Tekonsha voyager electric brakes

Submitted: Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 18:22
ThreadID: 97603 Views:2983 Replies:4 FollowUps:3
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We have the above braking system and have a question. Should the brake lights come on my van if I am parked up and just pressing brake pedal down. All other lights work and the lights on the tekonsha unit are doing what they should. Its just that we discovered we had no rear lights at all even though the van had just been passed roadworthy in order for us to buy it. It then was moved a few streets away and we cant remember if we checked them ourselves or allowed the seller to check them for us while we were in the car ready to go. We discovered the lights weren't working after I noticed that when I used the 12 volt lights inside the tail light glowed as well. We replaced and rewired the trailer plug and checked voltage to van all as it should be. We are living in the van atm and cant easily move it to check. The online user manual says no red light when not moving is because your not moving so the brakes wont go on. This is what makes us think maybe the lights wont come on unless we are moving and then brake. Confused.... so are we.:)
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Reply By: Andrew(WA) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:29

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:29
There are some known problems with these units...I can't remember specifics but there was a recall I think or warranty replacements..something like that.

I have one in my car and from time to time for no reason at all (even when not in use towing) it will activate my brake lights causing my cruise control to disengage. It took me ages to find out what was going on but one day I was standing behind my car, it was not running, doors were locked and suddenly everything around me lights up red and I $hit myself. I look over to the car and the brake lights were illuminated momentarily ...no one in the car????

Anyway, after much research I found out it was the Tekonsha Voyager unit. I spoke to a supplier but mine was too far out warranty to do anything..I was told.

Apparently people just replace them with the next model up the line.
AnswerID: 493475

Follow Up By: Andrew(WA) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:31

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 19:31
Type 'Tekonsha' into the 'search' thread area and you will get all the info...
FollowupID: 769079

Reply By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:00

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:00
Hi Mad Maverick,

There is a long history of this sort of problem with the voyager units going back years. The recent units were able to be updated, or exchanged or something, but the best alternative is the Tekonsha Prodigy brake controller.

They are much more advanced and have more features. Definitely worth the upgrade in my experience.

I have had one for the last 6 years or more and never a problem and plenty of control over the van braking system too.

I strongly advise an upgrade to a Tekonsha Prodegy.

Most of those basic systems like the Voyager are just that, very basic.

Hope this helps.

Cheers, Bruce.
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AnswerID: 493478

Reply By: Ross M - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:05

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:05
I believe, if you activate the brake lever or press on the brake at anytime, the stop lights should come on, to be legal.
If for some reason the controller is back feeding a +ve signal to the stop light wires sometimes, it will cancel the cruise to cancel and cause the stop lights to be on. This indicates a faulty unit, somehow.
To stop this happening you can add a 4amp diode, into the wire from SL switch to the controller, with its banded end towards the controller, and this will prevent any back feed but still allow a correct signal to the controller when needed.
AnswerID: 493480

Follow Up By: Lex M - Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:50

Thursday, Aug 23, 2012 at 20:50
As you say "if you activate the brake lever or press on the brake at anytime, the stop lights should come on, to be legal."

Adding a diode as suggested will prevent the brake lights from being activated by the brake lever on the controller. Not legal.
FollowupID: 769088

Reply By: Mad Maverick - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 08:43

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 08:43
Many thanks to everyone that made a suggestion and offered assisstance. We have ordered a Prodigy P2 and hope to have it installed by tuesday. Will update on what happens. We decided on this course of action when we discovered that the unit was 23 years old and that 12v was going in but only 3.5 volts were coming out even with the gain up full. Also using the manual slide didnt change the voltage to the brakes at all. So fingers crossed it will all work next week.:)
AnswerID: 493567

Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:35

Saturday, Aug 25, 2012 at 23:35
The 3.5 V seems about right when standing still. When you brake the pendulum swings forward and increases the voltage output. You will not get any where near full voltage unless you are travelling at a fair rate of knots and you are standing on the brake pedal. You will get similar results with your prodigy, low voltage out until you are braking heavily. That's how proportional controllers work. You will only get large voltages out if you use something with old technology like the Redarc ones (and who in their right mind would use one of those.)

If I was using a Voyager and it was working well I would not change it. Your model was produced well before the batches that had the lemons amongst them. They are an excellent unit, they just don't have the fancy readouts like the Prodigies but they perform just the same when set up properly.

Yes any brake controller must operate the stop lights when it is in action, whether the vehicle is moving or not. As there is battery power applied to the unit at all times, when you put your foot on the brake pedal the unit wakes up and applies power to the vans brakes and the stop lights. If you put a diode in the brake light circuit to bodgy up a faulty controller you are making your vehicle un-roadworthy.

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FollowupID: 769206

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