Troubleshooting an Emergency Brake Light that Won't Turn Off Troubleshooting an Emergency Brake Light that Won't Turn Off
A lit emergency brake light on the dashboard is a good reminder for drivers to release the brake before take off. However not all vehicles have this provision which makes it hard to know if the emergency light is on even when the brake is off. Troubleshooting the problem can help to pin point where the fault is and correct it.
Take a look at the emergency brakes and make sure they are turned off. If this does not correct the problem then proceed to run the following checks.
Another reason that might cause emergency light brakes to stay on is when by there is a fault in the battery or electrical system. Inspect the catalytic converter and find out if it is working correctly. Check circuitry basics as well, establish if fuses and switches are working as needed. It might be necessary to adjust the switch to the pedal.
Check Brake Fluid Level
One of the common reasons why the dashboard brake light remains on when the emergency brake is off is when there is need for addition of brake fluid. Open the cap and check the level and add fresh brake fluid as needed.
Many cars have a brake fluid reservoir that indicates the fluid level even without opening the cap. To correct the problem, locate it toward the back of the engine bay on the driver’s side. Check the marking on the side which indicates if there is need to add a fresh supply of brake fluid.
Adding Break Fluid
If the level of brake fluid is low that it is required, start by wiping the fluid reservoir with a clean rag to remove dirt, particles, grease or debris. Such materials can easily contaminate brake fluid and degrade its quality. This eliminates such problems which can also clog its components.
Remove the cap and add the brake fluid slowly until it reaches the recommended level. Close the reservoir and keep on checking on the brake fluid level regularly to prevent such problems.
Check Fluid Leak
Find out if there are signs of external leaks, this can be detected by fluid drops on the bolts near the master cylinder, booster as well as on the floor where the car is packed. Take a look at the hoses tube fitting and tighten them as recommended by the manufacturer.
Find out if the leakage is coming from the master cylinder too. If it can be fixed by tightening tube nuts, replacing tube seats or tightening the cap then make changes as necessary. If this does not solve the problem, then replace the master cylinder with a new one.
When filling the reservoir with brake fluid, never shake the bottle as it introduces bubbles which can cause serious problems in the system.
If there is a problem with emergency brake lights and the brake pedal feels spongy or abnormal, do not drive the car. Tow it to a mechanic or where it can be repaired properly.