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Handbrake Warning Light
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Handbrake Warning Light - Mk1/Mk2
If the Handbrake Warning Light fails to illuminate when the handbrake is engaged, it is going to be one of three things:
1. The bulb in the dash has died;
2. There is some dirt in the handbrake switch itself on the electrical contacts or the switch has a mechanical fault and is staying open-circuit;
3. The electrical connector and multi-plug on the brake fluid reservoir low-fluid switch have become contaminated and gone high-resistance.
The switch itself is activated by the handbrake lever pushing or releasing a plunger which makes or breaks an electrical contact. The circuit is completed by switching to ground. Remove the coin holder from the centre console near the handbrake lever. Using a tin of compressed air and a nozzle (usually available from a photographic store such as Jessops), you should be able to blast any dirt off the switch by placing the nozzle in the hole where the coin holder was. Switch the engine on and with the foot-brake applied, engage and disengage the handbrake a few times If the light still refuses to come on, you may need to use some switch cleaning spray. This is preferable to WD40, which leaves a residue and should not really be used on electrical contacts. Make sure you open the car windows though - the spray is not particularly pleasant if you inhale it!