2021 Ford Edge ST
Just finished setup and first few tows of 2021 Ford Edge ST. As this model is a bit different than ’20 and earlier, thought I’d lay out parts I had installed as well as process to tow. I previously towed a ’16 Equinox so this setup was in order to use the Patriot brake controller unit purchased in ’16 that I already had.
Per the manual, the ST can be flat towed once the “Manual Park Release” procedure is executed. One of the steps in that process is to disconnect the negative on the battery and the manual states that if the vehicle detects motion prior to the negative being disconnected, the electric parking brake will engage, which is a not good thing. Since the Patriot requires DC power, this would be problematic as removing the negative would kill the DC power port in the car. Also, getting to the negative is a royal pain. So, the setup I desired (and got) was:
Base plate install
Run DC power port (cigarette lighter) to battery direct
Run charge line from 6 way to battery to keep battery from draining while towing
Install a battery disconnect to cut the car from the battery
Blue Ox Base Plate (BX2677)
Blue Ox Light Kit (BX88365)
Patriot Break Away (BRK2505)
Prime Products 15’ Cigarette Lighter Extension (P2D-08-0918)
Battery Charge Line
Roadmaster 766 Remote Battery Disconnect
Shop installed the baseplate, light kit, and break away, ran a charge line from the 6-way to the battery, and connected the lighter extension to the battery. The break away and lighter extension pop out on the left side of the floor kind of behind the diagnostic port. There’s an access door where you’d expect fuses to live on the left of the panel but there’s nothing there when you pull it open. So, it’s a convenient spot to tuck the break away and lighter when not in use. Shop also installed the Roadmaster 766 disconnect. The button to disconnect the battery is just behind where the hood release is and the solenoid is mounted to the frame under the hood on the LF wheel well (there’s a factory installed ground there already).
1. Run Edge for 5-10 min, position for attachment to MH, and connect to tow bars and back up to lock in place.
2. Attach safety cables and clip break away cable to the Edge
3. Turn engine off and remove cover to access the Manual Park Release tether
4. Attach umbilical to MH and Edge
5. Start MH
6. Get in Edge and set to Full Accessory Mode (push stop/start without foot on brake)
7. Pull Park Release Tether and lock in place (car should show a message saying “Vehicle not in Park” and will beep/raise holy hell over it)
8. Get out of car and verify the cable is properly locked in place
9. With foot on brake, disengage parking brake, verify OFF
10. Position Patriot brake system and driver seat to make sure Patriot has something to push against
11. Verify Parking Brake is OFF
12. Push start/stop button to turn car off
13. Push Roadmaster disconnect button to disconnect car from battery
14. Plug in Patriot to installed lighter extension and connect break away
15. Power up Patriot and setup
16. Drive MH a bit using mirror and/or a spotter to verify wheels turning freely and no skipping
If you return power to the car by pushing the Roadmaster button, the Parking Brake automatically engages. So, if for some reason you need to restore power to the car (like to move the driver’s seat), you’ll need to get the car to accessory mode, push the brake with your hand or foot, and disengage the Parking Brake again.
I’m sure Steps 1-5 could be done in various order but I don’t like plugging in connections while running. Also, I like to have the MH running before I do all the park release shenanigans. I’m sure it’s 100% ridiculous but I have a “fear” that starting the MH sending charge to the Edge battery will, by some black magic, be perceived by the car and the parking brake will kick on. I know, totally ridiculous, but makes me feel good.
I’ve towed the car with no issues on 3 trips so far for ~2000 mi total with stops along the way (small kids = potty stops). At the stops, I restore power to the car (Parking Brake engaged automatically), waited a few mins for various things to beep and be angry (car not in park, Parking Brake engaged, service engine soon, etc., etc., etc.), and using foot/hand, stepped on brake and started engine to let it run for a 5-10 min. Tried the remote start but found that the car does not like to remote start when it thinks it can freely roll somewhere. Once my 5-10 min car run is done, I turn the Edge off and start the process above at Step 5.
At my destination, I disconnect the umbilical and follow the procedure to re-engage Park outlined in the manual. I’ve also noticed that, at times, the MIL (malfunction indicator light) will remain illuminated after startup. Per the manual, this is an issue with the emissions system detecting a fault rom the battery cuts I guess or perhaps from starting the car with the car manually out of Park…I dunno. I’ve noticed that if you cycle engine on and off very quickly 2-3 times, it will go out and once out, doesn’t come back on until the next time you do all this.