Of all the warning lights on your vehicle's instrument panel, there is one that demands your attention; the brake warning light.
Brake warning lights are there to warn you that something is wrong with this vital safety system. There are several reasons a brake light will come on:
- Low brake fluid—A sensor has detected that the brake fluid level is low. Your technician can determine if you need more fluid and can also determine if there's a leak in your brake system. Low brake fluid could also be a sign of worn brakes pads. An inspection can reveal brake problems. Just topping off the brake fluid can leave critical problems unaddressed.
- Sudden loss of hydraulic pressure in the brake lines. This could be from a brake line rupture caused by road debris cutting a brake line or simply from corrosion eating through a line. Your brake light will come on at the same time the line ruptures, and you will have little warning. Always keep in the back of your mind that you have your emergency brake as one more way to stop.
- Parking brake is on. It could be as simple as you left your parking brake on. The parking brake (sometimes called an “emergency brake”) is often actuated by a cable rather than with the hydraulics. That way, if the hydraulic system fails (i.e. the pump breaks or a severe leak develops), a backup system is in place. If this light is on, simply disengage the parking brake. If you cannot disengage it, there might be a mechanical or electrical problem that disallows the brake from releasing.
- Faulty Sensors. The sensors that measure brake fluid levels and determine if the parking brake is engaged, can fail, producing false errors and illuminating the brake light. A technician specializing in brake systems should inspect the vehicle to determine which sensor has failed and replace it properly.
Brakes aren't something to neglect. When you see the brake warning light come on, bring your vehicle in the Old Town Automotive as soon as possible. If the brake system doesn’t feel right, fails to respond immediately, the brake pedal goes to the floor, or you need to pump the brakes to stop, avoid driving at all costs and have your vehicle towed to a service center right away.
Give Us A Call! <br/> Old Town Auto Service <br/> 707.442.4556<br/> oldtownauto.com
Revised from content contributed by NAPA Service Assistant