Light connector getting hot?

Discussion in 'Tow Vehicles, Hitch & Towing' started by Milemaker13, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I was testing the tow lights today ahead of as weekend trip. They mostly work ok.. a few touchy bulbs. When unplugging I noticed the connector was warm and the metal contact parts were almost hot. Testing took maybe 10 min.
    Background info: 1996 starcraft w tail lights and about 10 markers- all incandescent. We towed this trailer 6 hrs up into WI earlier this season with the mini van. No problems but I dont remember feeling the connector for warmth.
    TV= new toyota 4runner. First time plugging in a trailer.

    What do you all think? High amp draw from incandescent lights or high amp draw from a short/ bleed to ground of some kind?
     
  2. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Dirty connectors.
     
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  3. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    At the plug? Or bulbs?
    The trailer side connector looks ok, but I will check it over and wire brush it just to be sure. The TV side outlet is brand new with fancy purple grease from the factory.
     
  4. eriefisher

    eriefisher Member

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    Couple of suggestions.
    1-12v fridge on. Will sometime be connected to TV auxillary to work while driving.
    2-the batteries may also be trying to charge via the auxillary connection. If the they are real low the draw could be high.
    Both of these together will certainly heat up the plug.
     
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  5. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    The tow light connector is 4 flat - tow lights only. Originally the trailer had the 6 or 7 pin connector that would provide 12v to fridge and battery but the PO replaced the larger connector with the 4 flat style. I have not yet gone thru and checked/ rewired/ replaced the 6 or 7 pin. I intend to, but have not had time.
     
  6. Snow

    Snow Well-Known Member

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    My guess would be the PO wired the 4 flat funny..
     
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  7. eoleson1

    eoleson1 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with tombiasi and wrkrbee - start by cleaning all of your connections really well.
     
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  8. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I plan to clean everything this afternoon.
    I noticed the little contact wires looked cruddy when I was reseating bulbs so I ordered cheap 194 leds from amazon, they should arrive tomorrow. I also ordered a full set of actual LED markers but I wont have time to replace them b4 the trip.
    My tail lights use 1157 bulbs so I ordered sylvania zevo led bulbs.
     
  9. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I pulled out all the bulbs and checked continuity with a meter. I checked at the trailer connector. From ground pin to left and right no continuity. From ground pin to tail/marker light pin the meter shows 8 megaohms.
    This means I have a bleed to ground right? Cuz with no bulbs it should read open like the left & right wires , yes?
     
  10. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    With a resistance that high I would suspect corrosion to ground, probably at the socket.
     
  11. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    Shouldnt there be infinite resistance (no connection) since all bulbs are removed? Or are you saying a corroded terminal is bleeding to ground?
     
  12. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Corroded terminal to ground. Quite common.
     
  13. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    I apologize for being dense here.. but Im not finding any corroded terminals.

    My understanding is that I should have " no connection" or " infinite ohms" when checking my hot taillight wire to my ground wire... or frame or any other ground. All of my bulbs are removed. So, a corroded ground connection (super common on trailers causing light malfunctions right) should not affect this reading since I am looking for no connection.

    Am i misunderstanding something?
     
  14. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    So I am looking for a pinched or skinned wire some place.
     
  15. tombiasi

    tombiasi Well-Known Member

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    Look at the socket. See if there is crud on a bulb terminal that extends to the ground case. If not, clean it anyway.
     
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  16. Milemaker13

    Milemaker13 Active Member

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    Ok gotcha. I was able to isolate the fault to the running lights on the top by clipping a wire inside a cabinet. I will check the sockets like you said. Thanks!
     

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