Watch Out for this Warning Light

car warning lights

The gaslight, the seatbelt indicator, the engine temperature warning light, the fog light indicator, the door open light. There are so many lights on car instrument panels. Vehicles have gotten smarter and smarter, and with that, they can tell us more about what areas need attention. For example, many cars can now tell you when the windshield wiper fluid is low. There’s one warning light that demands immediate attention.

The brake warning light tells us that something is wrong with your brake system. We don’t have to tell you that if your brakes aren’t functioning properly, your vehicle may not stop as expected. This can be incredibly dangerous for you and those around you, especially in wet or icy weather here in Seattle.

There are a number of reasons the brake warning light may come on. The most important thing to remember is to get your car to an auto repair shop immediately unless 1) the problem is you left the parking brake on or 2) your vehicle is unsafe to drive. If you have an Audi, BMW, Fiat, Land Rover, Jaguar, Mercede, MINI, Saab, Smart Car, Volkswagen, Volvo, or other European make in Seattle, bring your vehicle to EuroCar Service.  

Here are some potential reasons why your brake light flashed on.

  • Parking brake/e-brake/emergency brake is on – this is the easiest issue to fix! If you have left the parking brake on and started to drive the vehicle, you may notice the brake warning light flash on and difficulty driving. Release the parking brake to fix the problem.

  • Sudden loss of hydraulic pressure in the brake lines – if the vehicle notices a change in pressure, it will activate the brake warning light. You won’t have much notice that your brakes are failing, so remember that you have your emergency brake if needed. This pressure loss can be caused by a brake line rupture, road debris cutting the brake line, or corrosion wearing down the line.

  • The brake fluid is low – the fluid may be low or may need to be flushed. A brake fluid flush removes all the old fluid and completely replaces it. An auto technician at our Seattle shop can inspect your vehicle to determine the cause of the problem. There may be a leak in the brake system or your brake pads might be worn down. Unfortunately, just adding brake fluid can leave critical issues unaddressed. An experienced professional can diagnose and fix the problem to make sure your car drives safely.

When you press the brake pedal, you need the vehicle to stop. You rely on your brake system to stop (as does everyone around you!). When you see the brake warning light flash on, bring your vehicle to EuroCar Service as soon as possible.