Red brake/parkiingbrake light is on :=(

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Johnny_Buchanan, Jul 11, 2010.

  1. Johnny_Buchanan

    Johnny_Buchanan Rockstar 100 Posts

    Releasing the parking brake does not turn off the red light.

    I did take a quick look under the bonnet and truck, there is brake fluid aplenty and no shown leaks. Truck - '89 Sportside - brakes fine. Does this light also serve as an indicator that pads are going or any other obvious answers?

    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
  2. NastyZ28

    NastyZ28 New Member

    The brake release is a spring loaded mechanism. After time, when you pull the release, the mechanism will work it's way off, but there's enough tension to keep the brake switch pressed. Get under there and fiddle with the switch and see if the light goes off.

    The brake light has nothing to do with pad life. It's sensing line pressure and that parking brake switch input. If you lose line pressure, the light comes on. If the parking brake is applied, or the switch still thinks it's applied - the light will be on. If you loose line pressure, your pedal will go to the floor and the truck won't stop very well. Since that's not what's going on, I'd investigate the parking brake switch/release mechanism.
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Yes a worn spring on the brake release will cause the light.
    The light will also come on if you have reduced line pressure, what this means is the trucks braking will feel ok but the system sensors are detecting that the brake pressure has dropped below a certain PSI, not sure of the required line pressure for yours.
    If this is happening you'll need to troubleshoot to find out if it's a master cylinder problem, line problem, wheel cylinder problem, or sensor problem.
    Check the brake release mechanism first including the brake release cable and components under the truck, might want to clean and lube them while your under there, if this doesnt solve your problem you'll need to start checking pressures.
  4. Johnny_Buchanan

    Johnny_Buchanan Rockstar 100 Posts


    Thank you for your advise! Since I only use parking brake when parking on steep inc- or declines I don't use it often so I'm leaning towards the brake switch. Will investigate and report later during the coming week - currently it's too hot and 1st half of the week will be spent on a family trip so Chevy can rest and relax in the sun :=)

  5. hishiad

    hishiad New Member

    I've got a 1998 Silverado that I just bought, the K1500 variety. The brake light in the dash is on and stays on. I've checked the e-brake to make sure it's not pushed in at all...I've been reading around online and I think it could be something with pressure in the lines cause my brake pedal isn't quite all there. There's also a small vibration when braking (I figure that's rotors, but will mention it to make sure it's not related)

    So what's the best steps to take to rule out things and track this issue down? Thanks for any help (also not trying to thread jack Johnny_B! just don't want to start a new thread for an existing issue)....
  6. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    hishiad, the small vibration ur feeling is either your routers/ pad or it is ur abs kicking in when u brake. when we were looking for my truck one of the tahoes we test drove had a dirty abs sensor and when ever u braked slightly even it would kick on for no reason. easy fix is making sure abs sensor is all good if that not it it is ur routers and if ur petal goes really far down it means the pads are worn its a self adjusting system to keep as much pressure still being applied by the calipers.
  7. 08_rado_rocker

    08_rado_rocker Member 2 Years 500 Posts

    Also, if your pedal feels "squishy" if could be air in your lines. One thing you could try is bleeding them. Also check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir for a low level. They have sensors in them to detect when the level is low.
  8. hishiad

    hishiad New Member

    Checked the e-brake just a bit...seems fine, as in it is all the way up. Brake fluid wasn't low either. So I'm assuming ABS sensor is the next area to check out?

    I am fairly certain new rotors will fix the vibration...the squishy pedal and the e-brake light staying on are the two things I want to resolve now...I think they may be related (poor line pressure for some reason or another)

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