Brake Light Comes on When Accelerating (Solved & Explained)

The reasons why the brake lights turn on when a vehicle accelerates are as follows: the brake fluid is too low, the emergency parking brake is on, the sensors are not working properly, or there could be a problem with the ABS unit.

So why does my vehicle’s brake light come on when accelerating?

Malfunctioning brakes lights are not just bad for your vehicle, their false signals affect the people behind you.

The dangers of malfunctioning brake lights

When you are accelerating your vehicle, the last thing you need is for the brake lights to turn on.

Not only does this indicate that there’s an issue within your car’s internal system, but the vehicle behind you will also be confused.

Your brake lights are a warning signal to the vehicles behind you. Any vehicles that are behind you will decelerate because they think you are slowing down or slamming on your brakes and they do not want to crash into you.

The reaction of the vehicle behind you will cause a chain reaction that will affect the vehicles behind them.

Everyone will slow down when there is no need to slow down and this may cause a small traffic jam.

So if your vehicle’s brake light turns on when you step on the gas pedal, you have to fix the issue as soon as possible.

But what causes brake lights to turn on when there is no need for them to turn on?

There are four main reasons why a vehicle’s brake lights would turn on when they are accelerating or even simply idling at a red light. These reasons are:

  • The brake sensor is not working properly and they are indicating to the electrical system that the brake lights need to turn on at the wrong times.
  • You haven’t had your car serviced in a while and the brake fluid in the fluid tank is low
  • Uh oh! You accidentally left the emergency parking brake on!! Doing this could seriously damage your vehicle!
  • Finally, there could be an issue with the ABS unit. If you’ve never heard of the ABS unit, it is the part of the car that runs Diagnostic and maintenance checks on a vehicle’s braking system. Is also part of the anti-lock braking system which will prevent a vehicle from locking up.

These reasons are the most common reasons why a vehicle’s brake lights would suddenly turn on if it was accelerating on a flat road or accelerating up a hill.

How To Fix The Issues That Cause Brake Lights to Turn On?

Depending on the issue and how handy you are, you might be able to fix a few of these issues on your own. You will only have to pay for the part. There may be no need to pay for a mechanic.

There is an issue with the ABS system

The ABS system controls the anti-lock braking system. That means that your brake lights are part of the ABS system. If there is an issue with the ABS system itself, the fuses can signal to the brake lights to turn on when the vehicle is accelerating.

Fixing the ABS system requires the help of a brake repair expert. They will have to reset the computer system and calibrate the system.

The sensors are not working properly

There are two different sensors that could fail in this situation, the parking brake sensor or the sensor that monitors the brake master cylinder.

You’ll have to take your vehicle to a mechanic where they can diagnose which sensor is not working and then replace it.

The emergency parking brake is on

Hopefully, you did not leave the parking brake on too long. The longer it is left on, the more damage it will do to your vehicle’s rotors. Simply turning the parking brake off will stop this issue.

There is not enough brake fluid in the brake fluid tank

You would be surprised at how many people forget to add brake fluid to their brake fluid tank as part of regular vehicle maintenance. And this is the only issue causing your brake lights to turn on when accelerating, then you just need to refill the brake fluid tank with fluid.

Be sure to use a braking fluid that is designed for your vehicle.

When I accelerate and my brake lights turn on, I also hear a clicking noise.

So in addition to your brake lights turning on when you accelerate your vehicle, there are certain cases where you may also hear a clicking noise. The clicking noise doesn’t just come out of nowhere and it is not related to the noise that your brake lights make when they turn on. The creaking noises actually indicate to the driver of the vehicle that they need to change their brake pads.

The clicking noises that are coming from the brake pads are the result of small parts becoming weak or damaged as the brakes are used.

So when you take your vehicle to the mechanic to have a brake light issue assessed, be sure to tell them about the clicking noise coming from the braking system.

On average, a set of brake pads start to wear out around 70,000 mi. But brake pads will only work if the driver has good driving habits.

Some drivers don’t have good skills and they ruin their brake pads faster than drivers who have good skills. Bad drivers can reduce the mileage of their brake pads to just 25,000 miles.


There are 4 common issues that would cause your vehicle’s brake lights to turn on while it is accelerating. The ABS system is not working correctly, there is not enough brake fluid in the fluid tank, the emergency parking brake was left on, and the sensors that deliver data to the vehicle’s system are not working correctly.

If you also hear a clicking noise, then you may have to replace your brake pads.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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