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We installed a wiring kit to the rear lights so we could plug in lights for towing a trailer. After testing the lights with a trailer, the brake lights stopped working and then the car wouldn't shift out of park. We removed the kit and put all the wires back where they were originally, and still, the car won't shift out of park.

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The issue was the brake light fuse burned out. This was frustrating us because there is a separate fuse labeled TAIL for the tail lights and a different fuse labeled STOP for the brake lights. Without Google, we wouldn't have thought about looking for the STOP fuse.

Once the fuse was replaced, the car would shift out of park. I guess we need to look into getting a different wiring kit brand or checking the trailer connection for any issues that caused the fuse to burn out.

NOTE: The fuses in the RAV4 are below the steering wheel. The size for the STOP fuse is 10A and was in slot number 9.

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  • Thanks for the update. For future reference "tail light(s)" usually refers to the running lights aka parking lights so it makes sense it has separate fuses from the stop lights aka brake lights which is a different function.
    – narkeleptk
    Dec 13 '19 at 16:49
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I see 3 possibilities:

  1. you made an error when connecting the "stop" wire.

  2. the trailer kit (socket) has a fault on the stop pin.

  3. The trailer you used for testing has a fault on the stop circuit (shorted wire or shorted bulb).

You may not need a new trailer connection kit, just need to find what was wrong.

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