Resetting a light can be quite annoying for someone who’s just started driving, or isn’t used to the inner-workings of a car. That’s why we’ve come up with a detailed article on how to reset parking brake light.
The dashboard light lies behind your steering wheel. On it, you’ll see a variety of colors pop up whenever you start your car.
You’ll notice a specific color whenever you use the brake.
When applying pressure on these parking brakes, you’ll see a red color icon pop up. Similarly, when you let go of the parking brakes, you’ll witness a green color icon instead of a red color.
In this case, your parking brake light is working perfectly fine. If you see red and green colors whenever you use and let go of the parking brakes, you don’t need to worry.
So, when should you reset the parking brake light, and how?
When do I Need to Reset my Parking Brake?
First, before we dive into how to reset parking brake light, you must know when there may be a problem.
As mentioned earlier, if the parking brakes of your car are working fine, you’ll see a red or green light. The red color will illuminate when you’re using the parking brakes, and green when you’re not.
If you don’t see these colors, or the lights don’t turn off or change, then it becomes a matter of concern.
This means that there may be a fault in the system of your vehicle.
Generally, in these situations, all you must do to fix the faulty light is an old-fashioned reset.
How to Reset Parking Brake Light
In this section, we’re going to discuss in detail how you can reset your parking brake light.
There can be more than one reason causing an error in the system. We will cover all these possible scenarios, so you’ll be better prepared.
Check the Condition of the Parking Brake
After finding out that there’s an issue with the parking brake of your car, make sure you disengage it.
Do not go ahead with the following steps without disengaging the parking brake first. If you don’t, the brake will stay engaged, and the light will remain on.
To disengage, you’ll need to lower the parking brake. That will release it completely.
Now, check if that fixed the issue.
Before you consider any of the following steps to reset the parking brake, make sure you check the handle.
If the issue persists, go ahead and try the other reset options.
Check For a Faulty Parking Brake Switch
You disengage the parking brake by lowering it. So, why is the parking brake light still on?
Most of the time, we don’t consider the parking brake light switch to be at fault. We usually think of all the other big issues that might have gone awry with the car.
Different types of cars have different working mechanisms. Regardless of that, there’s a switch on the pedal or parking brake lever.
Whenever you’re engaging/disengaging the brake, this switch relays information by communicating with the pedal or lever. Accordingly, the light turns on and off.
On the contrary, if there’s any crack, blockage, or misalignment between the pedal/lever and the switch, the parking brake light will stay on.
So, how do you fix the switch?
First, you’ll need to find the switch in order to fix it. Pop open the footrest/center console.
Check if there are any cracks, blockages, or misalignments.
Check if There’s Enough Brake Fluid
You can often solve this parking brake issue by simply adding brake fluid.
To check the amount of fluid, you’ll need to check the fluid levels of the brake master cylinder reservoir.
Once you find the brake fluid reservoir, you’ll notice the minimum level mark.
For the parking brake to work efficiently, the fluid needs to be above this minimum mark.
The master cylinder fluid reservoir of the parking brake usually has sensors that are built on the body or within the cap. These sensors are able to detect whenever the brake fluid drops down to the minimum fluid levels and send signals.
If the master cylinder has less than the minimum required amount, go ahead and fill it in.
Ensure That the Brake Fluid Isn’t Leaking
You checked the fluid in the master cylinder, and it was low. You went ahead and added more fluid. It’s now above the minimum mark.
After a few hours, the sensors again show that there isn’t enough brake fluid. Because of that, the parking brake light isn’t turning off.
In such a scenario, there’s a leakage most of the time.
Check under your car and see if there’s any leaking. In the case of a leak, the brake fluid leaks out of the reservoir and, ultimately, the hydraulic system.
But how do I check for leakage if there’s no fluid under my car? Well, it’s simple.
Go back into your car and apply pressure on the brake pedal. Push it all the way down.
Did you feel any resistance? If you didn’t, then that’s a sign that the brake fluid is leaking.
In this case, we recommend you visit a mechanic.
Check if the Brake Sensors are Working Properly
There is ample brake fluid in the master reservoir. Also, there are no signs of leakage. Are you done with the reset?
As we mentioned above, sensors play a crucial role in relaying information about the condition of the brake fluid.
If the amount of fluid falls below the minimum mark, the sensor detects it and sends info about it. But that’s only possible if the sensors are efficiently working.
Brake sensors that are faulty will be unable to detect the fluid content. So, even if the fluid content is below the required level of brake fluid, the faulty sensor will not send any info regarding that.
Fluid level sensors, like any other car part, can also malfunction, relay wrong signals, and turn on the parking brake light even when disengaged.
Fixing the brake sensor isn’t rocket science. You simply need to take it out and put it back in.
Before you put the sensor back in, make sure to inspect it properly and check if the wires are plugged in. Other than that, you can try to clean the sensor.
The Anti-Lock System is Malfunctioning
After checking every possible reason mentioned above, if you’re still stuck trying to reset the parking brake, don’t worry! There remains one more thing you can check.
Your vehicle comprises thousands of components working together in tandem. Among these parts, there’s something called the Anti-Lock brake system.
Unlike a simple addition of brake fluid or sensor cleaning, this particular system is quite sophisticated. It takes much more than cleaning to fix this issue.
The system employs a variety of processors and sensors to function efficiently. In case there’s any issue with these processors and sensors, it’ll transmit signals and trigger the parking brake warning light to turn on.
Since it involves coding to fix this issue, you’ll most likely require the services of a professional.
Can I use the parking brake in case of an emergency?
Parking brakes are the emergency brakes.
In an unfortunate event, if the primary brake stops working, you can make use of the emergency brake instead. The latter will prevent your vehicle from rolling over.
My parking brake is stuck. What should I do?
There’s not much you can do if the emergency brake becomes stuck.
See if engaging and disengaging the brake does anything to loosen it up. If that doesn’t help, you’ll probably require a professional to inspect the entire system.
Can I drive my car without disengaging the parking brake?
Yes, indeed. It’s actually a lot more common than you think.
A fun fact – many drive their cars without realizing that they’ve not lowered the parking brake completely.
I changed the parking brake. The brake system warning light remains on even after disengaging. Why?
Since you’ve installed a new parking brake, you’ll need to give it some time.
Drive around and let the system reset itself on its own. Before driving out, make sure that you’ve properly disengaged the parking brake.
Hopefully this guide taught you how to reset parking brake light.
Your vehicle is made of thousands of components. Sure, it’s impossible to know everything about your car – unless you’re a mechanic or are super interested in cars.
At the same time, knowing certain things, such as changing tires quickly or resetting the parking brake, always come in handy.
If you’ve found our informative guide helpful, remember to forward it to your friends as well.
Also, don’t forget to tell us about what was causing your brake lights to malfunction.
Check out this video to learn how to reset parking sensors in your car.