I am about to destroy this car.
August 7, 2012 2:09 PM   Subscribe

I could use some help figuring out why my brake system's messed up. I asked before in this thread and they gave me some ideas, which I followed up on. But...

I got things inspected, brake fluid was flushed and replaced, brake pads were changed, and all that was taken care of. But when I went to the shop to get the car, the chime was still going. However, it stopped shortly after I picked it up (a week or two later).

But now I'm having the exact same problem (except this time, it's not cold). ABS and Brake Fluid light are on and the chime keeps chiming and it's driving me insane. I never did change out the brake fluid level sensor, so I'm inclined to believe that's what the problem is now. But any other advice or input would be helpful.
posted by Modica to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Disconnect the brake level sensor and see if it makes the same noise (it's likely an open circuit is the fail mode). If it does, then there is either a problem with the level or the sensor.

You've checked it's not the E-brake sensor? (try driving with the e-brake partially on a short distance).

If the E-brake one seems fine, I'd change out the level sensor (it's likely to be cheap) if that is the case.

Presumably the pad indicator wires were checked during the brake service? Or were all pads changed?
posted by Brockles at 2:49 PM on August 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Does braking feel normal? I once had my ABS pump fail. The brakes still worked, but it felt different - there was a bit of a shudder caused by the malfunctioning pump at highway speeds.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl at 2:55 PM on August 7, 2012

I don't know about your car, but here's a fix that works on our car that you would never think of. Our 2002 Mazda Tribute occasionally has the ABS light flash for no apparent reason. A little internet sleuthing revealed that there are actually some connectors/relays under the front passenger seat in our car. I removed the kid's toys from under the seat and the flashing stopped. A couple years later, same thing but there was nothing under the seat, so I unplugged the connectors a few times and reconnected them and it stopped again. Two times in 10 years and neither time did it actually have to do with the brakes themselves. Car still runs fine today.
posted by Rafaelloello at 3:46 PM on August 7, 2012

Have you checked the brake fluid level??
posted by gjc at 5:46 PM on August 7, 2012

Response by poster: I have checked the brake fluid level, it's fine. And the braking feels normal almost always, those there is some very, very rare unresponsiveness similar to how braking feels on ice.

When I disconnect the sensor, the chiming stops. I even used some compressed air and some q-tips to clean out the port, plugged it back in, chiming starts right back up.

From what I was told, all the brake pads were changed.

I can't get under the seat because for whatever reason, the electronic seat controls do not work at all and haven't since I've had the car. There's tons of little wires down there so that could be a possibility, but I don't think there's much I can do down there.
posted by Modica at 8:03 PM on August 7, 2012

Is your emergency brake on?

All my cars beep when I have e-brake on when driving. Maybe you have it on or its cable is loose or its switch is bad/loose.
posted by AdamG8GXP at 11:35 AM on August 30, 2012

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