Your parking brake is operated by a foot pedal, to the left of the brake. And when you step on it to engage the parking brake, there’s a little switch at the top of the lever that says, “Hey, the parking brake is on.” That switch is what makes the light on your dashboard go on. The light is there to discourage you from driving all the way to Chattanooga and back with the parking brake on.
Over time, that switch can get out of adjustment. And cold weather can make it act up. Or after enough use, the switch can simply wear out. And keep in mind, that switch is now old enough to order a drink in most states. It’s a simple little switch, and your mechanic can either adjust it or, if necessary, replace it for less than $100 with labor.
The other possibility is that, even though you’ve fully released the parking brake pedal, the cables that actually apply the parking brake could be sticking. And if they’re not releasing completely, your parking brake pedal won’t return fully to its upright and locked position for landing. And even though it won’t be enough for your foot or your eye to notice, it’s enough to make the light stay on.
If you see smoke comin