Red Light Stays On All the Time with Draw-Tite Act I Brake Controller with Trailer Connected

Question:

had corrosion issues on the trailer plug, made a mistake on rewire and blew fuse on truck. now red lite stays lit when trailer is plugged in...did i likely fry the brake controller? ps truck was bought used with the controller installed, no instructions on hand

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Expert Reply:

It sounds like you have a short circuit still. The likely place is at the trailer connectors since you stated there was a corrosion problem. Corrosion can build up at the pins but also behind each connector where the wires attach. Corrosion can be causing the 12 volt circuit to contact the brake circuit creating a short and making the brake controller think the brakes are being applied.

If you eliminate shorts at the trailer connector and are still having problems, it could be the brake controller or the brake magnets on the trailer.

To test the brake controller, first make sure you do not have a short circuit at the connector. Disconnect the trailer and then sever the blue wire behind the brake controller. Use a circuit tester like # ALL640595 if needed to test the blue wire when stepping on the brake and then when using the manual override.

If it only shows power with the brake or override then it is working properly. If it shows power all the time, then there is something wrong inside the brake controller and it will need to be replaced.

If the brake controller is working properly then you can test the brake magnets. Start with a visual inspection. If you can see the windings coming through the magnets will need to be replaced. Make sure the wiring to the magnets is intact. One wire is ground and should be attached to a clean metal surface on the trailer. The other wire goes to the brake wire from the 7-Way trailer connector.

Look for any nicks in the wiring that may be touching the metal trailer frame. This can create a short circuit. To further test the magnets, I have included a link to an FAQ article that will help. I have also included a link to the instructions for the brake controller.

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Michael H

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