Jeffrey Monakana's early strike for Preston was cancelled out before half-time by Carlisle striker Lee Miller's close-range effort, his eighth goal of the season.
Although both sides were already free of relegation worries it was feisty tussle and North End finished the game with 10 men after Nicky Wroe's 66th-minute dismissal for a second yellow card.
The pacy Monakana, playing wide on the right, was a potent threat and it was the ex-Arsenal youngster who opened the scoring in the 12th minute when he cut in from the edge of the area and drilled a precise low left-footed shot wide of Carlisle goalkeeper Mark Gillespie into the bottom corner.
Monakana was the danger man again when he left Jordan Mustoe trailing before finding Preston skipper John Welsh, who was frustrated to see his shot deflected for a corner.
Preston had the better of the early exchanges, but Carlisle drew level in the 38th minute when Jon-Paul McGovern's 25-yard free-kick hit the left hand upright and the ball rebounded for Miller, who was left with a simple tap-in.
Carlisle were much livelier after the break although Preston went close when John Mousinho just failed to keep down a header from David Buchanan's cross and then Monakana forced Gillespie to tip over a powerful 20-yard effort.
North End were reduced to 10 men after 66 minutes when Wroe, who had already been booked, followed through with his challenge on Gillespie and received his marching orders for a second yellow card.
Rory Loy with a curler just over the bar and Brad Potts with a scorcher, well saved by Preston goalkeeper Thorsten Stuckman, went close for Carlisle, but Preston held out for their point.