Troubleshooting the Electric Trailer Brake Controller on 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD

Question:

I have a 2011 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD equipped with the factory integrated trailer brake control system. The trailer brakes have stopped working. Im trying to diagnose the cause. Used a tester at the truck plug in the bumper. turn signals, reverse light, and brake lights work but I have no output on the trailer brake output line. Occasionally there is a small blipinch which im assuming is the truck trying to detect a trailer being connected. It all worked 2 weeks ago and the trailer brakes work when connected to a different truck. Is there a way to test the relay? Does anybody have a diagram showing how power flows. Im assuming the brakes activate, signal to module on chasis, then module to relay, and relay to male plug. Which wire on the harness going to the relay would I check to ensure the module is working correctly? Ive called dealerships to get a wiring diagram but nobody seems to want to share. Trying to find out exactly how the wiring works before I start undoing the tape and protective sleeve to chase wires.

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Expert Reply:

For your 2011 Chevy Silverado 2500 with integrated brake controller, the brake output wire will run directly from your controller to the 7-way. You can test the 5 o'clock pin of your connector for braking function using an incandescent tester like # PTW2993. An incandescent tester will draw power like a connected trailer would to give the unit signal that a trailer is connected to allow function. You can then use the manual override feature to test function. The light should get brighter as the braking power increases.

I've attached articles to assist in wire connection and testing brake controls to assist. The only way to test a relay is to replace the location with a relay you know works properly, but there is not a relay between the output and the trailer connector.

If you determine the brake controller is not functioning correctly, I recommend replacing the factory unit with the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 # 90195. This will be a higher quality and more reliable controller for you. I've attached an article to assist. No plug is present under the dash, but the needed wires are already run. You will connect the brake controller wiring with the vehicle wiring already present under the dash.

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Jason S

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