Troubleshooting Draw-Tite Activator Trailer Brake Controller


i have a 2001 ford f350 that has a drawtite activator 2 in it. the controller was already in the vehicle when i purchased it so i have no instructions. the controller was working as it should the first couple times i hauled a trailer but now it doesnt work at all. sometimes when i press the brake without a trailer hooked up it displays 0.0 but if i hit the manual switch on the controller it will display very faintly what the controller is set at. it is not direct wired it has a connector that goes behind the dash that i cant follow. i have already checked the fuses as well and they are ok.


Expert Reply:

You can test the vehicle wiring for your Draw-Tite Activator brake controller by unplugging it from the under-dash harness. You will need a circuit tester like # 40376 and you will apply this to the pins on the harness connector that the controller plugs into, as shown in the video.

On the connector there will be 4 contacts; Two of these should have signals that will help you verify if power and brake signals are making it to the controller. The contact for the black wire should carry 12V at all times; this is the wire that delivers operating power to the controller from the truck's battery. The contact for the red wire should carry a signal ONLY when you press the brake pedal. This wire brings the brake light switch signal from the pedal that tells the controller to generate brake power. If both of these check out then the issue is in the controller or downstream of it.

Next check both the vehicle socket and the trailer plug for any signs of damaged wires or corrosion. Corrosion can occur inside a connector where it is difficult to see so sometimes a spray-on electrical contact cleaner can help.

If you can borrow another truck or trailer to use for testing this will at least help eliminate one or the other as the cause for the issue. If you use another tow vehicle and its controller operates properly with your trailer then you know the problem is likely to be on the vehicle side. If you borrow another trailer and it works fine with your controller then you know the issue is likely to be on the trailer side.

The written instructions for this unit are linked for you as is a helpful article on troubleshooting brake controller installations.

expert reply by:
Adam R

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