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Old 08-24-13, 05:59 PM   #1
MrBooby
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Default BRAKE light won't turn off

So I replaced my ABS pump two days ago, bled the air out of the lines and made sure there were no leaks. The brakes feel great and there are no ABS codes, but today as I was getting out of a parking lot, on an incline, the BRAKE light came on. I first thought it was due to my brake fluid being at the MIN level, but even after I got home, checked the fluid level and restarted the car, the light still doesn't turn off. I also triple checked the parking brake, to make sure it wasn't engaged. What else should I do?

I really hope it's something simple and not at all related to the ABS pump. Maybe a bad Parking Brake switch?
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Old 08-24-13, 06:46 PM   #2
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Only two things turn that light on, the brake fluid level or the parking brake pedal is engaged. If those things are good, could be a sensor is bad. I haven't really looked at our fluid level sensor, they are usually a float/magnetic type of sensor, so if you take it out you should be able to test it by manipulating it. I don't know where the pedal switch for the e-brake pedal is, must be in there somewhere!
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Old 08-24-13, 06:58 PM   #3
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I found the parking brake switch, it's right at the pivoting point of the pedal and is easily accessible if you put your head where the pedal is. I unplugged the connector and it looks like a single wire harness. The switch itself is pressed in when the pedal is OFF and the switch opens up as your engage the brake (ON). I'm guessing that I need to create a jumper in order to close the circuit. Would that be correct?

As for the brake fluid float, I'm gonna look into that. I already topped off the fluid to the MAX line and drove around the block - no change.

Thanks for you input, Power6.
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Old 08-25-13, 02:03 PM   #4
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Well the light stayed on during my drive to work (~25min), but it turned off on the way back. I didn't get to diagnose it, but I think it was something with the brake fluid level. The parking brake switch seems to be working normally.
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Old 08-25-13, 08:38 PM   #5
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Probably not on your car but I have seen something funny that stumped two other mechanics with a similar problem. This one turned out to be a main amp wire in a Camry that was zip tied to the side of the master cylinder. Induction caused the sensor to go bad but only because there was about 100 amps going through the wire when the $3,000 stereo wend thump... lol. In any case you can test that sensor with a somewhat strong magnet by having someone move it passed the sensor up and down while you watch the light. Light no blinky sensor may be bad. You can confirm using a pen to push the float down slowly. And sometimes they can get stuck too.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:58 AM   #6
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I had the same issue with my Solara when I got it.

If you disconnect the parking brake switch, you can test it with a multimeter.
The same can be done with the float on the master cylinder reservoir.
Just use the continuity test to see when the switch opens and closes based on pedal movement or fluid level, respectively.

My brake fluid was okay and the e-brake switch tested out fine. Interestingly, my issue solved itself when I changed the rear pads and rotors. The light never came back on.
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Old 08-26-13, 08:51 AM   #7
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Does anyone have a picture of the float? Does it even exist? Aside from the little strainer cup, I don't remember seeing anything inside the reservoir. I would like to know, in case this happens again.
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Old 07-02-14, 10:46 PM   #8
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I'm having this issue in my 1994 ES300 as of a week ago. It gave me reason to change my rotors and pads today so I did that, then bled the system at all four calipers and the brake warning light still illuminates. On the side of the fluid reservoir is a two wire harness that must be for the float sensor and when I unplug it the brake warning light shuts off. Is it safe to say that my float sensor must be faulty? The way the reservoir is designed on the inside there isn't any way to manipulate the float at all, even if I remove the strainer.
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Old 04-11-15, 09:22 AM   #9
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I recently had the same issue with the Brake light staying on my 98 ES300 after I replaced my rear brakes and topped off the master cylinder reservoir. Thanks to previous posts who mentioned the switch was magnetic, I was able to free the switch by tapping on the side of the reservoir where the wires attach. First I ran a magnet along that same side hoping the magnetic field might repel the switch contacts causing it to open. That didn't work, but when I followed up with a few taps, the switch opened and the light went out! Thanks for all the valuable info you all provided!
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Old 05-27-16, 04:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mythotical View Post
Probably not on your car but I have seen something funny that stumped two other mechanics with a similar problem. This one turned out to be a main amp wire in a Camry that was zip tied to the side of the master cylinder. Induction caused the sensor to go bad but only because there was about 100 amps going through the wire when the $3,000 stereo wend thump... lol. In any case you can test that sensor with a somewhat strong magnet by having someone move it passed the sensor up and down while you watch the light. Light no blinky sensor may be bad. You can confirm using a pen to push the float down slowly. And sometimes they can get stuck too.
What sensor are you talking about? and where is it located?
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