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SOrry, but this is probably a real basic question. I recently acquired a 29,000 mi Lexus ES 300 (1996). It did not come with an owners manual. Today, the BRAKE light is illuminated on the dash. I checked the brake lights and they seem to be functioning properly. Would this be notifying me of a problem with the antilock? Any ideas?

Thanks in advance - this looks like a great forum!

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1. if you are talking the red "BRAKE" light then most likely the brake fluid reservoir is low on fluid. Pop the hood and look for the brake fluid holder. It is a clear plastic container with a black rubber cap. They are usually round. There will be a MAX level line and a MIN level line on the side of it. On the cap it will say something like USE ONLY DOT II (or DOT III) Brake Fluid, Once you find this, make note of where the fluid is.

Go to any autoparts store and get a new bottle of DOT III brake fluid. DOT III is the rating not the brand name. You will find several brands. Doesn't matter which one you get.

On a level surface, open the hood, open the brake fluid cap and poor a little fluid in so that the liquid level is just under the MAX mark. you should be good to go now.

Toyota/Lexus has very sensitive level switches and even though the liquid level may be above the MIN mark on the side of the container, the switch that illuminates the "BRAKE" on the dashboard will get triggeres.

2. The light that tells you a brake light bulb is out is the yellow light that looks like the back of a car with eyelashes.

3. Register your new ride on www.Lexus.com and they will send you an owners manual free. If you ebay, then look there. They are always being auctioned.

Sometimes you can even get the leather pouch and supplemental owners manual too.

good luck


ps, your new lex is six years older than mine and has 6,000 miles less than mine. Nice find.

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Thanks for the reply Steviej. I will check fluid as soon as the damn snow/sleet freezing rain stops! I just wanted to be certain that it wasn't anything to do with the ABS..but you are correct, it is the red "BRAKE" light.

The car was a great find. My wife is real happy with it (her driver). CARFAX confirmed the low mileage. I will register it at the Lexus site as well.



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Be careful not to spill the DOT III fluid, I believe it melts plastic and is definately not good for your paint. After you open the container, mark when it was open, the fluid absorbs moisture so after a few years, you might not want to use the fluid from that old container (ths is what I've been told - not sure if htere is any truth to it ).

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