Disconnecting P2 Brake Controller - Fiberglass RV


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Old 12-08-2014, 08:36 AM   #1
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Disconnecting P2 Brake Controller

I want to remove the brake controller Tekonsha P2 (90885) when not in use. The problem I am having is the wire (wiring harness) is so tight, I can't pull the brake controller out the front of the holder to get at the connector.

I've tried to disconnect from the rear of the brake controller, but I can't see it or feel it good enough to figure out what to push or pull.

I also can't get at the screws that hold the bracket in place because they are blocked by the controller.

Can anyone give me an idea on how I can disconnect the connector? (I didn't install it)

Thanks

1st picture is controller pulled forward as far as it will go.



2nd picture is from the rear and shows the connector.



The best example I can find is in the video for the 2001 Chevy Silverado video on etrailer.com. The part that is relevant is from 12:30 - 13.20.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:37 AM   #2
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I just walked out to take a look at mine, which I installed with slack in the wires so it comes out easily. You also see from the videos that you referenced, that the connector latch is such that it is not accessible while in the pocket mount. It looks to me that you need to find out how to pull the wires out enough. There should be some slack in the "rats nest" behind the dash board. Hopefully whoever installed it thought of how to remove it it needed. You could make yourself a flat, hook like tool to reach the latch from the space where the camera was in the second picture. Good luck.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:40 AM   #3
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We just leave ours connected. It doesnt seam to hurt it.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:48 AM   #4
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I leave mine in place as well. It draws four milliamps when sleeping, according Teconsha. That's got to less than the truck/car draws when it is parked. And if Huck cannot pull it out, a thief can't do it either! But maybe it is not good to leave such stuff in as temptation.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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I have two, One has been hooked up for ten years, the other for seven years. The first one was installed with a switch at the power supply.
Since I never shut it off, I took the switch out last year.
A modern Tow vehicle uses a LOT more "keep alive" power than what is used by the controller, making the controller loss insignificant.
A slightly dirty battery top will waste more power than the controller in sleep mode.
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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There is a clip on the wiring harness at the controller that needs to be lifted to remove. If you follow the wiring harness off the back of the controller to under the dash you probable have a bunch of extra cable tied up and out of the way. If not under the dash it could be coiled up on the other side of where the wiring goes through the tugs fire wall.


EDIT: Here is a
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Old 12-08-2014, 11:24 AM   #7
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Since we don't use our tow vehicle, unless we are going camping, then our P3 drains the battery over the winter. I pull it off and put it in the glove box.
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Old 12-08-2014, 12:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Since we don't use our tow vehicle, unless we are going camping, then our P3 drains the battery over the winter. I pull it off and put it in the glove box.
Unless your tow vehicle is precomputer, then the keep alive power on each computer, sound system, built-in GPS, phone , etc. is going to dwarf that of the P3.
A battery disconnect would save the battery but it would affect the function efficiency of the vehicle through several ignition cycles. In some cases could require anti-theft codes to be entered before full use is restored.
When we leave a late model vehicle in storage for more than 3 weeks , we use a charger to supplement the battery.
Our 1966 Falcon, on the other hand, sits for 6 months with no significant power loss and no charger even though I did add a modern radio. The keep alive power for the radio is not enough to matter.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by floyd View Post
Unless your tow vehicle is precomputer, then the keep alive power on each computer, sound system, built-in GPS, phone , etc. is going to dwarf that of the P3.
A battery disconnect would save the battery but it would affect the function efficiency of the vehicle through several ignition cycles. In some cases could require anti-theft codes to be entered before full use is restored.
When we leave a late model vehicle in storage for more than 3 weeks , we use a charger to supplement the battery.
Our 1966 Falcon, on the other hand, sits for 6 months with no significant power loss and no charger even though I did add a modern radio. The keep alive power for the radio is not enough to matter.

I totally agree with Floyd. It always amazes me that people buy some pretty crazy notions.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Tilston View Post
Since we don't use our tow vehicle, unless we are going camping, then our P3 drains the battery over the winter. I pull it off and put it in the glove box.
I leave mine in all year long and have never had a problem with tug battery draining and not starting it even at -40.

Mine doesnt actually totally power up until the trailer is connected. If the tug is running and no trailer connected it stays in what I would call a sleep mode. It also goes totally off a short time after the car has been turned off if no trailer is connected, so if it is pulling power I can't imagine that it could be much (if any) if it remains connected in the tug.
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Old 12-08-2014, 01:42 PM   #11
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My tow vehicle is not pre-computer, but it is a 1996. Something is draining the battery and it seems logical to me to disconnect the brake controller and see if it makes any difference. I had my mechanic's shop install the controller when they installed the 7-way trailer connector.

I know they screwed up the 7-way because I had to pay someone else to fix it. Removing the brake controller should be simple, but they also seemed to have screwed that up.

The brake controller is made to be removable, so it is not like I am trying to do something strange or complicated. I just want to unplug it when it's not in use and stick it in the glove box.
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Old 12-08-2014, 02:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
My tow vehicle is not pre-computer, but it is a 1996. Something is draining the battery and it seems logical to me to disconnect the brake controller and see if it makes any difference. I had my mechanic's shop install the controller when they installed the 7-way trailer connector.

I know they screwed up the 7-way because I had to pay someone else to fix it. Removing the brake controller should be simple, but they also seemed to have screwed that up.

The brake controller is made to be removable, so it is not like I am trying to do something strange or complicated. I just want to unplug it when it's not in use and stick it in the glove box.
OK if you insist. Get your head under the dash so you can see the connector and the latch. Release the latch and remove the connector with the wires. Now it's disconnected. You can then either remove it from the bracket or leave it alone.

FYI, My old 1993 Ford Tempo as well as my 1998 Blazer both had computers.

I recently had a problem like you're talking about, battery seeming to run down after a few days. I had a bad battery, replaced one years later same thing, replaced it again with another brand, no problems over a year later.
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Old 12-08-2014, 02:49 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
My tow vehicle is not pre-computer, but it is a 1996. Something is draining the battery and it seems logical to me to disconnect the brake controller and see if it makes any difference. I had my mechanic's shop install the controller when they installed the 7-way trailer connector.

I know they screwed up the 7-way because I had to pay someone else to fix it. Removing the brake controller should be simple, but they also seemed to have screwed that up.

The brake controller is made to be removable, so it is not like I am trying to do something strange or complicated. I just want to unplug it when it's not in use and stick it in the glove box.
If the discharge problem started after the mechanic did the wiring, which you said he “screwed up” he’s the one who should “diagnose” the problem and fix it so you can easily disconnect the controller.
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:10 PM   #14
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Hi Huck, I have the P2 also and had to do all the wiring from the tugs battery back. As you can't seem to get the slack you need to remove the controller to disconnect it, here's a simple way. Pop the hood and disconnect the power wire for it from at the battery.....two minute job. I leave mine in all the time and have had no problems.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Byron Kinnaman View Post
I recently had a problem like you're talking about, battery seeming to run down after a few days. I had a bad battery, replaced one years later same thing, replaced it again with another brand, no problems over a year later.
I had a problem about 3 years ago with battery running down. After a couple of shops couldn't find the problem, I figured I would have to figure it out and finally found a bad passenger door switch. Sometimes the floor light stayed on and ran the battery down, but not all the time.

I replaced the switch and put a new battery in about 1 1/2 years ago. Everything was fine until about a month ago. I put it on the charger for 3 hours and battery didn't take a charge. When I jumped it and drove for a while, it seemed to take a charge. So until I find the multimeter, I'm shooting in the dark.

I "think" I have seen the light on the brake controller on when I have got in the car. I don't know if it comes on when I use the door opener or if it was already on. I know for sure it is off some of the time. So there may or may not be a problem there. That's why I wanted to remove it.

I have had the battery go dead twice this fall and both times when I hadn't started the suv for at least 3 weeks. Maybe it is just acting the way it is supposed to act.

I think I will get a solar trickle charger, but that's a topic for a different thread.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:46 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huck View Post
I had a problem about 3 years ago with battery running down. After a couple of shops couldn't find the problem, I figured I would have to figure it out and finally found a bad passenger door switch. Sometimes the floor light stayed on and ran the battery down, but not all the time.

I replaced the switch and put a new battery in about 1 1/2 years ago. Everything was fine until about a month ago. I put it on the charger for 3 hours and battery didn't take a charge. When I jumped it and drove for a while, it seemed to take a charge. So until I find the multimeter, I'm shooting in the dark.

I "think" I have seen the light on the brake controller on when I have got in the car. I don't know if it comes on when I use the door opener or if it was already on. I know for sure it is off some of the time. So there may or may not be a problem there. That's why I wanted to remove it.

I have had the battery go dead twice this fall and both times when I hadn't started the suv for at least 3 weeks. Maybe it is just acting the way it is supposed to act.

I think I will get a solar trickle charger, but that's a topic for a different thread.

The light on the P2 comes on when ever you step on the brakes. It goes a short time later.
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Old 12-08-2014, 04:51 PM   #17
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The light on the P2 comes on when ever you step on the brakes. It goes a short time later.
The light comes on before that. When I start the vehicle and trailer is connected, it displays C. If not connected, I think it displays p.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:10 PM   #18
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The light comes on before that. When I start the vehicle and trailer is connected, it displays C. If not connected, I think it displays p.
Mine displays C when the trailer brakes are connected, a single light if no trailer is connected and the boost is off, two lights if the boost is on but only when the brake pedal is pushed. I just checked that's way it works, and I believe that's way it worked in previous tow. My current tow has a factory tow package and a Tekonsha tow vehicle specific cable. It was plug and play. My previous tow I had wired at an RV shop.

When towing for long distances the lights all go our until I press on the brake pedal.

Sounds like they might some wire errors involved.
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Old 12-08-2014, 05:20 PM   #19
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When you are not connected, it should show nc first and then show just one or two dots. If it shows "p", it could be some code and you should look for that in the manual. When the car is "asleep", it should also go to sleep.

The latch for the connector is not as easy to deal with as was suggested. Look at the Teconsha pictures on their web page again. The latch in on the connector and can only be activated after you get your fingers, or a thin tool, to the top of it, where the holder ribs are visible. It is hard to describe, but as I said earlier, you could get it done with a tool made of a 12 gauge steel wire or some piece of thin sheet metal. Tricky, but doable.
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Old 12-08-2014, 06:09 PM   #20
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When you are not connected, it should show nc first and then show just one or two dots. If it shows "p", it could be some code and you should look for that in the manual. When the car is "asleep", it should also go to sleep.

The latch for the connector is not as easy to deal with as was suggested. Look at the Teconsha pictures on their web page again. The latch in on the connector and can only be activated after you get your fingers, or a thin tool, to the top of it, where the holder ribs are visible. It is hard to describe, but as I said earlier, you could get it done with a tool made of a 12 gauge steel wire or some piece of thin sheet metal. Tricky, but doable.
You're right. Mine displays nc and then dots, not p. I don't know why I was thinking p. Maybe because it is P2.

It was too cold to mess with it today. I have to take off the panel under the dash to see if the wires are tied up or just short. Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.
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