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Old 09-16-2014, 09:46 AM   #1
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Brake Controller

Just saw this video and the guy says (about the 6:50 mark) to get them replaced if they're 3 years old. If they're 10 years old, definitely get them replaced. Do you think he is referring to the brakes or brake controller?

I have a Tekonsha that I've had for 17 years!

Do the controllers wear out?

What say you?
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:40 PM   #2
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I know I asked the proverbial "stupid" question about an electronic device "wearing out" and even expected the "stupid answer". But NOTHING?

I believe the brake controller I have will be compared to the Voyager by Tekonsha. It's at least 17 years old. I don't feel like the brakes are stopping as good as I should expect. I just, today, adjusted the brakes on all 4 hubs for the first time. Yea, it's been more than the first 200 miles. More like 3K miles. What a PITA for a fat guy to be crawling around under the TT! I see I can get a new controller for about $95 but if I don't need to and the controller does it's job, well..........

I've read all the threads about which brake controller is recommended but have not seen anything about life expectancy of these devices or if they lose their effectiveness.

What do you say folks, any opinions on the subject?
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:57 PM   #3
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I've read all the threads about which brake controller is recommended but have not seen anything about life expectancy of these devices or if they lose their effectiveness.

What do you say folks, any opinions on the subject?
Timex - As you stated.. it's an electronic device. Either it works or it don't. IMHO, it's not a matter of losing their effectiveness (it's all just electrical impulses afterall) If anything... just like your TV rig, it's more about physical wear and tear. Possibly your rig might need a brake job, but I wouldn't be looking to replace your controller. Most of the new fangled controllers offer a bevy of new features and adjustability, but seriously.. if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

If anything, the newer models are most excellent at reporting errors, but bottom line.. if your tow rigs brakes aren't holding like they used to it's more than likely a physical equipment issue more so than an electronic controller issue.

My 2 cents..
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Old 09-16-2014, 07:57 PM   #4
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Right up front I know nothing about brake controllers, but I spent 41 years in an oil refinery where I was an electrician/instrument tech and occasionally one would have an intermittent problem with electronic instruments but most often they just plain quit. Of course the vast majority of those were either heat or water related. What I would say about 17 year old electronics is that there has been much improvement so up-grading would be worthwhile IMHO.
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Old 09-16-2014, 08:16 PM   #5
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As I understand. There is no other controller to buy but the P3 tekonsha


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Old 09-16-2014, 08:33 PM   #6
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As I understand. There is no other controller to buy but the P3 tekonsha


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I disagree because I had a P2 then a P3 then went back to a timed base
Felt like I had better control but in town it was not. I even replaced all the brake wireing on my new trailer with acft MS, soldered the connectors, adjusted . And the timed based was my ticket to getting the trailer slowed down and not killing my truck brakes

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Old 09-16-2014, 10:26 PM   #7
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.... the guy says (about the 6:50 mark) to get them replaced if they're 3 years old. If they're 10 years old, definitely get them replaced. Do you think he is referring to the brakes or brake controller?
I agree with you that what he said is confusing, and it is unclear if he is suggesting that the brake controller or the brake friction material is replaced. I suspect that it was the friction material (shoes or pads) because prior to that point in the video he was stressing to get the brake controller properly balanced for the load being carried - less of a numerical setting (volts) for a lighter load and a higher number for a greater load. If not, he said, you could cause premature wear-out of the brakes, like the woman with the Ram 250 who went through 3 sets of brakes in 8 months. After those points is when he made the statements about replacing XXX after 3 or 10 years old.

I have had my P3 for 3+ years now and I can assure you that it is working the same as when it was new, and I have no intention of replacing it at 3 or 10 years. It will be replaced if / when it stops sending the proper electric current to the trailer's electric brakes, based on inertial loading on the mechanism inside. That should not "wear out" any time soon.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:32 PM   #8
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I will just keep the controler I have until it quits working and can not repair it. But am sure the brakes will wear out some time and will need replacing. Hopefully I will catch that before it is so bad it won't stop. As long as you do maintenance most problems will be cought before failure.
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Old 09-16-2014, 10:45 PM   #9
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I'd also be leery of any fixed time, like 3 years, on either the controller or the brakes. Some people go out a few weeks a year and maybe put 500 miles on their trailer. Other folks are out all the time and put several thousand miles on it. So, tell me in miles when to change them, not in years.
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