Draw Tite Activator Brake Controller 5100 Not Working on 2000 Ford F-250

Question:

My Draw TIte Actuator is not working either with the brake pedal or manual control The sync works and the control works when setting the brakes When trying to use the manual control it dose not slow the trailer. All the lighting is working on the trailer .stop lights turn signal all working. The Draw Tite is about 8 years old and has been in several trucks and has not been a problem befor. There is power to the plug on truck and the small light does come on when pushing the brake or manual control. Do you think it could be the unit itself. Would appreciate any help

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Expert Reply:

You can test the functioning of your Draw-Tite Activator brake controller with a circuit tester such as # 40376. Since the controller display lights up we know you have 12V power reaching it.

What you can test first is the blue brake output wire. Apply the circuit tester to the blue wire and press the brake pedal and then the manual override. You should detect an output voltage on the blue wire in both cases. If you do not, then next test the red wire. This red wire carries the brake input signal from the brake pedal stop light switch. This red wire should carry a signal only when the brake pedal is pressed. If there is signal going in on the red wire but no signal coming out on the blue, then the controller is damaged.

If neither wire carries a signal and if you are using a plug-and-play harness to connect your Activator to your truck there may be corrosion or damage in the harness. We offer part # 3035-P for connection of the controller to the under-dash port. Check the condition of the harness connectors for bent, damaged or corroded contacts and replace the harness if necessary.

If you have signals on both red and blue wires then you know the controller is working and you can move on to test the trailer connector on the truck. With a helper in the truck to press the brake pedal, apply the grounded tester to the pin for the brake signal. (I have linked an article that illustrates the various types of vehicle-side trailer connectors and which pin on each typically carries the brake signal.) If there is no voltage on the brake controller pin then there could be a problem with the trailer connector itself or the wiring upstream of it.

Look for any signs of even slight greenish or whitish discoloration on the connector contact surfaces. Corrosion will not always be severe and obvious. Any suspect contacts should be cleaned with an electrical contact cleaner or the connector should be replaced. You can also check the condition of any OEM connectors upstream of the trailer connector itself. I have also linked an article concerning brake controller troubleshooting.

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Adam R

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