The vehicle the monkeys messed with was my 2006 Ford F150 4◊4 with a standard cab and an eight-foot bed. A few weeks back, the instrument panel began to intermittently illuminate a red "brake" light. I presumed it was for my disc brakes and arranged appointment at a Ford dealer to have them checked. I found out the brake pads were not overly worn. The left front wheel bearing was in need of repair, and the sensor for the brake fluid was bad.
I had both replaced. The sensor cost $150, and, to add insult to injury, replacing it did not even fix the problem. The dealer then informed me the problem had to be in the instrument panel. They quoted me $1,200 for the panel, plus labor, which is not in my budget.
I took it to a mechanic I trust and asked him to check it out. He laughed as he informed me that this is a known problem and I should save my money. He told me the most likely cause was the brake fluid master cylinder and sensor combination. I decided I can live with a red lamp in the lower left corner of the panel that comes and goes randomly.
I found out later that the sensor is not the usual single-wire reed switch of old. It is a three-wire Hall-effect device.
This entry was submitted by Paul Baltrunas and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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