Emergency Brake Light On All Time, What's Up?

Old 11-10-08, 06:41 AM
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Emergency Brake Light On All Time, What's Up?

Anyone familiar with the following? I have a 1995 Geo Prism stick shift, 160,000 miles on it, which has worked fine for quite a while now, and all of a sudden--the only factor of change, is it got to be freezing weather starting Saturday. That Saturday morning, driving along the freeway, the emergency brake light went on, the actual brake was definitely not pulled up, and I didn't feel anything different in my drive. As I went up or down hills, the light went on and off. Same thing yesterday. This morning, on my 30 minute drive to work, the emergency brake light was on ALL THE TIME. I really couldn't feel anything different in my drive. The actual emergency break seems to work.

How serious of a problem is this, what do you thing is happening? I guess I should take it in to the shop, but would really like to hear what's up, if any of you can diagnose.


Old 11-10-08, 06:59 AM
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Low fluid level might also turn that light on; check brake fluid level in the reservoir.
Old 11-10-08, 08:16 AM
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The red light that comes on when you use the PARKING BRAKE is also used to warn you about problems in the service brake system. Low brake fluid level is something you should look at. If the level is low it may be from the normal wear of the brake linings and you just need to add more brake fluid, or the fluid loss may be from a leak in the system and that is something you need to look at right away. Be sure to only use brake fluid to refill the reservoir, preferably from a sealed container. Some vehicles also use a switch in the brake combination valve that turns on the red brake light. This switch signals a pressure differential in the brake system.
Old 11-20-08, 05:33 PM
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Also, some cars are purposely designed so the fluid level drops and trips the indicator when the pads are just about used up. The trick is to fill the fluid to the "fill" mark when the pads are new. Barring leaks and top ups, the light should come on just as the pads are worn to nothing.

Definitely check the fluid level, but you probably should have someone check the brake pads and see if they need to be replaced.
Old 11-21-08, 02:27 AM
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Hi Kathy
I should give nearly the same tips as Kestas.
Do you know if the front brakes' pads have been fitted for a long time?
What is happening tells me that the wire which is connected to the brakes pads is scratching the disks and lighting the bulb.
If it is so, you can go on driving for a good number of miles (200) , but do not wait too long!
Also check the level of the braking fluid, it is a basic safety check.

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