Emergency Break lights will not turn off

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Old 30 Dec 2006, 04:45 pm   #1 (permalink)
ceralor@gmail.com
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Default Emergency Break lights will not turn off

I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake.
Even if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on
quite a bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise
control. My college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when I
see the light turn off because I know I can use the cruise control
again. I've checked the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK.
Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Old 30 Dec 2006, 06:15 pm   #2 (permalink)
Hachiroku ハチロク
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:45:46 -0800, ceralor wrote:

> I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake. Even
> if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on quite a
> bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise control. My
> college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when I see the light
> turn off because I know I can use the cruise control again. I've checked
> the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK. Does anyone have any
> suggestions?



There is a switch and an adjustment under the e-brake handle. Try
adjusting the switch so it makes proper contact, or, as a test, put
something between the handle and the switch to make sure it is depressed
far enough. If the light stays on, you either need a new switch, or you
have bigger fish to fry...


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Old 31 Dec 2006, 12:38 pm   #3 (permalink)
ceralor@gmail.com
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off


Hachiroku * wrote:
> On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:45:46 -0800, ceralor wrote:
>
> > I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake. Even
> > if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on quite a
> > bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise control. My
> > college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when I see the light
> > turn off because I know I can use the cruise control again. I've checked
> > the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK. Does anyone have any
> > suggestions?

>
>
> There is a switch and an adjustment under the e-brake handle. Try
> adjusting the switch so it makes proper contact, or, as a test, put
> something between the handle and the switch to make sure it is depressed
> far enough. If the light stays on, you either need a new switch, or you
> have bigger fish to fry...


When I reached in and pushed the switch down all the way, it did the
same thing that happened when the handle is down from being up -- the
light merely dims. It gets brighter when the switch is disengaged, IE
the e-brake being pulled. I guess I should get a new switch? Where
could I get one, and how much would it cost and/or how would I replace
it? I'm assuming that housing lifts off.

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Old 31 Dec 2006, 12:52 pm   #4 (permalink)
Stubby
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

Check that the cable to the brakes is free in its guide.


ceralor@gmail.com wrote:
> Hachiroku * wrote:
>> On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:45:46 -0800, ceralor wrote:
>>
>>> I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake. Even
>>> if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on quite a
>>> bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise control. My
>>> college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when I see the light
>>> turn off because I know I can use the cruise control again. I've checked
>>> the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK. Does anyone have any
>>> suggestions?

>>
>> There is a switch and an adjustment under the e-brake handle. Try
>> adjusting the switch so it makes proper contact, or, as a test, put
>> something between the handle and the switch to make sure it is depressed
>> far enough. If the light stays on, you either need a new switch, or you
>> have bigger fish to fry...

>
> When I reached in and pushed the switch down all the way, it did the
> same thing that happened when the handle is down from being up -- the
> light merely dims. It gets brighter when the switch is disengaged, IE
> the e-brake being pulled. I guess I should get a new switch? Where
> could I get one, and how much would it cost and/or how would I replace
> it? I'm assuming that housing lifts off.
>

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Old 31 Dec 2006, 08:53 pm   #5 (permalink)
Hachiroku ハチロク
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

On Sun, 31 Dec 2006 10:38:54 -0800, ceralor wrote:

>
> Hachiroku * wrote:
>> On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:45:46 -0800, ceralor wrote:
>>
>> > I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake.
>> > Even if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on
>> > quite a bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise
>> > control. My college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when
>> > I see the light turn off because I know I can use the cruise control
>> > again. I've checked the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK.
>> > Does anyone have any suggestions?

>>
>>
>> There is a switch and an adjustment under the e-brake handle. Try
>> adjusting the switch so it makes proper contact, or, as a test, put
>> something between the handle and the switch to make sure it is depressed
>> far enough. If the light stays on, you either need a new switch, or you
>> have bigger fish to fry...

>
> When I reached in and pushed the switch down all the way, it did the same
> thing that happened when the handle is down from being up -- the light
> merely dims. It gets brighter when the switch is disengaged, IE the
> e-brake being pulled. I guess I should get a new switch? Where could I get
> one, and how much would it cost and/or how would I replace it? I'm
> assuming that housing lifts off.



My Mom's car!

I can give you a better answer in a couple days, but drawing from memory,
open the console, remove whatever you have stuffed into it and look on the
bottom. You should see 2 screws, maybe three. Loosen these. Also, from
near the seat back, look at the sides of the console. There should be one
screw on each side. Move the seats forward and fold them forward and they
should be easily accessible. Now, there may be a couple more, I can't
recall right now. Gently lift up; if you feel resistance, there may be two
screws further forward, or on the sides of the front. The console should
lift out and forwad, exposing the brake mechanism. You should be able to
see the switch. I can't remember if Closed is light off, or Open is licht
off. Remove the connector and see what happens. I believe the light should
be on. Shove a piece of wire or a paper clip into it and try again. One
way or another, the light should be fully OFF. If not, then there is a
problem with the wiring...

or the brake system. My best advice is, during testing, if the light does
NOT go COMPLETELY OFF, take it to a dealer! Hopefully it's wiring, and not
a brake system going kablooey!


BTW, check for pinched wiring. If part of the wire is exposed and
grounding gainst something it's not supposed to, this could cause your
problem.

Good luck!

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Old 31 Dec 2006, 10:23 pm   #6 (permalink)
Hachiroku ハチロク
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

On Sun, 31 Dec 2006 10:38:54 -0800, ceralor wrote:

>
> Hachiroku * wrote:
>> On Sat, 30 Dec 2006 14:45:46 -0800, ceralor wrote:
>>
>> > I have a 1986 4-door Camry with an odd issue concerning the ebrake.
>> > Even if it's off, and drives like it's off, the light will remain on
>> > quite a bit of the driving time, preventing me from using cruise
>> > control. My college commute is over 500 miles, so I almost cheer when
>> > I see the light turn off because I know I can use the cruise control
>> > again. I've checked the brake fluid levels and that seems to be OK.
>> > Does anyone have any suggestions?

>>
>>
>> There is a switch and an adjustment under the e-brake handle. Try
>> adjusting the switch so it makes proper contact, or, as a test, put
>> something between the handle and the switch to make sure it is depressed
>> far enough. If the light stays on, you either need a new switch, or you
>> have bigger fish to fry...

>
> When I reached in and pushed the switch down all the way, it did the same
> thing that happened when the handle is down from being up -- the light
> merely dims. It gets brighter when the switch is disengaged, IE the
> e-brake being pulled. I guess I should get a new switch? Where could I get
> one, and how much would it cost and/or how would I replace it? I'm
> assuming that housing lifts off.



There was another thought I had. The problem may be in the brake drum.
When was the last time you had the rear brakes serviced?

When you pull up on the brake handle, you're pulling against springs in
the drum. If one spring has broken or just loosened to where it's lost
it's 'springyness', the cable will shift to the other drum where the slack
will be taken up, and won't pull the handle all the way down inside the
car.

If you can do your own brake work, it won't be too bad. If you don't,
investigate the switch first (investigate the switch first anyway...it's a
lot easier!) If that doesn't solve the problem, get a look inside the
drum. Another possibility is that either the main cable, or the cable at
the rear is stretching or fraying. I had this happen on a Corolla 1200 I
had back in 1980, but it was the clutch cable that was stretching. Come to
think of it, that was the first repair I ever did on a car!

Good Luck!


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Old 01 Jan 2007, 08:09 am   #7 (permalink)
qslim
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

Check the brake fluid level. There is a switch inside the resivoir that
will turn that light on when the fluid evaporates and gets low, as it will
periodically. Much easier to check before ripping the center console apart
to get to the brake cable.

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Old 01 Jan 2007, 10:42 am   #8 (permalink)
Hachiroku ハチロク
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

On Mon, 01 Jan 2007 09:09:10 -0500, qslim wrote:

> Check the brake fluid level. There is a switch inside the resivoir that
> will turn that light on when the fluid evaporates and gets low, as it will
> periodically. Much easier to check before ripping the center console apart
> to get to the brake cable.


He did that, Q...

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Old 01 Jan 2007, 11:13 am   #9 (permalink)
qslim
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off

Oopsy. Carry on then.

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Old 11 Jan 2007, 10:03 pm   #10 (permalink)
ceralor@gmail.com
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Default Re: Emergency Break lights will not turn off


Hachiroku * wrote:
> On Mon, 01 Jan 2007 09:09:10 -0500, qslim wrote:
>
> > Check the brake fluid level. There is a switch inside the resivoir that
> > will turn that light on when the fluid evaporates and gets low, as it will
> > periodically. Much easier to check before ripping the center console apart
> > to get to the brake cable.

>
> He did that, Q...



Turns out we didn't check it properly! Fixed the issue after filling it
up to the right mark, as we'd misread it before. Thanks for the help
anyway!!

Eric

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