU specification for minimum clearance, but makes hitching up difficult.

2. it is higher than ideal - my caravan tows in an ungainly nose-up attitude

3. there's no attachment eye for the breakaway cable

If I'd known all of this, I would have gone to an independent towing centre (e.g. http://www.ntta.co.uk/) and asked their advice on better options. But the towing electrics should be a no-brainer - best to go with the Audi kit, though it costs more of course.

Regarding the replacement bumper spoiler for towing, my dealer also had trouble tracking this down. They ordered one which had to be returned as it didn't fit! I suggest you visit your dealer and sit with the Parts guy and look at his screen with him! I can't give you a part no. as my Avant is a 2009 SE and the S-line might not be the same. One thing that confused us is that Audi don't make a cover for the cut-out section, which you normally get with a detachable towbar. It looks OK nonetheless. Good news is that it is self-coloured matt black on the current models, so no painting required and it only costs about 30.

Thanks for the reply

I don't pick the car up untill Friday so I think i'll take it to a ntta fitter and see whats available. I think the spoiler is diffrent on the S-Line and have been quoted 180 from Audi, however I'm not sure they have got the correct part.

Cheers

gazwilson
09-03-2010, 09:04 PM
If it is of any use I have an A6 2006 2.0Tdi saloon and had a Witter detachable towbar fitted at my local towbar fitters. Cost around 400 with twin electrics and electric kit (which was supposed to be Audi kit but turned out not to be in the end - oops sorry sir!!) Anyway all seems to work great and I am delighted how well it looks....or doesn't look when off the car. You cannot see anything without getting down and close. I tow a decent sized caravan and I am very pleased with the set up. Caravan tows slightly nose down to level and hooking up to my ALCO stabiliser seems to have reasonable clearance between bumper and towbar.

I'd go with the WITTER bar again!

Hope this helps.
Gazwilson

DR_A6
09-03-2010, 09:05 PM
Hi,

Be very very careful with this. I bought a new 2009 lemans (same bumper profile as the s line) avant last year, and had so many problems. Basically the bumper profile changed during the facelift and a little lip on the bumper right where the towbar is fitted means that clearance from the approved part is actually 58mm. This is for the detachable towbar OEM supplied by westfalia. There are a couple of different types, but the dealer tried about four different part numbers.

I have a thule towbar fitted bike rack and had bascially had a six month job to highlight this issue. As I am an ex toyota engineer (no accelerator jokes please!) I was able to argue my case, find the relevant EU legislation regarding towing and prove that it was too close. Practically this meant that the bike rack scratched the back of the car, but actually if the placement of your towball is not within the EU regs then this invalidates your insurance.

The end result was that Audi retro fitted the retractable bar which is normally only available as a factory fit option. The clearance for this is about 80mm. I have loads of correspondence from both Audi and Westfalia. The uk Westfalia rep even acknowledged that they have known about this for a while but volume did not justify the expense of the testing. Audi technical department (UK Aftermarket engineers) even stated that there were no such rules regarding towing of a vehicle.

I am not trying to be alarmist but i have never ever had to fight so long for something so blatantly obvious , I am satisfied with the final outcome, but have not heard desptie requests to make sure that this option is available to other customers.

Regarding the wiring, then i would definitely stick with the OEM part, i dont think it is that much.

If you have any questions PM me and I can provide more information if required.

Cheers
P

fozzie10
10-03-2010, 09:55 AM
Hi,

Be very very careful with this. I bought a new 2009 lemans (same bumper profile as the s line) avant last year, and had so many problems. Basically the bumper profile changed during the facelift and a little lip on the bumper right where the towbar is fitted means that clearance from the approved part is actually 58mm. This is for the detachable towbar OEM supplied by westfalia. There are a couple of different types, but the dealer tried about four different part numbers.

I have a thule towbar fitted bike rack and had bascially had a six month job to highlight this issue. As I am an ex toyota engineer (no accelerator jokes please!) I was able to argue my case, find the relevant EU legislation regarding towing and prove that it was too close. Practically this meant that the bike rack scratched the back of the car, but actually if the placement of your towball is not within the EU regs then this invalidates your insurance.

The end result was that Audi retro fitted the retractable bar which is normally only available as a factory fit option. The clearance for this is about 80mm. I have loads of correspondence from both Audi and Westfalia. The uk Westfalia rep even acknowledged that they have known about this for a while but volume did not justify the expense of the testing. Audi technical department (UK Aftermarket engineers) even stated that there were no such rules regarding towing of a vehicle.

I am not trying to be alarmist but i have never ever had to fight so long for something so blatantly obvious , I am satisfied with the final outcome, but have not heard desptie requests to make sure that this option is available to other customers.

Regarding the wiring, then i would definitely stick with the OEM part, i dont think it is that much.

If you have any questions PM me and I can provide more information if required.

Cheers
P

Thanks again for the reply. It helped alot. I am going to stick with the OEM wiring (i'll try and get the dealer to sort it out). I have a NTTS tow bar palce near me so I think it will be a trip to see them when I get the car. I'll let you know how I get on.

Cheers

Nickmiksmith
10-03-2010, 10:23 AM
First_timer

I am suprised you say Audi don't make a cover for the cut out section. I have a 2008 S-Line Avant and I bought the rear bumper lower section which came with the cut out section cover. Once the cover is fitted you can not really tell there is a towbar fitted except for a small cut line at the lower centre part. Mine is body coloured so I had to have it painted but looks great. I only paid 30 for the complete assembly from Audi.
I will see if i can take some photos to add tomorrow.
If you are not happy with the clearance between the bumper and the ball Audi do an extended swan neck for the Westfalia kit. I had to putchase this as the S-Line needs the larger of the two. This may solve your problems, although i think at was around 130.

fozzie10
10-03-2010, 10:57 AM
First_timer

I am suprised you say Audi don't make a cover for the cut out section. I have a 2008 S-Line Avant and I bought the rear bumper lower section which came with the cut out section cover. Once the cover is fitted you can not really tell there is a towbar fitted except for a small cut line at the lower centre part. Mine is body coloured so I had to have it painted but looks great. I only paid 30 for the complete assembly from Audi.
I will see if i can take some photos to add tomorrow.
If you are not happy with the clearance between the bumper and the ball Audi do an extended swan neck for the Westfalia kit. I had to putchase this as the S-Line needs the larger of the two. This may solve your problems, although i think at was around 130.

That would be great. I have a feeling that the bumper profile was changed 2009 (hope i'm wrong). do you have the part number that you ordered so I can check it out. I want to get everything sorted so I'm ready to go for the summer.

Thank you

Nickmiksmith
10-03-2010, 11:01 AM
I will see if I can dig out the Invoice for everything I ordered and let you have the part numbers.

PFJones
11-03-2010, 11:37 AM
Hello guys and girls,

PFJones Ltd are experienced specialist Audi tow bar (http://www.pfjones.co.uk) fitters with headquarters based in Manchester, we are contracted by Audi Manchester dealership to fit OEM tow bars. We have nearly 60 years of experience supplying both trade and public alike with aftermarket towbars (http://www.pfjones.co.uk).

We have an after sales support team with a wealth of knowlege in fitting and wiring electrics available just a phone call a way. We also have national coverage with mobile fitters available along with roughly 25 fitting depots in the UK.

We are 2008 winner of Thule (http://www.pfjones.co.uk/thule-roof-boxes.html) retailer of the year award.

Discounts are available for VWaudi members, call for a quote using the free phone number below, or call on 0161 886 5798.

Quoted less elsewhere? PFJones Ltd work with a price promise, we will do our very best to beat any like for like quote.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Scott
P.F.Jones Support Team

fozzie10
16-03-2010, 05:07 PM
Just took my 2010 A6 Le Mans Avant into a tow bar fitters and they contacted Westfalia who have advised that they do not have a bar for my car???, however they are working on getting one released sometime this year. HELP!!!!:1zhelp:

first_timer
16-03-2010, 10:52 PM
Tends to happen with new models. My A6 Avant is a 2009 model, which was delivered in Jan 2009. Audi said an approved wiring kit was not available yet, nor a replacement rear spoiler for towing vehicles. In due course, a wiring kit did turn up and, about 6 months later, a bumper spoiler.

With the towbar, it could just be a case of waiting for formalities of type approval for the new model. Are you sure you want a Westfalia? I'm not very happy with mine.

fozzie10
17-03-2010, 06:57 AM
Tends to happen with new models. My A6 Avant is a 2009 model, which was delivered in Jan 2009. Audi said an approved wiring kit was not available yet, nor a replacement rear spoiler for towing vehicles. In due course, a wiring kit did turn up and, about 6 months later, a bumper spoiler.

With the towbar, it could just be a case of waiting for formalities of type approval for the new model. Are you sure you want a Westfalia? I'm not very happy with mine.

I think at this stage I'm not to bothered. I just need a detachable tow bar that fits for the summer.

Any suggestions welcome

Thanks for the reply

priestphil
08-04-2010, 03:33 PM
I think at this stage I'm not to bothered. I just need a detachable tow bar that fits for the summer.

Any suggestions welcome

Thanks for the reply

Fozzie, I have the same car, same problem. Have you had any luck yet? I am taking my car to a place in Stoke on Monday who are going to try a Witter bar that they think may fit. Ill let you know my findings. If you have a solution please can you mail me?? philpriest@blueyonder.co.uk.

Many Thanks

Phil

DR_A6
08-04-2010, 04:48 PM
This is the exact issue I had with mine. Westfalia do actually supply the OEM option, which has loads of clearance. Because an audi dealer fitted mine, they were then obliged to fit a 'factory fit' option which has the releasing mechanism in the boot but that took a lot of wrangling, and i am talking months not days or weeks.

You may be able to buy the factory fitted kit from germany, though westfalia are not allowed by audi to sell it after market in the uk.

If you need more help then feel free to pm and I can provide more information if you want.

I did take this up with the VSA at one point, but they havent come back to me.

Peter

Andy G A6
09-04-2010, 01:05 PM
Hi all, I ordered the factory fit retractable tow bar at the point of ordering the car, seemed best to have it installed whilst car being built, I had the electrics problem charging and fridge, dont german caravans have fridges or batteries ? ? Anyway I also have a hole in the rear bumper spoiler no cover and no obvious means of attaching one, the retractable towbar is brilliant and no signs of having one when away, but the biggest problem is I have to keep removing rust and road dirt from the ball, and as it sits upside down whilst away so you cant put a cover on it. Ohh and people want you to demonstrate it all the time whilst your trying to set up or pack up.

first_timer
09-04-2010, 07:40 PM
Hi Andy

The factory towbar is quite cost-effective too, compared with after-market towbar fitting. As you say, a retractable towbar is a talking point too. I had the same concern about corrosion with a towball that stays on the car. So I have a Westfalia detachable and have to keep it warm and dry in the house - it rusts even if I keep in an unheated garage!! Would yours take something like an Alko rubber cover to keep road dirt off it? Or is the space it retracts into just too tight?

Andy G A6
13-04-2010, 03:23 PM
Hi First Timer, space is not really a problem, however as it swivels inside the bumper into the stored position it ends up upside down so anything you try to cover it with fills with water. So now I just cover it in grease during the winter lay up, clean it up during spring then just leave it, a quick rub with wire wool gets it clean enough for use on each occasion, without sanding away the metal ball.

Not ideal but having tried all sorts this seems the best compromise, it certainly corrodes less than sitting in water from various covers I have tried.

As I understand it the towbar is teflon coated not painted, the alko instructions on my caravan stabaliser says all paint must be removed for it to work properly, I wonder does that also apply when teflon coated or should I have never cleaned the finish off at all, then it wouldnt go rusty of course.

Having said all that as a gadget it is very cool, and we blokes do love our gadgets dont we, turn a knob in the boot out it pops with electric socket, when youve arrived turn the knob again and it swivels away no sign of towbar or electric socket, my local caravan dealer is always impressed with it even got all his mates out the workshop once saying " hey have you seen one of these before " and they hadnt.

But thats Audi for you Vorsprung Durch Technik I guess.

Andy G

first_timer
13-04-2010, 05:45 PM
My A6 Avant was from built stock, but I would have ordered the factory towbar otherwise. It's neater and also cheaper than after-market fitting of an OEM detachable towball.

I see the problem with the towball being stored upside down! Maybe one could wrap it tightly in cling film. It seems a real pity having to strip off the factory coating if you use a friction stabiliser, which then means a losing battle with rust. But I think the friction pads on the stabiliser would wear away the teflon coating where they touch and articulate around the towball. And contaminate the pads in the process.

Mercedes has the same system as Audi. Not sure who thought of it first, but it's probably down to Westfalia rather than Vorsprung.

Andy G A6
14-04-2010, 10:00 AM
Surely it must of been Audi first, not those horrid chaps at M B, or is it Renault- Nissan these days.

I do admit I would have the same tow bar fitted next time without a second thought despite its shortcomings, changing it next year anyway and with the new model due 2011, I just have to hope the Avant is not to long after the saloon launch.

gibby2009
25-04-2010, 08:13 PM
I have just ordered my Le mans Avant and have been told that I should get it for December!!

Wish now as I had spec'd a Tow bar as Indespension the trailer people want 900 this does include the audi electrics.

Think I may have to talk to my dealer again

fozzie10
07-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Just got the prices to add a bar to my A6 Avant Le Mans. The parts from Audi are 294 for the Bar + 130 for the detachable ball + 260 for the electrics and if you want to go the whole hog you can get the lower valance 121 and the cover 68.

I am waiting for a local fitter (who does work for the Audi franchise) to give me a fitting price.

fozzie10
01-07-2010, 03:02 PM
Just booked my 2010 A6 Avant S-Line in for a westfalia detachable tow bar 640 all in with 13pin dedicated electrics and coded. (Excludes the lower valance and cover):biglaugh:. Been waiting for two months for the bar to be released.

gibby2009
03-10-2010, 08:37 PM
Has the fitting gone ok? Just got a delivery date for middle of October so looking for any info on tow bars:biglaugh:

fozzie10
04-10-2010, 12:40 PM
Has the fitting gone ok? Just got a delivery date for middle of October so looking for any info on tow bars:biglaugh:

Hello. All fitted and coded. Just a point you can buy the lower valance with the hole cut out and reinforced for about 35 from Audi Parts. This is far cheaper than the 200 for the valance and cover as pre factory fit option.

PFJones
14-10-2010, 03:06 PM
The Towbar for the A6 Le mans S line is now available and this supplied and fitted with dedicated plug in 13 pin electrics kit is 600 at one of our local fitting centres Thanks Dale

Coxenburg
24-10-2010, 04:16 PM
Just had a Westfalia detachable towbar fitted to my 2007 A6 avant. Full car specific wiring kit included with 13 pin electrics and programmed to MMI, total came to 450 inc VAT

Took about 3 hours for them to fit and they were very helpful from the first telephone call through to collecting the car.

Not sure about the rules of posting the company name on here, but if you are in the northwest and are interested, send me a message and I can give you the details.

SiliconS
23-05-2011, 06:34 PM
Sorry to resurrect this old thread, but I'm wondering whether any of the people here with towbars on their S-Line / LeMans Avant could post some decent photos of the towbars installed, or even email large versions to me please. I've spoken to PFJones and their detachable kit is reasonably priced, but I don't really like the idea of a towbar with a chunky bracket and a hole visible below the bumper when there's no towing bracket fitted. I'd rather have a simple swan-neck permanently installed but apparently they don't exist.

AudiIan
28-05-2011, 11:06 PM
Hi
A company in Stockport fitted my A6 SE with a Westfalia towbar, great job, full specification electrics (including the fridge). As I understood it from them, the replacement lower panel has the same size hole as if they were to cut out the pre marked area in the bumper, but has a vertical 'wall' around it to keep the aperture as discreet as possible. They reckon that there is not a panel available to clip in. I just had the cut out done and they sprayed the rear panel of the car with black paint, prior to the bumper going back on, so that even from a distance the cut is not very obvious.
The S-line was a dearer quote, it's a different towbar to the SE as the bumper is a bit bigger.
They showed me a video of an S-line to see what the towbar is like prior to me booking.
Click here for their YouTube video. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M7x1QMDNrKU)

frazered
06-07-2011, 11:33 AM
useful info, just fitted one to an allroad

fisgard792
14-06-2012, 04:37 PM
be aware that some bicycle carriers can have problems with detachable tow bars, in respect of lateral movement of the detachable part