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Troubleshooting Poor Trailer Brake Performance

Question:

I have a Prodigy P3 brake controller in my 2003 Ford F250, which has great troubleshooting features built in - including amps. I have been trying for a while to identify the source of low amp draw between my controller and the trailers brakes, leading to poor brake performance. Can I use the 6562 Emulator, along with my P3 controller to at least confirm that the amp draw in the wiring on the truck side is good?

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Expert Reply:

I would first check all the grounds of the trailer and make sure they are making solid corrosion-free connections.

The next thing to check would be the magnets in the brake assemblies. When these wear out can get poor brake performance.

If the magnets show abnormal wear or if you can see the windings beginning to show through the friction surface of the magnet then they will need to be replaced. I attached an FAQ on troubleshooting brake magnets for you to check out.

Another possible problem could be that your brakes are out of adjustment. Do you have manually or self adjusting brake assemblies? If they are manual adjusting brakes I would recommend you check that they are set properly.

To do that you would need to tighten the brakes to the point that the wheel won't turn anymore and then back off 10 clicks. Check out the video I attached that shows this. Fast forward to the 4:35 mark to see the relevant part for you.

Another possibility is that you are overloading your trailer and your brakes are not rated for that weight so they seem to not be performing well enough. You will want to determine what your trailer is rated for and be sure not to exceed that figure.

The Tekonsha 7-Way Emulator # 6562 if hooked up to your 2003 Ford F250's 7-way would tell you if there was current on the brake output circuit, but you could also just use a circuit tester like our part # PTW2993 to do the same thing. I don't think the # 6562 will help you figure out why your trailer brakes aren't performing well so I don't think it would be a good investment for you.

expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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