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Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch Replacement Cost

Know what price you should pay to get your vehicle fixed.

The average cost for a brake fluid level warning indicator switch replacement is between $72 and $84. Labor costs are estimated between $42 and $54 while parts are priced at $30. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.
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What is a Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch?

It is vital that the brake fluid reservoir is always full since a low brake fluid reservoir can let air into the brake master cylinder and brake lines. Not only would that render the brakes less effective, it would cause the need for a brake system flush and bleed. To prevent this situation, a brake fluid level switch is attached to the brake fluid reservoir, and illuminates the brake fluid level warning light when the brake fluid level becomes lower than acceptable.

How does a Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch work?

The brake fluid level warning indicator switch is situated on the exterior of the brake fluid reservoir, but extends to the inside of the reservoir as well. This is a simple switch that is actuated by any conductive liquid, so when the brake fluid is not in contact with the switch, the brake level warning light is activated. Once the brake fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir is returned to normal, the illuminated brake warning indicator will turn off, given that the parking brake is not on and there are no errors in the system.

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What are the symptoms of a bad Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch?

If the brake level sensor were to fail, you may notice the brakes feel spongy, but the brake warning indicator is not illuminated. This would be the case if the brake fluid became too low, but the faulty brake fluid level switch did not alert the driver. Also, the brake fluid level warning indicator would illuminate when there is plenty of fluid in the reservoir. In some vehicles, the brake fluid warning light may prevent the vehicle from moving out of 'Park'.

Can I drive with a bad Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch?

Unless the vehicle's brakes have been affected by low brake fluid, the vehicle is generally safe to drive. If the vehicle will not shift from 'Park', the shift-interlock override switch can be used to operate the gear selector. However, when the brakes feel too soft and spongy, the vehicle should be repaired on site or towed to a certified repair facility before operating.

How often do Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switches need replacement?

These sensors are highly reliable, and most vehicles will never have a replacement made except for in the event of physical damage. If a brake fluid level warning indicator switch were to fail, it would most likely occur while the vehicle is very new or very old, as the part would likely be defective from the factory or deteriorated over time.

How are Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch issues diagnosed?

Any skilled technician will have a diagnosis pointing to the brake fluid level warning indicator switch within a few minutes. Testing of the circuit is quick and easy, and typically will not require removing any obstructions before testing. The fluid level will be checked, and the pigtail (wiring) for the switch will be checked for continuity. If the wiring harness functions properly, but the switch is ineffective, it will be replaced.

How are Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switches replaced?

Removal of the switch may involve removing the brake fluid reservoir cap, unscrewing the brake fluid level sensor from the reservoir, or simply removing a clip. One electrical connector will be disconnected, and the seal will be replaced when re-installing the switch. Depending on the location of the brake fluid level warning indicator switch, the technician may feel there is a risk for letting air into the system, and may need or advise to perform a brake fluid flush and bleed.

RepairPal Recommendations for Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch issues

Since there are occasions when the brake fluid level warning indicator switch fails, it is recommended to regularly check your fluid levels. Again, if the brake fluid level becomes low without warning, the brakes will lose effectiveness.

What to look out for when dealing with Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch issues

When performing any service on the brake system, it may be advised to flush the brakes, however, brake fluid flushes are one of the most commonly recommended services as an attempt to raise a repair bill. Knowing when your vehicle's brake system should be flushed is necessary to avoid needless upcharges. Your owners manual will advise when one should be conducted, and any time there is air in the system the brakes should be flushed and bled as well.

Can I replace the Brake Fluid Level Warning Indicator Switch myself?

Replacing this switch should be a mior task if the switch is located on the top of the reservoir, or even high on the side of the brake fluid reservoir. The point that a DIY mechanic should refer the vehicle to a technician is if the sensor is so low in the reservoir that there is a risk of letting air into the brake system during the repair, unless the person servicing the vehicle is familiar with flushing and bleeding brakes. If bleeding the brakes is too far removed from personal experience, seek professional assistance.

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