Too often necessary trailer brake inspection is ignored until it causes an accident or a roadside breakdown.  If your trailer’s brakes are not doing their part to slow the weight of your load the results can be deadly.  Increased stopping distance, jackknifing and instability when braking at any speed can all be linked back to a defective trailer brake system. 

Bring your trailer to Torklift Central for complete trailer brake inspection starting at $49.59.

This is what you need to know about your trailer brakes:

Signs of failure 

Tail wagging the dog

Faulty trailer brakes can push your rig into an accident

The most obvious sign that your trailer brakes might not be functioning properly is the sensation that your trailer is pushing your tow vehicle during braking.  A fully loaded travel trailer can easily outweigh your tow vehicle.  If the trailer brakes aren’t doing their job you will notice increased stopping distance and instability of ride quality during braking.

Repair and/or replacement are always necessary in this situation.

Unnatural noises

Alice Cooper can’t be repaired. Your trailer can.

Scraping, squealing or any other unnatural noise that comes from your trailer wheels or trailer axles can also be indication of faulty trailer brakes.  Hearing these noises is a telltale sign your trailer brakes are in need of servicing or repair.

Fluid leakage

Brake fluid that is dripping under the trailer or low levels of brake fluid in the reservoir that is stored on the trailer tongue is definite warning signs.  Repairing a leak in your break fluid line to prevent pressure bleeding out of your brake systems or topping off the brake fluid reservoir is necessary should these issues occur.

Electric versus hydraulic brakes

Electric trailer brakes have unique maintenance needs

Electric braking systems

On electric trailer brake systems, your trailer brakes are wired directly to the brake lights of your tow vehicle.  When your vehicle’s brakes are activated the brake lights come on which activates your trailer brake controller to apply the trailer brakes. 

If a wiring and/or incompatible electrical connection between your trailer and tow vehicle is present your trailer brakes will not function properly.  Electrical troubleshooting and possible electrical repair should be performed if there is any malfunction with your tow vehicle and/or trailer lights, or if your trailer brakes are non-responsive.

Hydraulic braking system diagram

Hydraulic braking systems

Hydraulic braking systems, or surge brake systems, feature a coupler that is mounted on the tongue of your trailer.  When you apply the brakes in your tow vehicle, your trailer engages the actuator in the coupler, which pushes brake fluid through the brake lines to activate your trailer’s brakes. 

Leaks in your trailer brake lines cause loss of brake fluid pressure and prevent your trailer brakes from functioning at their full capacity.  Maintaining proper brake fluid levels and inspecting your brake lines is key to safe travel. 

Taking your trailer to a trusted service and repair facility for a complete safety inspection is always a smart idea before you Get Out And Go.  At Torklift Central our free 10-point trailer safety inspection uncovers any issues that need to be addressed with your trailer and its brakes before you discover them on the road.

Contact Torklift Central today for complete trailer service.

Torklift Central

[email protected]
315 Central Ave N
Kent, Wash. 98032