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How to Install a Brake Controller

Using a trailer for various towing applications quickly becomes a part of our lifestyle. Regardless of whether you are planning on towing a utility trailer, a boat, or some jet-skis, towing will remain with us. And if you are going to become part of the trailering crowd, think about safety matters first. The brake controller is that very module, which is designed to control the electric brakes used on majority of trailers. You have to install the brake controller module to stop your SUV or truck and the trailer which you are planning to tow together.

brake controllers

Image by CARiD

If the vehicle that you own already has a towing package, then installing the brake controller is a fairly simple job, you only have to buy an extra wiring harness, which will plug in directly into that very plug that your vehicle came with. And if your vehicle didn’t come equipped with a towing package, then it can get somewhat complicated, because you will have to splice the wiring.

How to Install a Brake Controller

  • The first step is to look under your vehicle’s dash, so as to determine whether your vehicle has a plug which is labeled “Electric Brake Controller”. The plug may already be in front of you, just down below the steering wheel - you may have to look around a bit, so don’t forget to use your flashlight. And you might have to do certain rooting around in order to find the right plug.
  • If your brake controller comes outfitted with a special wiring harness, which is the very kind that you need to splice into the vehicle’s wiring, then there’s more work to do. And if you yourself have never performed wiring on an auto before, then you shouldn’t attempt to perform this installation as your first-ever wiring project. To add to all that, if your vehicle is outfitted with a towing package, then you will have the trailer brake controller already wired, installed, and ready to go, by simply using the right wiring harness produced for your vehicle.
  • brake controller installation

    Image by YouTube

  • After all of the wiring is performed, you will have to install the actual brake control module under the dash. You should install your trailer brake controller in such a place, where you will be able to access it fairly easily, although, where it won’t get in the way. Once you install it, you will still have to determine how much braking you will want on your trailer by setting the brake controller module. Setting the module depends upon what you are planning on towing and your comfort level. Consult your trailer’s owner’s manual and the weight specifications of what you are planning to tow to make the right decision.