A parking brake warning light indicates the parking brake is engaged, it’s a reminder that you should disengage it before attempting to drive. In some cars, an Electronic Parking Brake system is used. If it requires servicing, you will see this symbol with a wrench symbol underneath.
If your parking brake warning light is on, it usually means your parking brake is engaged, but if you’re still seeing the red (or orange) warning on your dash while the parking brake is disengaged, you will need to get your brakes inspected as soon as possible.
Note: If you have an older model vehicle, the parking brake light might be on because the gears on your emergency brake system are worn. It only needs to be up with one click to trigger the warning light.
Driving with the parking brake, even partially on, is a terrible idea as you’d wear out the brake pads faster and possibly compromise your brake system.
Causes of Parking Brake Warning Light
If your parking brake warning light is illuminating from the dashboard, first check to see if your parking brake is engaged. If you fail to disengage your parking brake before moving your vehicle, you risk damaging your brake pads and system faster.
If you find that the parking brake is disengaged and the light remains on, there could be a few issues:
- Your brake pads are worn down and need to be replaced.
- Your parking brake lever/pedal needs to be adjusted.
- Your hydraulics is amiss and likely losing pressure/fluid
If your parking brake needs adjusting, it’s a relatively simple fix and nothing too serious.
It also shouldn’t impede your driving safety. If your brake pads are ready to be replaced, you’ll want to do it sooner than later, as waiting can cause your brake pads to wear down completely and begin damaging your rotors, which can double your repair costs. And lastly, if your brake system is losing pressure, it’s just a matter of time before you lose all ability to stop, endangering yourself and those driving around you.
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