One of the most important parts of your car is its brakes and without them, you can’t even think of taking it out for a drive. Despite being so crucial and necessary for your safety and reliable driving, the brakes of your car can also become a headache sometimes.
Like any other component of your car, the brakes are also a setup of different parts and fluids working together to ensure optimal performance and braking efficiency. If you’ve recently noticed a Yellow or Red exclamation mark flashing on your car’s dashboard, there might something be wrong with the brakes.
If you’re wondering why my brake lights are flashing, there could be multiple reasons behind that and you should get your car checked immediately. Let’s go over some of the common reasons behind flashing brake lights, and what you should do when you notice them.
Here’s Why Your Brake Lights Keep Flashing
If somebody told you that the brake lights on the rear of your car keep blinking or you notice a flashing exclamation mark on your car’s dashboard, it could be due to the following reasons;
1- Faulty Brake Sensor
The brake sensor is a part of a huge array of sensors that send the data to the ECU of the car and indicates if anything is wrong, or it needs servicing. If the brake sensor has become faulty, it would send false signals to ECU and the brake light would flash on your dashboard, alerting you of an underlying problem.
2- Problematic Parking Brake
The brake light would usually illuminate when the parking brake is engaged, but if you notice the blinking brake lights after disengaging the parking brake, there could be something wrong with the parking brake of your car.
You must get the brakes checked and have the issue resolved as it could damage the rotors and brake pads.
3- ABS malfunction
ABS is a sophisticated system that synergizes the brakes of your car and prevents slipping or skidding at high speeds and on wet surfaces. The ABS module has a complex electronic system that works continuously by sensing the terrain and input by the driver.
If something goes wrong with the ABS, the brake lights would start blinking, giving you an early warning about the malfunction. If ABS is at fault, you’d also get a Check Engine Light, and getting it scanned would be the best course of action.
4- Low Brake Fluid Level
Although modern brake systems are electronic, you would still find some cars with hydraulic brakes that use fluid as a braking medium. If the brake fluid level is low, you’d initially get a yellow exclamation mark in a circle, indicating a cautious situation.
If your brake fluid container goes dry, due to leakage or exhaustion, the brake lights would start flashing and a red sign would appear on the dashboard, indicating something serious with your brake system.
If the leakage in the brake system is the culprit, you might notice a pool of fluid under your car after parking it for a while. This should alert you of a possible breach in the brake fluid container or the hoses. And you must get it repaired quickly before taking long journeys.
5- Loose Wiring
If you notice brake lights flashing on your car recently, it could simply be some loose wires or lousy connections in the brake light circuit. You won’t be able to find any error on the OBD scanner and everything would seem fine with the brakes. Checking the wires and all the joints might help you find the fault and fix it promptly.
6- Faulty Bulb or Fuse
The brake light might just be flashing due to a faulty bulb or fuse. If any of these two components have become problematic, you’d notice the blinking brake light, or somebody might warn you about your car’s brake lights not working properly.
This is not such a major issue and can be easily fixed by simply replacing the bulb or fuse.
7- Brake Pedal or Cable Issue
If you’ve noticed that the brake lights are flashing on your dashboard or your taillights are acting weirdly, it might be due to a lousy brake pedal or the brake cable connecting it to the assembly.
A faulty brake cable or lousy pedal would not be able to engage the brakes properly, and you’d notice abrupt braking and funny-acting brake lights, with a probability of brake lights flashing on your dashboard as well.
Other Similar Problems:
Brake Pedal Squeaks When Pressed And Released
Check Engine Light Flashes Then Stops!
Car Starts Rough Then Smooths Out
What to do When Brake Lights Start Flashing?
If your brake lights have started flashing recently, it could be a warning sign of something wrong with the brake system of your car, and you should take it very seriously. Here’s how you should react if the brake lights start flashing out of nowhere;
1. If you’re travelling to work or taking a short ride, try to get to your destination but drive slowly. Get your car checked immediately afterward and do not drive continuously with the brake lights flashing.
2. If you’re on a long trip, try not to ignore it and find a workshop nearby. If you’re on a deserted highway, get to the nearest population and get your car towed to a workshop rather than continuing your journey with the brake lights flashing.
3. If it is the faulty sensor, bulb, or a blown fuse, get it replaced and be on your way.
4. If the problem is serious, like a faulty ABS module or leakage in the brake system, do not bring your car back on the road before it is properly repaired.
5. Get the system scanned via an OBD-II scanner and get all the errors fixed.
The brake system is one of the most important and robust systems in your car, and with routine maintenance it can last for thousands of miles before needing a repair. Like any other system, it also has a warning light that appears on the dashboard to alert you if something is wrong underneath.
If you notice the brake lights flashing on your dashboard or brake system acting weirdly, get it checked by an expert and have the problem fixed on priority. It could simply be a loose wire or it might turn out to be a full blown ABS module. No matter what’s causing the brake lights to flash or blink, you should not ignore it and have it fixed immediately.