The Red Light on the Draw-Tite Activator Stays Lit on a 2004 Chevrolet Silverado 1500

Question:

I wired up a Drawtite activator break control in my 2004 Chevrolet silverado 1500. The red light on the brake control stays lit, sometimes it doesnt, without a trailer connected. Is this wiring issue, or a faulty brake control?

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Expert Reply:

The issue could be a wiring issue or a faulty brake controller. The red light should only come on when you step on the brake pedal or when you push the manual override lever, with or without a trailer connected.

The first step I would take is to make sure the brake controller is installed properly. Your 2004 Chevrolet Silverado should have a port under the dash for a plug-in style wiring harness like part # 3015-P. If you are not using a plug-in wiring adapter, I recommend using this harness and connecting to the port on your truck designed for a brake controller.

If you are using a plug-in style harness, it is possible that red wire on the harness is in the wrong spot on the tan connector (see photo). GM changed the pin locations on the brake controller port between 2002 and 2003 and their harnesses are commonly confused since it was changed in the same generation of those trucks. I have attached a link to a previous question I answered regarding this particular issue for you to check out. It also has a video showing how to change the location of the red wire.

If you hardwired the brake controller, there is a possibility that the red wire was attached to the wrong wire on the truck. The red wire should be connected to a dedicated brake light wire, typically found at the brake light switch above the brake pedal. If it is connected to a wire that has power with any other function, such as headlights or an illumination circuit, it would act as if you are stepping on the brake pedal, even when you are not.

If the brake controller is installed properly and the red light comes on without stepping on the brake pedal or pushing the manual override, then there could be an issue with the brake controller. Brake controllers are not internally serviceable, so it would have to be replaced. If you find that the brake controller is the problem and need a replacement, I recommend looking into the Prodigy P2 Brake Controller, # 90885. This is one of the most popular brake controllers on the market because it is easy to install and use. It is also compatible with the plug-in wiring adapter, # 3015-P.

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John H

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