How to Reset Parking Brake Light

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Last Updated on January 27, 2023 by Victor Lukasso

Just like other car components, the emergency brake has a special light that comes on whenever it’s been engaged.

However, if for any reason the parking brake light stays on even when you didn’t engage the hand brake then you’ve to reset it.

The parking brake light or the emergency brake is a critical safety feature in your vehicle that keeps your car still while it’s parked.

It’s also important to note that a faulty parking brake system, brake handle, switch, or sensor are the common reasons why your parking light will remain after being disengaged.

In this article, we’ll see how a parking brake work and how to reset a parking brake light.

How Emergency/Parking Brake Works on a Car

The parking brake is designed to keep your car stationary when it is parked and to prevent it from rolling away if it is on a slope.

Depending on the vehicle, the parking brake can be engaged using a lever, pedal, or switch (check your manufacturer’s guide).

The parking brake light is an indicator on your dashboard that tells you when the parking brake is engaged.

Although some vehicles automatically disengaged the parking brake when you shift out of the park, if this light stays on when you are driving, it could indicate a problem with the parking brake system and should be addressed as soon as possible.

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How to Reset Parking Brake Light

If the parking brake light stays on or comes on while you are driving, there are a few steps you can take to try and reset it.

Disengage the parking brake handle

The first step to warding resetting the parking brake light is to make sure that the lever or handle is properly disengaged.

You can do this by ensuring the brake lever or handle is properly lowered to the ground.

  1. Pull the brake lever up until it stops
  2. Now, push it down until it makes a click sound.

This action should reset the parking brake system and clear the light in no time.

However, If the lever feels stuck or difficult to move, there may be a problem with the parking brake system that needs to be addressed by a mechanic.

Inspect the brake fluid level

A low brake fluid level could cause the parking brake light to ignite and you’ll also have difficulty engaging the parking brake.

So, if your brake light comes on while driving it’s important to also inspect the brake fluid level of your car and top it up.

You can check the brake fluid level by:

  • Opening the hood of your car
  • Open the brake fluid reservoir (it’s marked with a max and min fluid line)
  • Endeavor to make sure the fluid level is between those two lines and you’re good to go.

You can also opt for a brake pad replacement for better brake system efficiency.

In addition, make sure you fix any occurrence of leaking brake fluid in the system.

Faulty Brake Sensors

Located in the brake master cylinder are Sensors that relay the status of the brake system to the driver.

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These sensors might get clogged and give off false results thereby igniting the check engine light. Errors could also arise when there are issues in the wiring harness of the system.

Sensor faults can often be fixed by unplugging, cleaning, and replacing the sensor wires in its port.

Blown Fuse Panel

The fuse panel is usually located under the dashboard on the driver’s side of the car. Consult your owner’s manual to find the specific fuse for the parking brake system and check to see if it is blown.

If the fuse is blown, replace it with a new one and see if the parking brake light goes out.

Inspect for a stuck Caliper

A stuck brake caliper can cause the brake pads to remain in contact with the rotor, which can cause the parking brake light to come on.

You can lift your car and spin the front wheels, you can detect the presence of a stuck Caliper if one wheel doesn’t spin as freely as the others.

This will require the attention of a mechanic to diagnose and fix.

Other Brake System Problems

If the brake fluid level is correct and the parking brake is fully released, there may be a problem with the brake system itself.

This could be a faulty brake caliper, a damaged brake hose, or a problem with the brake master cylinder. These types of problems will require the attention of a mechanic to diagnose and fix.

FAQs

How to Release the parking brake

You can release the parking brake by ensuring the brake lever or handle is properly lowered to the ground with a click sound.

Here’s a detailed guide on how to disengage the parking brake manually.

  • Pull the brake lever up until it stops
  • Now, push it down until it makes a click sound.
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The parking brake should be released and the light should also turn off from the dashboard.

Why won’t my parking brake light go off?

If the parking brake light won’t go off even after disengaging it then you need to top up the brake fluid level.

A low brake fluid level could cause the parking brake light to ignite and you’ll also have difficulty engaging the parking brake.

What would cause the brake light on the dash to come on?

The brake light will come on if you engage the parking brake if there’s a low fluid level, faulty sensors, or a problematic brake system.

Where is the parking brake light switch?

The location of the parking brake lever and switch can vary depending on the make and model of your vehicle, but it is usually located near the center console or in the footwell of the driver’s side of the car.

Conclusion

If the parking brake light stays on or comes on while you are driving, there are a few steps you can take to try and reset it.

First, make sure that the parking brake is fully released. Then, check the brake fluid level and make sure it is at the correct level.

If the brake system appears to be functioning correctly, check the fuse for the parking brake system.

If none of these steps have resolved the issue, there may be a problem with a stuck brake caliper that will require the attention of a mechanic.

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