Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: What does it mean if the Brake System Light comes on in the dash?

asked by on

What does it mean if the Brake System Light comes on in the dash?

A: Of all the safety systems built into your c...

Of all the safety systems built into your car, the brakes are the most important. While the Brake System indicator should come on during startup, it should go out after a few seconds. If it does not, or if it comes on while driving, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Press the brake pedal lightly. Does it feel normal? Spongy or soft? Too hard? If it does not feel normal, do not drive. Have the car towed.

  2. If the pedal feels fine, open the hood.

  3. Locate the brake master cylinder and check the fluid level. Low brake fluid can make the light come on.

  4. If it’s below the minimum line, top it off (DOT3 brake fluid only).

  5. If the level was low, have your brakes inspected for leaks and/or wear and tear.


If you’re uncomfortable driving because of a potential brake system problem, don’t do it. Have the car towed.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: How Does Engine Braking Work?

Engine braking is the process of using the engine to slow the vehicle down instead of using the vehicle brakes. Engine braking can be used on both gas or diesel engines and is used to slow a vehicle down or...

Q: How do you adjust the power mirrors on?

Your side view mirrors offer essential visibility for cars beside and behind you. They must be properly adjusted, though, or you will not benefit from them. Here’s how to adjust the power mirrors on your car: Understand that only...

Q: have a 92 accord that after driving it about 20 minutes it's starts hesitating. I have to floor it to get it to go until the check

Hi there. The most common cause of this is the distributor itself. The distributor starts to fail which causes the internal sensor to not read correctly and it will also cause the coil to overheat in some cases. The Check...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...