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Author Topic: Trailer Brake and Aux Power question  (Read 4533 times)
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greentraverse
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« on: May 08, 2012, 08:33:37 PM »

I recently bought a 2011 Travese and installed the trailer brake controller.  I noticed that even though I've turned the ignition off, the trailer brake controller is still powered (display is on).  I checked the Traverse wiring diagrams at alldatadiy.com and it appears that the power to the brake controller through the 30a fuse in the fuse & relay box is always ON.  I also checked out the Aux Power circuit (that normally feeds your trailer battery) and this power, through its 30a fuse, is also always ON.  (I confirmed it at the trailer hitch plug with a voltmeter and the ignition off.)  This seems ODD to me.  Some years ago I had a popup camper and when wiring it, the manual specifically stated that the power to the trailer should be switched, so you don't walk off and have your trailer drain your car battery (the car power ran the refrigerator while on the road).  So when I wired the aux power, I wired it through a relay that deenergized when the ignition was turned off.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?
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DIESAHL
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« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2012, 08:57:38 PM »

is this when the trailer is hooked up?  i know with my truck the controller will be on whenever the trailer is hooked up.  my dad has left trailers hooked up for days at a time and never once had a problem
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2010 2lt AWD
steel green
7 passenger
leather
spring special package:
20" wheels, dual exhaust, and projector low beams
remote start package
trailer package
greentraverse
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« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2012, 09:13:40 PM »

Trailer is NOT hooked up.  Just plugged in brake controller and it's ON.  (I have a Tekonsha Prodigy 3, and it's smart enough to tell me that my trailer isn't hooked up.)  Aux Power is being supplied to the Aux Power connection in the 7-blade hitch plug (upper right blade looking into the plug).
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Quantum
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« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2012, 09:50:27 PM »

Okay, that is strange.


My Prodigy P2 controller is normally not powered when the Traverse is off.  There are two little LEDs on it and as soon as I press the brake pedal on a cold start, they illuminate, whether the trailer is hooked up or not.  They basically tell me that the BC is working and ready.  When I connect my trailer to my Traverse I get a "c" on my BC that tells me that I'm connected to the trailer.   When I turn off the ignition (trailer unhooked) the two little LEDs stay on for about 10 minutes or so and then go into power saving mode.

My trailer connector is also not live when the key is out.  I have tried to use my slideout with a dead trailer battery, and unless the Traverse is RUNNING there is no 12V. Do you have an aftermarket tow package?
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2010 Traverse 1LT
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BigBlackTraverse
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« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2012, 02:56:57 PM »

Okay, that is strange.


My Prodigy P2 controller is normally not powered when the Traverse is off.  There are two little LEDs on it and as soon as I press the brake pedal on a cold start, they illuminate, whether the trailer is hooked up or not.  They basically tell me that the BC is working and ready.  When I connect my trailer to my Traverse I get a "c" on my BC that tells me that I'm connected to the trailer.   When I turn off the ignition (trailer unhooked) the two little LEDs stay on for about 10 minutes or so and then go into power saving mode.

My trailer connector is also not live when the key is out.  I have tried to use my slideout with a dead trailer battery, and unless the Traverse is RUNNING there is no 12V. Do you have an aftermarket tow package?

Yes mine works the same as Quantum..  I know it turns off as it's part of the tow package. When the tow haul button is active it also tells the alternator to kick out more power to supply the trailer.

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greentraverse
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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2012, 09:09:39 PM »

I have a 2011 model, 2LT.  The car did not come with a trailer package, but I have installed all the GM parts necessary (upgraded Fuse & Relay box, Tow/Haul button, GM wiring harnesses (hitch and BC) and hitch plug).   Whether I installed it or not, the electrical wiring schematic "Power Distribution Schematic #9" on alldatadiy.com, shows the Trailer Power fuse and the Trailer Brake fuse both come off the "B+" bus.  The DC power outlets (cigarette lighter) also comes off this B+ bus, and the owners manual states on pg 5-9,

"Notice: Leaving electrical equipment plugged in for an extended period of time while the vehicle is off will drain the battery. Always unplug electrical equipment when not in use and do not plug in equipment that exceeds the maximum 20 ampere rating."   

"Power Distribution Schematic 1" is titled "B+ Bus (1 of 2)" and also shows these two fuses on the B+ bus and shows the bus ties directly to the battery.

So it seems like it's operating "according to the wiring schematics," but it doesn't seem to be the right way to do it to me.
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Quantum
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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2012, 08:35:43 AM »

I will check my 7 pin plug this weekend and let you know.  I'm quite certain that mine is off when the ignition is off.  The pins that do work are the running lights, turn signals and brakes, regardless of the state of the ignition.  Do you recall which pin # you had 12V on?
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« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2012, 08:45:25 AM »

I would then speculate its the LanBus system is then shutting down the power on mine with the factory tow package then.  This comes down to the programming in the BCM.

A Heavy duty Radiator, Transmission Cooler are also part of the tow package.

I also know the programming Increases the output of the alternator and increases the line pressure in the transmission in the factory tow mode. So I'm not sure if yours is actually doing this or not.

So I cannot say for sure but it sounds like your not getting all of the features of the factory tow package.. So I would suspect the BCM is not fully programmed with all of the support you need.

Do note: regardless what parts you have added GM will most likely NOT honor your power train warranty or even the basic bumper to bumper warranty if anything goes wrong with the engine or transmission.
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greentraverse
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« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2012, 08:36:51 PM »

1)  The Trailer Power pin that is always live in the hitch plug is the one on the upper right (1:30 o'clock) standing at the rear of the car and looking into the plug (pin E, see below)

2)  I’m probably not smart enough to say that the BCM isn’t the problem, but I am having trouble believing it.  The wiring diagrams clearly show BCM interfaces and there are none from the battery to the fuses or from the fuses to the trailer hitch and BC connector.  I tried to attach JPG’s but it apparently this forum website won’t let me.  You can get to them on alldatadiy.com if you’ve signed up with them.

In any case, Pwr Dist Schem #1 clearly shows the Battery feeding the TRLR PWR and TRLR BRK fuses with no BCM in between.  Pwr Dist schem #9 clearly shows the TRLR PWR fuse directly feeding the trailer hitch plug pin E through connector X442 (behind the right rear wheel) and the TRLR BRK fuse directly feeding the BC through the X209 connector (under the dash), with no BCM in between.  This is also shown on the two Trailer schematics (they end in "V92").  These "V92" schematics DO show the BCM interfaces to the Trlr Stop/Turn Signals and the Backup Lamp circuit (and these circuits are working fine, so the BCM is supporting them.)

4)  I know that the Tow/Haul button tells the BCM to change the turn signal flash from 3 blinks to 6.  Mine is doing that, so the BCM knows the switch is there.  It also lights the light on the dash.  I haven't been able to get a trailer on the car yet, but it appears from just driving around that the shift points are changing with the tow mode ON.  The voltage increase is a bit harder to identify on an analog gauge.  I think my BC can give me a digital readout, but haven’t checked it yet.  With respect to the "increases the pressure in the transmission" claim, I have seen it denied in other posts on this forum (or maybe the Arcadia one, I can't recall).  I am skeptical of it myself.  Oil pressure is usually simply a function of oil pump speed and system flow resistance.  It seems odd that GM would intentionally reduce oil pressure (and thus flow) with no trailer (i.e., 98% of the time).  If anything, I think this “myth” (if it is one) may have originated in some discussion of how the shift points are changed, or how the pressures in the tranny change with the shift different gears and vehicle speeds (i.e., it may simply be a consequence of the new shift points).

5)  I know that many people bring up GM not honoring their warranty for installing the V92 yourself.  If I had bought a new vehicle, I probably would have been concerned.  However, since I saved $6000 by buying a 1 year old, 16,000 mile, car with leather, a sunroof and a DVD, all of which I would never have bought new, I’m quite willing to take the chance.  Everything I’ve installed to get the “tow package” is electrical stuff except the oil cooler and hitch.  Therefore, the only thing that I would really have any warranty concern about is the transmission, hence adding the oil cooler.  I would certainly hope GM built the car well enough with an oil cooler.  Thousands of people add them to many different brands of vehicle and have no problems.  I also don’t plan to crowd the 5,200 pound limit, as others seem to be doing.

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BigBlackTraverse
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« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2012, 08:52:10 PM »

The shift points change and are firmer. The only way I know to make a shift firmer in a hydrolic transmission is to increase the line pressure.

All shifting is controlled through the solinoids.

People can denie it all they want but the transmission is a giant hydrolic pump.

You should see the alternator voltage jump as soon as the tow haul mode button is hit with the trailer attached. Mine does.
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greentraverse
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« Reply #10 on: May 11, 2012, 06:00:59 PM »

You may be correct on oil pressure.  On the "familycar.com/transmission.htm#Transmission Components" website, it does state, "The computer uses sensors on the engine and  transmission to detect such things as throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed, engine load, brake pedal position, etc. to control exact shift points as well as how soft or firm the shift should be."  It doesn't elaborate how "firmness" is changed.  Whether the computer on the Traverse is changing the "firmness" of the shifts via higher oil pressure, some electrical wizardry, or some other method, is unknown.  However, it would seem that if the Tow/Haul button is changing your shift points, then it would seem logical that it is also most likely changing the "firmness" of those shifts, whether it's by oil pressure or some other means.     
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bobg1951chevy
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« Reply #11 on: May 12, 2012, 11:25:45 AM »

You may be correct on oil pressure.  On the "familycar.com/transmission.htm#Transmission Components" website, it does state, "The computer uses sensors on the engine and  transmission to detect such things as throttle position, vehicle speed, engine speed, engine load, brake pedal position, etc. to control exact shift points as well as how soft or firm the shift should be."  It doesn't elaborate how "firmness" is changed.  Whether the computer on the Traverse is changing the "firmness" of the shifts via higher oil pressure, some electrical wizardry, or some other method, is unknown.  However, it would seem that if the Tow/Haul button is changing your shift points, then it would seem logical that it is also most likely changing the "firmness" of those shifts, whether it's by oil pressure or some other means.     

He is correct on oil pressure discussion. In tow mode, upshifts are delayed, which increases RPM's, which increases line pressure, which increases 'firmness of shift', due to the increased line pressure.
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« Reply #12 on: May 12, 2012, 06:01:21 PM »

So if the increased oil pressure is due to the delayed upshift, then it's actually simply a function of rpm, and therefore is only a "consequence" of the later shift.  This would mean that those who say "the Tow/Haul mode button increases the oil pressure" are not really correct.  It Tow/Haul button does NOT increase tranny pressure, it only causes the delay in the shift, which in turn increases the tranny pressure.  Put another way, the pressue is a function of the shift point, NOT of the tow/haul button.  Thus, it would seem that the folks who say they aren't going to install the Tow/Haul button and just use the shift button should get the same result, just buy delaying the shift.
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bobg1951chevy
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« Reply #13 on: May 12, 2012, 06:39:41 PM »

So if the increased oil pressure is due to the delayed upshift, then it's actually simply a function of rpm, and therefore is only a "consequence" of the later shift.  This would mean that those who say "the Tow/Haul mode button increases the oil pressure" are not really correct.  It Tow/Haul button does NOT increase tranny pressure, it only causes the delay in the shift, which in turn increases the tranny pressure.  Put another way, the pressue is a function of the shift point, NOT of the tow/haul button.  Thus, it would seem that the folks who say they aren't going to install the Tow/Haul button and just use the shift button should get the same result, just buy delaying the shift.

Put another way, the tow haul button gets the credit.  The tow haul button is the "bullet proof way" to make the tranny shift correctly under tow conditions if the operator is not comfortable/knowledgeable using the shift button correctly.
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2009 Silver Ice LS FWD
Built 6/3/09
1951 Chevy Styleline Deluxe 2 dr.
Built 7/1951  
www.picturetrail.com/sfx/album/view/21579056

"Too many people spend money they haven't earned, to buy things they don't want, to impress people they don't like" .... Will Rogers
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