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New Owner, does anyone know how to program a trailer brake controller without the dealerships ridiculous price?


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Bought my first truck, a 2019 chev silverado LD LT. Love it, because its the 2018 body, personally I think the newer trucks look like junk... And I'm all chevy, all I drive is chevy. but I really dislike their new looks. Anyways, I got me the last good looking and probably best looking truck they made "in my opinion". But my problem is. It didn't come with a trailer brake controller. So I bought one, a genuine GM controller. Didn't fit in the cubby hole where I thought it would since thats where the replacement panels have them. So... Instead of buying a new one. I took my autobody skills for a run, and I custom fit the controller myself. Cut it out to fit in perfectly nice and snug. the currect wiring was dummy fastened to the back of the panel, and it was the exact right part with the same plug. At my surprise, after a nice finish job, and a proud completion, I find that the controller doesn't work. With a little research I learn that I'm supposed to go to a dealership and get it programmed. The price in the usa was $160. So here in canada that would be well over $240 plus I'm guessing. Does anyone know the procedure behind it? And can I bypass the dealership costs? Is there something I can do myself?

 

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8 hours ago, Troyce Reimer said:

Bought my first truck, a 2019 chev silverado LD LT. Love it, because its the 2018 body, personally I think the newer trucks look like junk... And I'm all chevy, all I drive is chevy. but I really dislike their new looks. Anyways, I got me the last good looking and probably best looking truck they made "in my opinion". But my problem is. It didn't come with a trailer brake controller. So I bought one, a genuine GM controller. Didn't fit in the cubby hole where I thought it would since thats where the replacement panels have them. So... Instead of buying a new one. I took my autobody skills for a run, and I custom fit the controller myself. Cut it out to fit in perfectly nice and snug. the currect wiring was dummy fastened to the back of the panel, and it was the exact right part with the same plug. At my surprise, after a nice finish job, and a proud completion, I find that the controller doesn't work. With a little research I learn that I'm supposed to go to a dealership and get it programmed. The price in the usa was $160. So here in canada that would be well over $240 plus I'm guessing. Does anyone know the procedure behind it? And can I bypass the dealership costs? Is there something I can do myself?

 

Welcome to the site.

 

Unless your truck came from the factory with the trailer brake option, you will never get it work.

 

Still amazes me that dealerships are selling the parts and offering to program something that can not be done. 

 

The trailer brake option is more than just the controller, it is embedded in the trucks computers, has multiple items that are unique to it throughout the truck. I would check to see if you can return it, as your only option is going to be an aftermarket unit.

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11 hours ago, Troyce Reimer said:

Bought my first truck, a 2019 chev silverado LD LT. Love it, because its the 2018 body, personally I think the newer trucks look like junk... And I'm all chevy, all I drive is chevy. but I really dislike their new looks. Anyways, I got me the last good looking and probably best looking truck they made "in my opinion". But my problem is. It didn't come with a trailer brake controller. So I bought one, a genuine GM controller. Didn't fit in the cubby hole where I thought it would since thats where the replacement panels have them. So... Instead of buying a new one. I took my autobody skills for a run, and I custom fit the controller myself. Cut it out to fit in perfectly nice and snug. the currect wiring was dummy fastened to the back of the panel, and it was the exact right part with the same plug. At my surprise, after a nice finish job, and a proud completion, I find that the controller doesn't work. With a little research I learn that I'm supposed to go to a dealership and get it programmed. The price in the usa was $160. So here in canada that would be well over $240 plus I'm guessing. Does anyone know the procedure behind it? And can I bypass the dealership costs? Is there something I can do myself?

 

To program a module yourself, you need to have a laptop running Windows 10 with Icore 7 processor and 64-bits along with the GDS2 software and MDI2 adapter to get it to talk to your truck.  Then you need a subscription to ACDelco's TDS system which is $40 for 2 years to program all modules for one VIN.  $240 still seem like a lot?

 

On the other hand, one cannot just plug in the factory controller into the dash and get it working.  Well, wait a second, is this truck a K2 or a T1?  The T1s are plug and play, the K2s have to go aftermarket if memory serves.  If my wires are crossed, everything I've learned about folks wanting to add them to their trucks was learned on this here forum.

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17 hours ago, swathdiver said:

To program a module yourself, you need to have a laptop running Windows 10 with Icore 7 processor and 64-bits along with the GDS2 software and MDI2 adapter to get it to talk to your truck.  Then you need a subscription to ACDelco's TDS system which is $40 for 2 years to program all modules for one VIN.  $240 still seem like a lot?

 

On the other hand, one cannot just plug in the factory controller into the dash and get it working.  Well, wait a second, is this truck a K2 or a T1?  The T1s are plug and play, the K2s have to go aftermarket if memory serves.  If my wires are crossed, everything I've learned about folks wanting to add them to their trucks was learned on this here forum.

It looks to be the old style 19 according to this line in his post. He may be in luck.

 

"Bought my first truck, a 2019 chev silverado LD LT. Love it, because its the 2018 body"

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They (the oem's) do NOT want you to be able to do any work yourself.   To keep their dealer Service Departments going! You know that a dealer makes more from Parts and Service than they do selling the actual cars, right?

 

Read up the the 'right to repair' initiatives.

 

Quote

Tech companies counter that such mandates could ultimately pose a security risk for Internet-connected consumer devices. Forcing manufacturers to provide unrestricted access to digital keys and proprietary information would jeopardize the safety of thousands of Internet-connected products, said Carl Holshouser, senior vice president at TechNet, a national association that represents tech CEOs and senior executives. He said that allowing unvetted third parties to access sensitive diagnostic information, software, tools, and parts, also creates more risk for fraud. Authorized repair specialists, he said, help ensure appropriate manufacturer training, qualification, and vetting for dealing with sensitive software, parts, and diagnostic information.

 

Edited by elcamino
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18 hours ago, swathdiver said:

To program a module yourself, you need to have a laptop running Windows 10 with Icore 7 processor and 64-bits along with the GDS2 software and MDI2 adapter to get it to talk to your truck.  Then you need a subscription to ACDelco's TDS system which is $40 for 2 years to program all modules for one VIN.  $240 still seem like a lot?

 

On the other hand, one cannot just plug in the factory controller into the dash and get it working.  Well, wait a second, is this truck a K2 or a T1?  The T1s are plug and play, the K2s have to go aftermarket if memory serves.  If my wires are crossed, everything I've learned about folks wanting to add them to their trucks was learned on this here forum.

OP's truck is a K2 carry over for the 19 model year, LD.

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19 hours ago, swathdiver said:

To program a module yourself, you need to have a laptop running Windows 10 with Icore 7 processor and 64-bits along with the GDS2 software and MDI2 adapter to get it to talk to your truck.  Then you need a subscription to ACDelco's TDS system which is $40 for 2 years to program all modules for one VIN.  $240 still seem like a lot?

 

On the other hand, one cannot just plug in the factory controller into the dash and get it working.  Well, wait a second, is this truck a K2 or a T1?  The T1s are plug and play, the K2s have to go aftermarket if memory serves.  If my wires are crossed, everything I've learned about folks wanting to add them to their trucks was learned on this here forum.

He says it has the 2018 body -- so it's a K2

 

 

EDIT: posted before reading til end of thread -- and I see others have already pointed this out. 

 

Sorry🤬

Edited by redwngr
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As a side note, if you go with an aftermarket brake controller you will very likely need to add a charging wire so your seven-pin pigtail will charge your trailer battery.  However, if you are towing a trailer that does not have a battery, then it's not needed.  If it were me I'd have an RV dealership do the install, but then again I'm not very handy when it comes to these types of things.

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16 hours ago, Anacortes Army Guy said:

As a side note, if you go with an aftermarket brake controller you will very likely need to add a charging wire so your seven-pin pigtail will charge your trailer battery.  However, if you are towing a trailer that does not have a battery, then it's not needed.  If it were me I'd have an RV dealership do the install, but then again I'm not very handy when it comes to these types of things.

I think the K2s have that wired up already and ready to go.  The old 900s had it stowed away.

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1 minute ago, swathdiver said:

I think the K2s have that wired up already and ready to go.  The old 900s had it stowed away.

You're correct if there is a pigtail ready to use (usually located somewhere at the bottom of the A-pillar near the driver's left leg), but if the controller has to be wired from scratch then a charging wire would have to be added.  I guess it makes sense for a truck to be prewired, versus, for example, your average sedan.

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On 10/16/2021 at 7:28 AM, Troyce Reimer said:

Bought my first truck, a 2019 chev silverado LD LT. Love it, because its the 2018 body, personally I think the newer trucks look like junk... And I'm all chevy, all I drive is chevy. but I really dislike their new looks. Anyways, I got me the last good looking and probably best looking truck they made "in my opinion". But my problem is. It didn't come with a trailer brake controller. So I bought one, a genuine GM controller. Didn't fit in the cubby hole where I thought it would since thats where the replacement panels have them. So... Instead of buying a new one. I took my autobody skills for a run, and I custom fit the controller myself. Cut it out to fit in perfectly nice and snug. the currect wiring was dummy fastened to the back of the panel, and it was the exact right part with the same plug. At my surprise, after a nice finish job, and a proud completion, I find that the controller doesn't work. With a little research I learn that I'm supposed to go to a dealership and get it programmed. The price in the usa was $160. So here in canada that would be well over $240 plus I'm guessing. Does anyone know the procedure behind it? And can I bypass the dealership costs? Is there something I can do myself?

 

 

 

 

No can do.  The OEM factory controller won't work and can't be added to the truck.  All you've done is install the switch into the dash (there is a proper replacement panel the switch fits into as well).  There is A LOT more missing to the puzzle and again, cannot be added to the truck.

 

Your only option is an aftermarket controller.  

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Welcome to this forum and congratulations on your new truck!  This forum has helped me avoid problems like you have encountered.  The GM aftermarket brake controller is inexpensive, easy to install (plug & play), and works well.  It mounts under the dash and becomes unnoticeable after a very short period of time!  The time spent browsing this forum will save you a lot of money and frustration on this and future mods!

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