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Why Would Trailer Brakes Only Work With Manual Override Lever and Not Brake Pedal  


Brakes work manually but not with pedal. It is a brake force control and a 2009 chevy silverado 1500 4x4


Expert Reply:

Sounds like your brake controller will apply your trailer brakes if you apply the manual override lever but not when you press the brake pedal. This is a fairly common problem and the solution is the red wire of the brake controller.

Make sure it is connected to a circuit that only sees voltage when the brakes are applied and none when released. Most likely the connection is the issue and just reconnecting the circuit will cause the controller to work again.

It also is very likely it's the CHMSL fuse being blown on your truck. Check fuse location 12 in the fusebox in the side of the dashboard to see if the fuse is blown.

expert reply by:
Jameson C

Richard S.


I have a 2014 f150 with the same problem, the brake pedal wont apply the trailer brakes but the manual control will work with the dash mounted brake controler

Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


If you're sitting still when you test with the pedal then that is likely your problem. Have you tried towing and stopping with your brake pedal? If that doesn't work then you'll want to look for the fuse for the brake pedal in your owner's manual like what Jameson mentioned.

Richard S.


I have been towing my travel trailer and only the manual lever will apply the trailer brakes when attempting to slow down or come to a stop. Ive checked all fuses that have to do with brakes and towing. The brake lights and turn signals are working on trailer just no response from brake pedal to brakes on trailer. Thank you
Etrailer Expert

Jon G.


@RichardS Try checking the red wire going into your brake controller. Make sure that when you press down on your brake pedal that wire is getting hot. If it doesn't get hot and your controller is spliced in with the wiring you might have connected to the wrong wire. If that wire is getting hot then your controller is in need of replacement.
See All (5) Replies to Richard S. ∨

Mike G.


Ok I have similar trouble with my trailer Brakes only working in the manual mode. I have a 2004 Chevy 1500 Z71 4X4 - Brand new RV with Factor Brakes. Our reputable? RV dealership tried for hours testing the system and could not come up with why the trailer brakes will not work when the Brake pedal is depressed. I have checked the CHMSL 10 amp fuse in the side dash fuse box and it is good. I have unplugged the control box connectors and tested the red blue and black wires and all seem to get 22- 25 volts. Could it be related to the Brake pedal switch? Or other system. All l;ights and turn signals work fine on the RV

Zeb R.


I have a 2015 Chevy Silverado with built in brake control. When I use brake pedal the camper brakes don’t work. But they work with manual control on the dash

Etrailer Expert

Chris R.


Just to be sure, are you testing this while driving or just with the truck and trailer parked? The factory unit is proportional, meaning it will send back power based on deceleration (when hitting the brake pedal) - so if you're just testing the controller while parked, it's not going to send anything back when stepping on the pedal. If it's during travel, then there's an issue with the brake input circuit (red wire) like Jameson mentioned above. Since it's a factory unit I would bring the truck up to a local Chevy dealer to have them take a look.



@ChrisR I did the same thing with a 2015 3500. Lifted the trailer and spun the tires on the trailer and they locked up with the foot brake

Les D.


But they may not brake on acceleration or deceleration.
See All (5) Replies to Zeb R. ∨

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