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Error Code E1 and E2 on a Hopkins Reliance Brake Controller

Question:

When the Tahoe goose neck trailer is attached the relience brake controller reads e-2 but not all the time? Could it just be the connection? When the trailer is not connected it reads e-1 which I understand is OK. Could it be the ground?

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Expert Reply:

The E2 error on your Hopkins brake controller indicates a short to the blue wire. The most likely culprit is a dirty or corroded vehicle/trailer connector and is causing power draw from another circuit to the brake circuit. Clean both connectors and also check the back where the wires attach because corrosion can build up there as well.

If this does not solve the issue, you should test the controller itself to see if it is the problem. Sever the blue wire a few inches from the back of the controller. Use a circuit tester like # 40376 if needed to test the end on the brake controller. Apply the manual override on full. The blue wire should show power. If it shows power at any other time then there is a problem with the internal circuitry of the controller and it will need to be replaced.

If you are still getting the error the next most likely culprit is a malfunctioning brake magnet on the trailer. Start checking by inspecting the brake magnet wiring. Make sure the ground wires are attached to clean and corrosion free bare metal surfaces. Check the power wires to make sure they are not damaged and that there is no exposed wiring touching the metal trailer frame.

You can then visually inspect the magnets for wear. If you can see the windings coming through the magnets will need to be replaced. You can also check the magnets to make sure they are drawing the correct amount of current. I have included a link to an FAQ article that explains how to do this. I recommend using the section titled Testing Individual Brake Magnets.

The E1 error code indicates a trailer is not connected. If you ever get this error and the trailer IS connected a probable cause is a dirty trailer connector. Check the trailer connector on the trailer and on the vehicle. Clean out any dirt or corrosion. Corrosion can build up behind the connectors where the wires attach as well.

It is also possible that you have blown the stop light fuse. Check the owners manual for the location of the stop light fuse and replace it if needed. A blown stop light fuse would cause the brakes not to work with the brake pedal. If the 3rd brake light on the truck is not functioning, it is a sure sign that the fuse is blown. Use a tester on the red brake controller wire to make sure it shows a signal when the brake is applied.

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Michael H

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