Please note this thread has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new thread.
Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    32

    Default Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Does anyone have a quick fix to clean the male and female ends of a trailer connector that attaches to the back of a truck for the lights, brakes etc.? Somebody said to put brake fluid on them to clean the oxidation from the metal. Does that work? Any other suggestions?

  2. #2
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    162

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Personally, I use WD40 and fine grit emery cloth and that's only when they really need it.Spray the connector, slip the emery cloth over the end of a flat bladed screwdriver and rub it over the metal and you're done.I'd be concerned the brake fluid would break down the rubber or plastic body of the connector.

  3. #3
    Moderator JB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    The Hideout, Whitt, TX, USA
    Posts
    45,902

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Prevention is better than cure.Cut the plug and socket off a spare harness and connect the now blank plug and socket to the truck and the trailer when they are not in use.Good luck.

  4. #4
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    WD-40 and a small round wire brush. Then dialetic grease on the pins.Walmart has plug covers to keep out the dirt & debri.

  5. #5
    Lieutenant Commander
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,821

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    They're cheap. Dirt/grease is one thing that can be blown out with just about any solvent in a spray can, but in my opinion they're not worth trying to clean up if you indeed have some corrosion present. The last thing you want when towing in the dark is to have only 80% certainty that you have a good connection. I'd just buy a new matched set and replace both ends.

  6. #6
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    My connector on my truck was corroded real bad. I cut it off and replaced it with a new connector. I also moved it so that instead of being in the weather (under the truck bed) I moved it into the truck bed. I have a cover on the bed as well.End result - It's been several years and there is still no corrosion. - Brian

  7. #7
    Captain
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Lake Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    3,133

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Electrical contact cleaner and protectant (Radio shack or The Source now) and an old toothbrush. If its really badly corroded don't waste the time trying to clean it. Buy a new end and replace it.

  8. #8
    Chief Petty Officer all thumbs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    I've seen mechanics at our garage use a wire brush made for male and female ends. Our plugs at work are round so they won't work for my flat type. I have to believe someone makes a flat version of this but I can't seem to locate one.

  9. #9
    DJ
    Guest

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    I use a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water ( in a small spray bottle, in my toolkit) to keep everything clean.WD-40 to protect.

  10. #10
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    NC/GA
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Corrosion X after every use ... takes about 2.5 seconds.

  11. #11
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Thanks everyone for your replies . I will try some of your ideas for cleaning the contacts. The connections are not corroded, just dirty.

  12. #12
    Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    NC/GA
    Posts
    496

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    The connections are not corroded, just dirty.Soap and water?

  13. #13
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    louisville ky.
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    put some grease or vasoline on the ends

  14. #14
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    The best way to clean corrosion on electric wires is mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda into 8 ounces of water. Then either brush on or soak for 2 hours. Then clean and shine with steel wool or emery paper. For the female connector, use a round wire brush from a .22 rifle cleaning kit or a .18 air pistol cleaning kit.

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    ks
    Posts
    368

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    but youre taking off the protection thats already gone.so youre back to square one replace the connectors tractor supply has all that stuff.when i back my trailer into the water i unplug it from the truck.

  16. #16
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    36

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    If you want protection there is a white paste that is available that is a conductor but will not allow the metal to oxidize.Under no circumstances put grease or vaseline on any electrical connection.

  17. #17
    Captain
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Lake Simcoe Ontario
    Posts
    3,133

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    'If you want protection there is a white paste that is available that is a conductor but will not allow the metal to oxidize.'Its called dieletric grease. Available at most automotive suppliers. Expensive but effective.

  18. #18
    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Spartanburg, SC
    Posts
    174

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    For the vehicle (female) end of the connector I use toothpaste (extremely mildly abrasive) or Soft Scrub (Comet Cleanser) on a Q-tip in a power drill. Flush with plenty of water then pack w/ dielectric grease. For the male portions, Scotchbrite.

  19. #19
    Lieutenant rwidman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    North Charleston, SC
    Posts
    1,396

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    One person suggested electrical contact cleaner (from Radio Shack or another electronics store). That was the best answer. Brake fluid, WD40, etc. will not clean the contacts although they may protect them from further corrosion.Spray the electrical contact cleaner onto the connections, brush wirh an old toothbrush (some contact cleaners come with a built in brush), and spray again to remove residue. Repeat if necessary. After cleaning, protect the connections with dielectric grease (available at auto parts stores). Dielectric grease will tend to pick up dirt so cover the plugs when not in use.
    Ron

    2000 Camano Troll
    North Charleston, SC

  20. #20
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Northeast MA, Lakes Region NH
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: Cleaning trailer plug connectors?

    Use electrical contact spray available from several manufacturers stocked by all home centers, Home Depot etc in the electrical dept. Also, keep from corroding by using electric contact paste for use in electrical connections of dis-similar metals. Use the paste to prevent corrosion and maintain good connectivity, and the spray to clean connections.WD-40 works well but the stuff that's made for electrical connections is the best...

Similar Threads

  1. Cleaning out Vehicle and trailer wiring connectors.
    By Mkos1980 in forum Trailers and Towing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: July 30th, 2009, 09:15 AM
  2. Cleaning corrosion from plug type connectors
    By tmh in forum Boat Topics and Questions (not engine topics)
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 26th, 2009, 09:31 AM
  3. Trailer cleaning
    By willbjew1 in forum Trailers and Towing
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: June 23rd, 2008, 10:35 PM
  4. How do you keep your trailer connectors from corroding?
    By Mark42 in forum Trailers and Towing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: July 11th, 2006, 10:52 PM
  5. Spark Plug cleaning
    By MadeCoolCom in forum Johnson & Evinrude Outboards
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: August 31st, 2003, 08:13 AM
  1. iboats Forum Directory - Over 100,000 forum posts organized by topic