Brake Light mystery (2000 Honda CRV)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thegisguy, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. thegisguy

    thegisguy Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've got an odd one. Hoping someone one here might have an idea before I take it to the shop.

    My wife's car is a 2000 Honda CRV, manual trans. It's got about 85K miles on it. Well last week the weather got a little cool in the mornings here in New Jersey. My wife commented thast her brake light didn't shut off when she released the E brake. Once the car warmed up the light shut off. In evening when she drove home it didn't come on. It seems to be temperature defendant. I drove it this morning, and found the same thing. Light stays on, but shuts off when you actually hit the brake petal. Once the car is warm the light shuts off for good. This afternoon I drove it again, and the light shut off when I released the E brake, just as it should.

    Any ideas? My brother in law said maybe an ABS sensor? But that was just a wild guess on his part.
     
  2. AnnonUSA

    AnnonUSA Senior member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2007
    Messages:
    468
    Likes Received:
    0
    The brake light is used by the computer to monitor all sorts of brake functions, not just the Hand Brake. So it could be symptomatic of any kind of brake system issue. Not sure if the Brake light would record a code or not but You cannot mess around with brakes. Have it checked out.
     
  3. Zenmervolt

    Zenmervolt Supermoderator<br>The Garage<br>Elite member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2000
    Messages:
    24,520
    Likes Received:
    1
    ABS sensor would trigger a specific ABS light that is separate from the main brake system warning light. The main brake warning light is not computer controlled.

    There are only three things that will trigger the main brake warning light (all are mechanical switches and will not store codes):

    1) Parking brake on.
    2) Brake fluid low.
    3) Pressure imbalance between the separate circuits of the braking system.

    Since the light goes off when you apply the service brakes, #3 is not in play.

    That means there are several possibilities:

    1) The switch on the parking brake lever is out of adjustment and isn't being triggered all the time (it's a simple contact switch).
    2) Fluid is just barely at the right level and when it's cold and contracts, it is just barely tripping the brake light switch (unlikely).
    3) The level sensor in the brake fluid reservoir is flaky and isn't working right unless it's warmer.

    Those are the things that stand out as immediate possibilities.

    ZV
     
  4. thegisguy

    thegisguy Senior member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    292
    Likes Received:
    0
    Zenmervolt, Thanks I'll try and rule out the three things you mention before I take the car to the stealer.