Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

What Does the Trailer Tow Hitch Warning Light Mean?

What Does the Trailer Tow Hitch Warning Light Mean?

Sometimes the amount of storage space inside of your vehicle just isn’t enough. For this reason, you may need to rent or buy a trailer for extra space. Nowadays, there are many vehicles available with a tow hitch installed so that you can attach a trailer safely.

Trailers and other big towable items need to have lights connected to the their turn signals and brake lights. Otherwise the trailer will block the lights on the car and other drivers won’t be able to react accordingly. Most vehicles with a tow hitch will have an indicator on the dash regarding the electrical connection, between the trailer and the towing vehicle but it may vary from one vehicle to another. Refer to the owner’s manual for more information on the indicators for your vehicle.

What the trailer tow hitch warning light means

Typically, the trailer tow hitch warning light can come on for a few different reasons. Depending on the kind of car, this light could indicate that the tow hitch is unlocked or that there’s an issue with the lighting system. Some vehicles may also have an indicator to show that there is an additional load on the lighting circuit. Modifications to the lighting system that aren’t done properly can cause this light to come on due to changes in the overall circuit load. If you changed the types of bulbs used in any of the lights or added additional lights to your vehicle, check and make sure everything was installed properly when you notice that this light has come on.

Is it safe to drive with the trailer tow hitch warning light on?

The only time you should really be worried about seeing this light is when you’re towing something. If this happens, pull over safely as soon as possible and make sure that the hitch is fully secured and that all of the trailer lights are working. Should the light come on with nothing attached, you don’t need to pull over immediately. Once you have parked, make sure there is nothing wrong with the hitch itself or the electrical connectors, and ensure that your lights are working.

If this warning light stays on, the circuit should be investigated further for any shorts or damage. Our certified technicians are always available should you encounter any issues with your tow hitch.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.


More related articles

How Long Does a Vacuum Brake Booster Check Valve Last?
The braking system on your car requires a lot of pressure. The vacuum booster is one of the main sources of this pressure. This booster will take the pressure that...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...

Related questions

Q: Oil light comes on when at a stop.

Overfilled oil can cause the oil to get aerated to the point that it causes erratic oil pressure to the engine. You should decrease the amount of oil as soon as possible to prevent engine bearing damage from oil starvation....

Q: How do I use the removable towing hook?

The removable towing hook helps your car if it needs to be towed. Here’s how to find it and use it: 1. Open the trunk, and find the trunk tool case. 2. Locate the removable towing hook from the tool...

Q: What does the malfunction indicator Warning Light mean?

The malfunction indicator Warning Light is on your instrument cluster. It illuminates when the On-Board Diagnostics-Second Generation (OBD II) system detects an issue. The OBD II system monitors your vehicle’s emissions. When the malfunction indicator Warning Light is illuminated, it...