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Troubleshooting no Running Lights on a Trailer Towed by 1996 Ford Ranger

Question:

Cant figure out where disconnect is. Blew up2 elevtrical checkers. Also checked fuses.

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Expert Reply:

The first thing I would check is the running light circuit on the truck side trailer connector to make sure a signal is getting through. Using a circuit tester like # 3808, and test the pin next to the covered ground pin. If the signal is getting through for the running lights then you know the problem is on the trailer side. if it is not, then you know the problem is on the truck side.

You can also check for any broken or loose connection along the wiring to the trailer connector. Finally, make sure the ground is connected to a clean and corrosion free bare metal surface.

If the problem is on the trailer side you can start by checking for and cleaning out any dirt or corrosion in the trailer side connector. Next, move on to checking the main ground from the plug. It should be attached to a clean and corrosion free bare metal surface on the trailer frame. You can also check to verify that the pin on the trailer side for the tail lights matches up with the pin for running lights on the truck.

Next, you can check the grounds at each of the lights. Trailer lights usually ground through the mounting studs and they should be attached to a clean and corrosion free bare metal surface. If the trailer has extra running lights, it may be too much of a power draw on the system and this could cause the lights not to work. You will need to either remove some clearance lights or replace them with LED versions if this is the case.

expert reply by:
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Jameson C

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