The ‘HOLD’ button was first introduced on the 2019 RAV4. Since then, it’s been a standard feature with any new Toyota RAV4.

If you’ve never used the HOLD button before, you might not know what function it serves.

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Video: Toyota RAV4 Hold Button Explained

What Does the ‘HOLD’ Button Do on a Toyota RAV4?

rav4 hold button closeup

You might be afraid to press the ‘HOLD’ button without knowing what it does. I don’t blame you; the button is pretty ambiguous. You could dig through your owner’s manual to try and figure it out, but that’s too time-consuming.

The ‘HOLD’ button applies the brake automatically when the car is stopped in D (drive), S (sequential shifting), or N (neutral). This allows the driver to take their foot off the brake pedal when the vehicle is stopped without putting the vehicle in P (park).

For example, this would allow the driver to take their foot off the brake to easily rest their leg while stopped at a red light.

When the ‘HOLD’ button is pressed, a green light will appear on the dashboard indicating that the brake hold feature is turned on. When you stop and the brake hold kicks in, an orange ‘HOLD’ indicator light will appear.

rav4 hold indicator lights

Where Is the Brake Hold Button Located?

The brake hold button is placed prominently in the center console area. It is located directly to the left of the gear shifter. It is hard to miss.

rav4 brake hold button location

If you don’t see the brake hold button here, remember that this feature is only available on RAV4s 2019 or newer.

How to Use the Brake Hold Button

Now that you know what the ‘HOLD’ button does, let’s talk about how to use it.

Activating Brake Hold

To activate the brake hold feature, simply press the ‘HOLD’ button. This can be done while driving or when stopped, but you must have the driver’s door closed and need to be wearing your seatbelt.

Once the brake hold feature is activated, you’ll see a green ‘HOLD’ indicator light appear on the dashboard.

rav4 hold green indicator light on dashboard

Next time you stop while the car is in D, S, or N, the hold feature will automatically apply the brake and you can safely take your foot off the brake pedal for up to three minutes. An orange ‘HOLD’ indicator light will appear to alert you that the automatic brake hold has been applied.

rav4 indicator lights closeup

If your foot is still off the brake after three minutes, the parking brake will automatically apply for safety reasons. A buzzer will sound and a message will appear on the car’s multi-information display.

toyota rav4 EPB automatically applied

DeActivating Brake Hold

To deactivate the brake hold feature, depress the brake pedal and press the ‘HOLD’ button again. You can also deactivate brake hold while driving by simply pressing the ‘HOLD’ button.

The brake hold feature will also deactivate when your turn off the vehicle.

When the brake hold is deactivated, the indicator lights will disappear from the dashboard.

Brake Hold Not Working? Here’s Why

Are you having trouble using the brake hold feature? There are a few common reasons why it might not be working.

Brake hold will not work under the following conditions:

  • The driver’s door is open
  • The driver is not wearing a seat belt
  • The road is too steep
  • The road is too slippery (ice or snow)
  • There is a brake hold malfunction (visit your dealer)

If none of these conditions seem to apply to your situation, check with your local Toyota dealer or trusted mechanic for advice.


Toyota’s brake hold feature can be very convenient, especially during city driving with lots of traffic lights. The ‘HOLD’ button enables the vehicle to hold the brake for you temporarily, without shifting the vehicle into Park.

Keep in mind that this feature is only available on RAV4s that are 2019 or newer. If your RAV4 is older, you’re out of luck.

Hopefully this guide helped you better understand how to use the brake hold feature in your RAV4!

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