Join the Car Talk Community!

Discussion Rules

Welcome to the Car Talk Community!

Want to ask a question or join the discussion? Great! Join now.

Sign In Register

95 buick lesabre brake light

Friend of mine's boyfriend has a 95 buick lesabre limited. Has about 150,000 miles on it. The past few months it has had the brake light coming on and off. I guess when he goes to stop if he just eases into the brake pedal the brake light will come on and the thing will just cut out.



If he slams on the brakes it is fine and stops and drives away like normal.



I have wanted to take a look at it but her boyfriend refuses to stick any money into it and the car lacks basic maintenance. First repair was he said the starter went, turns out it was a corroded terminal; Then he said it was the brakes went because the wheel hub was seizing, it was the wheel bearing that I told them was bad over a year before. I went over with brakes parts and when I went to take the wheel off all the bearings fell out. It had bent the rotor and caliper.



Then he swore the battery went, turned out it was the ignition lock cylinder. I found the part for 15 dollars but they went to the dealer instead and got it for 135. Irritates me sometimes, she will listen but her bf won't



I am wondering what everyones idea is as to what this can be? So that when it finally goes I have an idea of what I can look at.

Comments

  • edited October 2010
    I am assuming that "brake light" is a reference to the brake warning light on the instrument panel, rather than the brake lights on the rear of the car. If that is the case, the first thing to check is the level of the brake fluid in the master cylinder.

    If the brake fluid is low, replenish it with the correct-spec fluid.
    Then, have the brake system checked. Because brake fluid does not evaporate, a low fluid level indicates that:

    >There is a leak in the brake hydraulic system
    and/or
    >The brake pads are worn. As the brake pads wear, the brake calipers extend further and draw additional fluid from the master cylinder.

    In either event, brake failure is in the offing for this car, and that is about as serious a situation as can exist with a car.

    His brake system needs attention, and this is not something that can be safely deferred.
    Tell your friend to refuse to ride in the car and to refuse cooperating with her boyfriend in other ways until he has the brakes attended to.

    If you don't know what I am referring to when I say "refuse cooperating with her boyfriend", a quick read of a synopsis of the ancient Greek play, [i]Lysistrata[/i] will give you the essential information.
    [b];-))[/b]
  • edited October 2010
    I had him check the brake fluid and all that and its fine. But the problem is when the brake light comes on the engine shuts off. It always starts right back up but if he slams on the brakes the car doesn't cut out
  • edited October 2010
    Now you are beginning to make things a bit more clear. When you stated "the brake light will come on and the thing will just cut out", I thought this was a reference to the brake warning light going on and then going off.

    "The thing" is not really a clear reference to the engine, but in any event--I think that this points to a problem with the power brake booster. Since the brake booster is powered by engine vacuum, a leak in the booster or in its vacuum line could lead to engine-related driveability problems.
  • edited October 2010
    Sorry for not being clear enough. I hate when I read questions that aren't clear and then I go and write one. Thanks for understanding my gibberish though.
  • edited October 2010
    I also was not understanding the trouble correctly due to the way the post was written.

    Like VDCdriver stated, the brake system uses vacuum air, which comes from the throttle body, to assist the power brakes and the brake booster most likely has an air leak in it, which will cause the engine to have trouble running correctly.

    It might be a good thing that he paid a high price for the switch. Hopefully it will be a lesson for him to listen to others that have more knowledge about things than he does.
  • edited October 2010
    Yea he decided he wanted to change the starter himself but couldn't locate the positive wire. It was right in front of his face. Some things just make me laugh.
This discussion has been closed.