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Old 04-18-2017, 04:58 PM   #1
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Tundra brake controller operation.....

Yesterday, as I was leaving my campsite, I checked the trailer brakes using the manual control on my built-in brake controller on the Tundra. I was going super slow and this is something I always do when I first drive off.

Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Other than the truck and trailer still moving forward.

Okay, truck brakes were still working. Fortunately I was in a large flat area, so I had plenty of room/time to fiddle with the brakes.

Got out to double check the connection between the trailer and the truck was still in place. Yep, it was. Scratching head in the drizzle trying to figure out what else to look at. Couldn't think of anything, so I got back in.

Kept using the manual controller as well as the truck brakes. Played around with the numbers (had it set at 5 originally).

The brakes finally started working after about 6-7 attempts.

However, it's now grabbing super hard. So much so that the truck tires sounded/felt like they were skidding across the dirt.

Yep, freak out time.

They grabbed quite a few times and then settled down.

So, what the heck was going on? I'm assuming I need ETI to look at the brakes. I'm freaked out this will happen in an area where I won't have room to fiddle with the system (such as leaving my house and pulling onto a busy road).

I called them at 8:30 this AM to try to set up a service appt for that and 2 other things (such as replacing the broken window). Still waiting for a call back, 6.5 hours later. Two messages and an email later.

Thanks

(Oh, and never mind my leaf springs on the truck making a ton of noise on Saturday when I wasn't pulling. If it's not one thing, it's another!)
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:05 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NW Cat Owner View Post
Yesterday, as I was leaving my campsite, I checked the trailer brakes using the manual control on my built-in brake controller on the Tundra. I was going super slow and this is something I always do when I first drive off.

Nothing! Absolutely nothing! Other than the truck and trailer still moving forward.

Okay, truck brakes were still working. Fortunately I was in a large flat area, so I had plenty of room/time to fiddle with the brakes.

Got out to double check the connection between the trailer and the truck was still in place. Yep, it was. Scratching head in the drizzle trying to figure out what else to look at. Couldn't think of anything, so I got back in.

Kept using the manual controller as well as the truck brakes. Played around with the numbers (had it set at 5 originally).

The brakes finally started working after about 6-7 attempts.

However, it's now grabbing super hard. So much so that the truck tires sounded/felt like they were skidding across the dirt.

Yep, freak out time.

They grabbed quite a few times and then settled down.

So, what the heck was going on? I'm assuming I need ETI to look at the brakes. I'm freaked out this will happen in an area where I won't have room to fiddle with the system (such as leaving my house and pulling onto a busy road).

I called them at 8:30 this AM to try to set up a service appt for that and 2 other things (such as replacing the broken window). Still waiting for a call back, 6.5 hours later. Two messages and an email later.

Thanks

(Oh, and never mind my leaf springs on the truck making a ton of noise on Saturday when I wasn't pulling. If it's not one thing, it's another!)
Did you get anyone to check on all the "vehicle" lights on the trailer. It could be that the contacts in the vehicle plug in have somehow got dirty and the electrical connection is poor. Its unlikely that its the trailer brakes on their own. You could try cleaning both the vehicle side and the trailer side of the 7 pin connection?
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:09 PM   #3
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This is hubby
Did you have the brakes adjusted after they wore in?
We could tell the difference between before and after.
I was surprised to find one of mine took 10 clicks before it even started to touch.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:15 PM   #4
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They are set too high when grabbing like that.

We have a Prodigy controller and I have to see "0.0" when hooking up to know that the brakes are connected.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:20 PM   #5
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This is hubby
Did you have the brakes adjusted after they wore in?
We could tell the difference between before and after.
I was surprised to find one of mine took 10 clicks before it even started to touch.
It's doubtful adjustment is the problem. The OP indicates that they function intermittently, and at one point, really grabbed. I would go with the dirty connection theory previously posted, or a problem with the controller, either its electronics or a poor connection at the controller's harness.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:27 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by float5 View Post
They are set too high when grabbing like that.

We have a Prodigy controller and I have to see "0.0" when hooking up to know that the brakes are connected.
I've had them set at 5.0 for other trips and didn't experience any problems, including going down there. I kept lowering the number when they were grabbing and then went slowly back up to 4.0 when they stopped grabbing.

I'll check the connection cable to see if it's dirty. Yes, I did check that the lights were working before I drove off. Least the tail and turn signals. There wasn't anyone around that I could ask to check the brake lights.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wetzk View Post
This is hubby
Did you have the brakes adjusted after they wore in?
We could tell the difference between before and after.
I was surprised to find one of mine took 10 clicks before it even started to touch.
I have absolutely no idea what this means!

When do brakes get adjusted? Worn in? Yep, clueless about this.

Trailer picked up on Black Friday 2016. Brand new trailer. I've probably put appx 2000 miles on it since then.

Thanks
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:38 PM   #8
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I've had many issues with the connection in the past with all my trailers (horse etc) its been dirty or a lose connection - some lights work some don't. i often tape it in so it wont loosen up.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:45 PM   #9
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Could be a problem with your brake controller. I have a tekonsha p3 and know they had a run of bad ones. Mine was acting similar to that last year where it seemed ok but every 5-6 applications the the brakes and it would grab super hard then go back to normal without any adjustments.
Funny you mentioned it, I'm in a tundra as well. Hopefully not a trend
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:53 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Bakes99 View Post
Could be a problem with your brake controller. I have a tekonsha p3 and know they had a run of bad ones. Mine was acting similar to that last year where it seemed ok but every 5-6 applications the the brakes and it would grab super hard then go back to normal without any adjustments.
Funny you mentioned it, I'm in a tundra as well. Hopefully not a trend
Is this a built-in controller? I don't know what brand Toyota used in our truck.

Did you take it in to the Toyota dealer to get looked at/fixed? Now I'm wondering if I need to take it back in to get looked at.

Thanks
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