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Accord99 - Battery + Brake Lights are on


One night last week I was in my car waiting for someone.

I had the radio running but the car was not on.

I believe I heard the radio for about 40 minutes or so.

After the person I was waiting for got in the car I started the car.

That’s when I noticed the brake and the battery lights come on.

I restarted the car a couple of times thinking it was just a mistake…nothing changed.

I pressed the breaks (pedal and emergency) and still nothing.

Tell me, do I have to simply change the battery or is there a bigger problem here?


The brake light means that your brake fluid level is low. Don’t mess with that, you may have a leak. Get it fixed.
The battery light may indicate that you actually have an alternator problem.

You will have to get the codes taken and then go on to the next step.

A lot of Japanese makes will trigger both lights on when the alternator is at fault. I don’t know why and never heard a reason why. But, I suspect an alternator fault, and you need to get it checked. A quick check would be to use a multimeter on the battery posts. Engine off should read 12V. Engine running should be 13.5V to 14.5V

The reason those lights turn on BK is because they are tied into the lamp lead circuit of the alternator. It provides a way to test the warning lights when the key is in the ON position and the engine is off.

Replacing the alternator should clear this trouble.

Are you saying you believe OBD2 codes have been generated? I think there is a code like"low battery voltage" or a “battery disconnect” code can’t think of a OBD2 code for the “low brake fluid” “parking brake on” “master cylinder failure” combo warning light.

I would go with a standard starting/charging system test with battery load test and parasitic draw test,all the normal tests/checks for the brake warning light (done after the charging system test)

GM liked to have the ABS light come on in conjunction with a battery light.

i had that problem with my subaru.sometimes the battery and brake light would come on and everything would dim.i changes the alternator and it hasnt happened since.

Thanks for the replies…you guys were right on.

I took the car to the dealer and he confirmed there was a problem with the Alternator.

Here is the thing, I have spent $2,000 on this car since June of last year.

The alternator will cost me approximately $500.

There is also a coolant leak wich will be another $400.

The total would be almost $3,000 in 9 months.

I am thinking it’s not worth fixing this car.

Should I get this fixed at another place? Should I just look for another car and forget about this one?


There is no reason why an independent mechanic could not change the alternator for you, and for a lot less money.

If the timing belt has been changed on schedule (CHECK YOUR REPAIR INVOICES, because this detail is crucial!), and if the transmission is in good shape and has been serviced every 30k, there is no reason to dump this car, IMHO.

Just switching to an independent mechanic will cut your maintenance and repair costs substantially.