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E1 Error Code on a Hopkins Reliance Trailer Brake Controller on a 2000 Chevy Silverado

Question:

I have a 2000 Silverado with the factory tow package. I installed a Hopkins Reliance brake controller but keep getting the E1 error. I have the jumper cable to plug from the controller into the plug under the dash. I have lights on the trailer but still no braking action and still the E1 error. I have checked the blade in the 5 oclock position on the trucks 7 blade connector and I get 4.4vdc when the truck is on and 11.83 vdc when the brake is applied. Checking the voltage farther back under the trailer I get around 1.4vdc when no brakes are applied and 4.6vdc when the brakes are applied. The trailer brakes do not engage at all. I have found no brakes in the wires heading back to the brakes and Im at a loss now. The trailer is a 1973 Security Traveler. Short of tearing the brakes completely apart Im not sure what to do. Thanks in advance.

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Expert Reply:

The E1 error code on the Reliance brake controller indicates that a trailer is not connected. If the trailer IS connected and you get the E1 code, a probable cause is a dirty trailer connector. Check the trailer connector on the trailer and on the vehicle. Clean out any dirt or corrosion. Corrosion can build up behind the connectors where the wires attach as well.

It sounds like the proper voltage is getting at least to the trailer connectors. You can also examine the trailer brake magnets themselves. If you see the windings coming through then they need to be replaced. I have included a link to an FAQ article for you on how you can further test the magnets.

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