Reasons for Subaru Outback Brake Light Flashing

Flashing brake lights can make anyone worry about their car’s safety. To keep you from wondering, we will go through some of the most common reasons for brake lights on Subaru Outback, and we will indicate possible ways to fix this common issue.

Subaru Outback Brake Warning Light Causes

Your Subaru Outback’s brake light indicator was installed to let you know that there is a problem with the brake system. It’s different from the anti-lock brake system, which has its personal ABS warning light.

When it comes to the brake light, it indicates that there is an issue with the physical braking system. Keep in mind that if the emergency brake didn’t fix the problem, you will have to look deeper into what’s causing the Outback’s brake warning light to stay on.

Brake lights are perhaps the most reliable warning light of all. Don’t drive with this light on. If you do it, it may lead to injury when the brakes stop working. The reasons why this light can fail are:

1. Overheated Brakes

Driving downhill requires a lot of skill in braking. Friction is what makes the brakes work. When the driver presses the brake pedal, the pads and disc get hot. But on a downhill, they have to work harder and don’t cool down fast enough.

If the brake warning light comes on, locate a safe place to park on level ground and allow the brakes to cool. Until then, place the palm of your hand near the wheel and feel how hot it is.

Outback will also shut off the warning light to inform you that you can continue driving.

2. Brake Light Malfunction

It’s also likely that one of the brake lights has died and the car is warning you to replace it. Brake lights are very important for daily on-road safety because drivers behind you can see that you are braking.

Changing this light is a quick task. All you need is the right bulb, a 7440 will work if you own a 2013 Outback, but you can check the label on the one you have. To finish the task, you will need a Phillips head screwdriver: The steps are:

  1. Remove the plastic cover on the side of the car’s light.
  2. Take out the screws while holding the light. Be careful not to strip the crews, or you will have a harder time working them.
  3. Once you pull the light out and have access to the back, twist the light plug to remove it.
  4. Swap the old lightbulb with the new one. Use a clean cloth over the glass. Bare fingers will leave a stain that reduces successfulness.
  5. Put the plug back in, then put the light inside the position.
  6. Bring someone to let you know if the lights are working correctly while you press the brake. Check if the warning light is not on anymore.
  7. Screw in the light, return the side cover.

3. Leaking Brake Fluid

Losing brake fluid can’t be overlooked. Whenever you step on the brake, the brake pump starts pushing brake fluids towards the brake calipers, and the cylinders press on the brake pads.

When the brake fluid is leaking, the more you press the brake pedal, the less effective it will be. Open the hood and verify the levels of brake fluid. The container is very small and has a label either on top or on the cap.

Fill the container slowly and make sure you don’t cross the maximum amount. If the issue returns, you can always try to identify where the leak is producing, but we don’t recommend fixing the problem by yourself.

Take your vehicle to a mechanic, or at the very least, find someone with experience to help you with the issue.

4. Parking Brake Issues

A parking brake can result in the flashing of the brake light. The older parking brake system had to rely on the physical handbrake that pulled a cable and engaged the rear brakes.

If the cable rusts while the brake is engaged, it can leave the brake stuck. You can tell if the brake is engaged if your vehicle is struggling to move whenever you try to drive.

Modern electronic parking brakes operate at the push of a button, and an electric motor operates the rear brakes. In any case, if the problem arises, the Official Subaru Manual recommends taking the car to a qualified Subaru dealer.

However, it might be that you activated the parking brake more than 10 times. The frequent operation can result in the flashing of the parking brake light. Also, the Outback will stop you from using the brake for a time.

5. Electrical Problems

The brake system of a Subaru is not easy to understand due to the number of components it presents, like the brake hydraulic pumps and the number of electric sensors that can send data to the vehicle.

Moreover, the braking sensor can register when you press the brake pedal and it will send a signal to the brake lights. A failure will stop the brake lights to activate when needed, and turn on when the driver is not braking.

Even when the car is not on, this will start draining the battery and you won’t be able to start your Subaru. The pressure change switch divides the brake systems into two as a safety precaution.

In case there is a problem with the brake system, instead of losing the whole system, you will only need to stop the car to ask for help. Electrical problems are not easy to diagnose, so we suggest you take the vehicle to a car shop.

Liam Dare

As CEO of, my passion for the automotive world motivates me to build online businesses that provide information and entertainment to users. I am proud to contribute in a positive way to the automotive community.