The majority of contemporary cars come equipped with a brake assist system. The safety systems of different vehicles have continued to be improved by car manufacturers by introducing new key features. Along with StabiliTrak, traction control, and the anti-lock braking system, the service brake assist is a key safety feature.

This brake system is intended to enhance regular braking performance, particularly in emergency situations. By facilitating quicker stops when required for drivers who may experience braking issues, this system is designed to help prevent accidents.

What does "service brake assist" mean?

Additionally, this system provides more force to the pedal when braking to aid in stopping your car by using an electric motor, pump, and hydraulic valves. The service brake assist warning light on the dashboard may, unfortunately, come on as a result of a system malfunction.

Well, in this article, the answers to the following questions will be discussed:

Read more: Understanding ABS control module 

Okay, let’s get to it.


What is brake assist?

Brake assist is designed to make normal braking much better, particularly in emergency situations. This is not intended to replace the driver’s regular braking operation; rather, it is meant to improve the effectiveness of the braking operation through the application of additional pressure as necessary.

It does this by utilizing computer software and sensors installed in your car’s system to detect when an accident is imminent or when you will require more stopping power than usual. The brake assist kicks in automatically at this point and increases the pressure on your brakes until you come to a complete stop.

Read more: Understanding automotive braking system

What does “service brake assist” mean?

When the “Service Brake Assist” warning appears on the dashboard, the brake assist system has malfunctioned. It’s possible that a brake sensor has failed or that the brake system doesn’t have adequate pressure. In either case, it needs to be examined right away.

The amount of pressure being applied to the brake pedal is monitored by brake assist. In the event of an emergency, this cutting-edge system provides extra power if additional pressure is required.

Read more: Everything you need to know about a car SRS light

How does the Emergency brake assist system work?

The emergency brake assist fully depresses the brake pedal when the car detects that the brake is being applied to bring the car to a sudden stop. When the sensor detects an unexpected engagement of the brake pedal, additional braking force is released.

The system’s purpose is to protect the driver from the risks associated with emergency braking when a proper response is not made. In an emergency, this feature cooperates with the anti-lock braking system to effectively engage the brakes.

The programming function of the brake assist system is a special operation that enables it to analyze the driver’s behavior when applying the brake. In order to ensure proper braking and shorten the braking distance, it will release more power if it detects an inaccuracy in this operation.

Read more: Understanding the working of anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Watch the video to learn more about how the emergency brake assist system works:

Why is the brake assist system important?

The brake pedal’s pressure is measured by the brake assist system. It ensures that there is enough pressure to prevent collisions from happening during an emergency stop.

Additional hydraulic pressure will also be applied if the system detects that a quick stop is required but the pedal hasn’t been fully depressed. As a result of the increased pressure, the distance gets smaller until the car comes to a complete stop. It can prevent an accident from happening, which is incredibly helpful.

What is the difference between the brake assist and the ABS system?

One advanced safety feature found in some contemporary vehicles is brake assist. It differs from anti-lock brakes (ABS), which are now included on all modern vehicles. Nevertheless, the purpose of both systems is to enhance braking performance. In an emergency, brake assist can provide more pressure to the brake pedal.

It aids drivers in stopping before an accident takes place. However, if the wheels begin to lock up, ABS keeps the vehicle’s brakes in place. It gives the car more control. ABS also prevents the wheels from locking up, allowing you to safely stop your vehicle.

Are brake assist and automatic emergency braking the same thing?

While automatic emergency braking and brake assist might sound similar, they are not the same. You will feel pressure from the brake assist. The sophisticated system will provide the extra boost you require if you press the pedal, but not hard enough for the circumstances.

However, the automatic emergency braking system will operate automatically without your involvement. The automobile will automatically brake if the sensors detect a risky situation and you aren’t stopping despite warnings. An automated system manages the operation on your behalf. Normally, it comes equipped with cars as part of a safety package, although it is also an option.

What causes the service brake assist light to come on?

Low brake fluid

If you have low brake fluid or if one of your braking system’s components malfunctions, the service brake assist light will come on. This is because having insufficient fluid in the system can interfere with the way the ABS valve functions and make your brakes less effective. Low fluid levels can also make the pedals seem soft and spongy, which decreases driver competence and lengthens stopping distance.

Issues with the connection

Corrosion may result in damage to wire harnesses and/or wiring harnesses when moisture enters the electrical system and causes corrosion. This may lead to wires becoming brittle or loose, which could impair the effective operation of your car’s braking system.

Worn brake pads

Your braking system’s key essential part, brake pads, can become worn down over time. If this occurs, it can impair the effectiveness of your car’s brakes and put you or other drivers on the road at risk.

Vacuum Leaks

Failure and/or non-operation of vacuum boosters are frequently caused by vacuum leaks to the brake booster. Your car’s ABS won’t work properly if there’s a leak, which could make driving tough.

This may result in you losing control of your car or in an accident. Overheating and the failure of other parts like wheel cylinders and master cylinder pistons can both result from leaks in the brake booster.

Faulty brake booster

The master cylinder, which contains a piston attached to a flexible tube, cooperates with your car’s brake booster to function. The piston pushes back against this flexible tube as you press on the brake pedal, creating resistance that makes your footstep down on the brakes harder.

The intake manifold of the engine creates a vacuum that forces the piston (which is just air being pulled into the engine). Your automobile will immediately activate its ABS (anti-lock braking system) to make up for the lack of power when there is no vacuum or not enough vacuum to produce sufficient braking power.

How can you fix the service brake assist?

Reset the service brake assist light

It’s vital to comprehend that occasionally, a minor issue with the connection can cause dashboard lights to illuminate unnecessarily. Therefore, it is important to learn how to reset the service brake assist light before doing anything else. Therefore, when you see the light, make sure to park in a secure area and turn off the engine.

Next, unplug the positive terminal cable from the battery. When the vehicle has used up all the stored electricity, get in and press the brake pedal for a while. You can now restart the car and reconnect the battery cable. After that, see if the brake assist light goes off.

Read trouble codes

Finding out what the issue might be can be done by reading the trouble codes on your car. Trouble codes are data that is kept in a computer inside the car and might help diagnose problems. When diagnosing issues with your car or truck, don’t place too much reliance on trouble codes because they aren’t always reliable.

Because doing so could endanger you or others, it’s crucial to understand that you should never disconnect any electrical parts from the battery while troubleshooting. To make diagnosis much easier when dealing with issues in modern cars, you should always check the trouble codes with an OBD2 scanner.

You can purchase an OBD2 scanner to use at home, but if your vehicle has a braking assist system, you might also require a scanner specifically made for that vehicle. Once you have this information, read the codes and carry on with the troubleshooting.

Read more: Lists of best OBD2 scanner

Check for both vacuum leaks and check valve

The brake booster requires a vacuum to function properly. A hose from the engine intake manifold to the brake booster is typically present in cars to provide a vacuum. Additionally, a check valve will prevent the vacuum from building up inside the brake booster when you accelerate the vehicle.

You will lose braking pressure if this check valve is damaged or if there is a vacuum leak somewhere, and the service brake assist system could trigger. It might also be the result of a broken vacuum pump if your engine is a diesel one.

Check the brake pressure sensor

On the top of your back axle is where you’ll find the brake pressure sensor. It can be changed by a shop or by you, and it regulates how much power goes to your brakes.

Remove the dust cover from behind where your tire was and loosen the two nuts that hold down each side of that section (you only need to remove one nut on each side) in order to replace it yourself.

Once you’ve completed this, you can use pliers or vice grips to remove the old sensor and replace it with a new one.

Replace the brake booster

Your brakes are assisted by the brake booster, which is a vacuum pump. It is a component of your car’s braking system, and it is situated behind the dash. To give the brakes power, they cooperate with the master cylinder.

A number of connections, including hoses and even a switch within the truck cab’s center console, are necessary for the proper working of this vacuum pump. Poor braking feel or even the inability to stop at all might be caused by either faulty connectors or loose hose clamps.

Check brake fluid

Pressure is aided by the brake fluid in the system. This hydraulic fluid is used by the brake assist system and is required when you press the brake pedal. The brake pedal pressure you require to stop in time might not be provided if the system is low.

Examine the brake fluid level for a while. With the help of the obvious signs on the dipstick cap or reservoir, it is easy to determine if more should be added. A brake fluid flush could be recommended if the fluid appears contaminated or unclean.

The recommended maintenance schedule often calls for this professional service every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first, and it may cost roughly $100.


What does “service brake assist” mean?

The Brake Assist system is malfunctioning if the Service Brake Assist warning is illuminated on the dashboard. It’s possible that the braking system lacks sufficient pressure or that a brake sensor has failed. It ought to be checked right away in either case.

How much does it cost to service brake assist?

Replacing a brake booster typically costs between $633 and $786. While parts are priced between $438 and $540, labor costs are expected to range between $195 and $246. Taxes and other costs are not included in this range, nor are your particular vehicle or geographic area taken into account. There might be more repairs required.

Why did my brake assist come on?

When the ABS engages to assist you in steering your car in slippery situations, your anti-lock brake system dash signal can temporarily illuminate. However, if your ABS light illuminates continuously or starts flashing irregularly, it’s trying to alert you to a problem with the system.

Can I drive without brake assist?

Yes, though you’ll need to exert quite a bit more pressure to fully stop. Even if the boost is lost, there is still a mechanical connection within the booster. A car’s brake system can also be modified to get rid of the booster. Why would you do it? is a valid question.

Is brake assist the same as ABS?

Instead of replacing ABS’s anti-skid technology, brake assist is intended to supplement it. When you come to a hard stop, ABS quickly pumps the brakes to keep your car from sliding and skidding. Without it, a car could experience a brake lockup and veer dangerously off the road.

At what speed will brake assist work?

Some AEB systems can only travel in cities at speeds of 55 mph or less. At highway speeds, which are normally above 55 mph, other AEB systems are functional.

How do you check brake assist?

Hard Brake Pedal Test: After turning off the engine, use the brakes four or five times until the pedal gets stiff. Once the brake is applied firmly, lightly press the pedal to start the engine. The brake booster is functioning properly if the brake pedal slightly wiggles under your foot before stiffening back up.

How do you adjust brake assist?

What does brake assist feel like?

The driver of a car cannot see any noticeable difference in their braking abilities when the brake assist is activated. It can be difficult to tell if the brake assist is working during an emergency stop because the driver typically hits the brake pedal as hard as they can.


In conclusion, service brake assist is an essential safety element of modern cars that improves braking effectiveness and reactivity. It lowers the danger of accidents by assisting drivers in emergency braking conditions with cutting-edge technology. To ensure that brake assist systems function properly when required and contribute to safer and more secure driving experiences, regular maintenance and timely attention to any warning lights associated with these features are vital.

That is all for this article, where the answers to the following questions have been discussed:

I hope you learn a lot from the reading. If you do, kindly share it with others. Thanks for reading; see you around!