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Old 14th February 2011, 14:03   #31
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

^^ IIRC, the fluid level does vary. No need to be tensed, till the fluid level reaches (not equal or below) near the min mark.
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Old 14th February 2011, 14:20   #32
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

A pad just 'floats' above the disc. So as the pad wears out it will move inwards, and the fluid level will drop (this is natural). However, a fast drop in the level indicates a leak, since the fluid is topped up at every service.
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Old 14th February 2011, 14:32   #33
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

Errr... what is the connection between brake fluid and hand-brake? Isn't the hand brake a completely separate sub-system that acts directly on the rear brakes?

The sensor is usually (haven't seen an exception yet in the few cars that I have checked) linked to the hand-brake lever. The switch has a normally-closed contact, which is forced open when the handbrake lever is all the way down (HB not engaged). When one engages the HB by pulling the HB lever, this switch engages (closes) just after about 10% of the lever travel. This is sensed by the chassis electronics module (or directly at the dash display when there is no CE module) which switches on the HB-Engaged lamp.

If there is an intermediate short to ground in HB switch wiring, or the switch is jammed shut in the closed position (due to grease / oil and dust), it will show HB as engaged.
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Old 14th February 2011, 14:42   #34
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

SDP: Do you get a screetching sound while braking? If that is, then your pads are worn out and need replacement to be sure. Even other wise:

Please ask a mechanic to inspect the brake pads. From your initial post, the SA had advised about the RR drum and pads need replacement - so that could be the issue. He also told you about the warning sign as HB indicator starts glowing - predictions came true eh?

Regarding any leak - please inspect all your wheels, in case of any fluid leak, first chance you will see brake fluid leaking (if any) on your wheels - some oily stuff can be seen - then that should be fluid leak. I had faced a drum failure and fluid leak on my old car - Maruti Zen 2001 model real left side - and the replacement was a few 100 Rs to be precise. I didnt have to replace pads at that time, but pads will be around 600 INR. It shouldnt cost you much - so please go for the replacement option ASAP

If the above isnt the case, then look for some electrical fault with the HB switch.

Keep us posted

Cheers
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Old 14th February 2011, 14:57   #35
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
Errr... what is the connection between brake fluid and hand-brake? Isn't the hand brake a completely separate sub-system that acts directly on the rear brakes?

The sensor is usually (haven't seen an exception yet in the few cars that I have checked) linked to the hand-brake lever.
Correct!. but in the Alto, the warning light for low brake fluid, and HB engaged are the same, with 2 levels of brightness for the each of 'em.

The topic starter had misinterpreted the warning for low brake fluid with HB engaged. Hence the confusion.
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Old 20th February 2011, 10:39   #36
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Default Re: Handbrake indicator permanently glowing. Would my brakes fail?

Final Update:
Gave the car for repairs yesterday and there was a significant drop in the brake-fluid level from the last top-up (that was about 2 weeks back).
The mechanic isolated the problem to a rear wheel slave brake cylinder and replaced it with a genuine part. He inspected the brake pads as well and mentioned that they are in good shape.

Repair costs:
Slave cylinder ~ Rs 310
Brake fluid 0.5 L ~ Rs 125
Misc items ~ Rs 100
Labour charges ~ Rs 600

Total-> Rs 1100

Thank you guys for all the help and suggestions.

Last edited by SDP : 20th February 2011 at 10:41.
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