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Troubleshooting Tekonsha Commander Brake Controller


I installed an older Tekonsha Commander on my 2004 Dodge Ram using the Harness P 3020 that I purchased at Etrailer. I had to remove the controller side plug and hard wire the original controller plug to harness as per your excellent advice. When I plug in my trailer to the factory 7 way, the controller does not light single green light nor does it activate the brakes when applied also no progressive red lights on controller. With test light I have power to controller plug: Black wire = constant power Red wire = Power when Brake applied. I even disconnected plug and used the white wire as ground for my test light with same results: Black = Power Red = Power when brake applied. I do not get any power on Blue wire Electric Brake in any scenario: Brake Applied with Trailer plugged into 7way or Brake applied w/o Trailer plugged into 7way. Should Blue wire power if brake applied in either scenario? Could Controller be bad? Is there further testing I can do that Ive over looked? HELP!!!!!!!!! Its camping season and I need the brakes on my 28foot camper to work!!!!!!!


Expert Reply:

Given the testing you've already completed, power is reaching the controller and the vehicle is correctly delivering the stop lamp signal to the controller via the red wire. However, if you're not getting any power on the blue wire when tested directly after exiting the rear of the controller with the brake pedal or with the manual brake switch, the controller is faulty and should be replaced.

I'd recommend going with a proportional controller like the Tekonsha Primus, part # TK90160. A proportional controller can sense how quickly the tow vehicle is braking, and will send the correct amount of voltage to the trailer brakes so the vehicle and trailer stop at the same rate. The older time delayed controllers, like your Commander will always send the same amount of voltage to the trailer brakes (according to how you've adjusted it) whether you've tapped on the pedal or having a full out panic stop. A proportional controller provides safer, more predictable braking.

expert reply by:
Mike L

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