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the bane of boaters everywhere......

It's all working fine until last night. Hook up, check brakes, lights, turns, several dozen times this year it's always the same, drive over, put in, enjoy the blue moon cruising Lake Michigan, haul out, plug in, no lights.

I got brake lights, turn signal lights just fine. No running lights when it's just the head lights on. Did the usual checks, patched in new jacks, cut cleaned and reconnected all splices with new wire nuts, hhot wired various ways to insure I'm getting current to the lights.....all fine. It's not the wiring harness, or at least nothing is telling me it's the harness.

It's one of those trailer packages where the running light is one of those two filament jobs that does brakes, turns, and running lights. Bulbs check out OK. Hot wire the side yellow running lights, they're OK.

I'm used to rewiring and replacing trailer lights in all their various forms....usually just change out the whole package for $24 and everything's fine.......but this one's got me stumped. No running lights when I turn on the headlights.

I need help figuring out how to think about this one. Any takers?

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Lights are on. Not DRL's. What's a DRL? Ok, googled....daytime running lights. No, headlights full on. Headlights work, trailer lights that should be on when headlights are on.....don't work.

It worked there, worked all summer, suddenly not working.

Gary....lights work, new bulbs, cross wired every which way to verify power to the fixture and bulbs go on. Turn on headlights, car lights front and rear all work, not a fuse.

Again, just the trailer running lights not working. Brakes and turn signals work, same bulbs for each. It's those types with the dual filaments.

Got home by running with emergency blinkers so people could see me.

Just not when I turn on headlights.....no running lights. Very strange. I'm quite used to fixing trailer lights. It's any boaters part time job. When all else fails, get a new $24 package, install, go boating.

Not this time.

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Make sure the wiring scheme is the same as the vehicle pulling it.

I can't explain why it worked once but stopped all of a sudden, unless something changed when it was re-wired or a ground connection from fixture to trailer frame went out.

Marc

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Problem not solved, but figured out.

2015 Xterra's have a separate wiring harness for a trailer module that goes to a proprietary jack that one then wires in to the usual YGBW jack. Separate relays for turn, brake, and running lights, all isolated from the primary auto light system. All previous trailers were just me wiring to the light fixtures; if there's a short, everything dies, not just the trailer lights. This one had me because most of it worked, and one part didn't.

Good news, I figured it out. Bad news, I gotta get new relays at about $50 a pop. More bad news, I gotta run a new trailer harness. Good news is a new harness and lights is about $24 at the Trailer Depot.

****ing trailers.....the bane of boaters.....

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Problem not solved, but figured out.

****ing trailers.....the bane of boaters.....

I always used to hear that boat owners have always had "two great days" ... 1) Day the boat was purchased and 2) Day the boat was sold.

Kurt - you've just put a new twist on that saying. [:-slaphap

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I had to buy a relay kit for the Ford Escape trailer hookup. The vehicle wiring is all digitized, and lightest of filament wiring. Computer modules controls the lighting with just enough amperage to run the vehicle lights.

When you patched in the trailer lights old school, you were lucky you didn't fry a little black box, that nobody knows where to find.

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Step dad has an old boat trailer he made into a utility hauler. 2x6s bolted to the cross members for the floor, steel cut from old dairy stanchions welded on for side stakes, 3 rows of 1x6 bolted on for side rails. Surge brakes still work great. Hasn't been near the water in 10 years, needs new lights every spring.

For the boats, he unplugs the lights when he preps for launch. Gets a couple years out of them that way.

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Start all over again.

1. Get a test light.

2. Test the tester.

3. Check each pin at the hook up (visually) and then test each one with the tester, all the way to the light fixture. Make sure each wire is tight at the plug and each connection/splice is clean and tight.

4. Check all of your grounds. To be sure, remove, clean and reinstall each ground.

5. Check your bulbs.

What else is there?

I'd bet you $.50 it's a bad ground.

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Go back and read #6. It isn't like that anymore. You're describing basic trailer light repair, which I've done dozens of times. Now, on my vehicle anyway, trailer lights are run through a separate system with it's own set of relays, one for each part; one for lights, one for brakes, one for turns. That's why the brakes and turn signals still worked fine and all the bulbs worked. That's what had me; it's all the same bulbs. I didn't know I was working in a new world. It doesn't even say anything in the owners manual about it.

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Go back and read #6. It isn't like that anymore. You're describing basic trailer light repair, which I've done dozens of times. Now, on my vehicle anyway, trailer lights are run through a separate system with it's own set of relays, one for each part; one for lights, one for brakes, one for turns. That's why the brakes and turn signals still worked fine and all the bulbs worked. That's what had me; it's all the same bulbs. I didn't know I was working in a new world. It doesn't even say anything in the owners manual about it.

Sorry, in my enthusiasm I missed 6, but I'm glad you figured it out, and I even learned something I didn't know before.

Did you use the same method to figure out which relays were bad?

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It gets better. It wasn't a relay either. There is a 3rd fuse panel that is not noted in the manual, nor online, and the dweebs at the dealer didn't even know about it. I found it by tracing the harness; it's close to the under hood box but obscured behind a panel. Open it, guess what? Another 20 odd fuses for trailer operations, and one labeled taillights. Not in the owners manual. It had me stumped.

Goin out on the lake now.....

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Sounds like the fuse saved you a pack of money for relays. Put a real big one in there. [:)]

Just kidding. My best set of boat frailer lights were on clamps made from poly pipe. They just slipped on to the transom and mostly stayed put. When I got to the ramp, I'd coil up the lights and place them carefully in the back of the truck.

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