Why Your Subaru Outback Brake Light Is Flashing

Why is your Subaru Outback brake light flashing? If you’ve noticed a blinking brake light on your dash, there could be a couple of explanations for what’s going on.

Understanding what makes your Subaru Outback’s brake light flash will help you quickly resolve the issue and get back on the road confidently.

Why Your Subaru Outback Brake Light Is Flashing

What Does Flashing Brake Light Mean on Subaru Outback?

The flashing brake light on a Subaru Outback could mean several different things. There could be a severe issue that needs addressing, or it could simply be that your emergency brake is engaged.

There are a few possibilities for why your Subaru Outback brake light might be flashing, including:

  1. Malfunctioning sensor
  2. Low brake fluid
  3. Brake Light Malfunction
  4. Brake system failure
  5. Overheating

If you’re experiencing a flashing brake light, consider every possibility of what could be causing it. Narrowing down your options will give you a better idea of how to proceed.

Malfunctioning Sensor

Sometimes the lights in your dashboard go off because of a malfunctioning sensor. It can happen with brake lights, tire lights, and even the check engine light.

If you check the emergency brake and find it fully disengaged, the next thing to consider might be an out or bad sensor.

Sensors are typically isolated problems and are usually easy to fix. It isn’t likely that there’s something wrong with your brakes if you simply have a malfunctioning sensor.

Low Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is a critical yet often forgotten element in the life of a vehicle.

Whenever you use the brakes, a series of events must take place:

  • The brake pump pushes the brake fluid
  • The brake fluid engages the cylinders
  • The cylinders press the brake pads
  • The brake pads take over

The brake fluid is a necessary part of this equation. If your car leaks brake fluid, you could be in serious trouble.

Your brakes will slowly become less effective, which is not ideal in any scenario.

If your brake fluid is low, the flashing brake light will indicate the potential problem so that you can have it checked immediately.

Brake Light Malfunction

The malfunctioning brake light is one of the most common reasons your brake light might be flashing on your Subaru Outback.

If your brake light goes out, the warning system will let you know that it’s time to get them replaced.

Brake lights are necessary for everyday use if you’re out on the roadways. Since brake lights are critical for your safety and the safety of other drivers, it’s essential to ensure they’re functioning correctly.

The topic is still hotly contested, but it’s possible to get pulled over for having a brake light out.

Not only is it widespread to have a brake light out, but fixing a brake light is easy and inexpensive compared to other potential issues with your Subaru Outback.

Brake System Failure

One of the most severe issues you could be facing with a flashing brake light is a total failure of your vehicle’s brake system.

The Subaru Outback’s brake system is on two separate circuits, allowing the vehicle to brake at different speeds.

If something goes wrong with your Subaru’s brake system, two of your wheels should still have the partial braking ability.

If your brake system fails, you’ll constantly see the brake light on your dash flashing. This occurrence is always an indication that it’s time to get your brakes checked.


There are a few reasons your brake pads and discs might be overheating:

  • Bad installation
  • Deformed disc
  • Jammed brake caliper guide pins
  • Low quality of pads and discs
  • End of the brake’s life

When your brakes overheat, the flashing brake light might appear on your dash. Since the brakes work on a friction system, it’s not uncommon for overheating to occur.

Why Your Subaru Outback Brake Light Is Flashing

What To Do When Subaru Outback Brake Lights Keep Flashing

There are many reasons why the brake light on your Subaru Outback might flash. Fortunately, there are also many easy fixes.

Unless something is seriously wrong with your brakes, you can probably deal with the issue at home.

Once you’ve determined the issue causing your brake light to flash, you can move toward finding a solution.

Take It In

The easiest way to resolve a flashing brake light is to find a local Subaru mechanic and have them take a look. They’re trained in the art of Subaru repair and can usually give you a quick answer to the question of what’s causing the light to flash.

If you take the vehicle in for a diagnostic check, you may find the solution simple enough to do yourself.

Change the Brake Lights

If you notice your brake lights are out, the easiest fix is to change them yourself. You can accomplish this with a replacement light and a few tools.

As long as you can remove the light cover, switching out the bulb will take no time at all.

Some vehicles require the removal of the entire back panel to change a light. In this case, you may need to take your car in for repairs.

Check the Brake Fluid

Since leaking brake fluid is a common cause of a flashing brake light, check the brake fluid levels early.

It’s not hard to do yourself. If you pop the hood and find the brake fluid low, you’ll need to get that topped off right away.

Check Your Sensors

If there’s a problem with your electronic system, you can usually tell based on the reading of a car diagnostics scanner.

You might find an engine code reader at a local auto shop or parts store. Run a quick scan to determine if you need any sensors replaced.

Cool Down

If flashing brake lights are caused by overheating, you should stop your car immediately and give everything a chance to cool down.

How Do You Clear a Subaru Outback Warning Brake Light?

First, check that your emergency brake is not engaged. If you release the brake and the light goes away, you can assume that was the cause.

If you disengage the emergency brake and the light remains, consider taking your Subaru Outback for a check. Mechanics can clear warning lights for you.

Can You Drive With Your Brake Light Flashing?

You can drive with a flashing brake light on your Subaru Outback. If you have a persistent brake warning light, you should get your vehicle checked.

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Author: DJ

Dave Junior is a hands-on automotive technician with experience in performing service, diagnostics, and repairs on domestic and imported vehicles. He enjoys writing and sharing his knowledge far and wide.

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