Brake Warning Light Guide

It is recommended to have your vehicle checked out immediately if your brake warning light is on.  Here are a few reasons why that that light will come on.

Brakes are considered the car’s most important safety feature.  When a brake warning light appears, you should have it looked as immediately.

Typically, the brake warning light is an indication that the brakes need to be replaced in the near future however it is possible that there is a more serious problem occurring such as a leaking brake system, which is considered much more serious and needs to be repaired immediately.

Most vehicles are equipped with three types of brake warning lights; a parking brake indicator (typically red or yellow), an anti-lock brake system (ABS) indicator (typically yellow), and one for the brakes themselves (red and an indication of a more serious issue).  If your parking brake indicator light is illuminated, make sure that your parking brake is not set prior to exploring additional problems.


Worn Brake Pads/ Low Brake Fluid Level

In many cases, a brake warning indicator light is a sign of a low brake fluid level, which typically due to worn brake pads.

When brake pads become worn, the brake caliper piston has to extend further in order to allow for the brake pad to make contact with the rotor. As the piston extends, the brake fluid level drops which can result in the warning light being triggered.  Some newer cars are equipped with a sensor at the pad which will cause the light to come on when the breaks are worn.

In circumstances where the reason for the low fluid level is warn pads, the remedy for the problem is replacing the brake pads as opposed to topping off the brake fluid level.  On the other hand, there are occasions where replacing or topping off the brake fluid level is appropriate solution. In order to properly identify the cause, it is recommended to have a mechanic inspect the brake system to determine the appropriate route of repair.

To schedule an inspection with a reputable shop to have your brakes looked at, sign up with CarAdvise.

If it is determined that the cause is a low fluid level, it should be topped off as soon as possible.  Some shops may do this as a courtesy.  Just remember; no fluid, no brakes.


Leaking Brake System

A leaking brake system will trigger your brake warning light.  A low brake fluid level can compromise your vehicle’s ability to stop, so it’s important to have your vehicle looked at immediately.

The cost to fix the leak is dependent upon the cause.  It can be as simple as tightening a fitting and can be as complicated as a brake system overhaul.  It is recommended to have a brake system inspection performed to determine the cause to properly address the issue.

To schedule a brake system inspection with a reputable shop, sign up with CarAdvise.


Faulty Speed Sensor

The Speed Sensor is a component of the ABS system.  This device is inside of your wheel and detects the rate that your tires rotate.  This information is then sent to the ABS Control Module.

If your Speed Sensor has failed, it will cause the ABS light to illuminate and your ABS System will not function properly. If your ABS warning light is on, it is recommended to have an ABS System inspection performed to determine the cause.  In some cases, the sensor can simply be cleaned and in other cases, it may need to be replaced altogether.

To schedule an ABS system inspection along with any other mechanical repair, use CarAdvise to ensure that you never have unnecessary work performed and that you never overpay.


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