Brake Controller Illumination Wire Turned on Traverse Shift Lights - Dutchmen Owners

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Old 05-29-2015, 06:54 PM   #1
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Brake Controller Illumination Wire Turned on Traverse Shift Lights with ignition OFF

Our 2013 Chevy Traverse battery went dead last week after parking the car for a few days. When we got it jump started there was nothing left on. No lights or radio or dome light or door latches open etc. Nothing that would cause a drain on the battery. What a mystery!

Later that night I took a peek in the windows and noticed this. With the ignition OFF and car locked, the gearshift illumination lights were ON ! We have lights on the window controls and they were on too. No wonder it took a couple days to discharge the battery. But this CAN'T happen right??? See picture.

I'm posting this here because it turns out our brake controller's brown-colored "illumination wire" had been left disconnected and the bare EXPOSED wire shorted to our Chevy Traverse wiring harness. It really had the GM tech scratching his head for a while.

My understanding is that the illumination wire is meant to light the face of some controllers at night. In our case it's not needed.

Just a heads-up if you're not using this wire on your brake controller make sure you or the installer cuts it and wire nuts or tapes the end.

Btw, our brake controller is a Tekonsha Voyager 9030.

Btw2, Did you know that when a Chevy Traverse's battery goes dead your key LOCKS into the ignition? How stupid is that???

Ken
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:21 PM   #2
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We all know there are lots of things that cause parasitic battery drains in our campers and I am sure our TV also. Glad you found your issue.

The first week I owned my 2011 F-350 w/ 6.7 I would stand on my porch and just stare at it, one night I thought for sure I saw all my instrument lights light up. I walked over there and looked, all was dark. This went on with me thinking I saw it happen about 3 or 4 nights in a row but all was dark by the time I walked and check. Had me baffled. I asked the dealer about it and they never heard of anything like that before but "yours is the first 6.7 we sold so we really don't know about them yet"
Anyway, it got to the point I thought I was imagining it until my wife saw it one night, so I dug out our 8mm camcorder (remember those???) and set it up in the cab and let it run all night long.
Next morning this is what I saw when I viewed the tape: (I edited it for length so you don't have to watch the entire nights worth of film )



I finally figured out the cause but I will let some of the other Ford 6.7 owners take a guess at it, I promise yours will do it too....
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Old 05-29-2015, 07:39 PM   #3
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Wow... that's FREAKY!

That would drive me bananas

Ken
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Old 06-08-2015, 12:05 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kalm_in_NJ View Post
Our 2013 Chevy Traverse battery went dead last week after parking the car for a few days. When we got it jump started there was nothing left on. No lights or radio or dome light or door latches open etc. Nothing that would cause a drain on the battery. What a mystery!

Later that night I took a peek in the windows and noticed this. With the ignition OFF and car locked, the gearshift illumination lights were ON ! We have lights on the window controls and they were on too. No wonder it took a couple days to discharge the battery. But this CAN'T happen right??? See picture.

I'm posting this here because it turns out our brake controller's brown-colored "illumination wire" had been left disconnected and the bare EXPOSED wire shorted to our Chevy Traverse wiring harness. It really had the GM tech scratching his head for a while.

My understanding is that the illumination wire is meant to light the face of some controllers at night. In our case it's not needed.

Just a heads-up if you're not using this wire on your brake controller make sure you or the installer cuts it and wire nuts or tapes the end.

Btw, our brake controller is a Tekonsha Voyager 9030.

Btw2, Did you know that when a Chevy Traverse's battery goes dead your key LOCKS into the ignition? How stupid is that???

Ken
To clarify, it was the wiring in my 2013 Chevy Traverse that was shorted. The Tekonsha 9030 brake controller was fine.

Chevy supplies a wiring harness with a connector (plugs to a receptacle under dash) on one end and bare wires on the other. This "pigtail" has 5 wires but only 4 are needed for the typical brake controller.

Chevy Traverse Pigtail wire coloring is :
red/black
black
blue
white

and gray

The extra gray wire is needed for illumination of brake controller faceplate on some brake controller models. And with the bare wire left disconnected it's also the wire that wreaks havoc with the Traverse's shift and window control lights.

Ken
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