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Where is the e-brake sensor?

Discussion in '80-Series Tech' started by CDN_Cruiser, Jul 7, 2003.

  1. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Over the last few days I've noticed that my e-brake dash light is on intermittently even when the e-brake is 'off'.

    I use the ebrake daily and I think it is actually 'off' as (1) no sounds coming from the rear when the light is on, (2) parked on hill in neutral and released the brake - truck starts to coast.

    My sense is that it is a gummed-up sensor - where is it located? Has anyone 'cleaned' this - what did you do?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  2. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Hugh,

    Check the brake fluid level in your master cylinder. I think you will find it is at the low mark or slightly under. The brake light comes on when the level in the reservoir reaches the low mark.


    Dan.
     
  3. landtank

    landtank SILVER Star

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    Dan's probably right but there is a sensor/switch at the handle that also will turn on the light. If the fluid is low don't add any til you check your brakes pads for wear. I added fluid the first time only to have to suck it back out when the brakes needed new pads a few months later. I now watch the level to guage my pad wear.
     
  4. Seminole

    Seminole

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    Ditto on the switch at the handle. I just did this a week ago. Is the handle loose/ have play? Mine would not come on but the handle was loose enough for road vibrations to keep cancelling the cruise control. Check both (the reservoir cap switch and the ebrake handle).
     
  5. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Thanks for the tips.

    So (given that I know very little about brakes) I am to assume that as the pad wear, the brake fluid drops (more fluid needed to maintain the hydro pressure?). I will check the fluid after work. If this is the case that may make sense as I have also started to hear an occasional squeak on frnt brakes which I was going to have checked out at my next service next week. I've only got about 14,000KM (8-9K miles)on new OEM pads and rotors, it seems a bit early for new pads, but maybe not? ???

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  6. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Hugh,

    as the pads wear, the caliper pistons move outwards. the brake fluid fills in the space that was occupied by the pistons. As Rick observed, when the level is low, the pads are wearing down.
     
  7. CDN_Cruiser

    CDN_Cruiser

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    Dan and others:

    Thanks - a perfect diagnosis :)- maybe I should re-read the manual :-[

    As you noted, my fluid is just at the fill line. I also checked my records and it looks like I have more like 20,000KM on the pads (still seems a bit low for new pads, but this is a heavy beast).

    What are others getting on OEM pads?

    Cheers, Hugh
     
  8. cruiserdan

    cruiserdan SupportingVendor Emeritus Supporting Vendor Moderator

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    Hugh,

    The fluid at the add level does not indicate that the front pads are shot. Remember, you have wear at both ends. The fluid needs to fill the voids at both ends. I was getting about 20 to 24 thousand miles (32,000 to 39,000 km if I converted that correctly) out of a set of OEM front pads. Since switching to the 100 series pads I have noticed the wear-rate to be greatly reduced. Before you top-off the master it would be prudent to pull a front and a rear wheel and look at the pads so you know where you are. Don't forget, as Rick said , that if you add fluid it will need to come back out when you compress the pistons to install new pads.

    Cheers, Dan.