Installing an Electric Brake Controller on 2007-2013 GM Full-Size Truck or 2007-Present GM SUV

Technical Bulletin

SUBJECT / Summary: Wiring electric brake controls on 2007-2013 GM full size trucks and 2007-present GM SUVs including Cadillac Escalade, Chevy Silverado (new body) Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, GMC Sierra (new body) and GMC Yukon.PROBLEM: General Motors quit offering the plug in type connectors on these vehicles with a factory tow package. These models have four (possibly five) blunt cut wires under the left side of the instrument panel to the left of the steering column. The wires can be identified by a white label and the color of the wires. The wire colors are (1) Red/Black wire, (1) White wire, (1) Light Blue/White wire and (1) Dark Blue wire and possibly (1) Orange wire.Watch a brake controller installation on a 2010 Chevy Silverado Video

Custom Fit Brake Controller

Custom Fit Brake Controller Image
Brake Controller Wires Image
Connect the Brake Controller as Follows:
GM Wire toBrake Control WireFunction
Red/BlackBlackBattery Power
WhiteWhiteGround
Light Blue/WhiteRedBrake Light Signal
Dark BlueBlueBrake Output to Trailer
OrangeN/ACenter High Mount Stop Lamp (CHMSL)
SOLUTION: There are two wires under the hood that have to be connected to make the tow package functional, one is the power wire to the brake control and the other is the battery charge line to the 7 way connector. These wires are both Red/Black with eyelets on them. They are coiled up under the hood and will need to be connected to the under hood fuse box. One of the wires is located between the under hood fuse box and the left (driver) side fender. The other is located under the master cylinder/brake booster assembly.
Battery Charge Wire and Brake Control Wire Image
The battery charge wire and the power wire to the brake control have different size eyelets on them and will connect to the threaded studs under the Gray handle at the front of the fuse box. The two studs are also different size.NOTE: GM does not supply the attaching nut required to secure the wires to the studs. These can be obtained locally. You will need (1) M6 x 1.0 nut and (1) M8 x 1.25 nut.CAUTION: Raising the Gray handle more than 3/8 of an inch to gain access to the studs may result in the fuse box coming disconnected from the electrical connector. If disconnection occurs you may have to consult your local GM dealership for repairs.Bulletin Date: 3/27/2009Bulletin Number: TB0007Updated By: Dani S.Last Updated: 3/3/2021

Questions and Comments about this Article

Matt P.

Hi, I installed as noted and when I shut the truck off the brake controller doesn’t power down. I’m wondering If that’s normal and if I have to install a in toggle to power down cause the constant power draw would kill the battery. Thanks for any info or if I wired something wrong

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Every brake controller that I am aware of will go into a sleep mode after 15 minutes of inactivity. These sleep modes pull the smallest amount of power and would not drain your vehicle battery any time soon. If your tow vehicle sits for long periods without being started then it may be beneficial to unplug the harness from the back of the controller between tows. Otherwise, the small amount of power needed in sleep mode will allow the controller to maintain any settings that you've programed in your brake controller.

Cqfarm

Thanks. When I complete all these steps, my brake controller reads n.c. and I traced the issue to the blue wire from the suv is not active when I put a voltmeter on it. I attached both red lines to the studs by the fuse box and those read active but the blue wire is not. Is there a fuse or something else that I need to do to get power going to it?

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Are you referring to the blue wire coming out of the back of the brake controller? One thing to keep in mind is that if your brake controller is proportional and you're trying to test signal on this wire while the vehicle and connected trailer are parked, the controller may not be sending any signal to the trailer brakes since the controller isn't detecting any movement. There may also be a fuse missing in your vehicle's fuse box. You can find the trailer brake controller fuse location in the owner's manual and then check the corresponding location in your vehicle's fuse box.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

Are you referring to the blue wire coming out of the back of the brake controller? One thing to keep in mind is that if your brake controller is proportional and you're trying to test signal on this wire while the vehicle and connected trailer are parked, the controller may not be sending any signal to the trailer brakes since the controller isn't detecting any movement. There may also be a fuse missing in your vehicle's fuse box. You can find the trailer brake controller fuse location in the owner's manual and then check the corresponding location in your vehicle's fuse box.

Johnny H.

This info given above & TSB is exactly what I needed to know! And the video of '10 Silverado was what I needed to see for my '10 Suburban!

Kim

Can you tell me what the harness connector is for in the upper right corner of the top picture?

Reply from Anonimouse

@Kim That is the OBD2 (On Board Diagnostics) connector. When your engine light is on, you can connect a code reader to it to read engine trouble codes. Most auto shops have code readers and will do it for free. Some more advanced readers will allow you to view and adjust settings in the vehicles computer.

Ira C.

And these excellent docs are why I buy everything from etrailer. Thanks for producing all of this TIME-SAVING documentation!

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you for the kind words!

Jay I.

Just an FYI my 2013 Yukon xl had the brake control wire taped to the wire harness so you couldn’t see it at all.

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Jon G.

Thank you for the input!

Charles

This article and the related FAQ from your site saved my day. I would have never figured out that GM did not connect the power wire for the brake controller, or where it would be located. Once I knew that...simple install. However, I suggest you add this info to the YouTube video on installing a Tekonsha Voyager controller on a 2012 Silverado truck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rpeDN6tr9HU as this detail is not mentioned there, and that was my first resource.

Reply from Rudy B.

@Charles I have a 2012 Chevy Silverado I'm having a hard time figuring out how to install a electric brake controller. Don't know where to connect wires to. Can you help

Etrailer Expert
Reply from Victoria B.

@RudyB I have linked an installation video showing a brake controller being installed on a 2010 Silverado, which will be the same process as your 2012.



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