Subaru Brake Light Flashing while Engine Light On

Subaru Brake Light Flashing while Engine Light On: How To Fix It?

If your Subaru’s brake light is flashing simultaneously and the engine light is on, it is a worrying context. But, not to overwhelm, it happened and is considered a usual case for Subaru. 

So, why is the Subaru brake light flashing and the check engine light on? The reason here is the low voltage of the battery in your vehicle. Also, brake light switch defects, fuel pump faults, windshield cracks, Starlink issues, brake fluid leakage, brake system-related faults, etc., can cause the malfunction.

However, with adequate knowledge, you can fix these issues very easily. Here, we inform you of the solution with the root cause of the issue. Let’s get into it!

Table: Causes and Solutions

Before we jump into details, let’s take a quick glance at the causes of the issue and its solution:

Battery Low VoltageRecharge the battery
Faulty brake light sensorChange the sensor
Malfunctioned brake lightRepair the brake light
Overall failure of the braking systemRepair of the whole braking system
Overheating conditionAllow time to cool down
Emergency Brake is Engaged AccidentallyTake professional help if you don’t have DIY capability

Why is the Subaru Brake Light Flashing and the Check Engine Light On

Subaru Brake Light Flashing while Engine Light On

Let’s have an in-depth look into why your Subaru’s brake light is flashing while keeping the engine light on!

Battery Low Voltage

If both the brake light is flashing and the engine light is on in Subaru, it indicates that there is a battery-related issue. In this case, the problem is a failed battery, which is suffering from a voltage drop. This context leads to the activation of these warning lights. 

You must know that the brake light and engine light rely on a stable power supply to function correctly. So, when the battery’s voltage falls below a certain threshold, it can no longer operate as intended, triggering the lights to activate.

Subaru Battery Low Voltage


Below is the stepwise resolution.

Step 01: Inspect the battery for damage or corrosion on terminals and cables.

Step 02: Measure the Battery Voltage using a multimeter to check the battery voltage. It should be around 12.6V when the engine is off.

Step 03: Now, go for a Jump-Start to try your luck. If the voltage is extremely low, jump-start the vehicle following proper procedures.

Step 04: Then, monitor the warning lights’ condition. 

Step 05: See if the brake and engine lights go off after jump-starting or recharging the battery.

Step 06: Address Additional Issues. If the lights persist, consult a mechanic for further diagnostics.

Step 07: Reset the Engine Light by disconnecting the battery briefly to reset the engine light or use a diagnostic tool.

Brake System-Related Faults

In this case, several faults can occur within the vehicle’s braking system, triggering the brake light’s continuous flashing and engine light. Below are the segregated causes of brake system-related faults.

  • Faulty brake light sensor
  • Malfunctioned brake light
  • Overall failure of the braking system
  • Overheating condition 
  • The emergency brake is engaged by accident
Subaru Brake System-Related Faults

Faulty brake light sensor

For electric issues, malfunctions happen. check the emergency brake and fully disengage it. If it does not function that the sensor is gone- Change the brake light sensor by following the below-listed approaches: Disconnect the battery for safety.

Read:  How To Reset Brake Light On BMW? Easy Steps You Must Follow


Step 01: Locate and remove the old sensor near the brake pedal.

Step 02: Install the new sensor in its place.

Step 03: Reconnect the wiring harness securely.

Step 04: Test the brake lights.

Step 05: Reassemble and clean up.

Malfunctioned Brake Light

A flashing brake light in your Subaru often occurs due to malfunction. It requires replacement. Fixing a brake light issue is straightforward and cost-effective. You can do it easily with some simple tools and DIY methods. 

Subaru Malfunctioned Brake Light


Here’s a concise step-by-step solution for dealing with a malfunctioning brake light.

Step 01: Park safely and turn off the engine.

Step 02: Identify the problematic brake light.

Step 03: Gather tools: screwdriver, new bulb, wrench/socket set.

Step 04: Access the brake light bulb (usually inside the trunk or behind the light assembly).

Step 05: Remove the old bulb by unscrewing it and replace it with a new one.

Step 06: Reassemble everything securely.

Step 07: Test the brake light by having someone press the brake pedal.

Step 08: Ensure all brake lights work and the engine light is off. 

Overall failure of the braking system

A flashing brake light in association with the engine light signifies a critical problem. There is a huge chance that your car’s braking system has broken down. The Subaru Outback’s brake system is designed with two distinct circuits.

It ensures that at least two wheels can still provide partial braking if an issue arises. Following this, when your Subaru’s brake system experiences a failure, the brake light on your dashboard consistently flashes, triggering the activation of the engine light. 

Subaru Overall failure of the braking system


The following is the process.

Step 01: Park safely and turn off the engine.

Step 02: Check the brake fluid level and top it up if it is low.

Step 03: Inspect brake pads and rotors for wear.

Step 04: Look for brake fluid leaks.

Step 05: If unsure or the brake light persists, consult a mechanic. Please note the braking system’s function is crucial for you and the vehicle’s safety. So, we strongly recommend you not to go for any DIY approach.

Overheating Condition

The overheating condition of the brake pads and discs also can cause the brake light to flash and the engine light to turn on. This basically happens due to the degraded condition of the disc, finishing of the brake pad’s life, stuck caliper pins, low-quality brake pad, etc. 

Read:  Brake Fluid Light On But Fluid Is Full - Troubleshooting Tips!

Check out the YouTube video for examining overheating conditions:


Leave it some time to cool down the whole system. Then, on the next day, check each of the mentioned components’ condition, functionality, and lifespan carefully. Finally, do repair or replacement works.

Emergency Brake is Engaged Accidentally

If the emergency brake is engaged accidentally, the brake light will remain flashing, and the engine light will be activated.

Subaru Emergency Brake is Engaged Accidentally


Below is the resolution process.

Step 01:  Begin by checking whether your parking brake is engaged. If you release the brake, and the light disappears, you can infer that it is the source of the issue. 

Step 02: However, if you release the parking brake and the light persists, it’s advisable to schedule a check for your Subaru Outback. Professional mechanics have the capability to reset warning lights when necessary. And mind that its DIY process is not that easy.

Cost Of Repair For The Issues

Cost Of Repair For The Issues

The below table is a generalized indication of the associated repair costs.

Low battery voltage repair$45 to $250
Faulty brake light sensor $63-$70
Malfunctioned brake light$96-$150
Overall failure of the braking system$25–$500
Overheating Condition$96-$110
Emergency Brake is Engaged Accidentally$36-$113
If you’re facing issues with your vehicle’s lights, you may also want to explore our articles on related topics. Our guide on Dodge Charger ABS light on offers insights into this particular issue. Additionally, if you own a Honda CR-V and are dealing with the brake light staying on, our article on Honda CR-V brake light stays on provides valuable information and solutions.

People Also Ask

Here, we answer some of the most common questions regarding Subaru brake light flashing and check engine light on!

Q: Can I drive when the brake light is flashing?

It’s okay to drive when the brake light is flashing in your Subaru Outback. However, if the brake warning light keeps coming on, it’s a good idea to have your vehicle inspected and go for a thorough check-up.

Q: Can I reset these flashing brake lights myself?

You can reset it by disconnecting the battery briefly. But, we do not advise such. It’s important to address the underlying issue. Brake light issues should be diagnosed and resolved by a mechanic.

Q: Will driving with these warning lights on cause damage to my Subaru?

Continuing to drive with warning lights won’t cause immediate damage. But it’s not advisable for the long term. Ignoring these light-flashing issues can worsen problems and will affect your vehicle’s safety and performance.

Final Words

When facing that the Subaru brake light is flashing and the check engine light is on, it’s crucial to address the issue promptly and responsibly. We hope that our guide on Subaru brake light flashing and check engine light will assist you in this matter effectively. 

Ignoring these warning lights means you are just compromising safety while steeping towards doing some costly repairs. Therefore, seeking professional diagnosis and repairs is the wisest course of action. It will ensure the continued safe and reliable operation of your Subaru vehicle.

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