DIY – Trailer plug maintenance

With the busy lives we all lead, it’s sometimes inevitable that we forget the little things. Some tasks may initially take a couple of minutes, but in the long run, neglecting them can cause more of a headache than necessary.

As you may well have guessed, I’m staring down the barrel of one of these reminders. The Anzac day just passed, a combination of the fishing ‘day pass’ that I was granted and my insomnia, meant that I was hitching the boat to my car at about 3am. Pulling out of my driveway and up the road, my car decided to express it’s feelings by sounding a warning chime promptly followed by a warning light on my dash that I’ve never seen before. The fact that the warning light was orange and not red provided some sort of relief; to me, red means bad. Quickly pulling over, I opened the glove box, removed the manual and flicked to the warning signals page. Lesson 1 for the day: This new warning light on my dash was telling me that I have a light out somewhere – that’s pretty cool! A quick walk around my trailer with my hazard signals and headlights on and I quickly concluded that one of my trailer parking lights was not working. With the regular jiggle and wiggle of the trailer plug adaptor it came good and I was on my way.

After returning home from the trip, it turns out that my trailer plug had suffered from some slight corrosion built up on the pins that was causing a bad electrical connection. Not really the place you would expect to find it unless you submerge the back of your car in the water. Never the less it was there, and no doubt the corrosion on the inside would be far worse than that on the outside.

Trailer plug 01052014 001

External corrosion on the trailer plug causing a bad connection

So what could I have done to prevent this? Probably a quick squirt of lanolin or some sort of protective coating spray to each end of the plug every couple of trips.  For now I’ll need to pull this plug apart, repair any necessary connection and while it’s apart I’ll also give it a spray of lanolin.  Hopefully this work shouldn’t account for any more than 20 minutes to get my lights back in working order again.

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