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Wiring Harness for Third Party Hitch Necessary for Bike Rack?

I've been considering a hitch for our 2021 Model Y, but exclusively so we can haul two kids' bikes, along with an adult hybrid/fitness bike. I know I can get the OEM hitch from Tesla for $1,200+tax, but I am also considering less expensive options, such as the Ecohitch and the Draw-Tite 76430 (I'm also open to other suggestions).

As I understand it, the wiring harness is only necessary if I plan to tow a trailer, which I do not ever plan to do. If my understanding is correct, would I be okay foregoing the wiring harness, which adds another $100-$250 in parts and labor? Any drawbacks to not having the wiring harness/kit?
 
Last edited:

glide

Well-Known Member
Jun 6, 2018
5,199
7,248
USA
I've been considering a hitch for our 2021 Model Y, but exclusively so we can haul two kids' bikes, along with an adult hybrid/fitness bike. I know I can get the OEM hitch from Tesla for $1,200+tax, but I am also considering less expensive options, such as the Ecohitch and the Draw-Tite 76430 (I'm also open to other suggestions).

As I understand it, the wiring harness is only necessary if I plan to tow a trailer, which I do not ever plan to do. If my understanding is correct, would I be okay foregoing the wiring harness, which adds another $100-$250 in parts and labor? Any drawbacks to not having the wiring harness/kit?
If you don’t plan on towing anything that requires a brake controller/lights, you do not need the harness.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,122
7,614
MA, NH
Why oh why do folks not get the OEM hitch is beyond me. On $60K vehicle.

Lower resale value on the car and risk of voiding warranty. You don’t think they can, go ahead and experiment. They have no idea what your going to attach. Car has alignment problems, motor problems, suspension problems, brake problems they can blame the 3rd party hitch.

Yeah yeah, lots of reports of no problems. I’ve seen way more ridiculous reasons Tesla (and other manufacturers) use for excuses to refuse repairs. You are giving them a huge ticket.

Not to mention if you ever do want to tow something you can.
 

voip-ninja

Give me some sugar baby
Mar 15, 2012
4,256
5,377
Colorado
Why oh why do folks not get the OEM hitch is beyond me. On $60K vehicle.

Lower resale value on the car and risk of voiding warranty. You don’t think they can, go ahead and experiment. They have no idea what your going to attach. Car has alignment problems, motor problems, suspension problems, brake problems they can blame the 3rd party hitch.

Yeah yeah, lots of reports of no problems. I’ve seen way more ridiculous reasons Tesla (and other manufacturers) use for excuses to refuse repairs. You are giving them a huge ticket.

Not to mention if you ever do want to tow something you can.

What's the point of berating the OP when he already has his car?
 
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Why oh why do folks not get the OEM hitch is beyond me. On $60K vehicle.

Lower resale value on the car and risk of voiding warranty. You don’t think they can, go ahead and experiment. They have no idea what your going to attach. Car has alignment problems, motor problems, suspension problems, brake problems they can blame the 3rd party hitch.

Yeah yeah, lots of reports of no problems. I’ve seen way more ridiculous reasons Tesla (and other manufacturers) use for excuses to refuse repairs. You are giving them a huge ticket.

Not to mention if you ever do want to tow something you can.
Why do you think it will reduce the resale value? Plenty of people get 3rd party hitches. Properly installed there’s no issue. Why, oh why do people think that just because people bought a Tesla they can just throw away $900?
 
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mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,122
7,614
MA, NH
Why do you think it will reduce the resale value? Plenty of people get 3rd party hitches. Properly installed there’s no issue. Why, oh why do people think that just because people bought a Tesla they can just throw away $900?
Because I can’t afford throwing away $1000s on denied warranty. I won’t even use a non OEM wheel. I won’t risk it to save a few dollars.

If you want to gamble, go for it. You’ll probably be fine. But I wouldn’t risk it. OEM hitch is much nicer. And with it wired you can plug a dummy load so the the alarms don’t constantly trigger with your bike rack.
 
Why oh why do folks not get the OEM hitch is beyond me. On $60K vehicle.

Lower resale value on the car and risk of voiding warranty. You don’t think they can, go ahead and experiment. They have no idea what your going to attach. Car has alignment problems, motor problems, suspension problems, brake problems they can blame the 3rd party hitch.

Yeah yeah, lots of reports of no problems. I’ve seen way more ridiculous reasons Tesla (and other manufacturers) use for excuses to refuse repairs. You are giving them a huge ticket.

Not to mention if you ever do want to tow something you can.
Thank you for your feedback. As I noted in the original post, we are considering several options, including both the OEM hitch and third party options. I asked specifically about third party options because I wanted to confirm my understanding I'd be foregoing the wiring (unless I paid extra for the wiring harness) and software, and I wanted to understand what exactly the wiring harness was for. I also understand needs can change, but we are about 99.99% sure we will never tow anything on the Tesla, or on our other car, and we will use a hitch exclusively to haul our family's bikes.

As for your second comment about lower resale value, problems caused, risk of voiding warranty, etc., do you have any personal experience with this happening to you, whether on this car or any prior car, or is this anecdotal based on something you've been told, or have read? We've never had a hitch installed on any prior car, but I have friends and family who have had third-party hitches installed, both by shops or by themselves, and I personally have never once heard of a situation where a manufacturer voided a warranty due to a third-party hitch. However, I also understand there's no guarantee Tesla won't void the warranty, or blame something on a third-party hitch, and I can understand your legitimate concern that Tesla will refuse to perform thousands of dollars of warranty work on that basis, whether justified or not.

I understand some people are of the opinion that - if one were to spend $40K-$100K on a car (we have a standard range and paid about $40K for our Model Y), why quibble over $1,200 + tax. I can somewhat understand that logic, albeit on a smaller scale - we've bought a $300 iPad but pay $50 for a case when a $10 case probably serves the same purpose. However, not everyone feels the way you do. In addition, I do not think there's anything wrong with consumers wanting to know what their various choices are so they can conduct their own research, and make an educated decision as to what works best for them.

Again, thanks for chiming in with your opinion.
 

mswlogo

Well-Known Member
Aug 27, 2018
8,122
7,614
MA, NH
I see reports of folks denied for “mods” all the time. Some put new wheels and denied factory alignment issue. Someone had a defective cracked screen but they stuck their garage door fob to back of screen, denied. I put a 3rd party brake controller (known to be one of the best) Jeep denied fixing faulty ABS controller. I had an absolute melt down when they did that. Especially where it was a safety issue. I’ve seen it again and again. Denied coverage is posted all the time (all manufacturers do it). Is it fair, valid and legal? no.

Chances are you won’t have a problem. Honestly you probably won’t. But you are taking a risk with a 3rd party mod. It all depends on service center and the tech you get.

If there wasn’t an OEM hitch, sure go for it. If it was a fortune, sure. But it’s not much money in the big scheme of things.

BTW I added an OEM hitch to my Model S Refresh. But it’s not officially supported. I don’t plan on 3rd party wiring to avoid warranty issues. I am taking some risk adding the hitch. But I have no other choice in my case. There are 3rd party hitches too. No way I’d put the 3rd party hitch. But some folks do.

BTW the Model X hitch (I bought from Tesla for the S) was $300.00. I’m sure the Y is similar. They are charging a small fortune to install. You could buy the part and have a 3rd party install it. (Without wiring, which could be factory added later if needed). I installed mine myself. Pretty easy, couple hours tops. I know there are videos on it.
 
I see reports of folks denied for “mods” all the time. Some put new wheels and denied factory alignment issue. Someone had a defective cracked screen but they stuck their garage door fob to back of screen, denied. I put a 3rd party brake controller (known to be one of the best) Jeep denied fixing faulty ABS controller. I had an absolute melt down when they did that. Especially where it was a safety issue. I’ve seen it again and again. Denied coverage is posted all the time (all manufacturers do it). Is it fair, valid and legal? no.

Chances are you won’t have a problem. Honestly you probably won’t. But you are taking a risk with a 3rd party mod. It all depends on service center and the tech you get.

If there wasn’t an OEM hitch, sure go for it. If it was a fortune, sure. But it’s not much money in the big scheme of things.

BTW I added an OEM hitch to my Model S Refresh. But it’s not officially supported. I don’t plan on 3rd party wiring to avoid warranty issues. I am taking some risk adding the hitch. But I have no other choice in my case. There are 3rd party hitches too. No way I’d put the 3rd party hitch. But some folks do.

BTW the Model X hitch (I bought from Tesla for the S) was $300.00. I’m sure the Y is similar. They are charging a small fortune to install. You could buy the part and have a 3rd party install it. (Without wiring, which could be factory added later if needed). I installed mine myself. Pretty easy, couple hours tops. I know there are videos on it.
Thanks again for the feedback, and for providing additional information. Your input gives me something to think about.

In the big scheme of things, I don't disagree with you that $1,200 + tax is "not much money in the big scheme of things," but, as I previously said, it is still good to consider options and figure out what works best for us (and what amount of risk we are willing to take).
 

dhrivnak

Active Member
Jan 8, 2011
4,607
4,127
NE Tennessee
Because I can’t afford throwing away $1000s on denied warranty. I won’t even use a non OEM wheel. I won’t risk it to save a few dollars.

If you want to gamble, go for it. You’ll probably be fine. But I wouldn’t risk it. OEM hitch is much nicer. And with it wired you can plug a dummy load so the the alarms don’t constantly trigger with your bike rack.
There is VERY little chance of denies warranty. And my EcoHitch as not been an issue in the slightest on warranty work.
 

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