Service Electronic Braking System (Beginners Guide)

Few things beat the trepidation of noticing a warning light popping up on your car’s dashboard immediately upon starting or, worse, mid-journey, especially when it’s a check electronic brake light.

Don’t panic. This article will show you the steps to handle such situations if it ever occurs.

Yes, you can fix some minor problems that can cause a service electronic brake light to come up. However, it is severely limited due to most braking system services requiring a professional mechanic before you can rectify it.

What Does It Mean When Your Truck Says Service Electronic Braking System?

An electronic braking system (EBS) is a modern braking system that does not rely on mechanical pumps or hydraulic pipes to stop the Truck.

Instead, it relies on a series of sensors and actuators connected to the EBS control unit that receives pressure input from the brake pedal and converts it into the required mechanical force.

By using electronic transmission of braking power, cars that use EBS are safer and less complicated.

This is because offering more braking power with fewer parts. When there’s a warning light indicating that your electronic braking system needs service.

It is a warning light meant to alert you that there’s something wrong with your braking system.

It can vary from warnings at any time to those requiring immediate attention to prevent accidents and possible death.

What Reasons  Would Cause Your Brake System Warning Light To Come On?

Many reasons could cause your brake system warning light to come on. Examples are;

#1. The ECU Is Running a Brake System Check

This issue is one of the most common causes of the check brake system light coming up, especially when turning on the car.

Don’t worry, and this is very normal; it is caused by the engine control unit (ECU) running system checks on the vehicle’s Electronic braking system.

If no issues have been detected, the warning light should turn off after a few seconds.

#2. Your Brake Fluid is Low

Low brake fluid levels will cause your brake system warning light to come on.

This problem can be easily rectified by regularly topping off the brake fluid and checking for fluid leakage every morning before you start your car.

#3. Your Parking Brake is Engaged

This mistake is serious and commonly overlooked, triggering a brake warning light.

If your mechanic or electronic parking brake is engaged while driving, it could cause your electronic brake light to light up.

#4. Your Brake Pads Needs To Be Replaced

Let’s be real with each other, and we sometimes don’t remember to maintain our brake pads.

It’s usually until the brake disk starts squealing that we remember they need maintenance.

Worn-out brake pads are dangerous as they cause poor stopping power and cause your brake warning light to turn on.

#5. Your Braking System Has a Fluid Leakage

If there’s a leakage of hydraulic fluid from the brake system, it will cause the warning light to come on.

It is very dangerous as it can cause catastrophic brake failure; you need to call a towing service if you notice any fluid leakage. Do not attempt to drive the vehicle.

#6. Bad Braking Sensors

If your brake sensors are bad or malfunctioning, it could trigger a brake system warning light.

A proper replacement and recalibration of it should turn off the warning light.

#7. Faulty ABS Control Unit

If your electronic braking system control unit is bad, it could trigger a brake system warning light.

However, taking the car to a mechanic for diagnosis and possible replacement should fix the problem.

Read More: Chevy Lane Departure Warning Not Working? (Reasons & Solutions)

What Is The First Thing You Should Do If Your Brake Dashboard Light Is On?

There are different types of brake warning lights.

While some are urgent and require you to stop the car and request a tow immediately, others are not as pressing, and you could probably still drive to the mechanic workshop with little to no issues.

First, you need to identify what type of light it is and take the proper measures ;

#1. Low Hydraulic Warning Light

This problem is one of the more common brake warning lights; it is meant to alert the driver that the hydraulic level is low, and you have to check for fluid leakage.

A quick top-up of hydraulic fluid should stop this warning light from displaying if there isn’t a quick top-up.

#2. Anti Lock Braking System Warning Light(ABS)

The Anti-lock braking system, aka (ABS), is a braking technology introduced in the late nineties.

It is a technology that prevents the car’s tires from locking up during heavy braking;

It also helps the vehicle retain steering capability during braking, as locked-up wheels cannot be steered effectively. 

This warning light requires a professional to work on your brakes before you can fix them.

Although it isn’t as urgent as other warning lights, take your car to the mechanic as soon as possible.

#3. Traction Control Warning Light

The traction control system works with the anti-lock braking system (ABS). More so, it helps prevent wheel slippage when accelerating on slippery surfaces.

If your ABS Is bad, it could cause your traction control light to turn on. Hence, this warning light shouldn’t prevent you from driving your car.

Nonetheless, it is advisable to take it for repairs, significantly if you regularly drive on slippery surfaces.

#4. Red Brake System Warning Light

If this warning light comes on, you need to stop the car and request a tow immediately.

The red braking light means your brakes have malfunctioned and are in danger of failing or have already failed.

Therefore, it would be best if you took prompt and severe measures must be taken in the case of a red brake warning light.

Read More: Perimeter Approach Lights (Everything You Must Know)

How Long Can I Drive With Brake Pad Warning Light?

It is generally safe to drive around for a few hundred kilometers. However, it would be best if you didn’t push your luck.

Some cars’ brake pad warning light comes up when 10 to 15 percent of the brake pad material remains, so if it isn’t an urgent situation, it’s advisable to take your vehicle for immediate brake pad replacement.

You can also change your brake pad yourself if you are skilled enough, as it would save you a few hundred dollars.

However, don’t cheapen out on proper brake pad replacement, as that’s the only thing between you and a possibly fatal accident.

Ignoring or postponing repairs to your car’s braking system can cause a severe accident causing loss of life and property.

Always use the correct quality of brake pads and check your hydraulic fluid level before driving your car. Skipping or ignoring this can cause unexpected brake failure.

Although some warning lights do not require immediate attention/repairs, take the car to a mechanic workshop at any chance possible.

In addition, the car’s user manual should be read and memorized to understand each light.


When your electronic braking system warning light comes up,  you don’t panic unnecessarily.

However, the type of warning light displayed should be understood first before any other action is taken.

Note that some manufacturers and models of cars do not have separate displays or LEDs for the different types of warning lights.

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