Brake warning advice from Jurid

brake-warnWhen a brake warning light comes on the dashboard of a car it usually has a red colour to indicate that there is an immediate risk, potentially compromising the general safety of the vehicle. It important that this is never ignored. There are several reasons why the brake system warning light may light up, but almost half of drivers don't recognise the risk and consequently don't react accordingly.

The most common reason for the brake system warning light to come on are:

Brake fluid level low. - This will increase the risk of vapour lock causing a loss of braking performance. In this instance the fluid level needs to be topped up and it is critical that the right fluid spec is used.

Brake pad thickness below minimum. - This may gradually lead to brake pad underlayer contact with the brake disc and eventually, in the worst-case scenario, to back plate contact with brake disc. The pad thickness needs to be checked and pads replaced if necessary.

False reading due the component issue. - A corroded or broken ABS ring may generate a false signal from the drive shaft or wheel bearing. In case of corrosion under the sensor mounting points, the sensor may be forced closer to the ABS ring and give false reading to the ABS module. The complete ABS system needs to be checked for corrosion or broken rings and items need to be replaced where needed.

False reading caused by oversensitive brake warning system. - In some instances the dashboard warning light keeps flashing, even after changing the pads and related wear sensors. Here the technician should push the brake pedal several times to ensure contact between brake pads and brake discs. Then switch the dashboard off for a few seconds. Switch the dashboard back on and check if the light still remains. In most instances this will turn the light off, but If not then a further diagnostic check will be required.