1996 Subaru Outback: E Brake indicator light stuck on


Just happened this morning. The brake is definitely not engaged, but the dashboard light is on. Is this something I should worry about?


There is a switch in the console that activates the light. The switch is out of adjustment, which is why the light is on. Adjust the switch so it correctly contacts the parking brake lever and the light should go off.

Just to be sure, check the brake fluid level in the reservoir under the hood, too.


Since that light serves double duty as an indicator of the level of fluid in the brake master cylinder, as well as an indicator that the e-brake is on–yes, you should be concerned. Check the master cylinder, and if it is low, add fluid of the type specified in the Owner’s Manual in order to bring it up to the “full” mark. If it is not low on fluid, then you need to have the e-brake switch in the console adjusted or replaced.

Incidentally, the Owner’s Manual also explains the function of that warning light, as well as all of the other controls and instruments on your dashboard. Even if you have never previously read the Owner’s Manual, this is an indication that you should spend some time learning about the safe operation of your car.

You will spend less money in the long run and you will get better use from your car if you read the information in that very valuable little book.


Silly me, I thought this forum would email me when replies were made. Apparently not (although if it can, how do I set that up?)

Anyway, thanks. It was indeed low brake fluid (I sprung leaks in two brake lines) and yes, the manual mentions this. I just never suspected the BRAKE light would serve two functions. Now I know better.

Had the brake lines replaced, and all is well. Thanks again!


You’re welcome! Besides averting a possible accident from a leak in the brake hydraulic system, hopefully you have been “converted” to the ranks of those who read and refer to their Owner’s Manual.