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12 Volt Power on the Brake Output Pin All the Time On 7-Way Trailer Connector on 1998 Ford Explorer  


I have a 7-way RV plug installed on a 1998 Ford Explorer. While rewiring the plug and testing it, I discovered that I have 12 volts of power on both the black wire, which I expected, but also on the Blue trailer brake wire. This was the case without the brake pressed or the manual trailer brake actuated. I was wondering if this is normal. Bottom line, is it normal to have power on the blue trailer brake wire on the vehicle side of the plug when nothing is connected and no brake manual or brake pedal is applied?


Helpful Expert Reply:

There can be a very small amount of power on the brake output circuit of a 7-Way (5:00 position) which would be the brake controller checking for a trailer, but there should not be 12 volts of power. That indicates a short of some kind or a problem with the brake controller. Since you said you recently added the 7-Way it is possible that inside the connector where the wires attach the 12 volt circuit wire is touching the brake output circuit causing the constant draw.

If you address that issue, if present, and you still get 12 volts on the brake output circuit then the likely culprit is the brake controller. To test the brake controller, sever the blue wire a few inches back for the back of the controller. Then use your tester to test the end coming out of the controller. It should only show power when you apply the manual override. If it shows power at any other time then there is something wrong inside the controller and it will need to be replaced.

I have included links to our wiring and troubleshooting brake controllers FAQs for you as well.

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