Troubleshooting Draw-Tite Activator Brake Controller


Hi there is power to the contoller but just a red dot normally it is set up at was working when I brought the trailer home but not now the 20a and the 30a from the fuse box are ok and clean, is there something I could also check thanks.


Expert Reply:

So your controller worked at one point, but is not now. You are getting the red light on the controller that indicates it is getting power, but the trailer brakes are not working. Is this a good assessment of what you have going on?

According to the operating instructions for the Draw-Tite Activator, if the red LED on the controller is active and the trailer brakes do not work, a problem on the brake output circuit is likely. For starters, review the set-up instructions mentioned in the owners manual to ensure that the controller is set up correctly. Secondly, use a circuit tester like part # 40376 to test the blue wire exiting at the rear of the controller. When the vehicle brake pedal or the manual brake switch on the controller is activated, you should see voltage on that blue wire. If you do NOT show output, test the red wire which should show voltage when the brake pedal is pressed. If you show voltage on the red wire, but no output on the blue wire, the controller is faulty and should be replaced. If you do have output on the blue wire, test the brake output pin on the trailer connector at the rear bumper, which is the pin in the 5:00 position. If you do not read voltage on that pin, check the wire feeding that pin behind the connector. If you have power behind the connector but not on the pin, the trailer connector is damaged or corroded and should be cleaned or replaced. If you do not have power on the wire feeding the pin, then there is a break in the wire somewhere between the trailer connector and the brake controller. You will either need to trace the wire and locate and repair the problem or sever the blue wire behind the controller, bypassing the faulty wire and run a new length of 10 gauge wire (# 10-1-1) from the controller to the trailer connector.

If you are getting power at the brake output pin on the connector, the problem may lie with the trailer brakes themselves. Check the connections at each brake magnet. Each magnet will have two leads, one connected to the brake output circuit, the other is grounded to the trailer frame. Make sure each connection is secure. If that checks out, pull one of the hubs off and examine the face of the brake magnet that rides along the inside or armature surface of the brake drum. If the magnet is worn to the point where the interior copper wiring is visible, the magnets should be replaced.

expert reply by:
Michael L

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