The Toyota RAV4’s ‘Hold’ Feature

You’ve probably seen the “HOLD” button on your RAV4 but have no idea what it means.

Perhaps you pressed the button and didn’t notice any difference, other than a green “HOLD” indicator light on the dashboard.

Since this feature isn’t so obvious, we’re here to teach you all about it!

In this article, we explain what it does, how to use it, and more!

rav4 center console

What It Does

You might be afraid to press the ‘HOLD’ button without knowing what it does. I don’t blame you; the button is pretty ambiguous.

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.

rav4 hold indicator lights

How to Use

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

Watch the video below, or continue reading for written instructions.

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 be wearing your seatbelt.

rav4 brake hold button location

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 the brake hold while driving by simply pressing the ‘HOLD’ button.

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

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


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 seatbelt
  • 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.

Benefits and Disadvantages

Brake hold has proven to be helpful, especially for those who do a lot of city driving.

The main benefit of the brake hold feature is that it can give your leg a rest while you’re waiting at a red light. If you hit a lot of red lights while driving, it allows you to stretch your legs frequently without impacting safety.

There are a few minor disadvantages of brake hold. The biggest is that it will engage the parking brake after 3 minutes. If this happens to you while stopped in traffic, it may cause a bit of a panic as you scramble to disengage the parking brake to continue driving.

Additionally, those who do frequent highway driving and don’t live near the city won’t see much benefit from the brake hold. It’s only useful if you encounter red lights frequently.

Frequently Asked Questions

No. The Hold button is only available for RAV4 model years 2019 or newer.

The primary function is to allow the driver to remove their foot from the brake pedal when the vehicle is stopped.

Yes. If your foot is off the brake after 3 minutes then the parking brake will be automatically applied and there will be a buzzer sound and message displayed.


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. It can be activated and deactivated easily by pressing the HOLD button.

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!

Do you find this feature useful? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. Another one of those almost useless Toyota feaures that increase the price and complexity and can go wrong that is if little practical use for the majority of owners. Keep it simple toyota and get rid of that.

  2. Mary French says:

    Love this – so informative. Loved the word “ambiguous” so accurate! I also agree with Olaf’s comment – just another thing to go wrong. I’ve been driving (a lot) for 46 years without this. Don’t know if I would trust it. Great series -can’t wait to see what’s next! Thank you for making it!