Step-by-Step Guide for Installing a Brake Controller in Your 2019 Subaru Ascent

If you own a 2019 Subaru Ascent and are looking to install a brake controller, you’ve come to the right place. A brake controller is an essential device that helps you control the braking force when towing a trailer. This device ensures that your vehicle and the trailer brake at the same time, preventing any accidents or damage. Are you ready to learn how to install a brake controller in your Subaru Ascent? In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need to know.

What is a Brake Controller, and Why is It Important?

A brake controller is an electronic device that connects to your car’s braking system and controls the braking force applied to the trailer. This is especially important when towing a heavier trailer because it can impact your car’s handling and braking performance. A brake controller provides you with greater control and reduces the risk of an accident.

Tools and Materials Needed for the Installation

Before you start with the installation process, you need to gather the necessary tools and materials. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Brake controller kit
  • Screwdriver
  • Socket wrench set
  • Wire stripper/crimper
  • Electrical tape
  • Heat gun
  • Butt connectors
  • Ring terminals
  • Self-tapping screws
  • Zip ties
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Step-by-Step Instructions on How to Install a Brake Controller

Now that you have the necessary tools and materials, let’s dive into the installation process. Follow these steps to install your brake controller:

  1. Firstly, identify the location where you want to install your brake controller. The perfect location is usually beneath the dashboard, close to the steering wheel and in front of the driver’s seat.

  2. Once you have decided the position, use a screwdriver or socket wrench to remove the panel beneath the dashboard. This will expose the wiring harness behind the panel.

  3. Next, locate the harness’s red wire, which is responsible for providing electrical power to the brake controller. Connect the red wire from the controller to the red wire of the wiring harness using a butt connector.

  4. Locate the harness’s blue wire, responsible for connecting to the brake switch. Strip the insulation from the wire, crimp a ring terminal and connect it to the brake controller’s blue wire. Make sure that the wire is securely connected and insulated with electrical tape.

  5. Find the white wire in the same wiring harness that will connect to the controller’s white wire, responsible for grounding the brake controller. Remove some insulation from the wire, crimp a ring terminal, and connect it to the controller’s white wire.

  6. Now, mount the brake controller to the selected location using a self-tapping screw. Make sure it is secure and won’t move while driving on rough roads.

  7. Connect the brake controller to its power supply by plugging it into the 12-volt power outlet or wiring it directly to your car’s battery.

  8. In the end, tidy up everything and use zip ties to keep the cables neat and tidy. Reassemble the panel removed in step 2.

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Tips and Tricks for a Successful Installation

Here are some tips and tricks to help you with your installation:

  • Always follow the instructions provided by the brake controller manufacturer and make sure you read and understand them entirely before starting the installation process.

  • Always connect the ground wire to a clean, unpainted metal surface to ensure a good ground connection.

  • Use a heat gun to shrink the heat shrink tubing to the right size and create a watertight seal.

  • Double-check all your connections and make sure everything is correctly connected and insulated.


1. What is the towing capacity of a 2019 Subaru Ascent?

The 2019 Subaru Ascent can tow up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the towing package.

2. How long does it take to install a brake controller?

The installation process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours, depending on your expertise and experience in car mechanics.

3. What is the difference between an electric brake controller and a hydraulic brake controller?

An electric brake controller uses electricity to activate the brakes on the trailer, while a hydraulic brake controller uses hydraulic pressure to activate the trailer brakes.


In conclusion, installing a brake controller in your 2019 Subaru Ascent is a simple process that can significantly improve your safety when towing heavy loads. Ensure the device is correctly installed, and double-check your connections before setting out on your journey. Follow the steps provided in this article and use the tips and tricks to ensure a successful installation process. Towing can be a stress-free experience with a brake controller; make sure you have yours installed today!

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Davis Bellew

As a Subaru owner and enthusiast, Davis has a deep understanding of the needs and concerns of Subaru drivers. He specializes in writing informative and engaging content about Subaru maintenance and repair, and his articles are always well-researched and easy to understand. When he's not writing, he enjoys hiking and photography.

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