Why Are the Brakes on my Trailer Smoking

Question:

the brakes on the trailer are smoking when I am driving

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Expert Reply:

There could be a few different causes for the brakes to be smoking on your trailer. You came from the Draw-Tite Activator Trailer Brake Controller part # 5100 so I can only assume that you have electric drum brakes. If that is the case then the first thing I would do is remove the wheels/drums and inspect all of the internal components of the braking assemblies (springs/shoes/adjuster wheel). If everything looks good then place the drum back on the assembly and give it a good turn. There should be a slight drag but it should turn rather easily for the most part. If it does not then you need to adjust them using the adjuster wheel on the bottom. Please keep in mind that if you have self-adjust braking assemblies then you will not need to adjust them and you can move on to the next steps.

Once the internal components are inspected you can then move on to checking the bearings. If the bearing are not properly lubed then they can cause excess heat which could be what is causing the smoke you are seeing. A visual inspection would be good but if you removed and repacked each bearing that would be best.

After the bearing are checked you will then need to check for a short on the brake output wire. If you trace this wire from the braking assemblies all the way up to the brake controller in the vehicle you can eliminate this as a problem. You will also need to pay special attention to the trailer connectors and check for corrosion or any loose wires. If the wire is damaged it can be replaced with part # 10-1-1.

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Conner L

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