Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure: Trailers  -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum and Review Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure: Trailers -- Trucks/Trailers Discussion Forum

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 07-11-2004, 22:05 Post: 90596
k9fletch



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

I have been having failure of my trailer brakes but cannot find the source of my troubles.

My brake controller (drawtite) will give an "OL" reading when the brakes are applied (no trailer brakes are working) sometimes, other times they work perfectly. Sometimes just letting off the brakes (during the malfunction) and and reapplying them will make them work. Usually at speeds below 20 mph they will work, or stop malfunctioning and then work.

The trailer is a little over a year old, and about 2000 miles on it with tamdem axles and brakes on all four wheels.
I have been trying to duplicate the trouble in the shop without any success, and I have had the same trouble using a different tow vehicle with the same brand of controller.

I also just drove approximately 250 miles through a lot of road construction(Michigan state symbol is a orange barrel) and had no problems.

Any ideas?






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 07-11-2004, 22:45 Post: 90599
Chief



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

Check and verify the grounds for the trailer plug and socket the plug goes in on the tow vehicle. Also verify the wiring is all properly connected and tight inside the plug. Mine had problems similar to this and it was a loose wire in the trailer plug.






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 07-12-2004, 07:50 Post: 90626
AV8R



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

When I first bought my trailer, I had to re-do the trailer plug because of a simmilar problem.

The ground on the trailer was terrible, and had several of the "clip" splicers in it. These things are the worst thing ever invented!! Even the best trailers have these stupid things on them. My trailer is now 10 years old, and the only wiring problems I have ever had centered around these "clip" splicers.

Snowmobile trailer also needed the ground redone when it was new (way back when).






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 07-12-2004, 09:51 Post: 90637
5picker



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

A wiring or connector problem is almost always the most common failure in an electric brake setup. As mentioned, especially check the ground circut but look at every connection and splice. "Scotchlock" connectors are commonly used where the trailer wiring attaches to the axle wiring and are notoriously known to fail.

Checking with a test lamp may sometimes fool you into thinking a connector is OK too. Sometimes a corroded connector will carry voltage but not enough current to make the brakes work properly.

You may want to eliminate any suspect connections by replacing them with solder/shrink/seal type connectors.
Tim






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 07-12-2004, 09:56 Post: 90638
k9fletch



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

I'll try the ground, but during the brake failure I didn't notice any of the marker lights shorting out. I havn't tried the tearing the plug apart but Ill give it a go.

I completely understand what you are saying about those clip splicers, and this trailer is loaded with them. I was planning to go through and replace them one by one.

Thanks for the help.






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 07-12-2004, 12:32 Post: 90648
yooperpete



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

I had a similar problem that the brakes would intermittently work but all the lights functioned correctly all of the time. I replaced the controller and the problem went away.






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 08-04-2004, 15:20 Post: 92707
earthwrks

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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure

Sounds like you have a self-diagnosing controller. If is anything like mine it is bad. Mine is called a Prodigy by Drawtite. It's a high-end piece of you-know-what. It has been replaced once and still doesn't work like it should. I'm going back to the old reliable---and less-expensive--- one that doesn't have all the fancy electronics which are prone to failure.






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 08-21-2004, 13:09 Post: 94038
k9fletch



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 Intermittent Eletric Brake Failure


Well I don't know what happened with mine but I haven't had a single reoccurrence since I posted the original thread????? It has worked great. I haven't got around to replacing those cheep wire splicersSo Sad

And my Drawtite does have the manual level controls.

I recently discovered when researching a brake controller on a used dump truck I just picked up is that many of the hitch companys that I am familiar with are owned by the same Parent company. Cequent ownes: Teknosha, Draw-Tite, Reese, Hidden hitch, and Wesbar just to name a few.
The brake controller that earthworks refers to is also sold as a Teknosha Prodigy.

Hopefully this info will help you with your next brake controller purchase.






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