In-dash 'BRAKE' light lit up, parking brake not touched? - Jeep Wrangler Forum
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Old 05-22-2008, 03:06 PM   #1
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In-dash 'BRAKE' light lit up, parking brake not touched?

Today my drive to work was pretty normal but I remember thinking maybe I need to do my brakes soon as the pedal felt like it was going down a little more than it maybe should..

I had to leave work to go get something, and I noticed the 'BRAKE' light on on the dash stayed lit up, after it usually just comes on with the Engine light for a second or two when I start it.

I imagine this means there is something wrong with my brake system...

But I feel panicked and don't know where to start. I checked the fluid level in the master cylinder and it seemed like it could have may been low but I'm not sure how full to the top it should be.

I checked all brake fittings, lines, calipers, all that stuff, looking for any obvious leaks, which turned up nothing.

My right rear drum seems to be a little wet looking but I had an axle seal go bad a while back and I don't think I ever cleaned the drum off or anything so that may be what its from, and I felt it and it seemed more dried up and left not much on my finger.

What should I do?!?!?!
Any common problem to look for?
I hate these problems, especially with brakes.

My gas tank leaks and my brakes are messed up.
What a death trap.

Any help is appreciated!
Thanks guys

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:14 PM   #2
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Lift up on the brake handle and slam it down. My light sticks some times and that solves it.

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Old 05-22-2008, 03:44 PM   #3
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^ First thing I tried, except on mine its a parking brake pedal.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:27 PM   #4
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Low fluid will cause that. Check your brake pads/shoes, make sure they are all good, and then fill up your master cylinder resevoir to full. Clean up all the grease around your drums and hubs, and drive the jeep around the neighborhood real careful like. If the light goes out, cool, just keep an eye out for leaks.

If it stays on, try bleeding the system and see if that works. If not, check back and you are going to have to replace a hard component somewhere.
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Old 05-22-2008, 04:51 PM   #5
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It could also be a leak in the front or back of the braking system. This causes the pressor differential switch to turn on.
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:24 PM   #6
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Alright I'll start with fluid then bleeding it...
That'll be this weekend, and I'll bum a ride to work tomorrow to be safe. Brakes aren't something to mess with.

Thanks for your help, guys!
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Old 05-22-2008, 07:55 PM   #7
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The tj and yj don't have a low fluid float so that shouldn't cause the prob. I also don't think bleeding will do anything for you unless you ran the fluid down to the point where air was sucked in. Is the the pedel spongy? If you hold the pedel down does it slowly lower to the floor?
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Old 05-22-2008, 10:18 PM   #8
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Never NEVER just add fluid to the brakes. If the fluid is low you must find out why! It will either have a leak or you need new brake pads/shoes. Brake fluid does not evaporate or dissapear. If your warning light is on and you don't think it is the park brake, it is low brake pressure. Probably have a leak somewhere. I would start by pulling all four wheels off and both rear drums and check the pads and shoes. And look for leaks at the wheel cylinders'
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Old 05-23-2008, 05:39 AM   #9
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Never NEVER just add fluid to the brakes. If the fluid is low you must find out why! It will either have a leak or you need new brake pads/shoes. Brake fluid does not evaporate or dissapear. If your warning light is on and you don't think it is the park brake, it is low brake pressure. Probably have a leak somewhere. I would start by pulling all four wheels off and both rear drums and check the pads and shoes. And look for leaks at the wheel cylinders'
Calm down, its ok I did tell him to check pads/shoes before he adds brake fluid, as well as search for leaks. Breaks are nothing to sneeze at, I understand your enthusiasm but he hasn't been misguided yet
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Old 05-23-2008, 06:39 AM   #10
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Calm down, its ok I did tell him to check pads/shoes before he adds brake fluid, as well as search for leaks. Breaks are nothing to sneeze at, I understand your enthusiasm but he hasn't been misguided yet
I get exited easily about brakes You gave him good info, just wanted to say it in a slightly different way. I've had a few friends do stupid things when it came to brakes. And stupid can really be painful
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Old 05-23-2008, 11:32 AM   #11
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My right rear drum seems to be a little wet looking but I had an axle seal go bad a while back and I don't think I ever cleaned the drum off or anything so that may be what its from, and I felt it and it seemed more dried up and left not much on my finger.
if you have brake fluid slung all over the inside of the rear tire, my money is on a wheel cylinder.

look around the master cylinder as well as see if theres any fluid there.....master cylinder going bad will leak there and sometimes makes the brakes feel spongy like that.
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Old 05-24-2008, 03:26 PM   #12
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I think it is the wheel cylinder.

Check this out please
http://www.wranglerforum.com/general...ons-18763.html
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:40 AM   #13
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I'm having a similar problem with my brakes as well the light is on and fluid was full . My brake adjuster fell out the other day so I assumed I needed drum pads.. That's not the problem I replaced all the springs and put new pads on while I was there. That's when I discovered that the rear brakes are not working at all I tried to bleed them and found I have no fluid even reaching the rear at either drum . So now I'm trying to figure out where the problem is. The line is undamaged so obvious signs aren't going to help this time.. Any help would be great.. My thoughts are to buy a new brake line to replace from master cylinder to the rear axle before spending a lot of money in parts I don't need.. I'm open to suggestions
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Old 10-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #14
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Mine did same thing....wheel cylinder was the culprit.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:35 PM   #15
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A bad brake fluid sensor or if the connector is loose or unplugged would turn on that light too.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #16
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Not really applicable to the YJ/TJ, but is on lots of other vehicles. You should never add fluid to your brake reservoir if it has a level sensor inside it. The sensor is calibrated to turn the light on when the brakes are getting close to worn out. If you add fluid it won't come on and the first warning you get will be the lovely sound of metal on metal. This isn't an issue if you visually check your brakes regularly like you should, but few people do that and the light is the only warning they've got.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:04 PM   #17
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Well I figured out what my brake problem was... The master cylinder and proportioning valve were bad so 25$ later ive got all 4 brakes again!!!!
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Old 03-01-2012, 06:37 PM   #18
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I have the same issue. I pressed my break pedal, felt a pop, and the break light came on. Checked my break fluid reservoir...empty. I filled it up, pumped the breaks and got tension back in the break pedal but light was still on. Disconnected battery to see if i could reset the ECU...didnt work. Light is still on. Breaks working fine. I had the jeep looked over a couple days ago by my mechanic. He didnt mention anything about break pads. Any ideas?
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #19
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Two suggestions .. 1 pump the breaks and bleed them ... 2 replace your proportioning valve.. The light will go off when there's adequate pressure in the system. That's what my problem was I didn't have rear brakes at all and didn't know it until I replaced the rear shoes only to find that they weren't engaging .. Most junkyards sell them for 30 or less
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #20
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Two suggestions .. 1 pump the breaks and bleed them ... 2 replace your proportioning valve.. The light will go off when there's adequate pressure in the system. That's what my problem was I didn't have rear brakes at all and didn't know it until I replaced the rear shoes only to find that they weren't engaging .. Most junkyards sell them for 30 or less
Started my jeep yesterday, put the ebrake down, heard the ebrake handle click, and then light went off.

My guess is that the brake handle was stuck in the up position.
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Old 03-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #21
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Started my jeep yesterday, put the ebrake down, heard the ebrake handle click, and then light went off.

My guess is that the brake handle was stuck in the up position.
Thanks for the advice! I'll keep that in mind if it ever happens again.

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