When your emergency brake warning light comes on in your Jeep Wrangler, it’s the car’s way of telling you something has to be done regarding your braking system.By Bassem Girgis – November 25, 2015

This article applies to the Jeep Wrangler JK (2007-Present).

The brake system is the most important one in your Jeep Wrangler, mainly because it’s in charge of your safety. The instrument cluster has warning lights that appear when your car’s computer detects an issue with one of your systems. It’s recommended you act quickly when you see a warning light, but when it comes to the brake system, it’s recommended you act immediately, as your safety could be on the line. The emergency brake light could go on for a number of reasons, this article will work as a guide for you to diagnose the issue. Read on to learn how you can diagnose an emergency brake light on your dashboard.

Figure 1. Emergency brake light.

Materials Needed

  • Flashlight
  • Jack and jack stands
  • Tire irons
  • Socket set

Step 1 – Check emergency brake lever

It could be activated.

The most common and valid reason the emergency brake light would go on is if the emergency brake is activated. Sometimes people lower their emergency brake, but it doesn’t go all the way down, so even though it doesn’t stop the car, it could still activate the light. Activate the emergency brake lever, then deactivate it all the way down.

Figure 2. Ensure emergency brake is down.

If the emergency brake lever is down all the way, proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Check brake fluid

It could be low.

The brake fluid level has been known to activate the emergency brake light. Locate the brake fluid reservoir under the hood, right in front of the driver side. Check the level to see if it’s lower than the max line. If the fluid is low, top it off and then use your flashlight to look for brake fluid leak. Check under the car on the connections between the brake calipers and lines, then check the master cylinder and all around it.

Figure 3. Brake fluid reservoir.

If the fluid’s level is proper, proceed to Step 3.

Step 3 – Check emergency brake cable

It could be loose.

The emergency brake cables run from under the car where your emergency brake lever is located and back to the two rear wheels. If the cables are loose, they won’t activate the rear emergency brakes, which will cause them to be useless and will cause the car to slide off. If the parking brakes are loose, raise the car and remove the wheels, then tighten the adjustment screws on the emergency brakes. If it’s too loose, you can adjust it from under the Jeep where the two lines meet, which is called the t-case.

Figure 4. T-case located under the Jeep, in the center of the car.

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