"parking break warning light"

RE: 96 vw gti The parking break light illuminates on the dash when initially starting to drive away with the hand break disengaged (released). The switch at the break lever appears ok and the dash light turns off & on when I set & release the hand break initially and before driving off. This doesn’t make any sense! Could it be a relay? What condition(s) would cause the hand break light to go off when the hand break is released and then come on when initially moving the car. It will remain on unless you turn the car off and restart the engine?light initially goes off when releasing the break then on when driving away. PS Would this also defeat the cruse control… (dealer was no help) Thank you (should I call?)

Weird electrical interactions are usually due to a bad ground on one or more of the functions, such as a light, or in this case the dash panel. Difficult to diagnose, specially when it involves the dash.

Have you checked your brake fluid level? Usually the “brake” warning light comes on both when the parking brake is on and when your brake fluid level is low. It sounds like your fluid level is right on the line and sloshing away from the sensor when you start driving.

And when the brake fluid gets that low it’s also telling you to check your brakes. The fluid that was in the reservoir holding the float up is now in the calipers due to pad wear.

do you realize your question has 7 seperate questions in it? !!!

first off. does your car have the lever between the seats, or the push pedal, or the pull handle under the dash?

second. have you checked the fluid level in the brake fluid reservior? and if that is low, this IS an indication your brakes are just about at the end of their useful lives. (brakejob)

third. does your cruise control work, or shut off sometimes?

if you have the type of brake lever between the seats, make sure there is no junk, debris clutter under the area where the lever sits. just a pen cap in there will keep the lever from ‘setting’ down in the ‘rest spot’ thus keeping the light illuminated. (also, if the light comes on intermittantly, it will shut off the cruise control.)

the brake push/turn release can act the same way. they get ‘lazy’ and dont retract all the way sometimes too, mimicking the same problem as the lever type.

Almost definitely low fluid level. Also, it’s “brakes”, not “breaks”.