Trailer Error Message with Hitch Light on a 2018 Ford Escape

Question:

I put this on my new 2018 ford escape, works great as running light and brake but when I put the turn signal on either direction the car alarms and tells me I have a trailer light out, I then took car over to my neighbor who has a trailer and plugged my car into his trailer and lights worked perfectly so I do not believe the car has an issue. light is defective or my car will not work with this light. thoughts please.

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Expert Reply:

I do not believe that there is an issue with your 2018 Ford Escape or there is an issue with the Oval LED Brake Light Trailer Hitch Receiver Cover part # CR-017. Unfortunately, the electrical systems in newers cars today are very complex and they do not like when aftermarket accessories are used.

The issue you are having is that the vehicle thinks there is a trailer attached when you have the hitch light plugged in. The power draw from the hitch light is not comparable to that of a trailer with two tail lights so the vehicle thinks there is a short or light out and sends an error message.

In order to fix the above issue I have two options for you. The first would be to install load resistors part # P230004A-2, one on the right hand stop/turn and one on the left hand stop/turn wires that lead into the light. This may then trick the trailer light circuit into not recognising there is a load.

The other possible solution is to isolate the stop light circuit so that it doesn't work in unison with the turn signal circuit. In order to do this you would need a combination of part # 18004, part # 18002, part # 118158 (see photo). If none of the above are something you are willing to undergo then you could also just snip the yellow and green wires from the back of the hitch light and only use it for the running light circuit.

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Conner L

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