What Causes Brake Light on Dash to Stay On - All About Auto

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What Causes Brake Light on Dash to Stay On

Brake light

When the ignition switch is turned to the ON position, the vehicle will check the braking system and the brake light on the dash will go off after approximately three seconds. But when the hand brake is engaged and not released, this indicator light will stay on.

If this brake light on the dash does not go off or will stay on, or lit while the vehicle is being driven, it indicates that the braking system has a fault or the car has low brake fluid. In such a case, you should immediately stop the vehicle when it is safe to do so. Do NOT repeatedly depress the brake pedal. Instead, you should immediately contact an authorized service provider. When this light is lit the faults include low brake fluid, the parking brake is engaged. What causes the brake light on the dash to stay on?

The possible reason for the brake light on the dash to stay on

1) Slightly engaged parking brake.
2) Low brake fluid.
3) Imbalance pressure on the brake system.

Car troubleshooting
It is common knowledge for every car owner to engage the parking brake when a car is parked. After the parking brake is engaged, a brake indicator light in red color will appear on the dashboard to notify the driver that the parking brake was engaged with that said, whenever the brake warning light appears on the dashboard the first thing to check is the parking brake. If the parking brake is slightly engaged it will trigger the brake warning light on the dashboard to light.

Reason why brake light on dash is on

What to do?
Make sure that the parking brake is released fully.
However, if the parking brake is fully released but the brake light is still on, next is to check the brake fluid level.
Open the hood of your car and locate the brake fluid reservoir, it is located sitting at the top of the brake master cylinder that is attached to the brake booster.

There is a marking on the side of the reservoir that indicates a maximum and minimum level of the brake fluid. Enough brake fluid is within the minimum and maximum levels. If the level of the fluid is below the minimum, then this triggers the brake warning light to go on.

Brake fluid level

What to do?
Top up the reservoir with brake fluid, use only the specified brake fluid. The specification of brake fluid to be used is indicated on the cap of the reservoir, it is either DOT 3 or DOT 4. Never use a brake fluid that is different from what is specified on the reservoir cap, also refer to your car owner’s manual for the correct brake fluid specification because sometimes, but very rare to happen, the reservoir cap is different from what is specified from the manual.

Brake master cylinder

Now, the real problem here is why did the brake fluid become low? There might be a leak somewhere in the system, have the brake check by a mechanic.

If the brake fluid is not low, the problem is an imbalance pressure on the brake system, imbalance pressure on the system is caused by a leak on the brake master cylinder, a damaged brake line, or a collapsed brake hose, with that said bring your car to a reputable repair shop and ask the mechanic to inspect the brake system for any damage.


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