How to Operate Tekonsha Brake Controlby Mike Frees
Tekonsha is a leading manufacturer of proportional trailer brake controllers. These controllers use a sensing device to determine the amount of deceleration of the towing vehicle and proportionally apply the trailer brakes to provide a smooth, controlled stop. A number of different models of Tekonsha brake controllers are available, although all are similar in operation. Any differences in setup and use will be described below.
Connect the trailer to the tow vehicle. If you have the Voyager model, you must set the level adjustment of the sensor before proceeding (the Prodigy, Primus and P3 models perform automatic leveling.) First, turn the power knob to its maximum (clockwise) setting. Then press and hold the brake pedal. Rotate the level knob counterclockwise (toward the back of the control) until the bi-colored LED changes from green to red. Then slowly rotate the level knob back until the LED changes to orange. The level determines the aggressiveness of the braking action. For more aggressive braking, rotate the level knob so the LED changes to a brighter orange or a dim red. When the level is set, release the brake pedal.
Tow the trailer on a level, dry, traffic-free paved surface at 25 mph. Apply the manual slide knob on the controller. If the trailer brakes lock up, adjust the power knob counterclockwise to reduce the braking power. If there is insufficient braking of the trailer wheels, adjust the power knob clockwise to increase power. Repeat this process several times until the power level is adjusted to provide maximum braking effect without locking up the trailer wheels.
Adjust the "Boost" setting if your controller is a Prodigy, Primus or P3 model. The boost setting allows the driver to set a more aggressive braking action for certain driving conditions (such as a very heavily loaded trailer) or preferences (the driver may want the trailer brakes to contribute more strongly in the braking action). Typical boost settings are B0 (no boost) through B3 (maximum.) Press the Boost button to incrementally increase the boost setting. To temporarily cancel the boost feature for backing the trailer, press and hold the Boost button for five seconds with the brake pedal depressed. The feature will be disabled for three minutes.
- Tekonsha recommends that level and power settings of the brake controllers be performed when the trailer brakes are warm. Drive the trailer and periodically apply the brakes for a few minutes before adjusting the controller.
Things You'll Need
- Tow vehicle equipped with properly installed Tekonsha brake controller
- Trailer to be towed
- Be aware of changing road conditions. Reduce the boost or level setting for less aggressive braking on icy or wet roads to avoid locking the trailer brakes.
Mike Frees is an I.T. professional who was first published in the Apollo Computer corporate journal in the 1980s. He has since seen print in fiction magazines, local newspapers and nonprofit newsletters, and has been writing online articles for the past year. He has a bachelor's degree from San Jose State University and a master's degree from the College of Notre Dame.