by Pat Goss
When it comes to trailers it seems to be two eternal problems, and that’s tires and wires. Let’s start with tires. Trailer tires are different than car tires. And they normally require more pressure. Make sure that you always check the tire pressure and the condition of the tires before you hit the road. Also, if you have to buy replacement tires, well, trailer tires normally are stronger and built differently than car tires. So always buy trailer tires. And, something like this, well that’ll ruin your whole morning and has nothing but low tire pressure.
Alright, second thing is wires, lights that don’t work, and brakes that don’t work and so on. Well lots of times that’ll be the result of these old fashioned crimp on wire connectors and ends and so on. They work, they hold the wire together but over time what happens is moisture gets in there, it corrodes, that causes high resistance and the high resistance causes the light not to work.
Alright, now the way that you would check that is real simple. You would use a digital voltmeter just as we see here. And you would go on each side of the connector and you would measure the resistance. The resistance must be 0 just like we are seeing here. If there’s any resistance at all, that connector is bad. Alright, well don’t replace it with the same old thing.
Over here, we have a new style of connector. These either have a cement or a low temperature solder inside of them and the ends of them are heat shrink tubing. So you heat them using a heat gun and what you wind up with is something that holds the wire together, electrically sound, and the ends of it are sealed with the heat shrink in order to keep moisture out. They do a far far better job. Also pay particular attention to the gauge of the wire, the thickness of it, it must match from the vehicle all the way back to the part or whatever the light or the brakes or whatever it’s working. Gotta be the same.
And above and beyond all, do not use household twist on wire connectors. They do not work around automobiles, yet we see them all the time. Do it right, and you’ll have a lot of fun with your trailer. And if you have a question or comment, drop me a line right here on MotorWeek!