Between work and errands, you probably spend hours in your car each week. This means you need your vehicle to be in good working order at all times, so if your brake light comes on while you are driving, you may feel panicked. Before you worry, it helps to know what the light means and how you should handle the situation.
Reasons Your Brake Light Comes On
Your brake light could come on while you are driving for several reasons. It could be something as simple as forgetting to take the parking brake off, so check it before doing anything else. If the light comes on when braking, or if it’s continuously red, it may be because your vehicle lost hydraulic pressure on one side. In other cases, the problem is low brake fluid in the master cylinder, either because it hasn’t been topped off in a while or because there is a leak in the brake line. Your brake light may also come on if you need new brake pads.
If the light is yellow, the anti-lock braking system may be the problem. If it comes on intermittently, it may be a glitch in the system. However, if the light stays on continuously, it could mean your Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) is failing. Because ABS is responsible for helping you with hard braking without locking up the wheels and causing your vehicle to skid, use extra caution until you have your vehicle checked out by a mechanic.
What to Do If the Light Comes on While You Are on the Road
If you notice your brake light come on while you are driving, find a safe place to pull over. Unless your brakes have completely stopped working, avoid pulling to the side of the road where you could be in the way of other motorists and cause a potentially dangerous situation. Instead, wait to pull over until you can get to a safe parking lot.
Once you’ve stopped the car and turned off the engine, check the brake fluid level in your master cylinder. If necessary, refill it, restart your engine and check your dash. Even if your vehicle seems to work fine after performing this step, you should still have a mechanic look it over in case there is a more serious problem. If it appears that the car is not in need of brake fluid, avoid driving the vehicle and contact a mechanic immediately to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive and stop.
Sun Devil Auto’s service center is staffed with experienced, friendly and professional technicians who can help resolve your brake concerns. We ARE the Brake Experts, contact us today!