Does the Tekonsha P3 Trailer Brake Controller Turn Off or Stay On All the Time


I received my controller and cable today super quick service, and put it in with no problems. The display on the P3 remains lit, even with the truck shut off. Is that normal? Is there a way to turn it off?


Expert Reply:

The P3 brake controller, # 90195, will go into a sort of sleep mode after it detects no movement for 15 minutes. While it is on it does not draw very much power. What you can do to make sure it goes to sleep is exit the truck after turning it off, walk away for 15 minutes or so, then come back and peek in through the window to see if it has turned off. Of course you could always unplug the controller if you wanted.

If it has not, there may be a wiring issue or something causing the controller to think there is a trailer attached and drawing power. Corrosion in the vehicle/trailer side connectors could cause a short that would keep the brake controller on. I have included a link to an FAQ article that covers other aspects of brake controller troubleshooting.

If the controller not turning off is happening with the trailer connected, then there could also be an issue with the trailer brake magnets. I have included another FAQ that covers testing brake magnets for you.

If you are using the OEM cable, make sure that you have it attached to the correct wires on the brake controller. Some factory harnesses have an illumination function that is not used by aftermarket controllers. On a brake controller, the white wire is ground, black is 12 volt power, blue is output to the trailer brakes, and red is input from the brake switch.

expert reply by:
Michael H

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