Handbrake light coming on intermittently

Andrew Prince

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,232
13
38
Joburg, sunny South Africa
I presume I have some kind of electrical gremlin. Symptom is my handbrake light comes on occasionally on my 80 - the handbrake is definitely not on (it only gets used at MOT time anyway) and the handbrake is working ok. When I drive off the handbrake light comes on but it goes off when stopped or in neutral. It usually goes off after 15 mins of driving but sometimes it just stays on...

Any ideas before I go trying to trace wires? I'm assuming that there's a sensor/switch on the handbrake to switch on the light when the handbrake is engaged and there may be a bad/dirty contact here? Curious that putting it in gear seems to set the light on but the shifter is near the handbrake lever after all, hence my theory of a wiring/contact issue.

I planned to get underneath today and have a butchers but the wet ground put me off :whistle:

Cheers,
 

Ecky Thump

Well-Known Member
Mar 4, 2010
1,422
3
36
Reigate, Surrey
Garage
The switch is internal under the gaiter so you wont need to crawl underneath.

Mine did something similar some time ago and it had bent slightly out of shape. Easy to sort :D

Funnily enough at about the same time I couldn't take the key out when I had stopped. There is a microswitch on the gear lever that needs to be made when you are in park. This had also bent out of shape. Guess I must be too heavy handed. :clap:
 
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pugwash

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Mar 1, 2010
389
1
38
N Hampshire
Had a brake warning light come on recently- turned out the fluid level in the brake resevoir was a teeny bit low- so it would flick on and off occasionally. try toppping up the brake fluid first- an easy fix!
 

Andrew Prince

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,232
13
38
Joburg, sunny South Africa
Ah Jim - good suggestion :idea: I've just been out to fiddle with the switch and depressing it and no effect with the light. Could be the switch is u/s but that seems unlikely.
Was starting to wonder whether it wasn't a symptom of something worse...

So I'll have a look at the brake fluid - I really need to flush the system and replace the fluid at some point. One of those jobs for a "rainy" day :mrgreen:

Chers,
 

ignat

Well-Known Member
I am in south_africa
Mar 22, 2010
524
1
36
Johannesburg, South Africa
Garage
pugwash said:
Had a brake warning light come on recently- turned out the fluid level in the brake resevoir was a teeny bit low- so it would flick on and off occasionally. try toppping up the brake fluid first- an easy fix!
ditto on my 90!
 

Chas

Well-Known Member
Supporter
I am in england
Mar 15, 2010
17,193
4,836
113
Merton Park London
Garage
pugwash said:
Had a brake warning light come on recently- turned out the fluid level in the brake resevoir was a teeny bit low- so it would flick on and off occasionally. try toppping up the brake fluid first- an easy fix!
Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the 80's have a separate warning light for fluid level and handbrake? I'm sure mine does.
Chas
 

Gary Mead

Member
I am in uk
Mar 29, 2010
100
0
16
Royal Berkshire
Yes they do have 2 lights for the hand brake/brakes (red circle with a red P if i remember correctly?) and the other is a red circle with a red ! in it.
 

Rob

Well-Known Member
Mar 1, 2010
3,019
16
38
Bristol
Garage
Andrew I had the exact same problem, topped up with some brake fluid and it went away. You should check the pads as low fluid means worn brake pads ;)
 

Andrew Prince

Well-Known Member
Feb 23, 2010
2,232
13
38
Joburg, sunny South Africa
Cheers, Rob - I'm sure that's the case :thumbup: My pads are quite worn, although a little bit of life left. I have a set of front & rear OEM pads waiting to go in, which should be a good thing after reading Paul's post about Mintex pads. :evil:
 

4x4xfaz

New Member
Jul 12, 2010
12
0
6
Oxford, England
Andrew Prince said:
Ah Jim - good suggestion :idea: I've just been out to fiddle with the switch and depressing it and no effect with the light. Could be the switch is u/s but that seems unlikely.
Was starting to wonder whether it wasn't a symptom of something worse...

So I'll have a look at the brake fluid - I really need to flush the system and replace the fluid at some point. One of those jobs for a "rainy" day :mrgreen:

Chers,
Draining and replacing the brake fluid is NOT a simple task on the 80s.... surely not one for a rainy day.
 

Brett

Well-Known Member
I am in uk
Mar 10, 2010
458
21
38
Norwich, Norfolk, UK
4x4xfaz said:
Draining and replacing the brake fluid is NOT a simple task on the 80s.... surely not one for a rainy day.
I can't understand why people find it difficult on the 80 :?

As long as you bleed the LSPV & Master Cylinder as well as the calipers it shouldn't be a problem :confusion-shrug:

I always use one of those litlle easy bleed thingys & it has always worked fine :snooty:
 
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