The parking brake warning switch is a part in your vehicle that will alert you if one of your brake circuits is not working correctly. Most vehicles have two hydraulic circuits, one that applies the front brakes, and one that applies the rear brakes. If one of the circuits loses fluids or develops a leak, the parking brake warning switch is tripped.
Brake Warning Light comes on
As soon as the brake warning switch is tripped, the Brake Warning Light will come on. This is the main indication that there is a problem with the switch. As soon as you see the Brake Warning Light, contact the professionals at YourMechanic to schedule a diagnostic, or to replace the brake warning switch.
Brighter warning light
The Brake Warning Light is used to indicate an issue with both the braking system and the parking brake. There is a difference between how bright the actual warning light illuminates, which can help you tell the difference between the two. If there is a problem with the parking brake, the switch will close. This circuit normally has a lower resistance, which causes the Brake Warning Light to shine brighter while the parking brake is applied.
Do not drive
It is important not to drive when the Brake Warning Light is illuminated. Since it does not give a specific diagnostic, it is hard to tell whether it is the main braking system or the parking brake that needs to be repaired. Even if you suspect the Brake Warning Light is brighter, it is still a safety concern driving with a bad parking brake. If your warning light is illuminated on your dashboard, contact the professionals at YourMechanic for further advice. It is best to stay safe and find an alternative form of transportation until your vehicle is repaired and is safe to drive again.
If your Brake Warning Light comes on, no matter how bright it is, book a service online 24/7 at YourMechanic. The professionals will be able to properly diagnose your braking system or parking brake issue. The parking brake warning switch is difficult to diagnose and repair on your own, and is an important safety feature of your vehicle because it tells you when there is a problem with your brakes. Therefore, it should be serviced by the technicians at YourMechanic to ensure it is in proper working order. YourMechanic’s professional technicians are available for any questions you may have regarding a brake warning switch fault.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Parking Brake Warning Switch and was authored by Spencer Clayton.