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murraypaultec 01-23-2013 11:27 PM

Brake dash light stays on???
First of all, this is a great forum. I recently bought an '03 Focus that has quite a few little issues, the reponses that I have received on other questions has been great. Thanks.

So, the next problem is that the brake light on the instrument panel stays on all the time. The manual says that it is an indication of low brake fluid. I checked the fluid and it is all the way to the top. I also checked the brake lights and all three are working (normally a burned bulb only lights the dash light when you apply the brake, but I eliminated this possibility anyway).

I suspect that either the level switch in the brake fluid reservoir or the position switch on the hand brake is bad. Before I dig into those areas is there something else that could cause the dash light to stay on?

I have to get a CA smog inspection done and if this shows up as a code, I won't pass.

Thanks again for the help and suggestions.

sleepyboy 01-24-2013 12:13 AM

Could be the E-brake and it could be the fluid level sensor like you said. Really it's hard to say. Has the light been on the whole time?

murraypaultec 03-01-2013 12:51 AM

Here's a follow-up to this question. Firstly, the brake light was not on when I started the car with the park brake off. It stayed off while I backed out of the driveway, but always came on once I put it in drive and started moving. It did the same thing every time.

I changed the rear drums and shoes because there was some minor squeeling on the rear right drum. There was lots of shoe left on both, but the right drum had some deep grooves.

So, after fighting with springs and brake dust for a few hours, I had new drums and shoes in the back. Funny thing is, the brake light is off now. It works when it should to tell you the parking brake is on and then goes off when you release it.

I don't get it. There are no sensors in the drums, and the old shoes were not that bad, so I don't see any way for any sensors to detect bad brakes. The only thing I can see is that while doing the brakes I was tugging on the park brake cable and either freed something up or reset something.

Anyway, I am happy to see the brake light go off when I release the parking brake.

sleepyboy 03-01-2013 01:35 AM

The rear drum bearings have a tone ring in them for the abs. The old one could have been dirty from brake dust? [dunno]

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