What does the brake warning light mean?
A brake warning light on the dash means that you either have an issue with the brake system or your emergency parking brake is on.
What can cause the brake warning light to come on?
In normal operation, the brake warning light will come on when you start the car, then the light will turn off immediately after you release the emergency parking brake.
If the brake warning light comes on the dash for any other reason, that means your vehicle has an issue with your brake system.
The brake warning light should come on under the following conditions:
- The brake warning light will come on upon start up of your vehicle to indicate that the brake warning light bulb is working properly.
- The brake warning light will stay on if the parking brake is applied.
- The brake warning light will come on if there is a problem within the braking system.
- The brake light will also come on in conjunction with the battery light in order to alert the drive that the vehicle has an issue with the charging system. (photo of brake warning light with battery warning light below.)
- Your brake pad sensor has commanded the brake warning light on, usually due to the brake pad material being due for service.
What can I check when the brake warning light is on?
A few things you can check when the brake warning light comes on the dash.
- Check the master cylinder fluid level to confirm it is between the minimum and maximum level. ** A low level of brake fluid could mean you have a leak or that you remaining brake pad / brake shoe life remaining is low
- Check that the parking brake is completely released and that nothing is interfering with the proper operation. ** A properly working parking brake release should turn the brake warning light off once the brake is released.
- Check to confirm that the battery warning light and the brake warning light are not on at the same time while the vehicle is running. ** If the brake warning light and battery light are on at the same time, this is a sign that you have an issue with the charging system.
- Bring your vehicle to a certified brake technician to have the brake system inspection performed if none of the above items fix the issue.
Is it safe to drive with the brake warning light on the dash?
It is not safe to drive with the brake warning light on the dash.
The brake warning light comes on for a variety of reasons as we described above. The most important thing to remember is that the brake warning light comes on to alert you of a safety issue.
How soon can I have my brake warning light inspected?
A+ Japanese Auto Repair in San Carlos have brake repair and service experts. We take the brake warning light being on the dash very seriously, it can be a life or death situation.
If you would like immediate help with your brake warning light, brake repair or service, towing to get your vehicle to the shop to inspect the brake warning light, please feel free to call us at 650-946-1856, text us at 650-750-8233, or make an appointment.
Disclaimer: This article is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended as advice for your particular vehicle, and should not be relied upon for that purpose. Please consult a qualified automotive maintenance professional to determine the maintenance and repair needs for your vehicle.