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Traction Control Fault


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I do not know the answer, however my logic tells me, regardless if traction control is working or not the truck brake lights still work, right? If all 3 of your truck brake lights are working the trailer brake lights must also be working thus the electric trailer brakes should work.

An easy way to test trailer brakes is with a magnetic compass, hold it near each wheel while someone manually activates the trailer brakes vis the controller. If the compass needle swings to the wheel the magnet in the brake drum is working.

Edited by Ray,IN
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Vehicles with the integrated trailer brake controller often use the ABS system to determine wheel slip, then apply the brakes to get the vehicle back under control. They can apply wheel brakes individually on the vehicle, or the trailer brakes. Of course, the trailer brakes aren't going to apply individual wheel brakes, but all together.

The brake controller should still function, but it may have reduced output, or be grabby due to increased output. A system wide failure will manifest in ways that are hard to predict, without a failure tree.

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For what it is worth, I have combed through both my owners manual (yes, I know, different year) and a ford service document on trailer towing in neither do I find any mention of the Traction Control System affecting the Integrated Brake Controller. In the explanation of how the TCS works in the owners manual it mentions that it applies brakes to individual wheels and can increase or decrease power as needed but there is no mention at all of trailer braking. Same for the service doc. My conclusion is that it does not impact the brake controller, as there is no mention at all and one would think with all the CYA notes in the owners manual there would be. 

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16 hours ago, Fulltimer51 said:

Anyone know if a traction control fault will affect the trailer brake function.?

That's potentially a pretty serious issue.  Given the possible consequences of a wrong answer/guess I would not rely on this forum, but instead would contact customer support for Ford.  Oh, and please post their answer here.  I have a 350 DRW, too.

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It "feels" like the trailer braking has been reduced since the fault lite came on. There is not an ABS lite fault shown. If I spin the wheels on a gravel road the fault lite will flash. I have driven for a long time before this feature came out so I am not in a hurry to get it fixed, but if the fault causes reduced trailer braking, thats not good. I will have to get it scanned I guess.

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fulltimer51 my traction light flashed when I was running in auto-mode instead of 2WD last Sep. for about 40 miles until I remembered and switched back to 2WD.

I'm going to change the transfer-case oil in hopes that was the cause. My Silverado has about 80K miles including towing behind the MH.

I have never towed anything with my Silverado that't why I can't say if the traction control has any effect on trailer braking. Traction control is disabled if not in 2WD according to my owners manual.

Did you try the compass test yet?

Edited by Ray,IN
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Have you tried turning TCS off to see if the fault clears? On my ford f450 , when in 4x4 mode traction control is automatically turned off. There is also a button to manually turn it off.

Hopefully the fault is also throwing a code that could be read with an ODB scan tool, either the dealer or auto parts store can plug in an read the code if theres one present and that will tell you what has failed

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  • 4 months later...

Let it be known far and wide that a traction control fault will keep the trailer brakes from working with the brake peddle. (On my truck) They will still work manually. The brake controller acts like its not getting a signal that the truck is moving. Now we know. :)

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If it’s any consolation Fulltimer my 350 is booked in for a scan by the Ford mothership. 

I plugged in to a trailer that apparently has a right turn stop short circuit and my brake turn signals on the flatbed and the trailer plug on the truck have left the building.

All fuses intact. 

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i can not say for the computer thingy, but if you have loss of traction. just take your foot off the skinny pedal. so the spinning tire has a chance to get a grip. as for a dash light, just remove the bulb.

i had a ghost in a computer some years back, cost me $5,grand to have the dealer fix it. then six months latter a fool hit me head on and totaled the truck. wish i had just lived with the ghost.

Edited by packnrat
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