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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:56 pm 
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My brake light stays on--I checked the fluid level and it's fine. The float on the switch is fine. If I understand how the handbrake switch works (wire grounds when metal tab contacts outside of carrier-thing) it's fine.

Any ideas?

Where does the wire go--I guess I need to make sure the purple wire on the handbrake switch is not grounded elsewhere?

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:06 pm 
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take the brake reservoir float switch out of the equation. pull the connector and see if the light goes out. jumper the connector pins to see if the dash warning light comes on.

i've seen those reservoir level switches fail closed. a new brake master fixes it.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:48 pm 
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I pulled the connector and light stays on, jumpered the connector and light stays on :huh:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 2:57 am 
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Check the switch at the E-brake


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 11:00 am 
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Yeah, I "checked" that, in that everything is clean, intact, and moves as expected--given that the contact appears to be open when the light is off and closed when the spring allows contact to ground, there doesn't seem much that could cause a problem there other than grounding the wire somewhere else--again, that wire is clean, no corrosion, and it's inside the car...

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 4:23 pm 
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What year is your GT and do you have daytime running lights?

IIRC that stupid light is also run through the DRL module, and the harness is known for melting.

92 - 94's the module is below the steering wheel column. Have to remove the small black cover (4 screws to access).

On an 89-91 I am not sure if they even came with DRL.

******EDIT*************

I checked my drawings, and the parking brake switch DOES goto the DRL module aswell. So it is possible that if that has crapped out it could be providing the ground you are chasing.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:08 pm 
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my 89 gti does not have drl.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:36 pm 
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There are diodes under the dash, near the radio front.
In some models, there is a gray wire from the instrument panel which passes through the diodes and feeds a green wire.

Also, the 'brake fluid level switch' has several paths it can take to ground.
Translation: your problem may still be on the path to the BFLS, even if it isn't the actual float switch.
If so, it would be a ground issue.

You can check to see if you have an aberrant 'indicator check relay' which might be in the circuit between the diodes and ground.

I had to take a peek at an electronics diagram to come up with these suggestions.

A complete wiring diagram with grounds should solve your little gremlin.

Another approach is the famous: "What is the LAST thing you did to the car before this started happening?"


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:34 am 
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pacapo wrote:
Another approach is the famous: "What is the LAST thing you did to the car before this started happening?"



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:52 pm 
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Well, I bought a new master cylinder. I turned it upside down to make the float rise and plugged it in. I still have a light :(

I'm not sure if I can fix this before the car has to go to HI--and this stupid issue will likely cause me to fail inspection...

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:05 pm 
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Did you even read my suggestion??

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:27 pm 
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TheINCRide wrote:
Did you even read my suggestion??


Yes, I did. I don't have DRL.

I believe I'm getting closer to chasing down the problem--it's the wire to the handbrake switch after all and not the brake fluid level switch. I kept thinking, despite Richard's excellent advice, that there must be a more complicated setup looking for resistance in the switch so that it would stay on if unplugged (because what good is a warning light that goes out if the sensor is bad???) or the switch was set up to detect a pressure differential between the circuits or something. But it's really that simple--the float sinks and grounds or it doesn't. Unplug it and the light will go out.

Phil helped me with some additional troubleshooting steps. I found that if you unplug the multi-connector under the dash closest to the driver (not in the larger plastic box, but attached to it separately) that is on the end of the harness wire that runs the length of the dash from the passenger side that the handbrake portion of the circuit is cut out, but not the float switch. I tested the float switch separately and found that it was still working.

Phil's obvious logic of "what did you do the car last" is correct, though I'm surprised that I didn't catch it sooner. I installed a race seat, and though I can't imagine how right now, the handbrake switch lead runs under the carpet near the seat. I must have pinched it somehow when I bolted in the seat and the G forces on the seat pinched it harder or rubbed it until it could ground.

Seat's coming out and I'll pull up the carpet until I find the issue.

Thanks Phil :D

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:52 pm 
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That was it.

Can't believe this was possible, but the wire got caught under the new seat bracket and got squeezed till it shorted. For some reason it took a bunch of 1+ G cornering to flatten the wire so much that the insulation was thin enough to short, but that was it.

The master cylinder is still in the box, so I'll return that.

All is well...

:D

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