Hitch Harness Fuse

The harness that comes with the 2003–04 OEM hitch has a 5A fuse. The fuse protects a circuit that splits the tailight, brake, and turn signal outputs to accommodate a standard "flat four" trailer light connector.

The splitter circuit and fuse are hidden behind the large interior plastic liner ("garnish") on the passenger's side. While installing the hitch, I thought it was weird to put a fuse in such an inaccessible place, but dutifully followed Honda's instructions. A long trip followed with perfect trailer-light function.

A year later I rented a trailer again, hooked up the lights, and poof! No taillights on the trailer. I'm guessing there was resistance in the trailer's wiring sufficient to blow the fuse on the Element. Pulling the inside trim off to get at the fuse was absolutely no fun under the circumstances.

So after replacing the fuse, I drilled a hole in the liner, below and to the right of the rear power outlet; glued the top of the fuse holder to a hole cover; and plugged the cover into the hole. Now the fuse is accessible—as it should have been designed to be. And with the fuse holder glued to the hole cover, there's no need to fish around for the fuse.

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