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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

Just took delivery yesterday of our CPO 2015 MDX w/ Tech from the Acura dealer in Buffalo, NY.
We drove home to Syracuse and drove it today to run some errands. The weather was windy and
rainy. All of the sudden a light flashed orange and read "BRAKE". It was on for only a second and then
never appeared again. We got home and looked it up in the owner's manual and got a little freaked out
because it talked about the possibility of low brake fluid and the need to immediately take the car to
to an Acura dealer. It's still dark and rainy outside so I haven't been able to check the brake fluid level
yet. I'll do that tomorrow.
I Googled the issue and came up with a paragraph from Acura stating that it was probably the
Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system. I also watched a short YouTube video stating pretty much
the same thing.
What do folks think?

Thanks in Advance,

Brian
Syracuse, NY
 

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I think it was just a random false alarm. You can check the brake fluid yourself by opening the hood and looking at the reservoir. It's an optical recognition system and it isn't always correct in its determination of the conditions. Even a dirty windshield can affect it and adverse weather is a listed condition for false readings

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I agree with Neoshi, sounds like a false alarm on the early brake warning system, happens with some regularity with mine. The warning is not to alert you to a problem with your brakes, rather it's suggesting you apply the brakes in order to prevent a problem with whatever you're about to plow into. A problem with the actual brake system would give a different series of warnings and lights that would stay on until resolved.
 

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The big 'BRAKE' indicator is from the forward collision warning system. This flashes when that system senses something where it thinks you need to hit the brakes.

From my experience with it (on a 2014 tech) it's fairly decent about not coming on when it shouldn't but it's not perfect. One condition where I've seen it come on when it shouldn't is in certain stormy conditions as you were in when it lit. It doesn't come on all the time under these conditions but does very infrequently. The other times I've seen it come on were when I was maneuvering in traffic with a lane change or something and it felt I was approaching a vehicle too fast even though I wasn't really.

These kinds of systems aren't perfect and should be considered 'aids' and certainly no substitute for your own control but when they light up when you're not expecting them to it can be disconcerting - until it happens enough that you're used to it.

An actual fault in the brake system will illuminate a different indicator - that 'BRAKE' is a directive for you to hit the brakes - it doesn't indicate a fault in the braking system. You can see the brake fault indicator in the owner's manual.

Heads-up - the lane departure warning (LDW) can give false positives as well - especially with wet roads or areas with varying pavement or odd striping such as old striping they didn't completely remove.

Bottom line - I doubt there's an issue on your vehicle that you need to be concerned with since I wouldn't be all that surprised it gave a false positive under the conditions you mentioned. If you take it to the dealer they'll probably check it out and conclude there are no issues. But if you're very concerned then of course you can take it to them and have them check on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all who replied. I checked the brake fluid today and it was fine. I agree with what everyone has said so far. It seems like it was the FCW and not a problem with the brake system. It was disconcerting when it happened but I'm relieved that there is nothing wrong.
I went down to my local Acura dealer this morning to buy some touch-up paint for the MDX and while I was there I asked about the brake light I saw flash. They said the exact same thing everyone here is saying...that it was probably just a false alarm. I guess it can get triggered by a variety of things. I didn't know it can also happen with the LDW but I'll watch out for that too. This vehicle has a lot more technology than my last car and will take some getting used to.
So far I really like the MDX though.

Thanks again for all the helpful info.
 
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