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Thread: Brake warning light in red

  1. #1
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    Brake warning light in red

    Hi Folks,
    i have a brake light which is showing red on my indicator panel. From the owners manual I understand this is for the supplemental brake boost system, which doesn't sound like a show stopper. The owners manual only makes reference to this warning light being yellow. Mine starts out yellow when I first turn the key on, then immediately changes to red, where it stays. Anybody have any experience with this...is there something I can check, etc.
    Thanks, and best regards, Hal

  2. #2
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    Just the obvious - have you checked all your brake light bulbs, including the 3rd brake light in the center of the rear window?
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  3. #3
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    That usually mean eith er LOW voltage on your battery or the Alternator died..U have a 99 740 so you have the Water cooled 150amp bosch alternator.. They are not cheap....Try checking the battery`s voltage or try cleaning the battery terminal`s cables
    2000 740i Sport

  4. #4
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    ^??? Brake light= bad alternator?

    Could be the foot(park) brake or your brake fluid is low.

    Is it tis (P) or (!) light?

    Have a technical question, don't send me a PM but post it on the board so others can benefit from it!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by halbitton View Post
    Hi Folks,
    i have a brake light which is showing red on my indicator panel. From the owners manual I understand this is for the supplemental brake boost system, which doesn't sound like a show stopper. The owners manual only makes reference to this warning light being yellow. Mine starts out yellow when I first turn the key on, then immediately changes to red, where it stays. Anybody have any experience with this...is there something I can check, etc.
    Thanks, and best regards, Hal
    Dig deeper into your owners manual...the BRAKE warning light can be red or yellow. And the manual may also send you to another page for additional information.

    The page below explains the RED brake warning light:


    ...and the page below explains the YELLOW brake warning light...with instructions to check page 127. The asterisk { * } in the heading means that it may be an option and not on all cars. In this case DBC wasn't available unless your E38 has DSC...E38s w/ASC+T only will not have DBC:



    Last edited by Qsilver7; 09-04-2010 at 03:13 PM.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    2013 650ix GC (Black Sapphire) 1/13 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) <<~>> 1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White) 1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  6. #6
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    Thanks very much for your responses, and your help. Indeed I didn't delve deep enough into the manual.
    I'll check the brake fluid level.

    Note to Edwin NL; in response to your question, according to my owners manual, the "BRAKE" light on US models is equivalent to the (!) light on Canadian models, so yes, it's the (!) light that's on.
    Thanks again for your help,
    Best regards, Hal

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edwin NL View Post
    ^??? Brake light= bad alternator?

    Could be the foot(park) brake or your brake fluid is low.

    Is it tis (P) or (!) light?
    Ya ...Brain Fart"...my bad
    2000 740i Sport

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by halbitton View Post
    Thanks very much for your responses, and your help. Indeed I didn't delve deep enough into the manual.
    I'll check the brake fluid level.

    Note to Edwin NL; in response to your question, according to my owners manual, the "BRAKE" light on US models is equivalent to the (!) light on Canadian models, so yes, it's the (!) light that's on.
    Thanks again for your help,
    Best regards, Hal
    If it's been longer than 2 years since the brake fluid has been changed...I would suggest that instead of just topping up the brake fluid...that you go ahead and do a complete brake fluid change. It's recommended that the brake fluid be changed on a biennial schedule anyways...due to its hygroscopic properties (absorbs water).

    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    2013 650ix GC (Black Sapphire) 1/13 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) <<~>> 1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White) 1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

  9. #9
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    Well, I checked, and the brake fluid reservoir was up to the full mark, so low fluid is not the cause. When I have more time tomorrow I'll check out the float switch in the reservoir cap. I'll ohm through it and see if it changes state (closed vs open) as I jockey the float.
    Later, Hal

  10. #10
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    Could be just bad/old fluid that contains to much moist.

    Have a technical question, don't send me a PM but post it on the board so others can benefit from it!

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  12. #12
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    When starting the car up look for the message to come up on the check panel showing 'Check Brake Linings'. This just happened to mine and as noted above this will come on with low pads that need changing. Don't always assume the worst as sometimes it is little things.

    Good Luck,

    Tom in PA
    00 740iL

  13. #13
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    my moneys on a bad brake sensor....

  14. #14
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    So now you tell us it tells you check brake linings

    Have a technical question, don't send me a PM but post it on the board so others can benefit from it!

  15. #15
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    Well it does to me just came out of no where”Red Brake Light” Check Linings .. I braked very hard and light came on ? Fluids good brakes 8months old still good.. What I do next? Thx

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralbovski View Post
    Well it does to me just came out of no where”Red Brake Light” Check Linings .. I braked very hard and light came on ? Fluids good brakes 8months old still good.. What I do next? Thx
    If you have the CHECK BRAKE LININGS warning in the check control display...and the red BRAKE light is illuminated...it means that either your front or rear (or both) brake pads need to be replaced as well as the brake sensor for that axle has faulted and needs to be replaced, too.

    It is also explained in the owners manual that the red brake light warning illuminates when you get the check brake linings (pads) warning. See exert from owners manual below...with the understanding that our warning does NOT say brake pads...it says brake linings.

    Last edited by Qsilver7; 08-29-2018 at 10:02 AM.
    (if my grammar, spelling, or sentence structure is screwed up....don't blame me...it's my dang bluetooth keyboard...I try to catch & correct the mistakes...but I may not catch all of them.)

    Q {BMW CCA Member #191509}
    2013 650ix GC (Black Sapphire) 1/13 mfg date <<~>> 2006 X5 4.4i (Sterling Gray) 12/05 mfg date
    (SOLD)
    1997 740iL (Arctic Silver) <<~>> 1999 540iT (Orient Blue) <<~>> 1995 525iT (Alpine White) 1991 735iL (Schwarz) <<~>> 1985 325e (Bronzit)

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