What to Do if Brake Warning Light Comes On

What to Do if Brake Warning Light Comes On

Advice on what to do if your Brake Warning Light illuminates.

Your car’s Brake Warning Light indicates that something is going wrong in your car braking systems.

It could be something simple, or it could be a more serious issue, either way you should never ignore your car’s Brake Warning Light if it illuminates.

Here are some tips provided by WikiHow on what to do if your Brake Warning Light comes on.

For Standard Braking Systems:

  • Check the parking brake (also called an emergency brake) and attempt to release it. The warning light will stay on continuously if this device is engaged.
  • Pull over at a safe place if the parking brake is not the culprit. Your brakes may be low on brake fluid or hydraulic pressure.
  • Turn off the engine and consult your owner’s manual for the location of the master brake cylinder and the type of brake fluid your vehicle needs.
  • Open the hood of your car and take off the cap to the master cylinder reservoir. Look inside to see the level of fluid inside.
  • Pour in brake fluid until the fill line. Replace and tighten the cap.
  • Restart the engine and check your dashboard. The warning light should be off and you can continue to your destination.
  • Take your vehicle to a mechanic as soon as possible to have your brakes thoroughly checked out. A leak or other braking problem must be diagnosed and repaired by a professional.

Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS):

  • Seeing your ABS light cycle on and off while driving indicates a temporary glitch in the anti-lock braking system. Your brakes should remain completely functional. If this occurs often, you should get it checked out by a mechanic.
  • Observing the ABS light come on and remain on indicates a more serious problem. The anti-locking system will shut down leaving only normal braking ability. The ABS will not engage on wet or slippery surfaces or during an emergency braking manoeuvre. Get your anti-lock brakes examined by a mechanic as soon as you can.
  • Having the ABS and regular brake warning lights come on at the same time is an emergency. Pull over immediately and call for help. The vehicle is no longer safe to drive.
About the author

Kate Richards

Kate has always had an interest in writing and cars and now as a key member of the Behind the Wheel website team she gets to spend her days consumed by both. Aside from being a contributor and an editor at Behind the Wheel, Kate enjoys driving her Lancer EVO and walking her beloved dog, Max!

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