How to Troubleshoot Tow Dolly Surge Brakes?

Dolly surge brakes are a great tool for any garage or shop. They prevent wheel spin when you push on the gas and ease parking lot maneuvering, but they sometimes give up before their job is done-especially if your dolly has been in use for some time.

This article will teach you how to troubleshoot tow dolly surges and get them back into action again.

How to troubleshoot tow dolly surge brakes?

Now let’s take a closer look at how to troubleshoot the most common problems associated with tow dolly surge brakes.

1. Brake pad wear

Brake pad wear or not

The first step is to make sure that the brake pads are actually wearing. You can do this by checking the tread depth on each side of the tire. 

A good rule of thumb is to measure one inch per year. If the tires are less than 1/2 inch deep, then the brake pads probably need replacing.

2. Caliper adjustment

Caliper adjustment

The next step is to check the brake calipers. Make sure that they’re tight against the axle. If they’re loose, then you may need an alignment kit.

3. Brake fluid level

Brake fluid level

The last step is to check the reservoir. If the fluid isn’t full, then you may need more. Add more fluid until the reservoir is full.

4. Wheel speed

If the problem persists after all of these steps, then you may need a different approach. For example, if the wheels are spinning even though the brake pads are worn down, then you may need new tires.

5. Brake system failure

If none of the above solutions work, then you may need another solution altogether. In this case, you’ll need to call a professional mechanic who specializes in tow dollies.

How to adjust tow dolly surge brakes?

If your tow dolly surge brakes need adjusting, you can do so by following these simple steps:

  1. Remove the bolts that secure the brake to the trailer.
  2. Turn the knurled nuts in a counter-clockwise direction.
  3. Reattach the brake and tighten the bolts securely.
  4. Repeat as necessary until the desired braking performance is achieved.

Tow dolly surge brakes are a valuable tool for optimizing your truck's braking power when towing or hauling heavy loads. By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your brakes are performing at their best.

What are the signs that tow dolly surge brakes need to be replaced?

There are a few telltale signs that your tow dolly surge brakes may need to be replaced. If you notice any of the following, it's time to take your tow dolly in for servicing:

  • The brake pedal feels soft or spongy when you step on it.
  • You hear a squealing noise when you brake.
  • The brake light stays on even when the brake pedal is released.
  • Your car pulls to one side when you brake.

Frequentky Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. How much does it cost to replace tow dolly surge brakes?

If you're in need of a tow dolly surge brake replacement, you're likely wondering how much it will cost. The good news is that this part can be replaced for around $200. Keep in mind that the exact price may vary depending on the brand and model of your tow dolly.

2. Do all tow dollies have surge brakes?

There are tow dollies on the market that come with surge brakes, and there are also tow dollies that do not have this feature. It is important to choose the correct tow dolly for your needs, based on the weight of the object you're going to be towing and your vehicle's capabilities.

The brakes on tow dollies are strong enough to help you stop the load of the vehicle being towed. There are three types of tow dollies with different braking systems available: those with surge brakes, electric brakes, and hydraulic disc brakes.

3. How often should tow dolly surge brakes be serviced?

It depends on how much you drive your tow dolly. The average driver only drives it about once every two months. However, if you’re driving it more frequently, then you may want to consider having it checked out sooner rather than later.

4. Does tow dolly brake have similar brake pad as other cars?

When it comes to tow dollies, there's no need to worry about the brakes. Most tow dollies use the same type of brake pads as other vehicles, so you can be confident that they will work just as well.

In fact, many tow dollies even have the same type of brake system as other cars, so you can be sure that your tow dolly will stop when you need it to.

So, whether you're looking to save money on brake pads or just want to know that your tow dolly is safe, rest assured that the brakes are up to the task.

5. What is the difference between tow dolly surge brakes and electric brakes?

Electric brakes are used in some tow dollies because they are easier to install. Electric brakes require less maintenance than surge brakes, but they don't offer the same level of stopping power.

6. Can I buy tow dolly surge brakes online?

Yes, you can purchase tow dolly surge brakes through our website. We carry a wide variety of parts including surge brakes, wheel bearings, and many others. You can shop by category or search by part number.

7. Will my tow dolly work without surge brakes?

No, your tow dolly won't function properly without surge brakes. Without them, the brakes would not be able to hold the load of the vehicle you're towing.

8. What is the life expectancy of tow dolly surge brakes?

If you are wondering about the life expectancy of your tow dolly's surge brakes, don't worry - they are designed to last for many years with proper care and maintenance.

Surge brakes work by using hydraulic pressure to apply the brakes when the tow dolly is moving too fast. This prevents wear and tear on the brake shoes, pads, and drums, and extends the life of the brakes.

However, it is important to remember that surge brakes require regular maintenance in order to function properly.

Be sure to check the fluid level in the reservoir regularly, and have the system serviced by a qualified technician every few years. With proper care, your tow dolly's surge brakes will provide years of trouble-free service.


If your tow dolly surge brakes are not working properly, there are a few things you can do to troubleshoot the issue. First, check the connection between the tow dolly and the car to make sure it is secure.

Next, check the brake line to see if it is kinked or damaged in any way. Finally, check the surge brake actuator to see if it is working properly.

Rahat Hossain