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Old 02-15-2013, 09:04 AM   #1
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Intermittant brake light 01 4dr sedan

Twin cam engine, 120k miles, we just bought the car as a replacement due to some idiot plowing into the rear of my wife's Escort, so this is a nice clean replacement for that car....

I have done the water pump, and the alternator on it already, but now wife says the brake light comes on once in a while, and it stayed on for several blocks yesterday, this AM of course it's fine....car seems to stop well.....brakes don't feel bad at all.....

anyone with any suggestions???

THANKS...

GENE


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Old 02-15-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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Are you referring to the brake warning light?

If so, when operating properly this is only an indicator for low brake fluid &/or parking brake engagement.

Checking for this light to operate when manually activating the parking brake & the fluid level switch (float on brake fluid cap) would be the first diagnostic step. When I had this issue I continued the testing by bypassing each switch individually with a "jumper" wire (bent paper clip) at their connectors.

In my case (unfortunately) it turned out that the brake warning light turned on intermittently & randomly independent of the switch inputs. The answer (in my case) was a fault in the instrument cluster itself, diagnosed when I replaced the instrument cluster with one that included a tachometer as an upgrade to the vehicle. At that point the random brake warning light issue disappeared permanently.

IF this turns out to be your issue, you may decide to live with it since it's more of an annoyance than a functional problem. Should you decide at that point to replace the instrument cluster, be aware that the vehicle's odometer reading is stored in the instrument cluster so it's easiest (and cheapest) to try to acquire a used cluster with similar mileage to yours (my solution, lucked out at $25 from a local member I was purchasing take-off SVT wheels from at the same time). From what I've heard here, to get the "right" mileage on a dealer replacement part it needs to be set by the factory when ordered as a replacement item by the dealer. AFAIK, the dealer level computer systems cannot reset mileage as a security feature to prevent used car mileage issues.

Luck!
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Old 02-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #3
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Sailor, I feeling kind of dumb right now, seems the brake fluid was a tad low, maybe took what seems like 1/2 a pint, it had fluid in it that seemed like enough, but I pulled it apart and it took much more than was apparent, and for the last few short trips, the lights is out.....oh well.....better than other options, for sure....

and I see by your avatar, you sail, and I used to do quite a bit outta the DC region, Annapolis on the Bay.....all over the joint, not done any in years, moved south because of arthritis and so not too active these daze, but the cruising boats have been a few in the family......used to sail South Bay with the ex inlaws years ago....
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