What Does Service Brake Assist Mean? (Explained)

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What does service brake assist mean? Well, modern cars are equipped with several smart techs and intelligent features that work with the core systems installed in a car.

These smart techs are designed to improve the responsiveness of various components installed in cars and also improve the safety of the driver and passengers.

Brake Assist is a smart feature added to the braking system in most modern vehicles. It works in a unique way; the function of Brake Assist (BA) is to apply more pressure to increase braking power when a driver tries to stop a car abruptly – in an emergency situation.

With the help of brake assist technology, car brakes respond swiftly in all conditions. However, when one or more components in the brake assembly fail, the ECU may throw up a “Service Brake Assist” notification on your dashboard.

What Does Service Brake Assist Mean?

The service brake assist notification in front of you implies that one or more components in your car’s braking assembly have gone bad – maybe not completely bad, the component may simply have shifted out of place, hence, the notification.

When you see this notification on your car’s dashboard, it is important that you stop driving and try to figure out what went wrong. However, since the notification won’t stop your car from running, you might as well continue driving until you get home, or a mechanic workshop before attending to the cause.

But one thing is for sure when the service brake assist notification shows up, your car brakes would take a longer time to respond – you might just need to start applying the brakes on time when it looks like you’re approaching a stop.

Also, Brake Assist works with the ABS, so its faultiness may result in the malfunctioning of the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) too. Brake Assist failure won’t cause your car to stop automatically.

How Does Brake Assist Work?

Brake Assist works in a simple way; it pumps more brake fluid into the brake pads, thus, causing the pads to produce more pressure to immediately bring a car to a stop. Yes, your foot applies pressure on the pads, but Brake Assist increases the pressure so that the vehicle can stop within a shorter distance.

So to say, Brake Assist reduces braking distance and makes modern cars stop faster, especially in emergencies. This technology used to be only added to premium trims of Mercedes Benz vehicles, but today, it has pretty much become a standard feature on a lot of cars.

Well, you probably won’t notice brake assist in action; but, when this technology starts failing, you’d definitely notice that your car takes a long time to stop because the brakes do not respond as fast as they used to.

How To Fix Service Brake Assist Error

Did you just see the “Service Brake Assist” notification and you’re thinking of what next to do? It’s simple, something is wrong with your car’s braking system, and you need to get it checked out. It is more advisable to have a professional mechanic handle the check (and fix it) for you.

However, the commonest reason why the service brake assist notification would appear on your car’s dashboard is a faulty brake sensor.

If you can get the sensor fixed by yourself, the notification will clear off your car’s dashboard. Notwithstanding, there are cases where the cause of the message is a problematic mechanical component.

In simple words, fixing the service brake assist message implies locating the faulty brake component and getting it fixed or replaced. Since, it has to do with the brakes, after fixing the issue, you may need to bleed out the brakes.

How To Reset Service Brake Assist

Sometimes, if the brake assist light didn’t get turned on due to a mechanical fault, you can reset the notification and it’d clear off. How do you reset the notification?

  • Turn off the car, wait for the engine to cool off a bit, then open the bonnet and disconnect the battery’s positive terminal
  • Get into the car and continuously press down the brake pedal until all lights on the dashboard go off
  • Reconnect the battery positive terminal and turn the car back on; in most cases, the service brake assist notification would turn off

Related Questions

Can You Drive With Service Brake Assist Notification?

For sure, you can. It is possible to keep driving with the service brake assist light still turned on. However, you’d need to adjust your driving style and learn to apply brakes earlier than usual because your car would cover a slightly longer distance before coming to a complete stop as you match the brake pedals.

Is Brake Assist The Same As ABS?

No. They are not the same. However, brake assist works with the ABS to ensure effective braking in shorter times. It also helps to ensure that you don’t lose control over the wheels, in any driving condition.

Can You Reset Service Brake Assist?

Yes, you can reset the light and turn it off. To do this, turn off the engine, remove the battery’s positive terminal, press the brake pedal until all lights on the dashboard go off, reconnect the battery, and continue your driving.

Why Did The Service Brake Assist Light Turn On?

Worn-out brake pads, broken caliper, damaged rotors, faulty brake sensors, or just a random fault in the brake system assembly – are the possible reasons why your car would throw up a “Service Brake Assist notification.


So, what does service brake assist mean? It is a technological feature that makes your car stop faster when you match the brake pedals, especially in emergencies.

You can turn off/remove brake assist; it is not a “compulsory” brake assembly component; however, it is necessary.

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