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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A kind follow up on my previous question,
I have installed
  • tow hatch,
  • 7 way wiring
  • break controller.
I think these could only give me 2000 lbs tow capacity.

My question is what else exactly is in the factory tow package.
  • radiator ? cooling ? transmission ?
  • could I have them installed in a relatively affordable way?
My purpose is to get the 5000 lbs tow capacity. thanks!
2012 Enclave
 

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I have thought about it for my 2008, but decided against all the extras I would have to do.
Yes, oil cooler, transmission fluid cooler, and the stock transmission probably isn't gear for low gear torques like a trailering package would have.
 

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2012 Buick Enclave Avenir AWD
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A kind follow up on my previous question,
I have installed
  • tow hatch,
  • 7 way wiring
  • break controller.
I think these could only give me 2000 lbs tow capacity.

My question is what else exactly is in the factory tow package.
  • radiator ? cooling ? transmission ?
  • could I have them installed in a relatively affordable way?
My purpose is to get the 5000 lbs tow capacity. thanks!
2012 Enclave
This is what's included in the tow pkg.
  • Trailer Hitch1
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling system
  • Hitch Guidance with Hitch View2
  • Increases towing capacity to 5,000 lbs.
  • Includes Tow/Haul mode
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This is what's included in the tow pkg.
  • Trailer Hitch1
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling system
  • Hitch Guidance with Hitch View2
  • Increases towing capacity to 5,000 lbs.
  • Includes Tow/Haul mode
This is what's included in the tow pkg.
  • Trailer Hitch1
  • Heavy-duty engine cooling system
  • Hitch Guidance with Hitch View2
  • Increases towing capacity to 5,000 lbs.
  • Includes Tow/Haul mode
Thanks for the info!
Is that a correct understanding that the only important part I miss is 'Heavy-duty engine cooling system' ?

  • Hitch guidance with Hitch View 2, is that just additional camera?
  • 5000 lbs is the result,
  • Tow Haul mode is a switch to enable the heavy - duty engine cooling ?
 

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2012 Buick Enclave Avenir AWD
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Thanks for the info!
Is that a correct understanding that the only important part I miss is 'Heavy-duty engine cooling system' ?

  • Hitch guidance with Hitch View 2, is that just additional camera?
  • 5000 lbs is the result,
  • Tow Haul mode is a switch to enable the heavy - duty engine cooling ?
Yes, additional camera pointing down at the hitch for easy alignment, the Tow Haul mode changes the transmission RPM shifting points similar to what the Sport Mode does.
 

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2012 Buick Enclave Avenir AWD
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Yes, additional camera pointing down at the hitch for easy alignment, the Tow Haul mode changes the transmission RPM shifting points similar to what the Sport Mode does.
I believe the heavy duty cooling would be the most important aspect to give you a 5,000 lb. towing capacity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I believe the heavy duty cooling would be the most important aspect to give you a 5,000 lb. towing capacity.
thanks!
- do you think the dealer is able to install the Tow/mode switch and heavy duty cooling for a 2012 enclave ?
 

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I dont recall which year-- but I clearly remember 2009-2011 or so owners on the Traverse and Acadias... And probably the Enclaves too, but they simply bought the correct button panel/switch and plugged it in. the vehicle saw the new switches- and when you pressed the tow haul button- the vehicle would do what the tow haul button is supposed to do---change the shift patterns, change the blinking on the side mirror lights, change the alternators charging to ALWAYS ON.
There are definitely a few threads on this. It was essentially plug and play. I just dont remember what year members posted it was still plug and play.

As for Heavy duty cooling.
the engines and transmissions are identical in both models.
The only difference is the radiator. HD vs regular.
I cant remember the RPO code. But I believe the HD radiator had its own RPO code that you could check on the list in your glove box.
Somewhere along - apparently GM decided to just use 1 radiator in all models. This from posts I read. I believe everyone received a HD radiator.

There are post of members buying the HD radiator.
they said dimensionally the same. Differences were the number of coolant rows and fins.... for greater heat dissipation.

So you just have to verify what radiator you have. if need be- buy a HD radiator (they are super cheap now). and swap them.
 
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read this.
 

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as for the switch- you just had to order the right one--- whether you had heated seats etc etc
 

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I researched this when I was looking to buy a 2018 - 2021 Enclave until one came up for sale at a great price that had the factory towing package. You get the Tow/Haul button which changes the shift points and keeps the car from shifting into 9th. In the 2018, the tow/haul button is the same as sport mode. Probably does the same with the older models with less gears. You get the hitch and trailer plug. Finally, you get the HD cooling which is just a different radiator that provides for better cooling for the transmission fluid. At 5,000 lbs, I wouldn't be concerned about the tow/haul button. With the manual shift paddles, you can limit the max gear and give it a little more gas to force the trans to a lower gear if it feels like the current gear is to high. The hitch and plug are easy add-ons. The HD radiator is actually less expensive than the standard radiator. It's a direct swap so you can just remove the standard and install the HD. Or you can install an aftermarket trans cooler which would probably cost more after you buy the cooler and fabricate new lines.

On the 2017 and older models, there's a connector under the dash for a brake controller. On the 2018+, there's a taped up bundle of 4 wires with blunt ends under the left plastic foot rest under the carpet. Red w blue stripe = Always on Power (12v+), Blue = To trailer brakes, Black = Ground and White w blue stripe = 12v signal when brakes are pressed.

I hooked up my brake controller a couple days ago and everything is working perfectly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the information.
I have the hitch, 7 way wire and brake controller installed at a tow and truck shop, the installation of the controller was a little tricky and took a longer than expected, but the mechanic did it eventually.

Then what is left seems to be:
  • Tow Button (sport mode)
  • HD radiator

These 2 pieces are both available on line and seems not hard to install.
but is that a good understanding that if I do not tow heavy (say < 3000 lbs) do not drive fast (< 60) and do not tow long (1 hours ),
then these 2 piece are actually optional.

The only time I tow was a trailer (2000 lbs) at around 60 m/h for about 1.5 hour. I noticed the RPM was quite high (3000 at 60 m/h, 2500 at 50m/h) but engine temperature was normal.
 

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The key to getting to the 5000 lb rating is keeping the transmission fluid at an acceptable temperature. I'd focus on that if I was in the same situation.

The 2012 Owner's Manual basically says that the tow mode is for heavy trailering such as when you are towing loads that are over 75% of the GCWR which is 9500 lbs with the factory tow package. It's also good for rolling terrain, stop and go traffic and busy parking lots. If you are mostly on the highway, tow mode isn't needed and using it can significantly lower your gas mileage.

The manual makes reference to blunt cut wires under the steering column on the 2012 if you have the factory tow package. The wording leads me to think that if you don't have the factory tow package, the wires aren't there. I don't know if that's true or not but if so, that would explain why it took a while to accomplish. My truck didn't come with the factory tow package so I had to manually run wires for the brake controller which took a couple hours to accomplish.
 

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These 2 pieces are both available on line and seems not hard to install.
but is that a good understanding that if I do not tow heavy (say < 3000 lbs) do not drive fast (< 60) and do not tow long (1 hours ),
then these 2 piece are actually optional.
I have the tow package, but never use tow/haul mode. I don't tow more than about 3000 lbs. and don't like the increased shift points nor the lack of 9th gear. As KBuick75 stated above, you can always shift down manually if it doesn't downshift by itself. You may want to try towing with the stock radiator and watch the oil and transmission temperature. You can always upgrade it later, if necessary.
 

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