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Brake Light Keeps Coming On Due To Handbrake Sliding Out Just enough To Trigger Light

After I release my handbrake and drive off, the vibration of driving causes my handbrake to slide out just enough to trigger the brake light to come on. The brake works fine I checked at the drums. It just slides out enough to trigger this light. As I drive I have to keep pushing it in, the light goes off but after a bit it goes on again and I keep pushing it in, evidently it keeps sliding out enough to keep triggering the light. I tried spraying the release and down the chute, sliding it in and out, with 3 and 1 oil and WD 40 but nothing seems to stop this annoying problem. I know there’s nothing wrong with it but I can’t get it to stop and I know it’s just the vibration of driving that causes it to slip out just enough to trigger it.

Next month I have the NJ State inspection, and if they see the light, they’re going to fail it when there’s really nothing wrong with it.

1986 Toyota Hilux half ton 5 speed stick with the 22 R engine over 225K

"Next month I have the NJ State inspection, and if they see the light, they’re going to fail it when there’s really nothing wrong with it.

The Governor eliminated all safety-related items from the state inspection requirements.
All that remains is an emissions check.

Even if you had missing headlights, inoperative turn signals, no brakes whatsoever, and a windshield so badly damaged that you could no longer see through it properly, you would pass the state inspection as long as the exhaust emissions were in compliance with the standards for a 1986 vehicle.

Remove the bulb?

Have you considered paying someone to fix the problem?

The parking brake shouldn’t activate your brake lights. If it did, parking your car with the brake activated would run down your battery. If your brake light is being activated by your hand brake, I suggest you hire someone to find the electrical issue. If something else is causing this, you still need a mechanic to do some electrical troubleshooting. In any case, take it to a competent mechanic.

You could try adjusting the parking brake cable to take the slack out of it. That’s what cured the same problem on my friends 82 Toyota P/U

I think you mean the “brake light” on the dashboard (rather than the actual brake lights at the back end of the truck). This is the warning light that tells you that the hand brake is on. In many cars (not sure about your truck) that light also indicates other things.

One thing is low brake fluid. Your description does sound like the handle is, indeed, moving, but make sure that you do not actually have an indication of low brake fluid. (I got fooled that way, once, and similar problem has appeared here several times.)

Another indicator function is for problems in the dual circuit hydraulic brakes. I think that for this the light comes on only when you apply the foot brake, so that’s probably not what is happening.

If your original diagnosis is correct, then it sounds like it’s time to get in there and repair/replace whatever is loose. It’s nice that you have run the '86 to 225K miles, but these things are going to happen. Maybe you can get the replacement parts at a salvage yard. Unfortunately, your truck is getting so old that vehicles of it’s vintage are sinking into the archaeological levels.

Yeah, I had that problem with my Riviera. If you bumped the foot pedal, it would trigger the check brakes light. It wouldn’t go off until I pulled on the cable under the car while pushing up on the brake pedal. I just lived with it and junked it. If lubing the cable doesn’t help, and the parking brake works fine, you might try crawling up under the dash and trying to readjust the switch or even just disconnecting it. Its the same light that comes on if the fluid if low and its just trying to tell you the parking brake is on which it isn’t.

I would just clean the switch with 300 grit sandpaper its probably partially carboned up
If not just open or short out the switch that is under the hand brake because the light will either turn on or turn off completely forever.

Good catch, Art. I bet you are right about it being the light on the dashboard, and not the lights on the back of the car.