Sahara

Brake warning light on after replacing fluid

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Hello all, at the advice of a fellow 2002 owner who noticed my brake fluid was pretty dark when he was checking the car out, I sucked out the fluid in the reservoir with a turkey baster and refilled it with fresh DOT 4 fluid. I realize that’s not a true fluid replacement, but the idea was to increase the amount of good clean fluid in the system. 

 

I went for a drive after doing this to check the brakes and everything was fine. I then went back to my house to grab something before heading off to run an errand. The 02 was sitting for a few minutes. When I restarted the engine and went to back out, I noticed the brake warning light was now on. It’s strange this would happen after ADDING good fluid. I suspect some sort of temperature differential (I had gone for a drive that morning and on a quick run to buy the fluid) and/or differing viscosity is tripping it. The light is intermittent when I drive but was trending to be more off than on toward the end of my most recent drive, about 10 minutes to the store.

 

my question is: can I expect the light to go out and is there any chance I broke anything? 

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Level is correct. The wires may have gotten some fluid dripped on them. Dumbass mistake I know but I have never done this before and did not expect the baster to dribble fluid as I withdrew it from the reservoir. I guess the question is, in that case, did I ruin the wires or will they be fine when they dry out?

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Shouldn’t hurt the wires but you could wipe off any fluid. Remember that the brake light also signals that the parking brake is engaged. Could have nothing to do with the brake reservoir sensor.

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(edited)

I know it’s for the parking brake as well, I’m fairly confident that’s working correctly as the previous owner installed a new parking brake cable and it the light has worked accurately so far (always engages when the brake is set and disengages promptly when I release it). 

 

ETA: I filled the reservoir pretty much full as that is how it was when I started. I could not really see the fill line (reservoir is pretty yellow with age). Did I overfill? 

 

The car is a 75 in case that matters. 

Edited by Sahara

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Check the float inside the reservoir.  I just found the one in mine had sunk, and the little rubber grommet that holds the brass rod to the float had disintegrated, allowing the float to ride low and illuminate the warning light.

 

mike

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if the brake fluid was "dark", just sucking out and refilling the reservoir did exactly nothing to help your brake system.  brakes are a critical safety item.....get a proper brake fluid flush immediately.

 

 

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1 hour ago, mike said:

Check the float inside the reservoir.  I just found the one in mine had sunk, and the little rubber grommet that holds the brass rod to the float had disintegrated, allowing the float to ride low and illuminate the warning light.

 

mike

I believe this was the problem. Thank you so much!

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1 hour ago, mlytle said:

if the brake fluid was "dark", just sucking out and refilling the reservoir did exactly nothing to help your brake system.  brakes are a critical safety item.....get a proper brake fluid flush immediately.

 

 

Absolutely right. The fluid was not as dark as it appeared, when I removed it appeared close to the new fluid. I suspect the gentleman that pointed it out was misled by the lighting. Nevertheless I will have the whole system gone over soon. 

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