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Troubleshooting Intermittent Trailer Disconnect Message on Brake Controller

Question:

My electric brakes continuously go on and off while driving. My dash read out says check trailer wiring, then trailer connected, the back and forth. The pigtail to the truck has been replaced, the ground in the junction box under the kingpin has been looked at, and did have a couple questionable connections that were repaired. Looked like the wires through the axles were an issue, pulled and moved outside of axles. Double checked connections at each wheel. Power is at each wheel when the a-brake cable is pulled. Im lost and frustrated.

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Expert Reply:

It sounds like you either have a bad ground on your truck/trailer or your brake controller is having issues.

Try checking all of your grounds on your trailer and your vehicle that have to do with the brakes making sure they are all secure and that the grounds are connected to a clean, bare-metal surface as even some paint can cause connection issues. Once that is done (or if you have already done that) then you can check the connector for your trailer and where it connects to your pickup. Be sure that those are clean and free of any corrosion or debris. If there is anything, clean it out and apply some dielectric grease # 11755 to help prevent damage or connection issues in the future.

If all of that checks out then the next thing to check is your brake controller. Cut the blue wire from the brake controller about 6" back from the controller and test with a circuit tester like part # PTW2992. If you get a good connection while applying the manual override then the issue is likely between your brake controller and your vehicle 7-Way. If you still get the intermittent connection then I would have to guess that your brake controller needs to be serviced or replaced.

If you try all of this and you are still having problems please let me know what brake controller you are using and I can assist you further.

expert reply by:
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Jon G

Question:

Thanks for your reply. I have reviewed and most of those things I have already done. One thing I forgot to mention is that if I connect to a different trailer, all is good. If I connect trailer to another truck, no connection. So I have a difficult time believing it is the truck. Thanks.

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Expert Reply:

If the truck is working with another trailer but the gooseneck trailer isn't working with another vehicle then it is definitely on your trailer end.

With this being the case you will need to focus all of your efforts on the trailer and inspecting the brake circuit and grounds to ensure everything is good like I mentioned above.

If you still can't find anything wrong with the trailer then you may want to have a buddy or a shop take a look at it as well. Sometimes it helps to get a fresh pair of eyes on a situation to figure out what is going on.

expert reply by:
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Jon G

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