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Red Handbrake light is on, despite handbrake lever being down

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Red Handbrake light is on, despite handbrake lever being down

  #1  
Old 12-06-2014, 02:45 PM
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Default Red Handbrake light is on, despite handbrake lever being down

In my dash, the handbrake light is on. The red icon has been on non-stop, even though the handbrake lever is all the way down.

What could have caused this? Well, before this handbrake light was always on, it used to be lit up only sometimes. When this was the case, I noticed that my sharp turning (doing a 90 degree turn at 25 km/h) came before the handbrake light would light up.

From that, I gather that my sharp turning has something to do with the handbrake-light problem. But this is just a guess.

When I'm driving, it doesn't feel as though I'm driving with any braking resistance. But this too is just a guess.

1. What is wrong?
2. How can I figure what's wrong?
3. Is it possible to have a handbrake-light problem without having a handbrake problem? That is to say, could it be that my handbrake light is on while my handbrake is really not putting the brakes on my car as I drive?
4. How can I fix this? Even if my handbrake is 100% okay, I don't think it'sgood for me to just ignore this red light. After all, there may be ocassions where I do have the handbrake up. And it would be foolish to ignore it while I press the gas pedal.
 
  #2  
Old 12-06-2014, 02:51 PM
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Do not ignore that light. It's telling you that the brake fluid level is low. There is a switch in the reservoir to detect the fluid is low and turn on the light. When the fluid is right at the limit, as you accelerate and turn, the fluid sloshes around and makes the light go on and off.

Keep an eye on the brake fluid, it is normal for it to go down very slowly as the brake pads wear out (causing more and more fluid to stay in the calipers to take up the lost space), but if you keep losing it there is a leak.
 
  #3  
Old 12-06-2014, 02:55 PM
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Default Three cheers for mk378!

mk378, helpful posts like yours make me so thankful for the internet and for online communites like this!

So I should check both the brake fluid reservoir and the brake pads, yes?

Mega thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 12-06-2014, 03:00 PM
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Yes. Checking the brake pads once in a while is always a good idea. If you've gone from the sloshing around stage to the staying on stage rather quickly though, it's probably a leak.
 
  #5  
Old 12-06-2014, 03:05 PM
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Well, the light-sometimes-on stage was a year ago. The light-always-on stage started 2 weeks ago. Hope this is no leak.
Is there a quick way to tell if there's a leak? Would checking the reservoir for a crack be one way?
 
  #6  
Old 12-08-2014, 08:26 PM
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mk378, I opened up the Civic hood and found the brake reservoir. It was easy to identify. The cap mentioned "DOT 3 brake fluid" and the fulid level was lower than minimum. I refelled it with Gunk (brand) fluid and the red light is gone. Thanks again!
 
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