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Service Trailer Brake System message


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My 2014 1500 LTZ crew cab started giving the "Service Trailer Brake System" message last summer while towing our camper during a heavy rain storm. Shortly after this message came in, I received a message saying the Braking System was Disabled. I figured it was our camper since it is 7 yrs old and didn't think much of it since it was our last camping trip of the yr and we were nearly home. In December I bought a new enclosed trailer and while towing the brand new trailer home the "Service Trailer Brake System" came on 3 times in 10 miles. I had the truck in for service and recall work in February before a long trip and had the dealer check it, the truck is still under it's Bumper To Bumper warranty with only 25000 miles. I was told there was no "Code" in my system so they wouldn't/didn't do anything more to fix it. A couple days later we headed out for our trip and the "Service Trailer Brake System" message chimed in 3 times in 2 minute with no trailer attached to the truck! I have put an additional 3000 miles (without towing) on the truck and the message has NOT returned since the beginning of our trip. The first time it happened conditions were very wet but both times since have been during dry weather. For me towing time is approaching and I need this fixed. Please offer any ideas I can forward to the Dealership. I have contact GM's Customer Service Team but have not heard anything in going on 2 weeks.

 

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I can sympathize with your dilemma. I have been fighting a Check Trailer wiring message for about 3 months.I completely rewired my Big Tex still got it off and on. Not alot but enough to make me nerve racked. I replaced the trailer connector with the preferred POLLACK brand thought it was finally put to rest. Nada got one message saturday pulling to camp. Arrg wth i SWEAR i WILL figure it. :banghead::crackup: Sorry I wasn't exactly helpful with your problem

Edited by crankman
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Have seen the same thing on my 07 HD. Sometimes with or without the TT. The message appears and disappears at random. The first time was also in a rain storm while not towing. I suspect that there is some kind of service loop that the computer runs that checks the status of various systems - if by chance the Brake Controller system does not respond, or responds with an error code it shows on the DIC. If the next loop shows no problem it goes away.

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Had same issue with my 2014, cleaned connections and used dielectric grease, still failed periodically. Dealer said there was a TSB pointing to brake fluid level, so they filled it to the brim. So far that seemed to fix the problem, but only pulled a few times since, then winter checked in.

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Had same issue with my 2014, cleaned connections and used dielectric grease, still failed periodically. Dealer said there was a TSB pointing to brake fluid level, so they filled it to the brim. So far that seemed to fix the problem, but only pulled a few times since, then winter checked in.

Cool thanks for that tip, I will check my brake fluid just to cover that. I have been chasing that code forever it seems. :thumbs:

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  • 10 months later...

16-2500HD Z71 Silverado-DMAX- with & without trailer DIC repeatedly dictates trailer brake needs servicing. Dealer replaced 7pt receptacle as it showed signs of water corrosion & relay located under spare tire. 1/2 hour labor & all fixed & under warranty :  ) . 

 

This youtube link is not my video but it appears to cover my issue. 

 

Edited by PaddyO
added warranty info
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Had the same issue on my 2016 2500HD with the 6.0L. Dealer couldn't duplicate blah blah blah. It would happen randomly when connecting to a trailer. Dealer told me just bring it in the next time it happened but what a crock that is. Anyhow ended up replacing my Trailer Brake Control Module shown in the video above and problem is gone. 3 months no issues yet.

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Well, if I need to do this, I already have half the job done in that I never have my spare riding under the bed!  But great video.  Thanks for posting.

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  • 3 months later...
On 2/20/2018 at 1:23 PM, downs807 said:

Had the same issue on my 2016 2500HD with the 6.0L. Dealer couldn't duplicate blah blah blah. It would happen randomly when connecting to a trailer. Dealer told me just bring it in the next time it happened but what a crock that is. Anyhow ended up replacing my Trailer Brake Control Module shown in the video above and problem is gone. 3 months no issues yet.

Having the same problems with the trailer brake warning system. I did replace my controller and I still have the same message Next Step checking the brake fluid other than that has anybody heard of a fix?

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  • 1 year later...
I have a problem... my 13 3500 HD dually... the trailer breaks don't work at all, I bought it used, but never needed them until now, we got a new 17k lb. 5th wheel. Any help would be appreciated! 

Could be the trailer brakes. Check wiring to the axles for breaks. I had a brand new trailer that the wires were routed in such a way when the suspension moved for the first time it cut the wire into.


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1 hour ago, cperk said:


Could be the trailer brakes. Check wiring to the axles for breaks. I had a brand new trailer that the wires were routed in such a way when the suspension moved for the first time it cut the wire into.


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Sounds good... thanks for the input! 

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  • 5 months later...

Yes!!!!-----I am copying my problem from "2016 Suburban battery drain forum"---nothing going on in that forum (just me and another person with a battery issue)

 

(By the way---have NEVER towed with my 2017 Chevy Suburban Premier)---here is what's going on---any help would be appreciated)

 

Have 2017 Chevy Suburban Premier - just over 1400 miles; wife's car; battery went dead yet had it on a battery tender regularly since she doesn't drive it much & would crank it up every now & then  to keep battery up & just run things.   DIC was first showing service battery/charging system; then DIC started reading check trailer brake system (mind you, two separate DIC readings now---first it was the charging system, then the trlr brake system). Checked fuses, alternator, trailer brake module inside car----- put in new battery---seemed like that was it.  Dead again.  Removed trailer brake module inside car, (there are two---one underneath car in back where spare tire is & one inside car driver side dash.  Trying to keep it simple, removed only the Trlr brake system module inside car driver side---seemed a bit loose.  Plugged it back in.  Everything was absolutely perfect!!!  No DIC readings, car started right up, & everything appeared to function perfectly.  (Note:  When we would restart the car at different intervals of trying to source the problem, the DIC would also read "roll driver window, passenger window up and down"! Crazy!!)  Everything started right up, all normal indicators.  Soooo-----

 

After a couple days sitting (yesterday) I tried starting car with keyfob---started fine.  Later on in afternoon, wife went to start up with push button igition inside car, sounded low on startup. Oh, oh.  She didn't drive but sat in car trying to identify DIC readings, there were none except a DIC reading popped up after she closed & locked the door, so she couldn't read the DIC.  Went out this morning to trying to start---deader than a doornail.

 

Bought service manual books because warranty will eventually run out & service dealer has exemplified extremely poor servicing of my local 2018 Chevy Silverado HD3500 Truck ----made me sit 2-3 hours while waiting for a scheduled apptmt to fix truck, then tell me they have to order part & will call when available---has been over a month & they have not called yet---they have never left a message.  Have had service on truck when traveling at dealers out of state, & they have been wonderful.  (Two issues on truck have a sensor & another computer-related.)

 

Something is definitely drawing on the battery, so some special notes for you:

-The radio kept coming on when we would start the car; yesterday wife shut it off completely (still learning about how to use features since she doesn't drive much) so we will see if it comes on again after shutting off (assuming I can get the car running again)---did have Sirius Satellite on promotion of vehicle---it just expired a month or two ago; read one guy went through 4 batteries; read another guy was charged $1200 & had same problem after leaving shop;

-Have On Star capability, but do not subscribe to it. Read one guy found that the drain was the On Star feature;

-Haven't checked my rear trlr module yet.

-Also read somewhere yesterday that you can reset the computer system back to the original defaults---haven't tried yet.  Have to find that info again, get the car going again, & may try that first.

-Also read somewhere that it can take a couple of hours for computer system "things" to shutdown after car turnoff---

-I do have a slight spark when I reconnect battery.  (You do have to "fake" the hood closed when starting it when hood up.)

 

Haven't been able to drive car for at least 3 weeks.  

 

After 7:00am this am restart try, dead battery again, recharged battery, reconnected--(still arcing). Now 10:30am today, restarted car via push button ignition inside car (not keyfob start), everything seems ok---still got DIC msg to roll driver/passenger window down & up on initial startup.  A few minutes later after full shutoff & door locking, restarted it a second time via inside care press button ignition (not keyfob start) ---did NOT get the "window up & down message". Now letting car sit to see how it drains off again & going back to researching problem.

 

Status as of March 7, 2020: Battery is now out of car so doesn't ruin new battery. Also, last checked when battery in, not getting any codes on an OBD II Reader----any guidance would be great!!!

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