Range Rover hitch won’t engage

As a mechanic and range rover owner, I have experienced firsthand the well-known reliability issues that come with owning a Range Rover.

The latest issue I encountered, which I’m sure many other Range Rover owners face is when the hitch won’t engage.

It’s a frustrating problem and can prevent you from carrying out any towing work.

So, in this guide, I’ll take you through the possible causes of this problem and how you can fix it.

What models are affected?

Signs and symptoms

When the Range Rover hitch won’t engage, you will struggle to lock it into place.

The frustrating thing about the problem is that you can hear a click as you try to engage it but the hitch still won’t lock.

This is enough to let you know that the hitch won’t work as it should.

List of possible OBD codes

When you experience an issue with the hitch on your Range Rover, there are certain OBD codes that you may encounter.

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These include the following:

  • P0420- Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)
  • P0404- Exhaust Gas Recirculation Circuit Range/Performance
  • P0455- Evaporative Emission System Leak Detected (large leak)
  • P0193- Fuel Rail Pressure Sensor Circuit High Input

Common causes

Several factors can cause the hitch on your Range Rover to malfunction. Here are the most common ones:

  • Damaged Locking Mechanism: The locking mechanism on the hitch could be damaged, preventing it from locking properly.
  • Lock Misalignment: If the lock is not aligned properly with the hitch, it will not lock into place.
  • Damaged Key: With regular use, the key to the hitch’s locking mechanism can wear out or get damaged, making it more challenging to get it to lock properly.
  • Low Battery: When the battery on your Range Rover is running low, it may not provide the required power to engage the hitch lock.

Can it be fixed without a mechanic?

Depending on the severity of the problem, you could fix the hitch on your Range Rover without calling in a mechanic.

If the problem is due to a damaged key or an improperly aligned lock, you could fix it yourself in no time.

However, if the problem is more severe, you may have to seek the services of a professional mechanic.

Parts you’ll need to fix it

To fix a malfunctioning hitch on your Range Rover, you may need the following:

  • Replacement Hitch Lock: If your lock is damaged, you’ll need to get a replacement.
  • Battery Charger: If your battery is low, you’ll need a battery charger.

Tools you’ll need to fix it

To fix your hitch, you’ll need a few basic tools, including:

  • Screwdriver
  • Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Socket Set

How to fix it

If you’re up for a DIY fixing challenge, follow these steps to fix your hitch:

  1. Inspect the Hitch: Begin by carefully examining the hitch for any damage or debris that could be preventing it from locking correctly.
  2. Clean the Locking Mechanism: Thoroughly clean the locking mechanism to remove any debris that could be preventing it from locking properly.
  3. Adjust the Hitch: If you can’t find anything preventing the hitch from locking, try adjusting it slightly.
  4. Replace the Locking Mechanism: If the hitch still won’t lock, replace the locking mechanism with a new one.
  5. Charge the Battery: If the battery is low, plug the charger into the car’s battery and wait for it to recharge.
  6. Align the Key: Finally, try aligning the key with the hitch and see if it locks into place.

Potential Alternative Causes

While the causes mentioned above are the most common ones, there are other alternative reasons why your Range Rover hitch may fail to engage. These include:

  • Damaged Bumper: If the bumper is damaged, it may prevent the hitch from engaging properly.
  • Electrical Issues: There may be electrical issues that are preventing the hitch from getting enough power to lock properly.


How long does it take to fix a hitch that won’t engage?

The amount of time it takes to fix a hitch that won’t engage will depend on the cause of the problem. If the issue is a misaligned hitch, it may take a few minutes to fix. However, if it’s a damaged locking mechanism, it may take longer.

Can I still use my car if the hitch won’t engage?

It’s not advisable to use your car if the hitch won’t engage. It’s a safety concern, and you’re likely to damage your hitch more if you try to force it to work.

How much does it cost to fix a hitch that won’t engage?

The cost of fixing a hitch that won’t engage will depend on the cause of the problem and the extent of the damage. If it requires a simple fix, like aligning the hitch, it won’t cost much. However, if it requires a replacement locking mechanism, it may cost more.


Last updated and verified on 4th September 2023

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Gareth Boyd
Gareth Boyd

An avid Land Rover fan, and lover of all models, specifically Range Rover Sports. Having owned over 5 Ranger Rover models, he has encountered every error code and problem you could imagine!

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