Q: I replaced the brake light switch. Gear lever unlocked because it had locked. Now the brakes feel hard.

asked by on October 10, 2016

The gear lever had locked. It would not go from drive to park to reverse. We did the brake release button and drove it home. Brake lights were not working so I diagnosed it with the brake light switch replacement. I replaced it and everything went well. Then as we drove the car, the brake felt hard and there was a rubbery smell. The car feels heavy, almost like when the emergency brake is on. What can be wrong with the brakes? Could I have accidentally locked the brakes when I replaced brake light switch?

Hi, thanks for writing in. You need to check the brake switch install adjustment. You may have the switch adjusted too tight and it is holding the the brake pedal partly down. This will cause the brake master cylinder to not release the brakes when you let off the pedal. Readjust the switch away from the pedal until you feel some free play again in the pedal. This should fix the problem. If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

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