How to Reset Parking Brake Light (Step by Step)

Are you looking to know how to reset parking brake light? If so, you are on the right page.

When you turn on your vehicle, different colors of light pop up on the dashboard. If pressure is applied to the brake, a particular light comes on. Once you press the parking brake, a red light comes up, and when the pressure is released, it shows a green light.

This means when you initiate brake, it is okay for this light to pop up. However, it should call for concern if the lights remain constantly on. This indicates a fault in the vehicle’s system.

When this happens, the light will need resetting. Simple steps on how to reset parking brake lights will be discussed in this article.

So keep reading to find out how to reset parking brake light, what made it come on, what you should do when the parking brake light stays on, and lots more.

The following steps will guide you through the process of resetting the parking brake light.

Step 1: Check the Parking Brake

Check the parking brake to be sure it is not engaged. The parking brake light will stay on if the parking brake is engaged. To release the parking brake fully, the parking brake handle has to be lowered.

So you should check the handle before considering the repair options.

Step 2: Add Brake Fluid

Examine the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir and check if it goes above the minimum mark.

There are in-built sensors in the cap or body of the brake master cylinders, and when the fluid goes down below a particular point, the sensor detects and sends a signal.

Step 3: Repair Brake Fluid Leaks

Brake leakage can also be caused by using brake fluid in your engine. Your vehicle can be stopped by brake fluid; if the fluid leaks due to a fault, your vehicle will certainly lose the ability.

Therefore, if any fluid is found under your automobile, inspect the fluid reservoir. If the reservoir is full, a brake leak could be the fault.

Step 4: Parking Brake Switch Repair

Depending on the type your vehicle use, the lever or pedal has a switch that communicates with the lever or pedal to send information whenever you apply pressure on the brake.

Your light may remain on if the connections or contacts are not aligned properly on the switches, are blocked, or have cracked.

You will need to take out the center console or the footrest to locate the switch and ensure it is in perfect working condition.

Step 5: Repair Faulty Brake Sensors

Information about the braking system is provided by the brake sensors. You will observe that there is a brake fluid decrease in your reservoir while driving and have used your parking brake.

Most times, the sensor may be incorrect and provide wrong signals. Therefore, your braking mechanism may be in excellent condition, yet your brake light still illuminates.

Step 6: Anti-lock Brake System Repair

Apart from the situations listed above, another factor of a malfunctioning brake light could be a bad anti-lock brake system.

The anti-brake lock system is a complex structure that is composed of sensors and processors. If the system fails, the brake light will come on and send a signal.

This problem is a bit complicated; you will need a professional to identify the car’s computer code errors.

Check out this video for more tips on how to reset parking brake light

What Exactly Is a Parking Brake Light?

A circle always identifies the brake light with a P in it and two brackets outside.

The circle in a bracket is a reference sign for various warning flashlights in a vehicle’s brake mechanism.

We say this most times because the warning light of your vehicle’s parking brake is always coupled with the warning light of the general brake mechanism, which has an exclamation mark in the same circle with a bracket.

What Does an Illuminated Parking Brake Light Mean?

Generally, when the parking brake is applied, your warning light pops up automatically. But it will be unusual for a warning light to come on if the parking brake was not applied. When this happens, you will be sure there are some errors with your vehicle’s parking brake light, for instance, hydraulic issues.

Furthermore, if your brake fluid goes below its specific pressure, there could be an issue with the parking brakes, and the lights will remain on because the brake liquid determines the effectiveness of your parking brake.

Also Read: Brake Light Blinking (Causes & How To Fix)

What Can Cause Your Brake Light to Come On?

What Can Cause Your Brake Light to Come On

1. Parking Brake Engaged

In most vehicles, in-built sensors determine if there is an engagement between your parking brake or not. The sensor sends a signal to the system, causing the illumination of the brake light to inform the driver about the engagement when your parking brake comes on, even though it does not appear on.

When you drive with your parking brakes on, it could cause damage to the brakes by compromising the quality of your brake fluid, overheating, or causing wear to the lining of your brake pad or shoes.

2. Brake Fluid Low or Leaking

The fluid level within the machine can be determined by a sensor positioned in the main cylinder. If the fluid level goes below its original point, the sensor triggers the brake lights. For an excellent brake operation, maintain a proper brake fluid level.

The plastic reservoir is designed to help determine the brake fluid level in the mechanism without taking off the cap (compared to the oil reservoir). It is located under the bonnet. It helps avoid dust or moisture going into the system and causing fluid contamination.

When your brake fluid is low, it indicates that the brake pad is worn. As friction causes the wearing of the material, the piston is forced out by the brake fluid into the brake disc against the pads to help produce enough halting power.

This results in the brake fluid filling the gap and decreasing the reservoir’s fluid. This issue can be resolved by getting a brake pad replacement.

A leak may be responsible for the brake fluid reduction if there is no wear on your brake pads. You will need a technician to examine the following, brake lines, valves, connections, brake fluid reservoir, rubber hose, and brake mechanisms.

If you notice an orange-tinged or a clear liquid leaking on the ground, an inspection should be done on the vehicle as soon as possible.

Also Read: Low Brake Fluid Symptoms (+ How to Fix)

3. Worn Brake Pads

In most vehicles, if the brake pad is worn out, a sensor sends a signal to the driver, either by developing a screeching noise or initiating the brake light. Don’t delay a brake pad replacement.

Over time, the wearing out of the friction material results in the rotors having a metal-metal contact, which can cause permanent damage to your brake components leading to an expensive repair cost.

4. Faulty ABS System

Your brake light can also come on if the Anti-brake system has a problem. If you have a full brake fluid and an unengaged parking brake, to fix the issue, the car’s internal computer has to be scanned by a technician for error codes.

5. Bad Brake Light Bulbs

The braking lights have numerous bulbs in most vehicles. Even when there is burnout of a single bulb, the car’s computer recognizes a circuit change and switches the brake lights on.

6. Faulty Sensors

Your vehicle’s sensor that determines the engagement of the parking brake light and the level of the brake fluid may get faulty, resulting in errors and brake light illumination. A brake system expert should carry out an inspection to identify and replace the defective sensor.

Treat brake issues, especially if your warning light pops up alongside brake noise or vibrations; get your vehicle inspected in the nearest automobile shop as soon as possible.

If something does not feel right with the braking system, a delay in response, pumping the brake before it stops, or the brake pads fall to the ground, you should avoid driving the vehicle, instead tow it to the nearest mechanic’s workshop.

Also Read: Why Won’t My Brake Lights Turn Off (Causes & Fix)

If the Parking Brake Light Comes On, What Should I Do?

Reasons the light pops up and remains illuminated are now identified, but how can this situation be handled?

If the light on your dashboard comes on and stays illuminated, it is recommended that you pull over immediately.

Turn off your engine once you pull over safely and restart your vehicle. This may cause a reset in your computer management components, turning off lights that are not necessary. Examine your brake fluid if the light remains on.

Low brake fluid or uneven fluid will cause difficulty in stopping your car during an emergency, especially when driving at high speed on a major road.

After checking the level of the fluid, top-up if necessary and wait for a while before you start your vehicle; this will enable the sensors to examine the fluid level and turn the lights off.

Seek advice from a professional if the warning lights remain on; the problem could be from the calipers or brake pads. If you continue driving when your vehicle has a problem with these components, you could lose control while driving, and this could lead to an accident.

How to Reset Parking Brake Light

Parking Brake Light Stays On

When your parking brake light comes off and on occasionally while driving or stays on after you release the brake, this indicates that the brake liquid has to be replenished.

When you add enough fluid after checking the fluid level, but the light remains on, you will need to examine the brake system.

You don’t have to wait until there is a leak in your braking system before carrying out a brake examination. Why? As the brake shoes or pads deteriorate, you will need enough fluid to push the brake shoes or pad against the drums or rotors and bring the vehicle to a halt.

The warning light on your dashboard may signal that it’s time to service or do brake repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions – How to Reset Parking Brake Light

What does it mean when the parking brake light stays on?

When your parking brake light remains on, it shows that the emergency brake or parking brake has been engaged, and you have to release it before driving. After removing the brake, if the light stays on or comes off and on intermittently while going, you may need to do a brake fluid top-up.

What would cause the brake light on the dash to come on?

The brake light on your dashboard lets you know that your vehicle is either experiencing ABS trouble, activation of the emergency brake, a faulty sensor, or a low level of brake fluid.

Where is the parking brake switch located?

There is an electric parking brake in your car. Rather than using a lever, a switch is used to operate it. You can find the button towards the left part of your steering wheel, around the lower area of your instrument panel, or on the middle console.

How do I turn off my parking brake?

You can turn off the parking brake by pressing your accelerator pedal, this cancels the brake, and you can start driving. If you want to turn the brake, hold off: apply pressure on the brake pads and push your BRAKE HOLD switch again. If you activate an automatic brake hold on slippery roads or steep hills, your vehicle may still be in motion if your foot is off the brake pads.

Is it okay to drive with the brake light on?

Avoid driving with your Brake lights on; it is dangerous. This could also mean you have a faulty brake and need to repair it immediately.

Why won’t my brake lights go off?

Your brake light may remain on if your brake light switch is faulty. The brake light switch is located below the dashboard, close to the brake pads. If the light is disabled, it may either be sticking closed or a failed part.

Is there a fuse for the parking brake?

A blown Auto Park fuse guarantees your parking brake lockup.

How much does it cost to replace a parking brake sensor?

To replace a parking brake switch, you will need about $74 to $88. The cost for labor should be between $53 to $66. And the cost for parts is about $22. Fees and taxes are not included in this price range, as well as your location and vehicle model.

Conclusion – How to Reset Parking Brake Light

The parking brake light plays an important role, just like the other lights on the vehicle’s dashboard. There are many reasons for the warning light illumination. However, no matter the reason, ensure to fix the problem as soon as possible.

You can manually reset the parking light in your vehicle with the help of this article rather than spending money to get it done by a mechanic.

However, it would be best if you did not always consider how much you will spend. If the issue gets complicated, you need to seek professional services. You can always have your vehicle’s parking light fixed carefully with no hitch.

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