Emergency Brake Light

I have a 2002 Escape w/ 98k miles on it. Yesterday the emergency brake light came on when i started the car and has remained on. I tried engaging and releasing the parking brake (a lever, not a pedal) several times to no avail. I feel no resistance when I drive and my normal brakes seem to be working fine. What are the possible reasons for this? Do i need to take the car in?

Check the brake fluid level in the master cylinder. The brake light on my 98 Winstar came on when the fluid was just below the min line.

Ed B.

I may be wrong, not being a Ford owner, but the emergency brake light you are seeing may actually not be that at all and may be a “regular brake warning light.” If so, the most likely reason it is on is low brake fluid…Have you checked the level…

Do you need to take it in??? Well, do you like the rig to stop when you want it to?

IIRC, that light serves double duty as both the e-brake warning light and a warning that your brake fluid is low. So, a check of your brake fluid is definitely in order. If it is low, be sure to add the proper type of fluid.

Check your Owner’s Manual to verify both the function of that warning light and the type of brake fluid that is required. And, while you are at it, I would suggest reading the rest of that book. If you are not aware of the function of that warning light there are likely many other things about the car that you are unaware of, and learning them now is better than learning them after the fact.

Incidentally, if your brake fluid is low, that indicates that either:

*Your brake pads are worn and should be checked

*You have a leak in the brake hydraulic system which should also be checked

That light also serves as an indicator that your pads and/or shoes may be low.
Always check the condition of the pads when you find you need to top off the reservoir.