Seeing a warning light pop up on your Honda Accord’s dashboard can give any driver a moment of unease. The brake lamp light turning on may leave you wondering if your brakes are still working properly or if it’s safe to keep driving. This guide will provide an in-depth look at Brake Lamp Light Honda Accord means, why it comes on, and what you should do when you see it. With the right information, you can understand the brake lamp light in your Honda Accord and take appropriate action.
What Does Brake Lamp Mean On Honda Accord?
The brake lamp light in a Honda Accord and other vehicles illuminates to indicate an issue with the braking system. It is distinct from the check engine light or ABS light, though faults with those systems can also trigger the brake lamp warning.
Specifically, the brake lamp light monitors the level of brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir. It will come on if the level drops too low. The light also activates if the parking brake remains engaged while driving.
On certain Honda Accord models, the brake lamp light may also turn on if there is a problem with the brake pad wear sensors or ABS wheel speed sensors.
Why Does the Brake Lamp Light Come On?
There are four main reasons why the brake lamp light illuminates in a Honda Accord:
- Brake Lam
- Low Brake Fluid
- Parking Brake Engaged
- Brake Wear Sensor Failure
- ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Failure
Low Brake Fluid
The most common trigger for the brake lamp light is low brake fluid. Your brake master cylinder has a fluid reservoir that feeds the hydraulic brake lines. As the brake pads wear down, fluid level drops. If it falls below the minimum mark, the light turns on.
Parking Brake Engaged
If you begin driving without releasing the parking or emergency brake, the brake lamp will activate as a reminder. This typically happens if you forget to disengage it before putting the car in gear.
Brake Wear Sensor Failure
Some Accord models have brake pad wear sensors that illuminate the lamp when the pads reach the end of their service life. A faulty sensor can trigger the light prematurely even with sufficient pad thickness.
ABS Wheel Speed Sensor Failure
The anti-lock braking system relies on wheel speed sensors to function. If one of these sensors fails, it can activate the brake lamp as a secondary indicator besides the ABS light.
Is It Safe to Drive With the Light On?
The brake lamp light indicates that your Honda Accord has degraded braking capabilities. However, with caution, you can safely drive short distances with the light on:
- Check that the parking brake is fully disengaged
- Top off the brake fluid if needed
- Drive slowly and increase following distance
- Avoid sudden braking when possible
Keep in mind that extended driving with low brake fluid will allow more air into the ABS module and hydraulic lines. This degrades braking performance further. Schedule repair as soon as realistically possible.
What to Do When the Brake Lamp Comes On?
Follow these steps when you see the dreaded brake lamp illuminate:
- Pull Over Safely
- Check Emergency Brake
- Check Brake Fluid Reservoir
- Scan for Leaks
- Reset Light
- Have System Inspected
Pull Over Safely
When it is safe to do so, move out of traffic and come to a complete stop. This prevents any further brake fluid loss.
Check Emergency Brake
Make sure the parking or emergency brake is released. If it was inadvertently left engaged, the light will turn off when you disengage it.
Check Brake Fluid Reservoir
Pop the hood and locate the brake fluid reservoir, which is typically near the back of the engine bay. The reservoir will have “Brake Fluid” molded into the plastic and a “MAX” fill line. If the fluid is low, top it off and see if the light turns off. Use DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake fluid only.
Scan for Leaks
Inspect the brake lines, calipers, wheel cylinders, and master cylinder for signs of fluid leaks while at the reservoir. Leaks will need to be repaired.
Turn the ignition fully off and then start the car again. This may reset the brake lamp if it was triggered falsely.
Have System Inspected
If topping off fluid does not turn off the light, have the Honda Accord brake system inspected promptly. A technician can check for issues like leaks, worn pads, faulty sensors, or problems with the ABS module.
How to Prevent the Brake Light?
You can minimize chances of the brake lamp illuminating by:
- Checking brake fluid level monthly
- Changing brake fluid every 3 years
- Inspecting brake components for leaks during oil changes
- Replacing brake pads when they reach the end of their service life
- Not driving with parking brake engaged
Regular brake system maintenance is the best way to avoid surprise brake issues and warning lights.
Key Takeaways on the Honda Accord Brake Lamp
- The brake lamp indicates low fluid level, parking brake engaged, worn brake pads, or a fault in the ABS system.
- It is often safe to drive short distances with caution when illuminated.
- Top off low fluid, check for leaks, reset the light, and have the system inspected.
- Preventative maintenance reduces the chances of seeing the brake lamp.
Understanding what illuminates the Honda Accord brake lamp and how to respond prevents undue panic. Heed the light and have your trusted technician diagnose and repair the underlying issue promptly. With the steps outlined here, you can get your Accord’s brakes back to full operating condition.