What does the Trailer Brake Controller on your truck do? In simple terms, it automatically applies the trailer brakes when you brake your vehicle.

This helps you slow down smoothly while towing. This guide will show you how to install, program, and use the Trailer Brake Controller (TBC) on your Ford F150.

We’ll also give you tips to check if your F150 already has the TBC installed, so you’re all set for towing.

How To Install And Program The F150 Trailer Brake Controller?

Installing and programming the TCB in your F150 is easy. First, make sure you have all these tools:

  • 7mm socket
  • 8mm socket
  • ¼ inch ratchet
  • Trim removal tool

Steps To Install F150 Trailer Brake Controller

  1. Remove the 7-mm bolt located at the panel.
  2. Snap down and remove the panel.
  3. Remove four 8-mm bolts holding the metal bracket.
  4. Lift the back of the tray and pry it up with the trim removal tool.
  5. Remove the two7-7mm bolts under the tray.
  6. Pull up on the radio trim piece and swing it out.
  7. Pry back the top of the panel to remove it.
  8. Disconnect the 4WD switch if applicable.
  9. Ensure the ignition is off before disconnecting.
  10. Unplug the dummy plug for the trailer brake controller connector.
  11. Remove the cubby and install the new trailer brake controller.
  12. Ensure the controller is flush and plug it in.
  13. Reassemble the panel using reverse procedures.

Steps To Program F150 Trailer Brake Controller

  1. Connect an ELM327 cable to the OBD-II port and your laptop.
  2. Download and install Ford Forscan.
  3. Launch Forscan and read the entire vehicle and control modules.
  4. Save the vehicle profile when prompted.
  5. Go to IPC Configuration Module Configuration in Forscan.
  6. Select Control Configuration and click Play.
  7. Enable the Trailer Brake Controller Gain setting.
  8. For 2017 and newer models, enable the trailer brake control module.
  9. Write down the changes to the vehicle.
  10. Follow the prompts to turn the ignition off and on.
  11. Confirm the Trailer Brake Controller Gain setting is enabled.
  12. Test the trailer brake controller.

How To Activate Or Use Trailer Brake Controller In Your F150?

Here’s how to use the trailer brake controller in you F150:

  1. Look for a manual lever and plus/minus buttons nearby.
  2. Start with a gain setting of 6.0 for heavier loads. Use the plus and minus buttons to adjust.
  3. Drive at 20–255 miles per hour on a flat, dry road without traffic. Squeeze the manual lever to apply the trailer brakes.
  4. If the trailer wheels squeal (lock-up), lower the gain. If they roll freely, raise it.
  5. In your F-150’s menu under Features > Towing, choose your trailer type (electric, surge, electric over hydraulic) and brake effort level (low, medium, high).
  6. Make sure your trailer brake gain is properly set to low, which works for most trailers.
Note: Adjust the gain only in a traffic-free environment at low speeds. The gain setting must be adjusted to specific towing conditions and should be changed as towing conditions change. And if something’s wrong with your system, it might not work entirely—showing F150 trailer brake system fault error instead.

Does Your F150 Have A Trailer Brake Controller?

To check if your F150 has a trailer brake controller, look at your window sticker and see if it mentions any of the relevant packages. Here’s some info that might help.

The Integrated TBC is standard on the 2024 F150 with the Tow/Haul (53T) package. For the F150 Lightning, it comes with the Trailer Tow Package (53D). It’s standard only on the Lightning Platinum but optional on Pro, XLT, and Lariat trims.

Older F150s, like the 2023 model, have similar options but with different package codes such as the Max Trailer Package (53C) or Trailer Tow Package (53A) for the standard F150. The F150 Lightning also offers it with the Trailer Tow Package (53D).


Is it possible to install the factory trailer brake controller on an F150 that didn’t have it?

You can add a factory trailer brake controller to your Ford F150 that didn’t come with one. Get the part ML3Z-19H332-AB from a Ford dealer, replace the old module with the new one under the left side of the dash, and activate it using FORScan. You can find instructions on how to install it on your exact F150 model on the MotorCraftService website – just search the accessory section after navigating to the page of your model.

Final Thoughts

TBC makes towing much easier, whether hauling gear for a weekend adventure or towing heavy loads for work.

Once you’re well-acquainted with it, you’ll have a much safer and smoother journey, which means you can enjoy driving with more confidence.

Have fun trying it out on your next trip with something in tow!

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *