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Old 24th October 2008, 01:17   #1
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Question Brake fluid/Parking Brake Indicator light- Is this a problem?

I recently noticed an apparently suspicious behavior with brake light on instrument panel of my car. While parking brake is released (not applied), this light should come ON when engine is started as per the manual, and it should go out after starting the engine. However, that does not happen- I do not notice it glowing when the key is turned to "start" position. I believe this initial lighting up of all warning lights is to basically make the driver check (in case he/she cares at all) that all of them are in working condition, every time they use the car. So, the question is- Is this a cause of concern or is it normal?

The car is a baleno, and I have never had any problem with braking. Brake fluid level has hardly dropped below max level mark so far (about 3 years). For reference, given below is the description of the brake indicator from manual. I am concerned about 2nd out of three bullets towards the bottom (underlined).

Quote:
Brake fluid level warning/Parking Brake
Indicator light

This light operates under three conditions:
1) when the ignition switch is turned to the
"START' position, 2) when the fluid in the brake
fluid reservoir falls below the specified level
or 3) when the parking brake is not fully
released and the ignition switch is in the "ON"
position. The light should go out after starting
the engine and fully releasing the parking
brake, if the fluid in the brake fluid reservoir is
adequate. If the light does not go off or comes
on whilst you are driving, it may mean that
there is something wrong with the vehicle's
braking system. If this happens, you should:
1) Pull off the road and stop carefully.
Remember that stopping distance may
be longer, you may have to push
harder on the pedal, and the pedal
may go down farther than normal.
2) Test the brakes by carefully starting and
stopping at the side of the road.
3) If you determine that it is safe, drive
carefully at low speed to the nearest dealer
for repairs.
Have the vehicle towed to the nearest
dealer for repairs.
or
4)
If any of the following conditions occur,
you should Immediately ask your
MARUTI dealer to inspect the brake
system.
If the brake fluid level warning light
does not go out after the engine has
been started and the parking brake
has been fully released.
If the brake fluid level warning light
does not come on when the ignition
switch is turned to the "START"
position.

If the brake fluid level warning light
comes on at any time during vehicle
operation.

Last edited by santosh.s : 24th October 2008 at 01:22.
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Old 24th October 2008, 11:12   #2
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engage the handbrake and start the engine - the light should stay ON.
dis-engage the handbrake and start the engine - the light should stay OFF.
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Old 24th October 2008, 11:22   #3
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If the light is not coming on at all, it means the very tiny bulb inside has blown out. Get it replaced.
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Old 24th October 2008, 11:45   #4
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I though this problem was unique with GM cars. If this is intermittent or goes off, then ignore it as I have done through 5 years of suffering GM cars.
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Old 5th November 2008, 18:23   #5
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I didn't have internet access for over a week, so sorry for delayed response.

It works exactly as mentioned by planet_rocker
Quote:
Originally Posted by planet_rocker View Post
engage the handbrake and start the engine - the light should stay ON.
dis-engage the handbrake and start the engine - the light should stay OFF.
Obviously, the bulb has not blown out. It serves two functions, out of which handbrake part works fine. But my doubt is whether (or not) the other function, namely brake-fluid level warning, is in working condition. As per the manual, the indicator should momentarily light up when key is moved to "start" position, assuring that this function is working too. But that doesn't happen! Therefore I can rely on the indicator to know the state of hand-brake but not the brake fluid level (which is of course has more importance, in fact). Hope I am able to convey the point.
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Old 5th November 2008, 19:57   #6
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Remove the brake fluid tank cap and leave it open (the float/sesor sits in the cap), now the warning light will stay ON when the engine is running and handbrake is not engaged. This way you can ensure it is working.
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Old 11th November 2008, 19:02   #7
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@Jaggu, tried opening the cap and starting the engine, but no change. Also tried disconnecting the sensor wires, still no change. In turned out that the sensor (which is a float with on/off switch) is located towards the bottom of the reservoir (not in the cap in this case). The switch is normally open, closes when fluid level drops below acceptable limit. So, tried pushing the float manually by using a plastic rod. The warning light does glow, confirming that it's working as intended, and I can expect to get a warning in case braking system suffers from any leakage!

However, that means there is indeed some discrepancy between the manual and actual behavior of initial flashing of the indicator during starting.
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Old 12th November 2008, 00:05   #8
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My brake light used to come on intermittently for some time. Especially on bumps and corners. When I finally got it checked after a few months (I thought it was a loose connection) , the guy said that there was hardly any brake fluid and that I was very close to a complete brake failure.
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Old 24th May 2017, 15:28   #9
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Default Re: Brake fluid/Parking Brake Indicator light- Is this a problem?

Reviving a very old thread.

My WagonR 2012 model Vxi run for 37200 kms has just showna peculiar problem. The parking/brake light on the dashboard does not turn off when the parking brake is dis-engaged and the engine is on. the light on the dashboard automatically goes off after driving for about 20 minutes and stays there and then functions normally.

Please help me with this, what could be a probable source a bad sensor ?

Regards
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Old 24th May 2017, 15:37   #10
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Default Re: Brake fluid/Parking Brake Indicator light- Is this a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dieseltuned View Post
Reviving a very old thread.

My WagonR 2012 model Vxi run for 37200 kms has just showna peculiar problem. The parking/brake light on the dashboard does not turn off when the parking brake is dis-engaged and the engine is on. the light on the dashboard automatically goes off after driving for about 20 minutes and stays there and then functions normally.

Please help me with this, what could be a probable source a bad sensor ?

Regards
Dieseltuned
As far as I know, that light glows if brake fluid is low. Check the fluid level. If the level is low, most likely there is a leak. Get the car checked ASAP.
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Old 7th June 2017, 14:02   #11
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Default Re: Brake fluid/Parking Brake Indicator light- Is this a problem?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pramodpk View Post
As far as I know, that light glows if brake fluid is low. Check the fluid level. If the level is low, most likely there is a leak. Get the car checked ASAP.
Hi Pramod,

That was spot on. the brake fluid tank was almost empty. I immediately took the car to the MASS and they diagnosed that the tank was draining out the fluid (which was topped up in January 2017 ~ 3000 Kms back) because of a failure in the brake booster assembly. the brake booster assembly was replaced. Damage to pocket approx 7K INR.

Regards
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