It's time to ask for help with a car problem..........

Electric Amish

Elite Member
Oct 11, 1999
23,578
1
0
I've noticed in the last couple days the my brake idiot light on the dash of my 1994 Ford Probe GT will come on occasionally when I'm braking for a stop light. It goes off after I release the brake. Can anyone give me any ideas as to the cause of this??

I checked the fluid and it's up.

Thanks

amish
 

Shack70

Platinum Member
Apr 19, 2000
2,152
0
76
Possiblities....

Check you brake pads, they mey be so low that when you push the pedal the fluid goes low.

Air in the system?

 

SmiZ

Senior member
Oct 6, 2000
869
0
0
Couple questions, does your probe have anit-lock brakes? Does the brake pedal feel 'spongy' as in not as much back pressure as you're used to? This happened in my grand prix not too long ago and I had to replace the master cylinder. OUCH. Hope you don't have the same problem, but if you checked the fluid and that's not it, bring it in to have it looked at. Brake systems are one thing you have take care of.

Because so much is riding on your tires (couldn't resist)
 

searcher

Senior member
Oct 14, 1999
290
0
0
It is possible that you have a leak and when you depress the brake pedal you are activating the (front/rear) proportioning valve. If you aren't noticing much difference in braking the leak is most likely somewhere in the rear brake lines or wheel cylinders. Check your fluid levels again.

Michael
 

ultravox

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
2,069
2
81
In my Audi if a brake light is burned and I step on the brake a warning light goes off..is your car similiarily equiped?
 

Wangel

Banned
Mar 30, 2000
1,491
0
0
The first thing to do is to check the brake fluid. Many master cylinder resivoirs have a front and back. Make sure if you have two lids, to check both front and back. Normally this light will go on when fluid becomes low. The reason the fluid might be low is normally due to brake pad wear. As the pad wears, the piston must go further into the bore, which requires more brake fluid. Probably time to have the brakes at each wheel checked too.
 

Electric Amish

Elite Member
Oct 11, 1999
23,578
1
0
Ultravox- I don't think it's equipped like that because it only happens once in awhile. If a brake light was out, it should do it every time.

smiZ- Yes it is anti-lock. Disks all around. Pedal pressure doesn't SEEM to be any different than before... I hope it's not the MC...

Wangel- It only has one resevoir.

I checked the fluid level at rest, so I'll get my wife to depress the pedal and then check the fluid level. I don't think the pads are that badly worn. I checked them and they still have AT LEAST 1/8" until they hit the metal warning uhhhh....thingamabob... ;)

WITH THE EXCEPTION of the rear passenger side. It has worn a lot more than the others due to the fact that it has a tendency to stick when the e-brake is on and then released. Could that cause a problem? More fluid going to one caliper??

thanks.

amish
 

thedarkwolf

Diamond Member
Oct 13, 1999
9,000
110
106
Push the brake pedal all the way down and hold it with a constant pressure for atleast 10 secs. If the brake pedal starts going down again it probably means the mastercylinder is going bad, even if it doesn't I would still say its probably the master cylinder. They are normally not very expensive, $15 - $50, and are fairly easy to install so even if you have to have somebody else do it it shouldn't cost a lot. It could just be something in the abs screwing things up but I think most of them have a seperate light.
 

Pacfanweb

Lifer
Jan 2, 2000
13,149
57
91
Most likely it is low on fluid and just gets lower when you brake. Check the fluid. If it is low, don't just add fluid, check the brake pads.
 

UnixFreak

Platinum Member
Nov 27, 2000
2,008
0
76
Take it in to your local tire dealer, (Les Schwab, goodyear,etc)and get it looked at, usually its free. Dont go to an actual mechanic. you could have something simple like low brake fluid, but it could be a bad master cylinder, or a leak. You may also need your pads replaced. I would not mess with it, get right in and get this checked,
this is the most dangerous problem your car can have, and brakes tend to give little warning before they go out completely. Yours and others lives may be at stake here. Take it from someone who's seen the bad results of a lot of accidents. (used to drive tow truck).
 

Fatdog

Golden Member
Nov 10, 2000
1,001
0
76
Like UnixFreak said don't screw around with this. It sounds like your anti-lock is going bad. I just went through this nightmare with my Bonneville SSE. Take the car to a Ford dealer that you trust and have them put it on the computer. The anti-lock system stores trouble codes just like the main engine managment computer on all cars. On my Bonnie, the motor for the anti-lock burnt out. It started out gradulaly, coming to a stop the brake light would come on, and go out when you took your foot off the brake. After a while, the light just stayed on, and finally the brakes went completely away. I had to use the emergency brakes to get the car to the dealer. The worst case scenario was $3000, I almost strangled the sevice rep on the spot. After fighting with the dealer and having 3 different mechanics look at it, before they figured out the actual problem, the final cost was $837.

Good luck with it. Hopefully it'll be something simple(read cheap)on yours.