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Old 04-01-2012, 02:54 PM   #1
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Brake activation blows fuse

We have a 2010 Sport that was bought in Texas and is now here in Scotland, UK.

As part of the conversion, to be used in the UK, we had the tail lights changed to EU complaints ones (we bought from Airstream in Tebay, UK) and had a good 2011. The first road trip of 2012, this weekend was cut short as we noticed the indicator buzzer was not sounding (this is needed in the UK to show the indicators are signalling).

Investigation showed that a fuse between Prodigy brake controller and the tow bar connection was blown. Replaced fuse, running lights and indicators work fine, however as I applied brakes.....fuse blows.

Not entirely sure how wiring from tow hitch to caravan is wired, however, any pointers as to what might be causing fuse to blow when activating brakes is appreciated.

Fuse is 20 Amp.

Dave
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Old 04-01-2012, 04:17 PM   #2
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Brake lights and turn signals may use a common bulb with a dual filament. There are two hot contacts, one for each circuit. There are other ways of doing this with one bulb, but this is one of them.

The indicator buzzer could have been wired incorrectly too.

A short in the bulb or socket could be a problem. If you have LED's, I don't know how they are wired.

Gene
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:59 PM   #3
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Any chance you can get a local auto repair individual to check out the voltage applied and take resistance measurements compared between to the sets of lights (right side & left side) and see if they are similar or not?
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:42 PM   #4
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Okay, so it's the weekend and here's what I am going to try:

1. Buzz out the tow wiring on the truck and make sure there are no shorts.
2. Disconnect the brake controller and connect the tow cable to the trailer and check to see if the lights all come on, especially the brake lights when I activate the brake. This way I eliminate that the brake lights are causing the problem.
3. Reconnect the brake controller.
4. Check for any obvious shorts on the connector between the tow harness and the trailer, there is a little corrosion so I will change the connector block and put in a water tight box.

Anything else?
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:57 PM   #5
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I don't want to oversimplify your problem, but I was blowing the 15A Draw-Tite brake control fuse that was installed in my tow vehicle on a trip a few weeks ago. Until I thought about what had changed since the last trip, I was at a total loss.

Turns out we had taken out the trailer battery for winterizing and the battery terminal cables, which were just hanging loose in the battery compartment, had crossed during transit. Lucky for us, there was a 15A fuse at the brake controller to take the fall, otherwise we may have damaged a lot more.

Anyway, look for crossed wires and anywhere your situation may have changed before you really pull your hair out.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:06 PM   #6
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Erik,

I agree that's it's probably something simple and I'll probably kick myself when I find out.

Thanks!
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:43 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by davestewart2 View Post
We have a 2010 Sport that was bought in Texas and is now here in Scotland, UK.

As part of the conversion, to be used in the UK, we had the tail lights changed to EU complaints ones (we bought from Airstream in Tebay, UK) and had a good 2011. The first road trip of 2012, this weekend was cut short as we noticed the indicator buzzer was not sounding (this is needed in the UK to show the indicators are signalling).

Investigation showed that a fuse between Prodigy brake controller and the tow bar connection was blown. Replaced fuse, running lights and indicators work fine, however as I applied brakes.....fuse blows.

Not entirely sure how wiring from tow hitch to caravan is wired, however, any pointers as to what might be causing fuse to blow when activating brakes is appreciated.

Fuse is 20 Amp.

Dave
DO NOT, ever, ever, ever, fuse the brake circuit.

It's better to burn up wiring should there be a real dead short, as opposed to taking a risk of a fuse blowing when you least expect it to, and find you have ZERO brakes.

Andy
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #8
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Just to clear something up for me, is it the brake lights that are failing or the brakes themselves. These are two different circuits from the TV to the trailer. Knowing which is failing would help diagnose the problem.
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davestewart2
Okay, so it's the weekend and here's what I am going to try:

1. Buzz out the tow wiring on the truck and make sure there are no shorts.
2. Disconnect the brake controller and connect the tow cable to the trailer and check to see if the lights all come on, especially the brake lights when I activate the brake. This way I eliminate that the brake lights are causing the problem.
3. Reconnect the brake controller.
4. Check for any obvious shorts on the connector between the tow harness and the trailer, there is a little corrosion so I will change the connector block and put in a water tight box.

Anything else?
I hope you are in the NW where the place is over run with distilleries since these issues can be challenging. I had them twice. First time was a short to the frame between the controller and the brake switch. Second was a bad bulb in the vehicle. I suppose if you have determined the vehicle is ok, it could be a trailer bulb.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:27 PM   #10
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Fuse Blowing

Quote:
Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
Just to clear something up for me, is it the brake lights that are failing or the brakes themselves. These are two different circuits from the TV to the trailer. Knowing which is failing would help diagnose the problem.
For now I am going to say that its the 'lights' as when I press the brake pedal in the TV...Pop! I've ordered some fuses and bulbs, am going to take the bulbs out and try again, replacing one at a time to see where the short might be.
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Old 04-09-2012, 02:37 PM   #11
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You can apply the trailer brakes manually with the brake controller which should not turn on the brake lights. I can do that with my Prodigy Controller. If it is just the brake lights and you have LEDs, they are polarity sensitive and might be wired incorrectly.
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Old 04-09-2012, 03:02 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by azflycaster View Post
You can apply the trailer brakes manually with the brake controller which should not turn on the brake lights. I can do that with my Prodigy Controller. If it is just the brake lights and you have LEDs, they are polarity sensitive and might be wired incorrectly.
Electric trailer brake controllers are supposed to be wired so that should you apply trailer brakes only, the brake light should also come on, warning a driver behind the trailer that your slowing down.

Andy
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Old 04-09-2012, 04:23 PM   #13
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Hi Dave,

Sounds as if your brake controller is wired wrong - there should not be a fuse between your brake controller and the 7-way socket on your tow vehicle. It looks as though your auto-electician has used the blue wire from the brake controller (which operates the brakes) when converting your trailer from the two filament US system to the UK three filament system (stop, turn, taillight).

We are at Killin, Stirlingshire in a couple of weeks and then in the Findhorn Bay area, so keep in touch if you don't sort it and need any further help.

John in the UK
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Old 04-11-2012, 03:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by WK57ABF
Hi Dave,

Sounds as if your brake controller is wired wrong - there should not be a fuse between your brake controller and the 7-way socket on your tow vehicle. It looks as though your auto-electician has used the blue wire from the brake controller (which operates the brakes) when converting your trailer from the two filament US system to the UK three filament system (stop, turn, taillight).

We are at Killin, Stirlingshire in a couple of weeks and then in the Findhorn Bay area, so keep in touch if you don't sort it and need any further help.

John in the UK
John,

Thanks for the PM!

I have a device that I can stick in the fuse socket, as I am now curious as to how much current this is drawing.....maybe a short is causing excessive current draw? Any idea how much is ' normal'?

Dave
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