What Does the Trailer Tow Hitch Warning Light Mean?

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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.


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Matthew

32 years of experience
709 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Chevrolet Impala - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
First off he was on time....actually 30 mins early which was great. Everything he described was what I was going through and he knew exactly what I needed before he even looked at the car. Other mechanics i feel were trying to take advantage because I am a woman but he made me feel comfortable. Still have to get work done on it but at least I know exactly what the problem was.
Chevrolet Tahoe - Warning Light is on - Norfolk, Virginia
Very detailed and takes the time to explain what is being done. Willing to answer any questions you may have. I would definitely use his services again and have already been telling my coworkers about this site. I have a unique electrical situation going on with my truck that none of the dealers could assess. Just by Matt doing some general maintenance , my truck is already driving smoother. Matt asked that I monitor things to make sure we don't need to troubleshoot anything else. I feel quite confident.

Quentin

18 years of experience
13 reviews
Quentin
18 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Warning Light is on - Nottingham, Maryland
Quentin was very professional and meticulous with locating the issues with my car. Great spirit and explained and answered all of my questions.

Travis

12 years of experience
71 reviews
Travis
12 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz C230 - Warning Light is on - Charlotte, North Carolina
Travis came out to determine cause for the Check Engine light. He did so and told me what needed to be done and the cost.

Juan

8 years of experience
53 reviews
Juan
8 years of experience
Suzuki Grand Vitara - Warning Light is on - Durham, North Carolina
I won't go into details about the actual work performed - the result was completely satisfactory. Juan is knowledgeable about how these computerized engines work . He's very personable, polite, patient with my questions, and when I need service again, I'll request Juan. He put in more time than originally scheduled and seems to want to see things through and honest enough to tell you if the job is beyond his expertise and suggests taking car to dealer for more extensive diagnostic tests. I am well pleased.

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