A car’s dashboard brake warning light can be found on the instrument panel and usually indicates that there’s an issue related to the car’s braking system. As a means of quick diagnostics, a brake light warning will tell you where the problem is, however, it doesn’t tell you exactly what the problem is. So, how do you fix the issue if the brake system warning light appears?

How Do You Fix a Brake Light Warning?

If your brake light is on, the problem can range from a mild wiring problem to a more serious brake-related issue that’s in need of repair. Here’s how to diagnose the most common causes of brake light warnings.

Pull Over Safely

Most of the tests for brake light warnings can’t (and shouldn’t) be conducted when you’re on the road. If you suspect that there’s an issue with your brakes, the first thing to do is to carefully press the brake pedal to test the brakes. If the brakes have cut out completely, steer the car to safety as best you can or engage the handbrake once the car has slowed down.

Pull over safely before attempting to test anything else.

Restart the Vehicle and/or Dashboard

Sometimes the problem isn’t with the brakes. Instead, the brake warning light on the dashboard may indicate that the instrument panel itself needs a reset. For this, the car should be switched off and restarted. This will allow the dashboard a moment to go back to normal. If the brake system light is still on warning you of an issue, move to the next step.

Replace the Brake Pads

Brake pads are the component bringing the car to a standstill. Worn brake pads are one of the first reasons that a brake light might go on. Replacing the brake pads should be done every 10,000 to 20,000 miles. If you notice that braking the car has become tougher, have your brake pads replaced immediately.

Check the Brake Fluid

Brake fluid being empty (or close to it) is a common reason for a brake warning light to appear. Check your brake fluid periodically to ensure it is full. Remember to check the cable that takes brake fluid to the right place at the same time. Sometimes a hole or an obstruction can stop the travel of brake fluid, which poses a real danger on the road.

Check or Replace the Bulbs

If there’s no obvious issue with the brakes themselves, then check or replace the bulbs, as brake lights that are out can also cause the pane light to go on. Depending on the vehicle, if a brake light is out the brake warning light will appear due to the danger that it creates for you and other drivers on the road.

Stop the vehicle and check the Parking Brake

Wiring or physical issues with the parking brake can also be a reason for the indicator light to come on. Stop and check to see if the parking brake is engaged or if the parking brake light is on if no other obvious issue with the brakes of the car can be found.

Take Your Car to an Auto Shop

Depending on your experience level, there are some vehicle-related issues that can be fixed at home. If you can’t figure out why your brake light warning signal is on, visit to a professional auto shop near you to diagnose and fix the issue.

Dave & Rays Automotive Repair Shop in Omaha, NE

Our team has learned one thing: automotive problems are as varied and unique as the customers who bring them to us. Fortunately, our decades of experience in auto service and repair also mean that our skilled network of professionals is ready to accommodate an impressive scope of automotive issues. Contact us today.

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