Many truck drivers think that a brake system of the truck and trailer is enough for safe trailering. However, you need a device like a brake controller to monitor the dynamics of the tow vehicle to avoid accidents.
You can add a factory brake controller to Silverado by getting a controller kit containing a braking device, brackets, and a wiring harness. Then, access to the port inside a vehicle junction box. Unscrew the board with the screen and the buttons, pull it apart and remove a connection with the negative battery cable. You can also mount a bracket on the lower end of the dashboard to attach the device separately. Then, put a brake controller inside the bracket or create a space on the dashboard below the screen by removing a brake button. Connect a wire harness with the device and electrical system to maintain a power supply.
It is better to check that the vehicle contains a controller system while purchasing. Moreover, you can add the system to your pickup when it is not installed or gets damaged.
- 1 What is a brake controller on Silverado?
- 2 How do you install a factory brake controller on a Silverado?
- 3 Why would you add a brake controller to Silverado?
- 4 How to adjust a brake controller setting in Silverado?
What is a brake controller on Silverado?
It is a device to control the electric brakes of a trailer by monitoring through a pickup truck. Moreover, it is present on the left side of the steering wheel under the dashboard.
It is of two types; proportional and inertial. The proportional controllers allow presetting the capacity of brakes to stop the tires from rotating after pressing the pedal.
While the inertial controllers sense a decrease in the trailer’s speed and apply brakes. They are not suitable to use off-road due to unstable surfaces.
Moreover, the proportional controllers are expensive but provide a smooth trailering experience. The installation of these devices can cost you almost $300 to $500, including labor costs.
How do you install a factory brake controller on a Silverado?
You can add this device without any help from a mechanic as it is easy to manage the entire process of installation.
However, it is better to collect required things like a kit and get a little idea of controlling the wiring system to fix them.
Get a brake controller kit
You need a factory kit that contains a bracket, a controller system, and a wire harness. It provides all the essential things required to install the dashboard system.
Access a brake controller port
You have to access the vehicle junction box where a port of this braking system is present. Uncover the junction box by removing the casing carefully.
Moreover, you can find this box close to the carpeting and the dashboard. Some controller ports are present on the dashboard where a screen is installed.
So, you have to unscrew the nuts to remove the screen and the entire system to reach the port.
Disconnect the negative battery cable
It is essential to disconnect the negative battery cable because it directly connects to the metal body. If it remains connected, there are chances of sparks.
Moreover, it is better to connect a positive wire before attaching a negative one. It is unsafe to work close to the negative battery, so you need to disconnect it before dealing with other parts.
Locate a place for the brake controller
After removing the screen and the system from the dashboard and disconnecting wires, you have to locate a place for attaching a controller system. You can also create space by removing the button used for braking.
You can also attach it to the lower side of the dashboard without removing the screen. Drill 2 mounting holes on the board and fix the brackets with the help of screws.
It is easy to attach a system to the dash area, but it does not look attractive as a separate box.
Therefore, it is better to install it within a dashboard by replacing the button for the deceleration of the truck.
Attach brake controller
After mounting a bracket on the dash area, put the device into it. In addition, you can insert it within a space created after removing a button on the upper dashboard.
Plug in the system
Use a custom wiring harness to connect the device with an electrical system before adding a cover back to the vehicle junction.
Some truck manufacturers provide extra wiring harnesses to use in future.
Attach one end of the integrated cables to the device and put another end into the junction box for the power supply. Then, fix the screen system back into the place and add screws to attach it correctly.
Why would you add a brake controller to Silverado?
It offers many advantages that can help secure towing of a trailer behind a vehicle.
In addition, it avoids accidents when the back ends hit the cab while coming down from a hilly surface.
Control trailer dynamics
You can add a braking device to a trailer if it contains electric brakes. You can monitor the activity and the dynamics of a pickup by sitting inside a cab.
When you press a decelerating pedal, this device applies power to the braking system in proportion to the momentum.
Moreover, it is impossible to tow a trailer behind Silverado without installing a controlling system.
The non-proportional controllers sense the decrease in speed when you shift your truck in low gears while moving down a slope and adjust the trailer’s brakes accordingly.
You can apply brakes smoothly, which results in the truck’s stopping.
In addition, this system determines the power required by the trailer’s brakes to slow down and ultimately stop.
Moreover, it avoids wearing and tearing of brakes and allows them to last longer.
There are many chances of bumping when you cannot control the movement of the tires simultaneously.
These devices send the preset voltage of the trailer’s brakes to match its speed with a tow vehicle.
Furthermore, they can collide with one another when the back end hits the vehicle hard.
The installment of these controlling devices ensures safe trailering, and you can transport heavy cargo.
According to law, it is essential to add a braking control system in a Silverado if it is loading a gross trailer mass (GTM) of more than 1600 Pounds.
You can add this device to any vehicle to ensure secure driving and protection from unwanted circumstances or accidents.
It is challenging to manage the weight present on the backside of the pickup.
However, these controllers manage it efficiently, and you can set the non-proportional ones according to the weight of cargo and the vehicle.
Moreover, you have to control the speed of a trailer while driving on an uneven road. Therefore, it deals with tension on the road and provides a smooth braking experience for you.
Link trailer to the truck
Additionally, this device improves connectivity by linking a tow vehicle to the pickup through a braking system.
You can monitor the controller system and the momentum from the vehicle cab.
Avoid damage to tires
It minimizes the wearing of the tires because you are controlling the force applied to the tires to stop the vehicle.
The electric or proportional braking device can reduce the damage more effectively than the non-proportional, but you can purchase the latter one at a low price.
How to adjust a brake controller setting in Silverado?
It is essential to adjust the settings in a controller system when the weight of a trailer changes.
You have to bring alterations in the gain that determines the force provided by electric brakes to stop a vehicle.
You can adjust the setting of a device in the Silverado truck by turning the adjustment knob towards a mark of 50 percent present on the slider.
After changing the setting, tow a trailer and test this adjustment by driving at 20 mph to 25 mph on a dry and even surface.
Then, push an override button manually and access the grip of the brakes.
You have to increase the gain if there is no firm grip on the tires on the road.
However, reduce the gain by turning back the adjustment knob if the brakes lock up.
Then, test the settings again in the same way and keep doing until you find that the wheels are not locking up at a maximum force.
You can also reset the gain value by unplugging the connector. It erases all the previous settings and returns them to the factory preset mode.