It can be frightening to see the Service Brake Assist light. It doesn’t have to be. Your emergency braking system needs to be serviced.
- In most cars, you cannot disable Brake Assist
- When the Brake Assist light comes on, it usually means your brakes have a sensor problem
- Don’t ignore the Service Brake Assist light when it comes on
What is Service Brake Assist? How Does Service Brake Assist Work?
Modern cars have brake assist systems to help drivers stop more quickly. Using sensors, it detects when the driver brakes hard and then provides additional braking power to help shorten the stopping distance.
There are some drivers who disable brake assist because they feel it makes braking smoother and more difficult. Others disable it because they believe it is not safe.
Brake assist, on the other hand, is a very safe system that helps drivers stop quickly in an emergency.
It’s a very useful feature, but if you’re not comfortable with it or don’t think you need it, you can always disable it. Just be aware that disabling brake assist may lengthen your stopping distance in an emergency. Therefore, if you’re uncomfortable with that, you should leave brake assist on.
What Is The Difference Between ABS And Brake Assist?
Not at all. ABS and Brake Assist minimize braking distance, Tough Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) maintains maximum traction by preventing the wheels from locking up, no matter how hard the driver presses on the brake.
ABS is designed not to break traction (no pun intended). When you slam on the brakes and the wheels lock up, you skid to a halt. However, by slowly letting the wheels rotate while stopping, traction is maintained and stopping is faster.
Additionally, if anything else happens during your heroic stop, you have more control.
With ABS, brake assist can be added. As soon as you start slamming on the brakes, Brake Assist kicks in and helps you to brake quickly. Once it senses that you are in an emergency by the suddenness of your brakes, it will engage.
Brake Assist has the disadvantage of not helping if you are late to slam on the brakes. Brake Assist will assist you if you hit the brakes hard.
Is it possible to turn off the brake assist?
Sadly, no. Most cars do not allow you to disable Brake Assist. The functionality of Brake Assist can be difficult to control in some situations, but manufacturers love it and they do not allow drivers to disable it without making customizations that void the warranty.
However, there is a hack. As well as causing other problems, it can even cause an accident. Some cars have fuses that can disable brake assist, and removing the brake assist fuse will remove it. I do not recommend doing this at all.
Don’t do this.
What Does The Service Brake Assist Light Mean?
In most cases, a Service Brake Assist light indicates a brake sensor failure. Most cars have a brake service light. This is a wired circuit that connects a sensor to a car’s computer or brain.
If the sensor fails or detects a malfunction or damage to the brake system, the computer will alert you and your brake service light will turn on, warning you to have your brakes checked by a mechanic. Good news is you can usually hook up a code reader and find out what’s wrong almost immediately.
Usually, it is a sensor failure. Sensors are easy to replace. The sensor can be replaced by a mechanic for maybe $25-50 or you can buy it yourself, get a little greasy, and save almost all your money.
Can I drive with the ABS and traction lights on?
It is not ideal but you can drive moderately safely with the ABS and traction lights on.
If your ABS light is on, it means it needs to be looked at and may not be working correctly. As a result, your brake system may lock up when you brake hard, putting you at risk of losing control. In normal conditions, driving shouldn’t be a problem, but who can predict when a close call will occur?
As soon as you notice the ABS light on, you should have your anti-lock brake system looked at right away. It is sometimes as simple as replacing a sensor or topping up your fluid. Occasionally, the system is damaged and you need a professional to fix it.
Fixing a small (cheap) issue with your ABS could prevent a big (expensive) issue in the future.
If the traction light is on, you may have disabled your traction control. Most traction control systems do not have warning lights. In most cars, another warning light would indicate this. To find out what your car’s traction control light is designed to alert you to, check your owner’s manual.
If you do have a traction control light and it is on and you have not disengaged it before, then I would use a code reader to figure out what the issue is (sensor failure once again) or have a mechanic inspect it right away to determine what the problem is. You could lose control of your car if your vehicle control system fails.
What Is a Service Brake Assist System?
There are several factors that affect the service brake assist cost. Sensor failure is the most common. Mechanics charge $100 and up to replace a sensor. If you are able, you can buy a sensor and change it yourself for a much lower price.
Every once in a while, bringing it to a mechanic can be very beneficial since they can spot potential maintenance issues that can be resolved before they become larger and more expensive.
Do your due diligence before approving any repair or procedure your mechanic suggests, as they can save you money, but they can also suggest unnecessary repairs.
What Does ‘Service Brake System’ Mean on Your Truck?
When your truck’s Service Brake System light comes on, you know something is wrong. But is it a major problem? You never know until you check it out. The most common causes include:
There are serious problems
- Fluid shortage
- There is a leak in the lines (in the air brakes)
- The ABS is malfunctioning
Issues that are not serious
- A sensor malfunctioned
- The light is malfunctioning
- Mileage inspection indicator
- Grounding issue
It is imperative to resolve the serious issues as soon as possible, as they can severely impair the vehicle’s ability to stop or operate as intended, thus potentially resulting in a serious accident or injury.
Non-serious issues are ones that shouldn’t affect anything except for an annoying light on your dashboard. You should address them, but you have more time. Just don’t wait too long as it may be the “boy who cried wolf” and cover up a serious issue that could do some serious damage.
Driving is a part of daily life and something we all do. It is not fun when something goes wrong. We don’t want these problems. Staying on top of your vehicle and understanding what it is telling you can save you time and money.
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You understand the meaning of your car’s Service Brake Assist because you know it well. When you need them most, a code reader and a minimal emergency kit in your car will come in handy. We all have a chance of getting into an accident, so we don’t want to increase those odds.
Don’t ignore the Service Brake Assist light when it comes on. Check it out and forget about it so you can get back to your normal life.
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Video Explanation of Service Brake Assist
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