What Does Brake Lamp Light Mean?

What does brake lamp light mean? Your brake lamp light tells you that there is something wrong with the braking system. Please pay attention to it and get your vehicle checked, fixed, and good to go again

The brake lamp light is your best friend. Its purpose is to tell you that your car brakes are faulty and you should stop the car as quickly as you can. But what happens when the light doesn’t work properly? 

It is not only dangerous but also irresponsible on your part to ignore the indication that the light isn’t working, and you should do something about it. 

While many drivers often ignore this part, most of them do not know the function of the brake lamp light, well, not too well. To clear the confusion once and for all, the brake lamp light lets you know when there is a fault in the car’s braking system. 

So, if there is some circuit malfunction, incorrect installation of light bulbs, or some other fault, it can trigger the brake lamplight. It can also start while driving or even when your vehicle is at rest. 

As confusing as it can be, it is best to contact a good mechanic and allow them to fix all the problems related to your braking system. If you are intrigued to know more about the brake lamp light and all that triggers, this article would be a good start!


What Does Brake Lamp Light Mean


What Does a Brake Lamp Light Mean?

It’s the indicator on your dashboard panel that tells you that your brakes are faulty.

The brake lamp light has a single and significant purpose – to let you know that there is a fault in your braking system. Usually, this light is triggered when there is low brake fluid, and it can also be triggered due to an engaged parking brake. 

Thus, low brake fluid and parking brake usually activate the brake lamplight, but the reality can be different due to a variety of car systems in the modern world. 

Some of the other triggers that illuminate your vehicles with brake lamp light include – 

  • ABS fault (of any kind)
  • Worn out brake pads
  • Dirty brake pads 
  • Low battery voltage
  • Bad wheel bearing 
  • Broken wheel speed sensor wire 


You might like to read: Brake Lights Only Work When Headlights Are On


Why Does My Brake Light Stay On When I Drive?

It indicates that there is something wrong with the brakes.

Why Is My Brake Lamp Light On?

When your brake lamp light is on, it shows you that there is some problem or fault in the braking system. When your brake light is on, you shouldn’t ignore it for long since it can cost you both, in terms of money and life. 

By expensive, we mean that it will cost you a lot more when your entire braking system fails than the price of getting the same fixed beforehand. It will also affect the trading value of your car later on. 

Apart from price, it is also quite dangerous to know something is wrong with the brakes and not get them fixed. Let us remind you that a car’s brakes are a life-giving force, and without them, it will be nothing less than a death machine. 

So, take your car to a good mechanic as soon as you notice the light lamp light in the braking system. 


What Does Brake Lamp Light Mean


What should you do if your brake light is on?

When you start your car for driving and notice that the brake light is on, the first thing to do is to drop the idea of driving the vehicle. Do not risk the car running with a safety issue since the braking system isn’t working too well. 

The simple answer to why your brake light stays on when you drive is something wrong with the braking system. So, after dropping the idea of driving the vehicle, the first thing to do would be to check the parking brake and completely disengage it (pull on the release mechanism to clear the brake completely).

Now, turn off the engine, and immediately contact your mechanic or an experienced person who can help in the repairing process of the braking system. 

What Does Brake Light Bulb Fault Mean?

Atleast one of the brake lights is not glowing when you press the brakes.

In simple terms, one of the stoplights isn’t working. One or more of the bulbs of the lights has fused and requires replacement. So, you should immediately call your mechanic to get done with the repairs. 

However, a blown bulb might not be the only reason the lights aren’t working, and it may also mean that the brake fluid in the master cylinder might be low and needs a refill. 

The bulb failure leads to a disruption in the circuit, which also affects its voltage. Many manufacturers use computers to pick on the low voltage to learn which bulb isn’t working. Any abnormal voltage in any bulb circuits indicates checking of all the bulbs (to find the one that is not working). 

It is essential to thoroughly find the bulbs because those on license plates, side mirrors, and yellow parking lights can be hard to spot. When you find the bulb, immediately replace it and see if any false positives occur. If they occur, it may be possible that the entire circuit would need to be checked and replaced in case of any damage. 


You might like to read: Brake Lights Wont Work When Headlights Are On


Why Do Brake Lights Come On When a Car Is Off?

Most likely it could be because of a faulty brake pedal or a problem in the braking circuit.

If your brake lights remain on even when the ignition is off in your car, it is likely that your brake light’s sensor or switch is faulty. Some of the other reasons why your brake light may come on when the car is off are listed below-

  • A faulty brake pedal
  • Malfunction in the electrical system 
  • Installation of wrong or unsuitable light bulb in the vehicle (in case you have replaced the bulbs recently)
  • The brake pedal is stuck 

Once you check all the above pointers and still do not find a problem with your braking system, it is best to contact a good mechanic. Do not take a chance with your braking system, and get to the solution soon. 


What Does Brake Lamp Light Mean


Dash Lights Come On When I Hit the Brake – Why?

The likely reason is a wiring fault in your brake light wire.

If the dash lights illuminate your car when you hit the brake, it is probably because of a wiring fault in the rear of the lights. In many cases, the owners use a single contact light instead of a double in the system. This can cause an electrical default. 

It happens because single bulbs lack a circuit when they are short against the running or parking light wire; the brake light wire and dash lights come one at the time of hitting the brake. 

Sometimes, it’s the fused or broken brake light bulbs that need replacing, so you should replace them. If the problem continues, you should get it checked by a good mechanic and get it fixed as soon as possible. 


You might like to read: 5 Reasons Why Brake Light Comes On While Driving


Frequently asked questions 

#1. What does a brake lamp mean in a car?

It indicates that the brakes have an issue that needs repairing.

The brake lamp is the light on the vehicle’s rear that illuminates when the parking brake is engaged. Also known as brake lamp lights, it is a warning lamp in the brake system that indicates that you should gradually reduce your speed. 

However, a brake lamp can mean various things to the drivers. Sometimes, the light will give you a heads up if you forget to remove the brake before taking off. Often, it indicates that the brake fluid in the master cylinder of the braking system is low and needs a refill. 

Thus, a bright brake lamplight in a car is a good thing since it lets you know that something may be wrong and should be looked into. 


What Does Brake Lamp Light Mean


#2. Why do my brake lights stay on?

A switch or sensor in your braking system might by faulty.

The brake lights of your car usually stay on because of an indication of a faulty brake light switch or sensor. However, there can be several other reasons for the same, including malfunction in the electrical system of the vehicle, wrong installation of the bulb, defective brake pedal spring, etc. 

Most issues related to brake lights (whether driving or not) can be solved with the help of experienced mechanics or self-knowledge. 

#3. Why does my brake lights stay on while driving?

It could indicate low brake fluid, a problem with the brakes, or any other brake-related issue.

If your brake lights are on while driving, the good thing would be for you to stop the car and check for a nearby mechanic to look into it. If not, disengage the parking brake completely and stop the engine. 

Once it is done, either contact someone who can get a mechanic to the location where your car is or go out and look out for a mechanic in the vicinity.


You might like to read: Emergency Brake Light Comes On When Accelerating


A Few Final Words

If you want to fix all the issues with your braking system, you must notify the problems with the braking lights – they are a clear indication that there is something wrong with the brakes or other parts of the circuit. 

Be proactive, verify the problem (get the help of a mechanic) and solve it immediately. Remember, brakes are the reason we get out of a car alive and happy, so do not take it casually when you notice that there is something wrong with them. 

By all means, stay safe and comfortable by keeping your braking system working without interruptions or fault.  

Thank you for reading the article, we hope we have covered all the queries that you had. In case you have more doubts, please reach out to us in the comments section below.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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