Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Long Does a Parking Brake Warning Switch Last?

How Long Does a Parking Brake Warning Switch Last?

parking brake warning light

Your car is equipped with a parking brake that helps prevent the car from rolling when parked on a slope. This is a separate system from your primary brakes, and you must manually engage and disengage it each time. Because you can cause serious damage to the system if you try to drive with the parking brake still engaged, your car is also equipped with a parking brake warning switch and light.

When you engage the parking brake, you should see the Parking Brake light come on in the dash. This is your warning that the brake is engaged and must be manually disengaged before you can drive. In some cars, the light will come on but a buzzer will also sound if you put the car into gear with the parking brake on. The parking brake warning switch is responsible for turning on the light and sounding the buzzer.

The parking brake warning switch is only used when the parking brake is engaged. It is not used when you press the brake pedal or under normal stopping conditions. In theory, it should last for the life of the vehicle, but these switches can and do fail early. If this happens, you may not see the warning indicator on the dash that tells you the parking brake is engaged and you may not hear the warning buzzer when you put the transmission in gear.

The parking brake warning switch is electronic, and like all switches, it’s subject to normal wear and tear. There is also the chance for wiring damage, or even issues caused by moisture in the system that affect the warning light on the dash.

Obviously, driving with the parking brake engaged is a dangerous thing – it will put significant wear on the parking brake system, or even damage the shoes and drum. That means it’s important that you know a few signs to watch for that indicate the parking brake warning switch is beginning to fail. These include:

  • The Parking Brake Warning Light does not come on when the brake is engaged

  • The Parking Brake Warning Light does not go out when you disengage the system

  • The Parking Brake warning light flickers or turns on and off (indicating a short somewhere in the wiring)

Have a professional mechanic inspect and replace the parking brake warning switch so that no further problems arise in the future.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...

Related questions

Q: Q: Emergency brake locked up

This is a common problem for your vehicle. The emergency brakes in your vehicle are built into the rear calipers. Over time, corrosion will bind up the mechanism inside the caliper and will not allow the brake to release. The...

Q: The interior lights and the head lights randomly flicker in Chevy Tracker

It could be the alternator. You can go and have any mechanic, anywhere take a look. Most guys do it free--they can check your batteries and alternator. It takes five minutes and they can tell you if the battery is...

Q: Q: How do I set the parking brake?

For your safety, your truck is equipped with a parking brake. The parking brake is an extra measure to make sure your vehicle stays in place, especially when on a hill. To set the parking brake: Locate the parking...