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Wiring New Trailer Tail Lights to a Trailer with Only 2 Wires

Question:

Need to replace taillights on my trailer. Theres two wires that come out of the trailer for the lights. Only red and black. How do I wire those two wires for my tail lights?

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Expert Reply:

It sounds like your trailer tail lights you are using now ground through the mounting hardware. That would be why there are only 2 wires. One of those two wires is going to be for turn signal/brake lights and the other is going to be for running lights.

To determine which wire is which you can plug the trailer up to a vehicle and have someone step on the brake pedal while you test the wires at the back of the trailer using a circuit tester such as # PTW2993. Whichever wire lights up the tester with the brake pedal pressed is the turn signal/brake light wire. That would make the other wire the running lights which you can test by turning on the tow vehicle headlights.

On new lights there is usually going to be a yellow wire on the driver side light for left turn/brake lights and a brown for running lights. There may or may not be a ground wire present. If there is a ground wire, usually white, attach it to a bare metal surface on the trailer frame. If there isn't a ground wire, then the light grounds through the mounting hardware.

The same thing goes for the right side of the trailer only instead of a yellow wire for turn signal and brake lights it will be a green wire.

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