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in-dash brake light indicator question.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by colbystephens, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ok, so pretty basic question here. does the red brake indicator in my dash on my '83 k5 indicate that my e-brake is engaged or that one of my brake systems is failed? i ask b/c randomly over the last couple days, it will come on while driving and then go out after a short period of time. my e-brake isn't hooked up and the pedal isn't depressed, so i don't know what would trigger an e-brake signal. both my braking systems seem to be working fine. fwiw, my wiring needs help bad - so maybe just a shorting connection? what do you think?
     
  2. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    which one? the one that looks like a gauge or the other one by the check engine light?
    the gauge one is loss of fluid to the prop. valve
    the other one is the e-brake light.
     
  3. 1985_K5_Silverado

    1985_K5_Silverado 1/2 ton status

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    According to my owner's manual, that light will be lit when either the e-brake is on or there is a hydraulic pressure loss somewhere in the brake system. It will also be lit briefly during starting.
     
  4. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    well, this is the indicator which is in my fuel guage - big red box w/ black lettering when lit up. don't know if that's near my check engine light - don't even know if i have one. most of my dash doesn't work and i have no lighting to it yet. if there were a pressure leak, would the indicator go on and off, or just stay on?
     
  5. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    well with a messed up dash, a intermitinet light could mean alot of things, loose wire, loose contact on the light or sending unit.
    pretty sure its your e-brake light, though i am not familiar with the diesel cluster(if it is different)
    check your brake fluid to be sure, if it is full, back and front, and the truck stopps fine, i would say you have no problems
    also a good idea to check the lines, and all the fittings, and the wheel cylinders to, they are notorius for leaking
     
  6. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    cool - thanks!
     
  7. surpip

    surpip 1 ton status

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    no worries
     
  8. rphenry250

    rphenry250 Registered Member

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    mine would'nt ever turn off....turns out there was a problem with the ebrake switch. I took the bulb out.
     
  9. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Someone already said it, both e-brake on and the proportioning valve seeing a pressure differential will trigger it.

    Mine came on as my master cylinder failed. I wouldn't discount that light, make sure you aren't following folks too closely, you lose brakes sitting at a light you better be quick with the shifter, or get your ebrake hooked up.

    Check first and foremost for leaks, barring anything visible, you need to ensure the electrical portion is working correctly.

    If you pull the connector from the proportioning valve, and ground it, the light should come on. If it does, then you know the circuit is working right. I haven't dealt with the truck ebrake save when I installed the harness to the body, but IIRC, there is a single prong connector on the ebrake switch, and I've had those switches break in my car, which turned the light on as well.

    Make sure the circuit is working right by testing the combo valve connector, make sure the ebrake switch isn't goofing up, and you should know whether something is really wrong with the brakes, or if there is a wiring issue.

    FWIW, I figured at first something was up with my brakes as the pedal was a bit spongy all the time, but since the truck stopped fine and never caused any problems (until the light came on) I just assumed the spongy pedal was 'normal" for my truck.
     
  10. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    that's good advice man - i'll look into that. :)
     
  11. AKbigsub

    AKbigsub 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    My rear brakes were soooo far out of adjustment that my pedal was very low. This caused the brake warning light to come on. After adjusting the brakes, the light shut off.
     

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