Why Does the Brake Light Come On and How to Fix It?

The brake light is an essential safety feature in any vehicle, alerting drivers behind you when you are slowing down or coming to a stop. It can be frustrating when the brake light comes on unexpectedly, leaving you wondering what could be causing this issue. We will explore the common reasons, Why Does the Brake Light Come On? and offer practical solutions to fix it. Whether you drive a car, truck, or SUV, understanding why your brake light illuminates without applying the brakes is crucial for both your safety and peace of mind. 

It could indicate a minor problem that can be easily fixed or serve as a warning sign of more severe issues that require immediate attention from a professional mechanic.

Why Does the Brake Light Come On?

There are several reasons why the brake warning light may illuminate, we will explore five common culprits. From low brake fluid levels to an engaged parking brake or a faulty ABS Light (Sencer), each of these factors can trigger the illumination of the brake warning light.

Why Does the Brake Light Come On

1-Low Brake Fluid

The brake warning light on your dashboard is a crucial indicator that should never be ignored. Low brake fluid is one of the most common reasons for this light to come on. Brake fluid plays a vital role in adequately functioning your vehicle’s brake system, running through the master cylinder and activating the brakes when you press down on the pedal. This critical fluid level is monitored by a sensor within the master cylinder, triggering the warning light when it drops below the required amount.

A low brake fluid level can occur due to multiple factors: worn brake pads. As these pads wear down over time, more space is created within the braking system, decreasing fluid volume. Leaks in the master cylinder can also cause a drop in brake fluid levels.

How to Fix it

If your brake warning light is on, it could indicate a low brake fluid level. The first step in fixing this issue is to locate the brake fluid reservoir under the hood of your car. It’s usually located near the firewall, on the vehicle’s driver’s side. Once you’ve found it, remove the cap and check the fluid level. You’ll need to add more fluid if it’s below the minimum mark.

To add brake fluid:

  1. Make sure you use a type that’s recommended for your vehicle. This information can usually be found in your car’s owner’s manual or on top of the reservoir.
  2. Slowly pour in small amounts of brake fluid until it reaches the maximum mark on the reservoir.
  3. Be careful to fulfill it appropriately, which can lead to other issues.

2-Engaged Parking Brake

Most cars are equipped with a helpful sensor that detects whether the parking brake is engaged or not. It is a safety feature to alert drivers if the parking brake fails to engage correctly. Even if it may seem like the parking brake is disengaged, the brake light will still illuminate if the sensors detect any malfunction. Paying attention to this warning is crucial because leaving the parking brake on while driving can lead to overheating issues and potential damage to the brakes.

Engaged Parking Brake

Continuous driving with the parking brake engaged can cause excessive heat, resulting in worn-out brake pads and reduced braking efficiency. Always double-check that the parking brake is fully released before hitting the road for a smoother and safer drive.

How to Fix it

To fix the issue of brake warning lights staying on while driving, you can pull the parking brake from park mode before initiating your drive. This action can help reset the system and turn off the warning lights. It is essential to ensure that you have released the parking brake completely before driving, as a partially engaged brake can lead to other problems. If this solution does not resolve the issue, consulting a professional mechanic for further inspection and repairs may be necessary.

3-Wrong Brake Pads

Using incorrect brake pads can have severe consequences for your vehicle. The immediate issue is that it triggers the brake system warning lights on your dashboard, indicating a problem with your brakes. Ignoring these warning lights and driving with the wrong brake pads can result in expensive repairs. To prevent further damage and ensure the safety of your vehicle, this is highly advisable to replace the incorrect brake pads with the appropriate ones promptly. 

Taking this prudent action will not only resolve the problem but also potentially save you from costly repairs in the future.

How to Fix

The only solution to it is you should replace them with the correct ones.

4-Faulty ABS Sensor

If the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) sensor fails, it will result in the warning light illuminating the dashboard. It is an essential indicator of an issue with the ABS. To resolve this problem, diagnosing and replacing the faulty ABS sensor is necessary. Doing so will restore the ABS system to proper functioning, ensuring optimal braking performance and safety on the road.

How to Fix it

 The key to fixing this problem lies in replacing the faulty ABS sensor. Once this sensor has been replaced with a new one, the brake light will automatically go away, allowing you to drive without any further concerns regarding your braking system. Addressing this issue promptly and taking the necessary steps can ensure your vehicle’s safety and restore peace of mind while on the road.

5-Faulty Sensor

In most cases, a faulty sensor is the main culprit behind an activated brake system warning light. When this sensor malfunctions, it generates false codes that trigger the ECU, the Electronic Control Module. As a result, the brake system warning light illuminates, indicating an issue with the brakes. To better understand why your service brake system is coming on, I recommend watching this informative video. 

It may provide valuable insights into troubleshooting and resolving this problem.


To fix the issue, identify the faulty braking sensor and promptly replace it to deactivate the warning light.


Understanding, Why Does the Brake Light Come On? and How to Fix It? is crucial for every driver. It serves as a warning sign that there may be an issue with the braking system, such as low brake fluid or worn brake pads. Ignoring this indicator can lead to severe accidents and costly repairs. By promptly addressing any concerns the brake light indicates, drivers can ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road.
So, the next time you see that dreaded brake light come on, don’t hesitate to take action and get your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic. Your life may depend on it.


Is it safe to ignore a momentarily flashing brake light?

A momentarily flashing or flickering brake light might be caused by temporary glitches in sensors or wiring connections but should not be ignored if it persists or recurs frequently.

How much does it cost to fix a Brake Light issue?

The cost of fixing a Brake Light issue varies depending on the specific problem and parts required. It’s best to consult with a trusted mechanic for an accurate estimate.

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