What to Do When the Brake Light Comes On

What to Do When the Brake Light Comes On | Tri Star Automotive

Ever had that sinking feeling when you see the brake light illuminate on your dashboard? It's a common occurrence that can leave many drivers feeling puzzled and concerned. But fear not! 

Today's guide will unravel the mystery behind the brake light on your dashboard and provide actionable steps to address it effectively.

Brake Light Indicator Basics

The brake light on your dashboard serves as a crucial warning signal, indicating potential issues with your vehicle's braking system. When this light comes on, it's essential not to ignore it, as it could signify various problems that require prompt attention.

Common Causes of a Brake Light On Dashboard

Low Brake Fluid

Insufficient brake fluid levels can trigger the brake light to come on. This could indicate a leak in the brake system or simply a need for a brake fluid top-up.

Worn Brake Pads

When brake pads reach the end of their lifespan, the brake light may illuminate to alert you to the need for replacement. Ignoring worn brake pads can lead to decreased braking performance and potential safety hazards.

Brake System Malfunction

Issues within the brake system, such as a faulty brake sensor or malfunctioning ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), can trigger the brake light on your dashboard. Diagnosing and addressing these issues promptly is crucial to ensure optimal braking performance.

Parking Brake Engagement

Sometimes, the simplest explanation is the most likely. A common cause of the brake light on the dashboard is forgetting to disengage the parking brake fully. Double-checking the parking brake release could resolve the issue in such cases.

What To Do When the Brake Light Comes On

So, what should you do when you see the dreaded brake light illuminate on your dashboard? Here are some steps to follow:

Check Brake Fluid Levels

Start by inspecting the brake fluid reservoir under the hood. If the fluid levels are low, top up the brake fluid to the recommended level. However, if you notice a significant drop in brake fluid levels, it could indicate a leak in the brake system, requiring professional attention.

Inspect Brake Pads

If the brake fluid levels are adequate, the next step is to inspect the condition of your brake pads. Worn brake pads may need replacement to restore proper braking function and prevent further damage to the braking system.

Address Brake System Issues

If neither low brake fluid nor worn brake pads are the culprit, it's essential to have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic. They can diagnose any underlying issues within the brake system, such as a faulty sensor or ABS malfunction, and perform necessary repairs.

Release Parking Brake

Before panicking, ensure that the parking brake is fully disengaged. Sometimes, a partially engaged parking brake can trigger the brake light on the dashboard.

Questions You Might Have

Can I continue driving with the brake light on?

While it's possible to drive short distances with the brake light on, it's not advisable.

How much does it cost to replace worn brake pads?

The cost of replacing brake pads varies depending on the make and model of your vehicle and the type of brake pads used. It's best to consult a mechanic for an accurate estimate.

What should I do if the brake light continues to come on after addressing the issue?

If the brake light persists despite addressing potential causes, it's crucial to have your vehicle thoroughly inspected by a qualified mechanic to diagnose and resolve any underlying issues.

Tri Star Automotive is the choice for Tyrone residents and locals - from expert maintenance to reliable repairs, we do it all.