Troubleshooting a Tekonsha Draw-Tite Activator II

Question:

Hi i have the above controler when traveling along at speed and apply brakes on the car and i slow but dont come to a complete stop when i release the brake pedal the trailer brake seems to get a pulse from the contoller as the LED goes red for a millisecond and brings the brakes on the trailer. i have even turned the controoler all the way to the off position and it still does it can you help regards

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Expert Reply:

It sounds like there is either a problem with the wiring of your Activator II Brake Controller # 5100, the wiring of your vehicle/trailer 7-way or the # 5100 is bad.

The first thing to check will be the 7-way of your vehicle. You will want to visually inspect the front and back of the connector looking for loose wiring or corrosion and fix as necessary. Next, you will want to test the brake output circuit of the 7-way with a circuit tester, like our # BTMT15, for the correct voltage when the brakes are applied. If you see a voltage spike when the brake is released then you have ruled out the trailer as the problem. If there is no spike then you will want to connect your vehicle to your trailer and test for voltage at the back of the trailer side connector to see if it will spike again. If so, then the problem is most likely in the trailer side connector. You will want to check for shorts, loose wiring and corrosion and fix as necessary.

If you determine that the problem is on the vehicle side of the equation you will want to start at the vehicle connector on the vehicle and test for voltage spikes and then work up from there to the wiring of the # 5100. If you find that the wiring is fine then you will need to replace the # 5100. Check out the FAQ I attached on brake controller installations for you to check out as well as installation instructions for the # 5100.

I attached an FAQ on trailer wiring for you to check out also.

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Jameson C

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Follow up Questions

Steve D.

I currently have this on a ford f150 lariat that I bought with it in it. Have never had problems. I have never used a trailer that uses it and it has ran my battery dead and is making a clicking sound. I can press the button/squeeze the button and it makes a noise and then continues to click when I let go. I do NOT have a trailer connected? It is running my battery dead? Why? 76452

Reply from Chris R.

The Activator II Brake Controller (as with any traditional controller) gets its power from the truck's battery. With that being said it should never draw near enough that it actually depletes it (unless your truck sat idle for months and months). There's likely a short somewhere on the wire that's causing an issue - inspect all the wiring coming from the controller and look for damaged/exposed portions that need to be replaced. It's also possible that the dead battery was completely unrelated. 62385

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