Commonly Asked Brake Issues:My BRAKE Warning Light is On. What does it imply?

If the light is on all of the time, it could indicate you just forgot to release the parking (emergency) brake. The brake warning light remains on when the brake is set being a reminder. Should the brake warning light stays on once the parking brake is released, then a little something is amiss. In some instances, the brake warning light could remain on in case the switch about the parking brake pedal or lever is misadjusted. Practically nothing is incorrect with all the brakes as well as a basic adjustment ought to fix the trouble.

If your brake warning light comes on after you implement the brakes, or is on continuously, it means that hydraulic pressure has been lost in one side with the brake system or the fluid level during the master cylinder is dangerously lower (on account of a leak someplace within the brake system). In either case, the fluid degree within the master cylinder must be checked. Including brake fluid to the master cylinder reservoir may possibly temporarily solve the challenge. But if there’s a leak, the brand new fluid will soon be lost along with the warning light will come back on.

On some cars, there is certainly a fluid degree sensor from the master cylinder fluid reservoir. When the fluid degree is very low, it is going to induce you brake warning light to come on.

Brake fluid leaks are really serious simply because they could result in the brakes to fail! You need to have your brakes inspected as soon as possible to determine why the fluid level is lower. Leaks can come about in brake hoses, brake lines, disc brake calipers, drum brake wheel cylinders or the master cylinder itself. Wet spots at hose or line connections would indicate a leak that needs to be fixed.

WARNING: In case your brake pedal is reduced, or you’ve got to pump the brakes repeatedly to halt your vehicle, your brakes may well be failing. Usually do not drive your automobile. Have it towed to a services facility for repairs.

Leaking brake fluid can also contaminate the brake linings, resulting in them to slip or grab. The uneven braking action that outcomes may cause the vehicle to veer to one side once the brakes are applied. Brake footwear or pads which have been contaminated with brake fluid cannot be dried out and need to be replaced.


The brake system is divided into two hydraulic circuits. On most rear-wheel drive vehicles, it is divided so one circuit applies the front brakes along with the other applies the rear brakes. On front-wheel drive cars and minivans, the system is usually split diagonally. One circuit functions the appropriate front and left rear brake, and also the other performs the left front and right rear brake. This really is accomplished for security functions so if one circuit loses all its brake fluid and fails, the vehicle will still have one remaining circuit to apply two wheel brakes.

Usually located on the master cylinder or the brake lines exiting the master cylinder is often a “pressure differential” switch. If either brake circuit develops a leak and loses its fluid, the difference in strain if the brakes are applied will trip the differential switch creating the brake warning light to come on.


On automobiles equipped with antilock brakes (ABS), a 2nd warning light is provided to warn if a problem occurs within the ABS system. The ABS lamp comes on once the ignition is turned on to get a bulb verify, then goes out just after the engine starts. Should the ABS warning light stays on or comes on while driving, it signifies a fault has occurred from the ABS system.

What comes about subsequent will depend on the nature from the fault. On most applications, the ABS system disables itself if your ABS warning light comes on and remains on. This ought to have no effect on standard braking. Even so, ABS is not going to be offered in an emergency condition or when braking on the wet or slick surface.

CAUTION: In the event the brake warning light also comes on and stays on while the ABS warning light it on, it signals a serious dilemma. Your vehicle may not be harmless to drive. The brakes and ABS system should really be inspected right away to determine the nature from the dilemma!

Should the ABS light comes on momentarily then goes out, the nature in the challenge is usually minor and also the ABS system usually remains thoroughly operational. Some car suppliers phone this sort of fault a “nonlatching” fault (meaning it is not serious adequate to disable the ABS system).

No matter the type of fault that occurred to set off the ABS warning lamp, a problems code is recorded during the ABS module’s memory to aid in diagnosing the issue. A scan instrument is generally required to study this code, even though on some older motor vehicles the code is usually read by putting the ABS system into a unique diagnostic mode. The code variety is then flashed out from the ABS warning lamp. The code quantity refers to a diagnostic chart inside a services manual that need to be followed to pinpoint the faulty element. Diagnosing ABS troubles needs a fair volume of knowledge and expertise (as well as specific equipment in lots of applications), so this occupation is best left to a competent qualified.