Right Driver

Dashboard brake warning lights

There are six different lights on your dashboard which warn you about your brakes. When you start your car you’ll see some of them illuminate and then disappear.

Brake hydraulics

If you are low on brake fluid or there is another serious problem with your brakes then this light will illuminate. You must stop immediately and check the fluid which will be in a reservoir similar to this.

If there is fluid available and you don’t know why the light is on then you must call to get your vehicle towed because you could experience complete brake failure.


If the ABS, or anti-lock braking system, light comes on it means that your ABS has stopped working. This doesn’t mean that the brakes have stopped working, but it increases the risk you will lock up the wheels in an emergency.

Brake lights

The first warning to the cars behind that you are braking is when the brake lights come on. If your brake lights are working you increase the risk that someone will run into the back of you. This needs to be attended to immediately.

Brake pads

This is an uncommon warning light in cars. It monitors the levels of the brake pads and if they get too low (i.e. need replacing soon) you’ll see this light.


The engine is more than powerful enough to overcome the braking power of the handbrake therefore it’s easy to drive off without the handbrake being completely┬ádisengaged. This warning light will display until you’ve taken the handbrake off. If you drive with it on it means that the pads could be rubbing. Eventually, they’ll overheat and in extreme cases could catch fire.

Handbrakes can sometimes become stuck on in cold weather.

Press brake

The press brake light isn’t a warning light, it’s telling you that you need to press the brake pedal to start the car or put it in gear. These are commonly seen on newer automatic vehicles with push-button start.

Darren has owned several companies in the automotive, advertising and education industries. He has run driving theory educational websites since 2010.

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