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Monthly Archives:: August 2016

Common Causes for Trailer Brakes Locking Up When Applied

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016 Published By: Patrick Logan

If your electric trailer brakes are locking up when applied or locking up while driving, there could be several causes. When driving with your trailer attached in or around the Texas cities of Amarillo, Lubbock or Odessa, you’ll want to be fully assured that your trailer brakes are in sound condition. If your brakes are locking up, you might ask yourself if your brakes are properly grounded? Or, does your brake controller work correctly? Here are some of the most common causes of locking electric brakes on a trailer.

A Bad Electrical Ground Can Make Electric Trailer Brakes Lock Up

If your main ground wire and brake magnet ground wires are not properly attached, the bad ground connection could be causing your trailer brakes to lock up. Check your main vehicle ground wire and assure that it is attached to a clean, bare metal surface. Check for wear, corrosion, rust or dents in the wiring. Look at the ground wires on the sides of your trailer as well to determine they are properly attached to a clean metal surface. While looking over your grounds, you can also inspect your main power wires to see if there are any damaged, dented or corroded connections.

Faulty Wiring or Shorted Wires May Cause Locking Trailer Brakes

After assuring your ground wires are fastened securely to the correct type of surface, look over your power wires. Are any wires damaged, dented or corroded? A shorted-out wire could be to blame for locking brakes. It is also good to use a circuit tester to check that the power wires are functioning properly. Connect the tester to your main power wires and apply the brakes. This should give you a positive signal. Also check that turning on your headlights or turn signals does not give a positive signal. Bad wiring could cause your brakes to lock up when applied.

Locking Trailer Brakes Due to Faulty Brake Controller

If you’ve made sure all of your wiring is sound and secure, then another possible cause for locking brakes could be your brake controller. To test the functionality of the controller, use a circuit tester connected to the brake controller (typically blue) wire. Apply your manual override and check that a positive signal comes across. Release the override and check that no power is conducted. If there is zero power during both steps, or releasing the manual override causes a surge in power – this means you need a new brake controller.

There could be many reasons that your electric trailer brakes are locking up while driving, or when they are applied. Make sure to thoroughly check your brake system, from the controller to the wiring and ensure your brake system is working properly before setting out on the roads of the Lubbock, Amarillo and Odessa, Texas area. Consult a professional electrician or trailer mechanic if assistance is needed; and never drive with faulty brakes!

If you are looking to purchase or rent a trailer to make any job easier, call or visit Area Trailer Sales and Rentals in the Amarillo, Lubbock, or Odessa, Texas areas. Call Area Trailer Sales and Rentals TODAY (Amarillo  (806) 331-2174, Lubbock Toll Free (855) 862-7252 or Odessa (432) 561-9725.  Check out our inventory online or stop-by one of our locations in Amarillo TX, Lubbock TX or Odessa TX. You can also connect with us via email. Whether you are looking for trailers for agriculture, construction or oilfield applications, we’ve got you covered. Rent a belt or dump trailer or buy a livestock or tank trailer. No matter what your needs are, we will find the right trailer for you at Area Trailer Sales and Rentals.