Fix-It Chick: Replace trailer light plug end in 11 quick, easy steps
Replacing a worn-out four-wire trailer plug is a quick and easy job.
Step 1: Use a pair of diagonal pliers or a wire cutters to remove the existing plug from the trailer.
Step 2: Take the old plug end to the hardware store or automotive store and find a matching replacement plug. If the wires on the old trailer were a bit short, consider purchasing a plug with extra wire to extend the reach of the wiring harness.
Step 3: Purchase a package of heat-shrink solderless butt connectors for 16-gauge wire and a package of heat-shrink tubing that will fit over the butt connectors.
Step 4: Use wire strippers to remove a half-inch of the vinyl coating from the ends of each of the plug wires. Remove an equal amount of vinyl from the ends of the trailer wires.
Step 5: Cut four 3-inch-long pieces of heat-shrink tubing and slide a piece onto each of the four trailer wires.
Step 6: Crimp a solderless connector onto the end of each of the four plug wires.
Step 7: Crimp the other end of the solderless connectors onto the corresponding trailer wire — white to white, yellow to yellow, green to green and brown to brown.
Step 8: Once the wires are crimped securely in the butt connectors, attach the plug to a vehicle and test to make sure all of the trailer lights are working properly. If they are not, there may be a loose connection in one of the butt connectors or the plug wires and trailer wires may be improperly paired.
Step 9: When all of the trailer lights are working properly, use a lighter or a mini butane torch to heat up the heat-shrink material around each butt connector. The ends of each connector should shrink to form a tight seal around the wires.
Step 10: After the butt connectors are properly sealed, pull the heat shrink tubing up over each connection and use a torch or lighter to shrink the tubing around the connector and wire to form a secure and water tight seal.
Step 11: Once all of the connections have been sealed, wrap the wires as a bundle from top to bottom with a good quality electrical tape. For added protection, cover the taped wire bundle with a length of corrugated flexible wire conduit.
— Have a home improvement question for Fix-It Chick? Email it to Linda Cottin at firstname.lastname@example.org.