How to Install an Electric Brake Controller

by Contributor

Save loads of money on labor by installing your new electric brake controller for your trailer. The electric brake controller will improve stopping performance and safety. It will also reduce the brake wear on your vehicle when towing.

Step 1

First disconnect the positive (+) battery before anything. The mount the trailer connector near the hitch on the rear of the vehicle. Then mount the controller bracket in the desired postion. If there is no bracket, then mount the controller and remove to make connections simpler. Pre-mounting the device will make it easier to mount after all wires are connected.

Step 2

The main wire (feed) is usually blue and should be run from the controller to the trailer connector. Typically this can be run through a hole in the firewall that is already there from the factory, if not one must be drilled. Then run under the vehicle to the connector.

Step 3

The white (ground) can be connected securely to any metal surface that connects to the chasis. Or it can be ran back to the battery negative (-) terminmal. The red (brake switch) wire goes to the brake switch behind the brake pedal. Use a circuit tester to find which of the two wires going into the switch has current only when the pedal is pressed. Use the wire tap to make this connection.

Now connect the 20amp breaker to the battery(+) positive, and the other end to the black controller wire. Do the same with the 40amp breaker except run the second wire to the trailer connector. Everything should be ready for your trailer once controller is remounted and the positive (+) battery is reconnected. Read the controller's operations manual to determine how to properly set the controller.


  • Read the owners manual of the device being installed to determine if wire colors are the same as in article
  • Before first tow be sure to read the operations manual to determine how to properly set the controller as most are adjustable
  • Double check all connections before reconnecting positive (+) battery terminal.


  • Work with caution as you are working with electric power. I'm not sure if a car battery has enough juice to be fatal but it can really hurt. (I know from experience, so learn from my mistake!)
  • Be sure all connections are secured so that no wires touch each other or metal as this can cause a short.
  • Be sure no wires are dangling near moving parts or where they could interfere with driving.
  • BE SAFE!

Items you will need

  • Brake Controller
  • 2-12 gauge butt connectors
  • 1-20amp Auto-reset Breaker
  • 1-40amp Auto-reset Circuit Breaker
  • About 25 feet 12 Gauge wire
  • 1-wire tap
  • Circuit tester

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