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How to: 7 pin wire harness and brake controller on 2020 Kia Telluride

Messages
49
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10
#3
Holy cow that's a lot of work. Great job @timlaw71 for being pioneer for Telluride onwers.
 
Messages
61
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19
#4
Anyone else noticed the description without the brake controller the Telly is only rated to tow 1650 lbs?
 

d2willys

New Member
Messages
3
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8
Location
Kansas
#5
Nice video. However there are some discrepancies that need to be pointed out.
1) The power wire from battery to brake controller MUST BE at least 12 gauge stranded wire. It looks smaller than 12 gauge.
2) The ground wire from battery to brake controller can be 18 gauge or larger, as it does not carry large currents, only the electronics of the brake controller.
3) The trailer brake wire (from brake controller to 7 way) MUST BE at least 12 gauge stranded wire. It looks smaller than 12 gauge.
4) The ground wire from 7 way to frame MUST BE at least 12 gauge. This brown wire is definitely smaller than 12 gauge. (You have to remember that this ground is carrying current of the brake magnets, along with the lights. And those loads are much more than one would realize, therefore the 12 gauge wire.
5) The brake controller brake signal wire can be small as this does not carry a lot of current. HOWEVER, the brake controller will try and back power the vehicle"s brake signal when using the slide control on the brake controller. This may result in damage or throwing error codes. Remedy: Install a 1N4001 diode in between the red wire on brake controller harness and the wire going to the brake signal. Make sure the band on the diode is facing the red wire on brake controller. The diode will prevent back feeding. Another note: Some vehicles do not use an actual brake switch, instead they use a variable potentiometer and run off 5 volts. Those type of vehicles will need the diode, due to having to get 12 volt brake signal at brake outputs to brake lights in most cases. DO NOT USE THE BRAKE WIRING IF THE VEHICLE USES THE POTENTIOMETER SENSOR.
6) I don't believe a circuit breaker is to be used with the brake controller. We use a 20 amp fuse.
7) If you do plan on running the 12 volts from the battery to the 7 way, again use 12 gauge wire. This wire should be fused at no more than 20 amps.

Please note: I am not trying to criticize, just point out issues that others should be aware of. BTW: I am an electrical engineer for HOPKINS.

Lastly, doing these mods may void the warranty of the vehicle.
 

Ike1988

New Member
Messages
3
Likes
2
Location
Spokane, WA, USA
#6
Another point is that @timlaw installed the brake controller on the panel that has the knee air bag behind it. Consulted with a local RV repair shop and they advised against mounting anything to the airbag panel. Also, saw link with wireless controller, but have concerns on relying on my phone to apply trailer brakes in and emergency. All this to say that the 2021s are now coming out with 7 pin connectors, so surely Kia has come up with a preferred mounting location for a brake controller. I think the best option may be to mount a bracket on the left side under the fuse box and then attach the controller to the bracket. Anyone know where Kia/Kia service shops install the brake controller?
 
Messages
103
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62
Location
Woodstock, IL, USA
#7

MavenMom

New Member
Messages
9
Likes
0
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
#8
Hello d2willys and others!

May I pick your brain with my towing brake controller questions?

We have a 2020 Telluride S. It came with some towing elements pre-installed like a 4 pin out of the back and a hitch. I am not sure if that is the TOWING package that the SX have. We have a trailer with 7 pin, 3700 lb dry weight 4600 lb fulll, so we bought and installed the 4 to 7 pin converter shown below. So far no trouble with the trailer lights but I will follow up on the recall on them.

The issue is, we have been trying to get a brake controller to tow our 3750 trailer installed and everyone is losing their mind at the idea of tapping into the electrical, pulling even part of the dash, etc. everyone refuses to do it. They say Kia or Curt or another RV type manufacturer needs to come out with a plug and play solution, blah blah. We went to trailer places, boat places, RV places, KIA. We are now looking at small family business or shade tree mechanics or doing it ourselves.

So we took the dash off and watched that YouTube video referenced above and am more confused. Then I saw your notes of all the mistakes this guy was making and though Wow,

Just like in the video, we dont have that quick connect port behind the steering wheel that other (not telluride) vehicles have.

I purchased the Curt Spectrum brake controller. https://www.curtmfg.com/part/51170 I need to get it installed but need to provide all the parts needed.
I realized I needed and just ordered Curt Pigtail Wiring Harness that is called out in the wiring diagram.

The more I read the more I am worried that I will do it wrong or that someone else will damage the brake electrical system. I talked to Kia that said that splicing into the braking lights and system will only void electrical parts of the warranty, not the engine or drive train in any way. So we NEED to get this brake controller installed but when you say we need a diode etc. I begin to worry!~

Here is the wiring diagram that came with the brake controller. Notice that it is very similar to the video but in their connections, only the blue wire goes to the back of the vehicle and connects to the trailer 7 pin controller. What happened to the other two wires? Why did he need black power and white ground in the back? I thought maybe you could make sense of this. Do I need to run all 3 wires to the back or add a diode in this current diagram or can I Just hand it to someone with the parts and say do it exactly like this?

Last question. How do we know or just take his word for it that it is the green wire that is for the brakes. Video says he spent 2 hours figuring it out. How could I verify that before I tap into it?

Any help appreciated. Linda and Sherwood in Virginia.
PS the Telluride tows the trailer fine, BTW. This photo was while we were adjusting the tongue, she is no longer tongue heavy like that.



1598580328904.png
1598580390654.png 1598583154184.png
1598583311296.png


Nice video. However there are some discrepancies that need to be pointed out.
1) The power wire from battery to brake controller MUST BE at least 12 gauge stranded wire. It looks smaller than 12 gauge.
2) The ground wire from battery to brake controller can be 18 gauge or larger, as it does not carry large currents, only the electronics of the brake controller.
3) The trailer brake wire (from brake controller to 7 way) MUST BE at least 12 gauge stranded wire. It looks smaller than 12 gauge.
4) The ground wire from 7 way to frame MUST BE at least 12 gauge. This brown wire is definitely smaller than 12 gauge. (You have to remember that this ground is carrying current of the brake magnets, along with the lights. And those loads are much more than one would realize, therefore the 12 gauge wire.
5) The brake controller brake signal wire can be small as this does not carry a lot of current. HOWEVER, the brake controller will try and back power the vehicle"s brake signal when using the slide control on the brake controller. This may result in damage or throwing error codes. Remedy: Install a 1N4001 diode in between the red wire on brake controller harness and the wire going to the brake signal. Make sure the band on the diode is facing the red wire on brake controller. The diode will prevent back feeding. Another note: Some vehicles do not use an actual brake switch, instead they use a variable potentiometer and run off 5 volts. Those type of vehicles will need the diode, due to having to get 12 volt brake signal at brake outputs to brake lights in most cases. DO NOT USE THE BRAKE WIRING IF THE VEHICLE USES THE POTENTIOMETER SENSOR.
6) I don't believe a circuit breaker is to be used with the brake controller. We use a 20 amp fuse.
7) If you do plan on running the 12 volts from the battery to the 7 way, again use 12 gauge wire. This wire should be fused at no more than 20 amps.

Please note: I am not trying to criticize, just point out issues that others should be aware of. BTW: I am an electrical engineer for HOPKINS.

Lastly, doing these mods may void the warranty of the vehicle.
1598581295014.png
 

Attachments

Messages
4
Likes
3
Location
Indianapolis, IN, USA
#9
MavenMom and I are having the same problem and I know others are confused like us.​
I have a wonderful 2020 Telluride SX Prestige with a factory installed towing package. DOM 2/05/20. I am trying to install the etrailer's Prodigy P3 brake controller (90195) and I have properly installed etrailer's Mighty Cord 4-way to 7-way Harness (A107084VP) using three added 10 gauge wires. I have installed Prodigy Brake Controllers on cars in the past, but my Telluride's safety features and the brake switch wire have me very concerned. I am having a difficult time connecting the car's brake switch wire to the brake controller and I now wonder about the wisdom in doing so for two reasons;​
1. In Hoptica’s video mentioned above, he located the the brake wire and it is located in a very, very tight spot that, for me, is impossible to get to. Also the wire does not have any slack. I would hate to try connecting it for fear of messing up critical factory installed wiring.​
2. It seems to me, when the Telluride's Adaptive Cruise Control automatically brakes the car, the brake pedal will not be physically pushed down so the trailer brake will not be activated by the brake switch - causing the trailer brakes not to work when the Adaptive Cruise Control is automatically braking the car.​
Without instructions and direction from Kia, I will not, nor will I let a “pro” tap into my Telluride’s highly technical wiring system. Kia has boasted about the 5000 pound towing capacity of the Telluride, but they require an installed brake controller to get there. Then they make it near impossible to install the controller and offer no plug and play wiring or instructions. Shame on Kia for not addressing this issue. I feel angry and deceived. The 5000 pound tow rating is a big reason I purchased the Telluride.​
 

MavenMom

New Member
Messages
9
Likes
0
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
#10
I feel you
MavenMom and I are having the same problem and I know others are confused like us.​
I feel you Stainlessjerry. I took my Telluride to a shop who is very good at wiring on Friday. I told them that in "the video" the guy had said it was the green wire for the brakes. He went under the dash and looked and he said..."we have a problem then because there is no green wire!" So I am glad I had not started this yet. He seems confident that he can find the right wire and hook into it. I am hesitant to try right now. I may need to backtrack to the CURT Echo which has no wiring apparently and controls the breaks from the device in the rear that plugs into the 7 way.
 
Messages
4
Likes
3
Location
Indianapolis, IN, USA
#11
MavenMom, while you were at that shop Friday, I was at a RV dealership talking to the service manager about splicing into the brake wire to get the brake signal on a vehicle with all the new safety features. The last time they did this he said it cost them $1400 for the electrical system repair. He now will only install a hardwire brake controller in vehicles with factory plug and play ports. If they do not have that port, he recommends the bluetooth Tekonsha 90250 Prodigy RF Electronic Brake Control. Unlike the Curt Echo remote brake control, this control has it's own remote so you do not have to depend on your overworked iPhone when you have to apply emergency braking. These types of controls are nice and easy but I prefer not to depend on a bluetooth remote to emergency brake my 4000 pound trailer.
 

MavenMom

New Member
Messages
9
Likes
0
Location
Richmond, VA, USA
#12
Thanks all for the input and support.

After talking to Kia again and considering other people's recommendations, I just did a big return to Amazon of my brake controller and all the parts to install it. I ordered the Curt Echo and we will try that instead for 30 days and see how it goes.

I liked that it is wireless. I read more about it and it has a secure clip so it cant come unplugged while driving.

Also, in talking to others who tow trailers, they say they seldom make many changes to their brake control settings so it's not like we won't be able to use a cell phone because it is dedicated to the role of controlling the trailer brakes. The Echo is reportedly seen to work faster to brake, because all the signal is in the back, the inertia causes the braking on the trailer, which seems faster than a signal from my pedal or the line to the front.

Also, as some others noted, what if the brakes don't get depressed because it is a collision avoidance or cruise system that slows me down. Then I need the inertia system to tell the brakes to depress. Not at the brake pedal but at the trailer, which would be pushing me at that point.
 
Messages
4
Likes
3
Location
Indianapolis, IN, USA
#13
As a cabinet-maker for 30 years, I used 20' cargo trailers to transport cabinets to the jobsite. https://www.woodweb.com/galleries/shop/posts/1425.html I pulled those trailers with ¾ ton Ford vans that had hardwired Prodigy brake controllers. All those controllers had a lever that you could use to activate ONLY the trailer brakes. When your gut tells you that a white knuckle emergency situation is about to happen because of your trailer, all you have to do is activate the trailer brakes with that lever. This action will stop trailer sway, jackknifing on slick pavement, and other situations. Remote control brake controllers are nice and easy but I prefer not to depend on an overworked iPhone or a bluetooth remote to emergency brake that 4000 pound trailer behind my wonderful Telluride.
 

JSlot

New Member
Messages
1
Likes
1
Location
Summerville, SC
#14
Thanks all for the input and support.

After talking to Kia again and considering other people's recommendations, I just did a big return to Amazon of my brake controller and all the parts to install it. I ordered the Curt Echo and we will try that instead for 30 days and see how it goes.

I liked that it is wireless. I read more about it and it has a secure clip so it cant come unplugged while driving.

Also, in talking to others who tow trailers, they say they seldom make many changes to their brake control settings so it's not like we won't be able to use a cell phone because it is dedicated to the role of controlling the trailer brakes. The Echo is reportedly seen to work faster to brake, because all the signal is in the back, the inertia causes the braking on the trailer, which seems faster than a signal from my pedal or the line to the front.

Also, as some others noted, what if the brakes don't get depressed because it is a collision avoidance or cruise system that slows me down. Then I need the inertia system to tell the brakes to depress. Not at the brake pedal but at the trailer, which would be pushing me at that point.
Looking to to purchase the Curt Echo and would be interested in hearing what you have to say about your experience. I'm new here, so if you have posted about this somewhere else, I have not seen it. Thanks for any info!
 

Jimbo

New Member
Messages
19
Likes
1
Location
Grand Forks, ND, USA
#15
Looking to to purchase the Curt Echo and would be interested in hearing what you have to say about your experience. I'm new here, so if you have posted about this somewhere else, I have not seen it. Thanks for any info!
Hi
I have been using a Curt Echo on my 2021 Telluride for 2500 miles. I use a old cell phone to control it so I don’t have to use my cell phone, so I can still make calls and map functions And the spare phone works great also in case I need to apply the brakes on the the trailer I can just touch the phone as it’s dedicated to the brake control. The only problem I’ve had was at 20 degrees my trailer plug was so stiff it pulled out a little when I made s sharp turn and the controller came unplugged slightly and stopped working. The rubber strap that came with the plug did not hold it in, so now I tape it on and things are fine. I’m very happy with the Curt Echo controller.
Jim
 

Jimbo

New Member
Messages
19
Likes
1
Location
Grand Forks, ND, USA
#16
To use cell phone to operate Curt Echo you must have Bluetooth capability. Apple OS Requires IOS 5 or higher. Android OS requires 4.3 or higher
Jim
 
Messages
1
Likes
0
Location
Reno, NV, USA
#17
I had camping world install a wired brake controller and a Hopkins 7pin adapter to the 4pin, running wire up to the car battery. Twice now, when I’ve connected my trailer to the car and had shore power hooked up, the wiring shorts and smoke emits from the wire going to the car battery, melting through the wire covering. Not sure where to go from here. Installer says the Kia part is failing and Kia says that 3rd party installed items are not under warranty. Any thoughts?
 


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