On and Off Brake Light

courtesy of Bob, The Auto Answer Man


Bob,
I have a 1998 Honda Accord LX. On Thanksgiving Day, when I was driving over to my friends' house, the brake light came on in my car, but it went out before I got to their place. It has happened again since then. I have double-checked, and there is not a brake on. The last time the light came on when I had to step on the brake as I was coming to a stoplight, but it finally did go off. What is the problem, and how due I handle this?
Pat

Pat,
That light not only indicates that there is a braking failure, but also that you are low on fluid, which has different causes. The fact that the light went on and off (barring a temporary short in the wire) indicates to me that your brake fluid might be low. Check it and top it off with fresh clean fluid of the same type. Please don't mix dot 3, dot 4 or dot 5.

However, your brake system does not consume brake fluid. If it is low, then one of two things is happening:

  1. Your brake pads are very low and need to be changed.

  2. There is a leak somewhere.

Please remember that your brake system on your car is a safety critical component. If you are not 1000% confident that you can accurately make the repair yourself, please take it to someone qualified to do so. Remember that it is not only your own safety that comes into play in a situation like this!
Good Luck!
Drive Safely!
Bob, The Auto Answer Man


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