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MN Angler

another trailer light question

10 posts in this topic

Hey everyone, sorry for yet another trailer light question. I have read many of the past posts relating to trailer lighting and still cannot figure out my problem. My break lights and blinkers work but running lights do not. I have checked the bulbs, all of the grounds, the fuses, as well as hooked it up to another vehicle to see if mine is the problem. I had a problem once just like this and found that it was a bad ground. I stripped all the grounds and put on new connections, as well as took a sander to the trailer where the side running lights are grounded for a better contact. What else is there to do?

Thanks

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Are you sure you've got power going to the tailights from your pickup?

Take a test light and check the sockets on the connector on your pickup to verify that you have power in the brown wire connection.

marine_man

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I will check that, thats the reason I hooked them up to another truck as well but I guess my dads connectior could be bad too.

Thanks

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To make sure you have a complete circuit on the trailer you can check for continuity between the brown wire and ground with a DVOM (digital volt ohm meter). If you don't have one you can take any 12 volt battery and use jumper wires to hook the grund to ground and positive to the brown wire. If it still does not light up the tail lights I would suspect a broken brown wire.

Typically if everything else works normally it is not a ground issue but a lack of power issue.

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Now that I re-read your post again I saw the part about checking it on another pickup... sorry about that.

I doubt your dad's pickup is bad too.

It sounds like there's a break in the brown wire somewhere along the line - if neither taillights work I'd venture a guess it's from the connector to the y-split in the trailer.

marine_man

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I had this exact same problem. Boy, the trailer lights can sure be a pain in the arse. Everything was working(blinkers,brakes flashers) except for the running lights. I tested the setup on my ol' man's vehicle and the same problem occured. What was happening was a ground wasn't properly working and had been pinched somewhere in the trailer causing a fuse to be blown every time I started the lights up. If you don't have a volt meter already I recommend purchasing one....I've used mine more than enough times to test fuses and wire connections. Make sure the ground is good to go and has a strong connection (in which you've already done). Begin testing the fusebox(s) on the vehicle connections and wiring with a volt meter on the truck then move to the trailer hitch and finally the trailer lights. The point here is to isolate the connection interference to one area of the connection. After re-grounding my connection on the trailer I ran the voltage meter across my fuse box and was able to find a fuse that was blown that didn't look damaged at all. After replacing my wiring I put a new fuse in the truck and just then, the clouds parted and a light shined upon me and my trailer and a voice said "let there be light," and there was.....not really, but you get the point. Stick with it, the trailer lights can really break you down...stay tough. smile

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Since there are so many questions about trailer lighting, and it is a common problem, maybe there should be a sticky topic created with a comprehensive post about the most common problems and troubleshooting methods. Valv, Marineman, Steve?

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A couple things I've learned over the years dealing with trailer lights.

1.Tap the ground into the trailer and use a good round wire connector.

2.Use a stainless steel bolt

3.Wire brush around the hole were the ground is tapped.

4.Put the ground and the bolt on.

5. Put liquid electrical tape over the bolt and connector liberally covering all of it even where the wire goes into the connector. Then put a second coat when the first coat is dry.

6.Solder all wire connections.

7.A little grease or vasoline in the both plugs helps fight off corrosion.

8.Replace both plugs if it was working and then stops working and is more than a ten minute fix.

Trailer lights and bearings the most ingnored stuff that can quickly ruin a fishing trip.

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