Auto PartsTech Tips

Possible Causes of Brake Warning Lights Turning On

Are your brake warning lights always flashing while you drive?  If so, do you know exactly what they mean?  There are several possible causes if your brake warning light is always flashing repeatedly.  One simple possibility is that you forgot to release the parking or emergency brake.  Note that the brake warning light remains on when the brake is set as a reminder.  So when your warning light remains lit even when you release the parking brake, then it is a sign of a more serious problem.

In other cases, the brake warning light may remain on if there is some errors in the adjustment on the parking brake pedal or lever.  If this is the case, then it means that your brake system is fine, and a you can easily readjust the parking brake pedal to solve the problem.

There are also cases when the brake warning light turns on even when you apply the brakes, or just flashes or is turned on constantly.  This can mean that your hydraulic pressure has been lost in one side of the brake system or it could also be that the level of the fluids in the master cylinder needs to be checked.  If the fluid is running on dangerously low levels, this can mean that there is a leak somewhere in the brake system.  In both these cases, you should carefully check the fluid levels in the master cylinder.  If you simply add enough brake fluid to the reservoir of the master cylinder, this may temporarily solve the problem.  However, if there is presence of a leak, despite frequent refills, all will soon be lost, and when this happens, the warning light will turn on again.

Leaking of the brake fluid can be a serious problem because they may cause the brakes to stop working.  As you may know, brakes are one of the most safety-related components of your vehicle, so you should avoid driving your car, especially in highways or express ways, until you are sure that there are no critical problems with your brake system.    Leaks can occur in brake hoses, brake lines, disc brake calipers, drum brake wheel cylinders or even the master cylinder itself.  In order to spot those leaks, always watch out for some wet spots at the hose or any of the line connections, and make sure you fix it as soon as possible. 

You should also be aware that leaking of the brake fluid can contaminate the brake linings, which may cause them to slip or grab.  This can result in uneven braking action, which may ultimately cause your car to swerve to one side unintentionally when you apply the brakes.  If your brake shoes or

sc_Brake_Pad/pagenum1/tabS">brake pads have been contaminated with brake fluid, they cannot be dried out and thus must be replaced.

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