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Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

 
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Old 23 Jan 2013, 11:05 am
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Default Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

Good morning, I have a 2001 PT Cruiser Limited Automatic, stock except for radio head unit. Monday evening I visited a friend who's parking lot is on an extreme incline and I set the parking brake. I disengaged (or so I thought) the brake and drove home. Upon ariving (about 12 miles) I noticed a horrible smell that I couldn't identify that I thought started about the b-pillar and was strongest when standing behind the car. Thankfully when it was light out the next day my husband noticed that the parking brake wasn't fully disengaged. Doing so and running his errands the smell did not return.

Another observation other than the smell was there seemed to be no resistance or drag from the partially engaged brake.

Now, the cause of my posting here...the brake light in the instrument cluster was not illuminated on my drive home or when my husband drove it Tuesday morning, nor was there a "ding-ding-ding" letting me know it was engaged. This morning on my drive into work I set the brake and again, no light illuminated, however I just went downstairs & tried the same and the light did illuminate.

My question is, what would/could cause this intermittent behavior?

Last edited by PhxPT; 23 Jan 2013 at 11:22 am.
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Old 23 Jan 2013, 11:46 am
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Default Re: Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

I believe the parking brake is purely mechanical (no hydraulic) so there is probably just a simple contact switch to trip the light. My guess is the switch is out of adjustment or perhaps the screw that mounts it is loose.
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Old 24 Jan 2013, 08:03 am
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Default Re: Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

Brake fluid could be low causing the light to come on.
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Old 24 Jan 2013, 08:16 am
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Default Re: Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

Low brake fluid was my first thought too.
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Old 24 Jan 2013, 08:41 am
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Default Re: Parking Brake/Brake Dash Light

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhxPT View Post
Now, the cause of my posting here...the brake light in the instrument cluster was not illuminated on my drive home or when my husband drove it Tuesday morning, nor was there a "ding-ding-ding" letting me know it was engaged. This morning on my drive into work I set the brake and again, no light illuminated, however I just went downstairs & tried the same and the light did illuminate.

My question is, what would/could cause this intermittent behavior?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2step View Post
I believe the parking brake is purely mechanical (no hydraulic) so there is probably just a simple contact switch to trip the light. My guess is the switch is out of adjustment or perhaps the screw that mounts it is loose.
^what he said. i'd guess the contacts were dirty or the switch was sticking. looks like it's easy to remove/clean/tighten
the switch looks like this:

Last edited by rob342; 24 Jan 2013 at 08:45 am.
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