I’ve got a '99 acura integra. Sometimes when starting up my car, the dashboard parking brake light will be on even though the parking brake handle is down and the parking brake is off. Once I start driving and touch the brake pedal, the light will go off. This will happen two or three times until the car is warmed up. Does anybody have any thoughts on this problem?
That warning light serves double duty. In addition to warning you that your e-brake is on, it also alerts you to a low level of fluid in your brake master cylinder. Check to see if you need to add brake fluid, making sure to use the type specified in your Owner’s Manual.
Incidentally, that same manual will tell you exactly what all of the warning lights on your dashboard indicate. Read it now, even if you never looked at it before.
As mentioned, the BRAKE light is not just a reminder to release the e-brake. It also warns you of low fluid level. Open the hood and check the fluid level. If it is low, bring it up.
If the fluid level is okay, or topping it up fails to make the light go out, then you have a bigger problem. The BRAKE light also is connected to a switch at the combination/proportioning valve. If this switch or the valve itself goes back, the light will come on. In MOST cases, the light will come on because there’s a brake problem (either a leak in one circuit or air in one circuit or both) but often times, if this is the case, the light will remain OFF when the brake pedal is not being pressed. Since your situation is backward, I’d lean towards a faulty switch or valve.
But of course, you may just be low on brake fluid. If you are, keep your ears open for a squealing sound. You’ll likely be due for brake pads/shoes soon. =)