Although some car manufacturers invented the flashing brake lights, they are not ok from a legal point of view and might put you on the wrong side of the law in most countries. Flashing brake lights can be confusing for other drivers, and when you find this brake issue, you should seek an immediate solution.
First, electrical issues might be the reason for brake light flashing, and you should ensure the wiring system issues are resolved. Fuse issues might be attributed to the brake light blinking as the fuse does not control the electricity supply to the bulb. Again issues with the anti-lock brake system might cause brake lights to flash. Moreover, the lights might be flashing when the parking brake is engaged or when the brake fluid is low. Eventually, if you do not find any issue with the brake system and the brake lights continue to blink, you may need to change the bulb.
Common causes of flashing brake light bulbs
1. Your parking brake might have problems
When you engage the parking brakes, the brake lights come on, but they may look red or yellow with the letter P or with an exclamation mark in your car’s dashboard. Different cars might have different instructions associated with parking brakes. In some cars, the brake lights might flash when the parking brakes are activated.
It would be best not to continue driving after engaging the parking brakes as it may damage the brake pads and rotors, leading to a blinking light when the brakes are activated. Typically, when you release the parking brakes, the brake lights go off, but it might indicate a severe issue if it continues to flash.
2. The brake fluid level might be low
In some cars flashing brake light bulbs are a cause of low brake fluid levels, although these are rare cases. A yellow circle indicator in the car’s dashboard usually indicates a low brake fluid, while a white light indicator is telling you that the brake fluid is enough.
However, a red light indicator that can also blink might show an almost empty brake fluid and a serious issue with the hydraulic system. You can fix this issue by having a mechanic repair issues with the hydraulic brake system and replacing the brake fluid.
3. Issues with the Anti-Lock Brake System
The anti-lock brake system helps your vehicle’s wheels from locking up and the tires from losing track on a slippery road. The system usually has a warning light on the dashboard, and can also trigger flashing brake light bulbs that come on due to ABS’s electrical malfunction, but also due to dirty wheel speed sensors.
4. The brake light bulbs might need replacement
After conducting all the diagnostic problems for the brake light flashing in no vain, you can opt for an easy solution: brake light bulbs replacement. Flashing brake lights might be associated with issues with failing bulbs.
However, it would be best if you had a mechanic conduct a complete brake inspection before opting for brake bulb replacement. You can also opt for this solution first when you are dealing with this issue since it’s simpler
5. The advantages and disadvantages of flashing brake light bulbs for drivers
Flashing brake light bulbs might be advantageous for the driver as it shows underlying issues such as low brake fluids or poor electrical connections. It makes it possible to repair different parts of the brake’s hydraulic system and electric system.
On the other hand, you may use the hazard flashing lights on the brake system to notify other drivers about slippery roads during the dark winters. However, the emergency flashing should stop immediately if you are out of danger. If they continue blinking, it might confuse the other drivers on the road.
6. Problems with the electrical wires
Although this cause is rare it can happen, but it can give the drivers headaches because it is difficult and expensive to repair.
Are flashing brake lights legal?
The transportation department does not permit flashing brake lights which are meant to warn other drivers of emergency stops of heavy braking. However, the department permits increased brake lights intensity to inform other drivers of heavy braking and emergency stops.
Furthermore, in most countries, you can use the flashing lights to indicate an emergency as there are no laws that prohibit flashing brake lights. The emergency stop signal means the vehicle is at a high retardation force relating to the prevailing condition on the road.
Flashing brake lights might get you on the wrong side of the law in most countries and might result from a faulty brake hydraulic system, low brake fluids, issues with the anti-lock system, electrical issues, and faulty brake light bulbs. The blinking lights might show you need to fix these issues.
You should pay attention to the hydraulic system, brake connection, and electrical wires and bulbs. However, you may need to replace the bulb first, as this is the most common cause and the simplest to fix, and then consider the other causes if bulbs are not the culprit.
Try not to neglect this problem because it can cause other bigger problems for the brake system, may confuse other drivers, and, also, it can result in big fines