8th February 2024

What If Your Brake Warning Light Comes On While Driving?

Would you know what to do if your brake warning light comes on while driving?

It’s a situation that every driver dreads – you’re cruising down the road, enjoying your drive, when suddenly your brake warning light comes on. Panic sets in as you wonder what could be wrong with your car. Is it safe to keep driving? Do you need to pull over immediately?

In this blog, we’ll discuss what to do if one of your brake warning lights comes on while driving, including troubleshooting tips and potential repairs.

Why Is My Brake Warning Light On?

Prior to discussing the actions to take if your brake warning light illuminates, it is crucial to comprehend the possible causes for its activation. There are nulitple brake warning lights including, brake wear, brake fluid, Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC).Now, let us examine the steps to follow if one of your brake warning lights come on while driving.

Troubleshooting Tips If Your Break Warning Light Comes On While Driving

If your brake warning light illuminates while you are driving, one of the first steps is to inspect the level of your brake fluid. A low brake fluid level is often the reason for a brake warning light appearing, and rectifying it is a simple task. To examine the brake fluid, locate the brake fluid reservoir beneath the car bonnet. This reservoir is typically a small, transparent plastic container with a cap labelled “brake fluid”. If the fluid level is lower than the designated “minimum” line, you will need to add more brake fluid. Ensure that you utilise the specific type of brake fluid endorsed by the manufacturer of your vehicle.

Inspect Your Brake Pads

Driving with worn-out brake pads can result in the activation of your brake light. When the brake pads become excessively thin, they lose their ability to efficiently halt the vehicle, thereby triggering the brake light as a precautionary signal.

In order to properlyexamine your brake pads, it will be necessary to take off the wheels and visually examine them. If their thickness measures less than 3mm, then it is necessary to replace them. It is advisable to have a professional mechanic inspect your brake pads regularly to confirm they are in proper working order.

Check for Electrical Issues

If none of the above troubleshooting tips solve the issue, there may be an electrical problem causing your brake warning light to come on while driving. This could be due to a faulty wiring connection or a blown fuse. It’s best to have a professional mechanic diagnose and repair any electrical issues.

Check the ABS System

If your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system (ABS), a problem with the system can result in the brake warning light illuminating while you are driving. The ABS system is responsible for preventing your wheels from locking up when you brake suddenly. If there is a malfunction in the system, it can activate the ABS light. In this case, it is best to have a mechanic diagnose and repair the issue.

What To Do If Your Brake Warning Light Comes On While Driving

When your brake warning indicator illuminates during driving, it is important to stay composed as your initial response. Becoming anxious can result in making unwise choices and potentially endangering yourself and fellow drivers on the road.

Here are the steps you should take if your brake warning light comes on while driving:

  1. Check Your Brake Fluid

As mentioned earlier, low brake fluid is a common cause of a brake warning light coming on. If your brake fluid is low, top it up with the recommended type of brake fluid.

  • Pull Over Safely

If the brake light remains illuminated even after inspecting the brake fluid, it is advisable to safely manoeuvre your vehicle to the side of the road. Employ your indicator and gradually decrease your speed. Refrain from sudden braking, as this action may result in your car sliding uncontrollably.

  • Check Your Brake Pads

Once you’ve safely pulled over, you can check your brake pads to see if they need to be replaced. This may be difficult to see on some vehicles so always enlist the help of a professional mechanic for a second opinion. If they are worn, they will need to be replaced by your local garage.

  • Call for Assistance

If you’re unable to determine the cause of your brake warning light coming on, it’s best to call for assistance. A tow truck or roadside assistance service can safely transport your car to a mechanic for further diagnosis and repair.

Brake Light Warning Repair

The repair needed for your brake warning light illuminating will depend on the cause of the issue. Here are some potential repairs that may be needed:

1.         Replacing worn brake pads

2.         Replacing a faulty brake light switch

3.         Repairing electrical issues

4.         Repairing the ABS system

It is recommended to entrust the diagnosis and repair of brake light warning problems to a certified mechanic. Their expertise and familiarity with the task will guarantee that the problem is resolved correctly, and your vehicle remains safe for use.

Preventing Future Brake Light Warning Issues

To avoid experiencing brake light warning problems during your drive, it is crucial to adequately take care of your vehicle. Here are a few recommendations to ensure that your brake light remains functional and operational:

•           Have your brake pads checked regularly

•           Check your brake fluid level regularly

•           Have your brake light operation checked during routine maintenance

•           Address any electrical issues promptly

By staying on top of maintenance and addressing any issues promptly, you can prevent your brake warning light from coming on while driving.

Don’t Ignore Your Warning Lights

If your brake warning light comes on while driving, it’s important to remain calm and follow the steps outlined in this article. By troubleshooting and addressing any issues promptly, you can ensure your car is safe to drive and prevent potential accidents. Remember to always have a professional mechanic diagnose and repair any issues with your brake warning light to ensure proper and safe repairs.

If you are searching for a dependable car mechanic, schedule an appointment with us today. At John Delany Motors, we have the expertise and understanding to assist you with any concerns regarding warning lights.