One of the most popular phone calls that the service department handles usually references a light that has illuminated on the dashboard. Join us on Wednesdays as we cover the basic, and not so basic, lights on your dashboard, what they mean and what to do about them!
If you have been following us from the beginning, you know that we already covered the dreaded Tire Pressure light in this previous post, but stick around because today we are going to talk about the Brake System Warning Light.
The Brake System Warning Light looks like this image, an exclamation point inside of a circle with brackets around it. Like on the Tire Pressure light, the exclamation point is there to get your attention, so if you see this light, your brakes need your immediate attention.
It can ALSO look like THIS image, an exclamation point inside of a circle with brackets around it AND the word BRAKE above or to the right of the symbol. Once again, this is meant to get your attention, please do not ignore these symbols.
That sounds a little dramatic, but your brakes aren’t a part of your vehicle that you want to ignore for too long! Our service manager, Nick Gajdica, explains:
“Most of the time people see this light and it ends up being a simple cause and an easy fix, like your vehicle is low on brake fluid. Sometimes though, customers will see this light and we find out that one of the hydraulic circuits has stopped working. Either way, seeing this light is definitely a reason to call your service advisor.”
This light can illuminate on your dashboard for a few reasons.
- Your brake fluid is low and needs to be replenished. Your brake fluid is located in the master cylinder and is monitored by a sensor, when the brake fluid drops below an acceptable level, it will trigger the Brake Warning System Light.
- The parking brake is on and needs to be released. If you have already disabled the parking brake, and you are STILL seeing the light and hear a chime, you have a deeper brake problem that should be looked over at your local certified service department.
- One of the brake circuits has stopped working properly.Your vehicle’s brake system has two hydraulic circuits and for normal braking operation, both circuits need to be in working order. However, if one circuit were to suddenly STOP working, the remaining circuit would still work to stop the vehicle.
The owner’s manual, from a Chevy Silverado, suggests the following:
“Warning: The brake system might not be working properly if the brake system warning light is on. Driving with the brake system warning light can lead to a crash. If the light is still on after the vehicle has been pulled off the road and carefully stopped, have the vehicle towed for service.”
Like we said, brake problems are no joke and can lead to serious injury if not taken care of right away. If you or someone you love is experiencing problems with their brakes, no matter what make or model, please give them the number to our Certified Service Department here at Chuck Fairbanks Chevrolet. The direct line to our Service Department is (805) 807-8752.