Smoking hook up electrics

Aug 3, 2020
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I have a 2011 Swift which has the single 13 pin socket. My Discovery 3 has the 2 separate sockets (black and grey). I know the black is for towing lights and grey is for internal electrics.

im using one of those converter/splitter adapters to go from the single 13 pin to two 7 pin but when I connect the grey socket it immediately starts to smoke once the car ignition is on.

obviously I pulled the plug immediately and no damage was done so I’m hoping you can shed some light on what might be causing this.

I’ve tried 2 adapters just To isolate a faulty adapter.

The electrics on the car are factory fitted.
Any ideas?
 

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Mar 14, 2005
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If the Disco has twin electrics they weren't factory but dealer fitted. To the best of my knowledge, factory fitted towbars have always been 13 pin. If something is smoking it sounds as if there is a short somewhere in an unprotected circuit (or fuse with too high a rating) or a very poor connection within the grey socket of the Disco (more likely the latter or else it would be smoking elsewhere, too).
Have you tried connecting your caravan electrically to another car with 13 pin electrics? If it still smokes, the problem lies in the caravan and not the car.
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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I am quite concerned that you have had smoke from an electrical circuit, but not found the fault, and yet you tell us no harm was done! Smoke is the result of a failed component, or wiring that has been damaged.

I am even more concerned that no fuse ruptured. That means you must have an unprotected circuit. If a wire has been overheating to the point where it's insulation has started to melt, it means the insulation has been compromised and may actually have live (when the ignition is on) un fused exposed conductors.

You need to find the damage and make sure it really is safe, not just hope it's safe.

You also need to get the wiring checked for comparability for towing with your caravan, of course that could be a problem with your car, caravan or the adaptor. Presumably, the caravan worked when connected to a car with twino sockets, which suggests it's either the adaptor or the car. It will be easiest to check the adaptor, with a wiring diagram and a continuity tester. If both the adaptor and caravan are ok, then that leaves the car.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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If the Disco has twin electrics they weren't factory but dealer fitted. To the best of my knowledge, factory fitted towbars have always been 13 pin. If something is smoking it sounds as if there is a short somewhere in an unprotected circuit (or fuse with too high a rating) or a very poor connection within the grey socket of the Disco (more likely the latter or else it would be smoking elsewhere, too).
Have you tried connecting your caravan electrically to another car with 13 pin electrics? If it still smokes, the problem lies in the caravan and not the car.
Maybe the OP shoudl get the vehicle converted to 13 pin? Does not cost much for the conversion as had it done on a previous Jeep.
 
May 7, 2012
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Where did you get the converter cables. There has been problems with some very cheap ones that were very badly made and caused problems and I wonder if you have them, although two failing is unlikely and I think it is probably the car and the plug needs to be checked as the others say.
 
Oct 24, 2007
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A tow bar fitter will have a plug in tester to rule out the towing vehicle. They're usually very helpful. I agree with other contributors that if there's smoke there's likely to be damage and it may not be confined to just the location first identified. The wire/connectors that shorted will be identified in order to rectify the problem and then that/those circuit/s need properly checking through out.
 

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