Asked by: Darnell Mohel
travel camping

What do you do when your trailer lights don't work?

Last Updated: 7th June, 2020

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Trailer Lights Not Working Solution: Clean corroded sockets
If the light still doesn't work, you may have corrosion in the socket at the contact points. Attach a bit of 220-grit sandpaper to the butt end of a 3/8-in. dowel with hot glue. Clean the contact points by spinning the dowel and moving it side to side.

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In this way, why do my LED trailer lights not work?

The first thing I recommend doing is to check that the ground wire for the lights are securely attached to a clean metal surface on the trailer frame. A loose ground wire will keep the lights from working. Next, you want to make sure the wiring on the trailer is wired correctly and wired by function, not just by color.

Also, why are my running lights not working? Trailer Running Lights Do Not Work but Brake Lights and Turn Signals Do Work. If the issue is not a fuse or relay then you can test the vehicle side trailer connector using a circuit tester such as # 40376. Turn the vehicle headlights on and use the circuit tester to test the pins on the connector at the back.

Herein, does trailer have to be on ball for lights to work?

In some cases trailer lighting will ground through the hitch ball but that's typically only if the actual ground circuit is insufficient. It needs to ground through the wiring of the trailer harness.

What is the color code for trailer wiring?

Trailer Wiring Colors Each connects to a different function: Brown wire to the tail or parking lights. Green wire to right turn signal/brake light. Yellow wire to the left turn signal/brake light.

Related Question Answers

Mikelats Porro

Professional

Why do my trailer lights work with one vehicle but not another?

Trailer Lights Work On One Vehicle But Not Another. Using a circuit tester like part # 40376, you will want to test each pin on the vehicle connector for function to make sure you are receiving a signal. Check for any corrosion in the harness. Any corrosion can cause problems on a wiring circuit.

Aloa Belhadj

Professional

Do trailer lights have fuses?

Yes, trailer wiring harness #118269 does have a fuse in a black holder just below the large black converter box. If that fuse is fine then use the vehicle owners manual to find any fuses related to tow package wiring on the vehicle to check them.

Mouhamadou Wilkes

Explainer

How do you check the ground wire on a trailer?

Check out the white wire on the trailer to see if it's actually used as a ground (which it should be). Those 4 wires should be green, yellow,brown and white. Check out the white wire on the trailer to see if it's actually used as a ground (which it should be).

Assia Newman

Explainer

How do I find a short in my trailer wiring?

Use an ohm meter, and check all the wiring for continuity to ground. If your running lights are blowing the fuse, and the brake & turn signals work fine your brown trailer wire is shorted to ground somewhere, or you have a grounded running light on the trailer somewhere.

Azzeddine Reinhardts

Pundit

Do LED trailer lights need to be grounded?

Yes, all of the lights in the #TL16RK Waterproof, Over 80 inch Trailer Light Kit will need to be grounded. Some trailers will actually end up grounding through the coupler, to the ball of the ball mount, to the hitch, and then to the frame of the tow vehicle.

Ilina Caselli

Pundit

Why do my boat trailer lights not work?

Many trailer problems are due to a poor grounding connection, which is usually the white wire coming out of the trailer plug. If the ground is poor, lights may work intermittently or not at all. Even if the wiring to the plug is adequate, make sure that the ground connections to the trailer frame are good.

Alenka Sereni

Pundit

Can you replace trailer lights with LED?

This can be fixed by using an LED lamp out bypass adapter. You can also install an LED bulb load resistor on the tow vehicle. One resistor is required for each LED turn signal. If you are converting to LED lights it is also important to replace all of the lights on the trailer with LED's.

Ramia Remchukov

Pundit

Why do my trailer lights go out when I hit the brakes?

It sounds like you have a ground issue. When trailer lighting does not have a sufficient ground many different scenarios can show up, but the most prevalent is when the most amperage is applied, like tail lights on and brake pedal pressed, the lights go out. All lights must be properly grounded for proper function.

Hoyt Kohlhause

Teacher

How do you ground a trailer light?

Each lamp needs to be grounded either through its mounting studs being in direct contact with the trailer frame or by having a jumper wire ran from the lamp to the trailer frame. Ground the trailer connector at the front of the trailer, which will use the trailer frame as a ground wire.

Feliu Mittenzwey

Teacher

How does a 7 pin trailer plug work?

A 7-Way has these functions and a 12 volt circuit, a circuit for electric trailer brakes (requires a brake controller in the vehicle), and a reverse light or auxiliary power circuit. There are other types of connectors as well.

Harouna Buckolt

Reviewer

Can you mix LED and incandescent trailer lights?

It is not recommended to mix LEDs with incandescent lights on a trailer. The problem is the amount of power required by each type. LEDs require much less power than incandescents. If one of each where on the same circuit, the draw from the incandescents could damage the LEDs.

Yeniffer Zicola

Reviewer

Are LED trailer lights better?

LED trailer tail lights are brighter, which means other vehicles will see your brake lights better in the daytime. LED units also illuminate faster; when a vehicle's brake lights are applied, LED lights on the trailer respond instantaneously and provide a brighter, more focused illumination.

Carson Corrigan

Reviewer

Why are my trailer lights so dim?

Expert Reply: Most often the root cause for issues with trailer lighting is a weak ground. Strange as it may sound, a loose or rusty/corroded ground can cause a vehicle's trailer wiring harness to badly misbehave and shut down some functions.

Zena Zenkevich

Supporter

How do you wire a car for towing?

Procedure
  1. Ground the white wire from the converter to a clean, metal surface on the tow vehicle chassis.
  2. Using a circuit tester, find the factory wires that carry the brake lights, running lights and right turn and left turn signals on the tow vehicle.

Valya Kathy

Supporter

How do you test trailer brakes with a multimeter?

To determine if a brake magnet has an internal short, touch the base of the brake magnet to the negative post of a 12-volt battery. Then, connect one of the brake magnet wires to the negative lead of a multimeter and the positive lead of the multimeter to the positive post of the battery.

Santiaga Ovies

Beginner

How do you turn on trailer lights?

  1. Turn on your vehicle lights and make sure the trailer taillights come on.
  2. Tap your brakes to make sure the trailer's brake lights work.
  3. Test each turn indicator and make sure the trailer complies.

Vicki Pakhmutov

Beginner

How do you ground an aluminum trailer?

Find the ground wire where it comes from the trailer wiring plug, connect it to the chassis of the trailer by drilling a suitably sized hole and then secure it using a nut and bolt or self tapping screw (suggest that you find aluminium nut & bolt/screw to prevent corrosion problems between steel and aluminium, also