BRAKE light

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  #1  
Old 09-15-03, 10:14 AM
BGH
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Question BRAKE light

Once again I turn to Do It Yourself to find the answer I need:
I have a 1997 Dodge Stratus with 109,000 miles. I just noticed yesterday morning that the brake light is staying on when I start the ignition, and throughout my drive. As I do park on an incline, I ususally set the parking brake. But I have made sure, to the best of my abilities, that the parking brake is off (in fact, the brake light appears brighter when the parking brake is set; dimmer when off). The car is driving well, with no indication that anything esle is wrong.

What could be causing the brake light to stay on? Could there be a short somewhere, or is this brake light telling me that something else may be wrong with the brake system? Does the light indicate anything more than your parking brake is set?

Any and all comments are welcome. I appreciate your help.

BGH
 
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  #2  
Old 09-15-03, 10:18 AM
Joe_F
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The brake light means there is hydraulic failure in the system (low on fluid). There is a leak somewhere.

Fix it without delay. Safety issue.
 
  #3  
Old 09-15-03, 10:47 PM
mike from nj
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yes, the light on means you have a big problem

add fluid to the master cylinder

it's normal for it to go down as the front pads wear down.

(providing you have no leaks)
 
  #4  
Old 09-16-03, 06:28 AM
BGH
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Outside of the obvious (looking for fluid dripped onto my driveway) is there any other ways to check for a leak in the system? And what fluid do I add to the master cylinder and how is this done? I would like to try to add this on my own, so I appreciate your assistance.

Thanks,
BGH
 
  #5  
Old 09-16-03, 06:45 AM
Joe_F
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Look at all the insides of the tires and such. Any wetness or stains?

Also, where the master cylinder bolts to (the booster), any drips, leaks there? What does the fluid level in the master cylinder look like?

How do the brake pads look? How many miles on them?
 
  #6  
Old 09-16-03, 10:44 PM
mike from nj
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the red brake light comes on for three things

1. low fluid in the master cylinder(from normal pad wear)
2. e-brake on(or switch broken)
3. a system failure somewhere(the brake pedal is usually on the floor for this one)

the only way i check for a system failure(large leaks) is with a flashlight and a close examination of every inch of the system, all lines, all hoses, all components. if no leaks and no pedal, it's a master cylinder failure.

use only 'DOT 3' fluid, nothing else, you can use any name brand, but it has to be rated for DOT 3, take from a sealed container(unopened) and make the cap very tight when you're done, brake fluid absorbs moisture from the atmoshere rapidly(as well as takes off paint) so don't use old stuff and don't leave the cap off either---if the old stuff in a bottle is all dark, throw it out. new stuff is almost clear, slightly yellow. the fill cap on the car is clearly marked and make that cap tight too when your done.

let us know
 
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