Last weekend while towing my camper I was decending a fairly steep canyon. I was very careful to gear down and tap my brakes rather than ride them to prevent overheating. The trailer brakes were working fine until I got out of the canyon to a lesser or almost even flat grade that did not require so much braking. At that point I started to get the OL display on the break controller and could tell that the trailer brakes were not engaging. Even being as carefull as I was I am sure they did get hot. Could this have burned up the magnets on the brakes or should I look for other problems?
asked by: Darren
On the Pilot Electric Brake Controller, part # 80550, an OL error code would indicate an overload error. The cause of this is most likely a bad ground or a short to the blue brake out put wire. The first thing I would check is the connector on the back of your vehicle. Any dirt or corrosion can be causing a bad ground or a short to the brake out put pin. The solution is to clean out the connector and get rid of any dirt or corrosion. It would also be a good idea to clean out the trailer side connector as well.
There could also be a bad ground connection from the brake controller white wire to the ground point, on the 7-Way ground, or the trailer ground. Again, you will need to check for corrosion, clean it out, and reattach the grounds. A loose or broken wire could also be causing the problem, so if you have inspected all the grounds and there is still a problem, you will need to trace the wires to find any broken spots. It would be a good idea to check the grounds on the trailer as well.
Finally, the electric brake magnets on the trailer could be worn or not working properly, causing the overload. You can visually inspect the magnets and if you can see any of the windings, then they are worn and will need to be replaced.
To test the brake magnets to see if they are working properly, you will need to use a multimeter, like the Buffalo Tools Multimeter, part # BTMT15. We have an FAQ article on how to test the magnets and what to look for as far as resistance, amp draw, and testing for shorts. I am including a link to that FAQ article.
I am also including a link to the instructions on the Pilot brake controller.
expert reply by: Jeff D
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Time Delayed Controller
2 - 6 Brakes