P3 Brake Controller and Other Controller Question - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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Old 07-22-2010, 05:54 PM
SJB SJB is offline
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P3 Brake Controller and Other Controller Question

I just purchased and installed a Tekonsha P3 brake controller using the OEM wiring harness that I purchased with it. It is basically a plug and play harness with connectors at both ends and no wiring needed.

The problem I'm seeing is that the controller is always powered on, even with the key off. So it appears that the Ford connection is always hot and not a keyed hot. Is this correct? It doesn't seem like my controller should be powered on all the time, and I couldn't find anything about an on/off button on the P3. Regardless, it seems like it should be on a keyed hot. Is there something wrong here? What are you guys doing with yours?
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:04 PM
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Mine just stays on for 10 min or so, then goes off. I used the factory port to connect it as well. Are your brakes hanging up? Since that is what turns it on.
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Old 07-22-2010, 06:09 PM
SJB SJB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by majek5 View Post
Mine just stays on for 10 min or so, then goes off. I used the factory port to connect it as well. Are your brakes hanging up? Since that is what turns it on.
Is yours a P3 controller or another brand? I don't think my brakes are hanging up. I just installed the controller and thought it was odd that it was powered on without key power. I didn't really have time to watch and see if it powered itself off since I had to get to work. I was just assuming it would be a keyed hot. I guess it is OK if it powers itself off after a certain time, but I would still prefer a keyed hot setup to know it is off.

Is there a reason they would not be wired as a keyed hot?
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:16 PM
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I have the P3 also. First off. I love it. I totally underestimated the need for a quality controller when I got our travel trailer. There was a huge improvement when I picked up the P3. Yes the outlet is harness is hot all the time. The P3 shuts down after about 5-10 min, and powers up when you touch the brake pedal. It won't draw down your battery if that's your concern. Mine has been plugged in for a year and a half.
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Old 07-22-2010, 09:31 PM
SJB SJB is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfletch View Post
I have the P3 also. First off. I love it. I totally underestimated the need for a quality controller when I got our travel trailer. There was a huge improvement when I picked up the P3. Yes the outlet is harness is hot all the time. The P3 shuts down after about 5-10 min, and powers up when you touch the brake pedal. It won't draw down your battery if that's your concern. Mine has been plugged in for a year and a half.
Thanks for the input. Yes, I was a little concerned about it drawing power from my battery. I didn't figure it would be a lot, but I also didn't understand the need to draw any at all when my truck is just sitting there not in use. I guess it is good to know that it will shut itself off (for the most part). I just thought maybe something is wrong with my system, but good to know that there isn't a problem (other than I don't know why Ford would wire it hot all the time). But I guess if it is normal and you guys haven't had any problems, then I shouldn't have any problems either.

Now I just need to figure out how the thing works. So mfletch, what is it about the P3 that makes it so much better in your mind compared to others you have had? This will be my 1st brake controller ever. So I don't know the advantage or disadvantages of the different models.

Last edited by SJB; 07-22-2010 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 07-23-2010, 06:28 AM
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My first experience with a trailer brake and towing was with a $50 Reese unit I got from Autozone(not sure of the exact model). With that controller, you would dial in what you wanted for a max brake setting. Any time you touch the brake, regardless of how hard you are braking, it would start at 1% and over about 2 seconds it would ramp up to the max that you had dialed in.(mine was set to 35-40%). At the moment you let off the brake it would return immediately to 0%. So the controller had a mind of it's own and would brake and release exaclty the same all the time. It really fealt odd when moving slowly, like manuvering in a campground or trying to back or park the trailer. Barely touch the brake to stay at a slow crawl and the trailer brake would tighten up to the preset max. Release and the rapid dump of the trailer brake would cause a surge forward.

I thought this was just part of towing. I wasn't gonna drop $150 or so on a controller since I pull a trailer once every few months. When I finally did get the P3, I was amazed at how smooth it fealt. The proportoinal braking system senses how hard you are braking and adjusts voltage/current to the trailer brakes accordingly. I'm sure there are other good choices out there, but the P3 is a keeper.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfletch View Post
My first experience with a trailer brake and towing was with a $50 Reese unit I got from Autozone(not sure of the exact model). With that controller, you would dial in what you wanted for a max brake setting. Any time you touch the brake, regardless of how hard you are braking, it would start at 1% and over about 2 seconds it would ramp up to the max that you had dialed in.(mine was set to 35-40%). At the moment you let off the brake it would return immediately to 0%. So the controller had a mind of it's own and would brake and release exaclty the same all the time. It really fealt odd when moving slowly, like manuvering in a campground or trying to back or park the trailer. Barely touch the brake to stay at a slow crawl and the trailer brake would tighten up to the preset max. Release and the rapid dump of the trailer brake would cause a surge forward.

I thought this was just part of towing. I wasn't gonna drop $150 or so on a controller since I pull a trailer once every few months. When I finally did get the P3, I was amazed at how smooth it fealt. The proportoinal braking system senses how hard you are braking and adjusts voltage/current to the trailer brakes accordingly. I'm sure there are other good choices out there, but the P3 is a keeper.
Thanks for the feedback. I went out this morning and hooked it back up to test and see if it shut itself off which it did. So at least I feel a little better now knowing that it isn't just sitting there drawing power. Now I just need to find the toy hauler or travel trailer I'm looking to buy to test it on.
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Old 07-23-2010, 07:40 AM
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The P3 is a great brake controller. I have had mine since they came out. AS already stated it should shut off after a given amount of time. No worries about draining batteries.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:21 AM
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They shut off on their own after about 10-15 mins of the brakes not being used. Doesn't matter if the key is on or off.
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:29 AM
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I hate to steal the thread, but has anyone else had their P3 read (short to battery no brakes)? Whenever it rains hard and I hit some puddles I get this warning.

By the way my stay on for a few minutes after I turn the truck off, it seems to be normal.
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