Trailer Brakes Only Work with Manual Override and Not With Brake Pedal on 2009 Dodge Ram 1500

Question:

I was setting up the trailer brakes on my 2009 ram 1500. I dont think the brakes are activating when using the brake pedal. I can hear a clicking of a relay in the brake controller but cannot feel any difference. When i watch the display while braking, the controller it always displays 0.5 regardless of brake pedal pressure. Should it not display the value of braking being applied? for example, a higher number for higher brake pressure? Also, when i manually activate the brakes, they do work but will not lock up the trailer tires even when the controller is on its highest settings.

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Expert Reply:

Nine times out of ten, it is not the brake controller that is causing the problem. But in this case, with the output not changing when you step on the brake pedal, there does seem to be an issue. Typically when there is no braking with the brake pedal that indicates a connection problem with the red wire. Test for power on the red wire using a circuit tester such as # PTW2992. It should have power when the pedal is pressed.

If it does not have power when the pedal is pressed check the stop light or CHMSL fuses. Use the owners manual to find their locations. There may also be some additional tow package wiring fuses that you can check while you are in the area.

Be sure that the brake controller is mounted within the range specified in the instructions. So instructions say that the controller can be tilted or turned to one side a little but I strongly advise making it as level as possible.

You will also want to reset the controller by unplugging it for about 15 minutes, plug it back in and go through the set up process again.

Make sure the trailer and vehicle side connectors on your 2009 Dodge Ram 1500 are clean and free of corrosion. And make sure the main trailer connector ground and the grounds for the brake magnets are attached to clean and corrosion free bare metal surfaces.

Inspect the brake magnet wiring and check for any exposed copper strands touching bare metal and fix as needed. Visually inspect the magnets and if you can see the copper windings coming through they will need to be replaced.

If the brakes have not been adjusted in a while that could explain why the manual override on the controller is not giving you the braking power you are looking for.

To further test the brake magnets and to troubleshoot the brake controller more if needed you can follow the help articles I have linked for you.

expert reply by:
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Michael H

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