Emergency Brake Light when taking (R) turns

suzuki
aerio
#1

I own a 2003 Suzuki Aerio.



Over the last several months the emergency brake light on the dashboard has began to light up when I take a right turn (never left). Small turns in the road do not affect it (such as freeway driving), but a hard right, such as a 90 degree angle, or even driving on an on-or-off-ramp cause the light to go on. It has gotten progressively worse, and now seems to come on for the slightest of typical right turns, every time, regardless of speed. I have checked time and time again to make sure the emergency brake is not engaged when this happens.



Any suggestions as to what could be causing this? I have searched online and have been unable to find any other problems with this issue in Aerio’s. Because the Suzuki dealer recently left Reno, Nevada, and I am a college student, I am reluctant to take it to another auto shop and put out a lot of money to diagnose before trying to resolve the issue on my own. On the other hand, I do not want to intentionally cause harm to my vehicle.



I also looked for (and was unable to figure out) where the area for brake fluid was, but was told that brake fluid is for actual braking purposes while driving, rather than the emergency brake. Is this true?



Thank you for any suggestions you may have!!!

#2

Well if the brake fluid is low that light will come one. I am guessing that the reservoir is placed such that it leans more on right turn-that is the fluid and the light comes on. DO you have the owner’s manual? That should tell you where the brake fluid reservoir is and how to check it. I will do this ASAP since it is a major safety issue both for you and the people around you. If not sure just take it to a mechanic, again ASAP.

#3

As galant implied, that warning light serves double duty by alerting you to both low brake fluid and a parking brake that is activated. Open up the glove compartment, take out the Owner’s Manual, and look for the graphic that shows the location of the brake master cylinder. The manual will also tell you what type of brake fluid is used by this car. If you don’t understand the information in the manual, then you need to take the car to a service station (NOT Jiffy Lube or any of its clones) to have the brake fluid replenished.

Since this is a major safety issue that has been building over the past several months, you can’t afford to delay any longer in filling the master cylinder to the proper mark with the proper type of brake fluid. Otherwise, the day will soon arrive when you will not be able to stop the car.

You should also be aware that, because brake fluid does not evaporate, a low fluid level indicates either of two scenarios. Either there is a leak in the brake hydraulic system–which is potentially very dangerous, or your brake pads are worn–which could also be dangerous.

As your brake pads wear, the pistons in each wheel cylinder move enough to draw extra fluid from the master cylinder. Over the internet, nobody can tell just how badly the brake pads are worn, but simply adding more brake fluid will not change the reality of worn brake pads, so it is a really good idea to have them inspected by a qualified mechanic a.s.a.p.

If your brake pads are the original ones, it is very likely that your 5 year old car is ready for new pads, and I hope that you realize the failing brakes constitute the ultimate safety issue. Don’t delay. Replenish the fluid today, and then have a mechanic inspect your entire brake system for both leaks and for the condition of the brake pads.

#4

Yes…it’s definitely low brake fluid.

#5

When you find the brake fluid reservoir and find it full(hopefully), check the PARKING light switch where the parking handle/lever touches it to turn on the parking brake light.

The switch MAY be loose, resulting in moving to touch the brake handle/lever on those right hand turns causing the PARKING BRAKE light to come on.

Ensure the warning light you see IS the PARKING BRAKE light and not the BRAKE warning light. They are separate systems and have separate warning lights.

IF you find the brake fluid reservoir dipstick reads low, you must find either a leak or worn brake pads.
If you suspect a leak, look at the backside of the wheels for wet stains on the tire (s).