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Old 08-24-2010, 04:37 PM   #1
Someclown
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2002 VUE 3.0L
Default Brake light on dash ?

Does anyone have any idea as to why my brake light with exclamation mark on the dash comes on when I drive my vue, it comes on after driving for a while and stays on until I turn the key off then restart, it will stay off for a while and come back on again after driving for a period of time and sometimes doesn't come on at all. I just installed new brake rotors, pads, rear shoes, made sure the e-brake is not on or cables sticking, changed the fluid, flushed new fluid through the lines, a complete bleed of the system hoping all this would solve my problem but to no avail. All four brakes are working I tested on gravel to make sure and the brake pedal is high and hard like it should be with new brakes
The brakes operate well but my manual says to pull off the road as soon as possible and have the vehicle taken in for service.
any ideas appreciated.
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Old 08-24-2010, 04:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

it either think emergency brake is on (switch?) or brake pressure loss.
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Old 08-24-2010, 05:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someclown View Post
Does anyone have any idea as to why my brake light with exclamation mark on the dash comes on when I drive my vue, it comes on after driving for a while and stays on until I turn the key off then restart, it will stay off for a while and come back on again after driving for a period of time and sometimes doesn't come on at all. I just installed new brake rotors, pads, rear shoes, made sure the e-brake is not on or cables sticking, changed the fluid, flushed new fluid through the lines, a complete bleed of the system hoping all this would solve my problem but to no avail. All four brakes are working I tested on gravel to make sure and the brake pedal is high and hard like it should be with new brakes
The brakes operate well but my manual says to pull off the road as soon as possible and have the vehicle taken in for service.
any ideas appreciated.
If we can believe brake wiring diagram the problem can be caused by: (1) low brake fluid switch, (2) bad parking brake switch, (3) associated wiring for either switch, or (4) BCM.

I'll vote for one of onefunkar's choices and suspect parking brake switch.

Do you need instructions to access (temporary disconnect) either switch?
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 02 Vue - Brake Warning.pdf (14.5 KB, 388 views)
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Old 08-25-2010, 10:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Thanks for the help guys, and Far2 thanks but I have the FSM, I will check the e-brake switch and keep you posted.
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Old 08-25-2010, 11:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Check your brake pads while you're at it too. It may be a low fluid warning caused by the wear of the pads- causing more fluid to be in the lines and not in the reservoir.
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Old 08-25-2010, 02:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

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Originally Posted by Tom92SCm View Post
Check your brake pads while you're at it too. It may be a low fluid warning caused by the wear of the pads- causing more fluid to be in the lines and not in the reservoir.
Thanks Tom92SCm, I believe my original post states I put new rotors, pads etc. etc. etc. maybe have another look at the original post
Also looked for leaking lines and found none, normally if a line is leaking your pedal will slowly drop when holding the brake pedal down but the pressure and pedal remain at the same when held for a period of time making me suspect a bad switch or wiring as onefunkar and far2 stated.
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Old 08-26-2010, 12:27 AM   #7
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Could be a bad switch in the brake reservoir. If it were the parking brake switch, you would have a warning tone (at least on the '05's). And since you did everything else except replace the lines, I'm leaning more toward a bad relay or switch in the reservoir. Either that or your car is haunted by the spirit of that famed '58 Plymouth Fury
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Old 11-01-2011, 07:14 PM   #8
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Happy Re: Brake light on dash ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Someclown View Post
Does anyone have any idea as to why my brake light with exclamation mark on the dash comes on when I drive my vue, it comes on after driving for a while and stays on until I turn the key off then restart, it will stay off for a while and come back on again after driving for a period of time and sometimes doesn't come on at all...
This was happening in my VUE too. I solved it a few months ago by going to a deserted road early on a weekend morning and repeatedly alternating between driving in reverse and making hard stops. Maybe this readjusted the rear/drum brakes, maybe it freed something stuck in the brake lines, maybe it freed a stuck brake fluid sensor? I don't know. But since doing this the random warning light in the instrument cluster with the exclamation mark for the brakes hasn't come back even one time.
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Old 11-01-2011, 09:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Had the same issue on our '04 last year...it ended up being a bad brake fluid level sensor. Its very easy to swap. The sensor is at the very bottom of the break fluid reservoir. It's kind of hard to see, but if you find the electrical connector, you basically just disconnect the wire harness from the sensor and then just slide the old sensor out. The replacement goes in in the reverse order. An aftermarket sensor runs between $60 and $70. I ended up getting a great deal on a used brake fluid reservoir from an '06 Torrent with 2,000 miles on it on eBay that included the sensor. I made the swap and the problem was fixed for about $30 and 5 minutes of my time
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:13 PM   #10
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Have the same problem as described by the OP. On a 2005 Vue 3.5, each time the warning light turn on it "chime" for 4-5 seconds though. It happens randomly. It could be after 2 minutes of driving or 20 minutes.

Already tried:

-Verified the fluid level OK.
-Disconnected the low fluid sensor while driving. After the first drive, it turned on again.
-Removed and inspected and cleaned the hand brake switch. OK It operates normally.
-Disconnected the battery for an hour or so in hope to reset the BCM. To no avail.


Since I can ear the chime each time the light is fired, can we say it is in the hand brake circuit instead of the low fluid level switch ? Does the fluid level switch do chime when turned on ?

I'm running out of idea.... Feel free to post some suggestions.

TIA

Last edited by pomerlo; 09-10-2012 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:34 PM   #11
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pomerlo View Post
Have the same problem as described by the OP. On a 2005 Vue 3.5, each time the warning light turn on it "chime" for 4-5 seconds though. It happens randomly. It could be after 2 minutes of driving or 20 minutes.

Already tried:

-Verified the fluid level OK.
-Disconnected the low fluid sensor while driving. After the first drive, it turned on again.
-Removed and inspected and cleaned the hand brake switch. OK It operates normally.
-Disconnected the battery for an hour or so in hope to reset the BCM. To no avail.


Since I can ear the chime each time the light is fired, can we say it is in the hand brake circuit instead of the low fluid level switch ? Does the fluid level switch do chime when turned on ?

I'm running out of idea.... Feel free to post some suggestions.

TIA
I agree with you - if we can believe the GM service manual - chime sounds only when BCM detects parking brake is enabled (and ECM advises speed is above 3.1 mph).

I've attached a few thumbnails - if it were my project - I'd connect ohm-meter to the park brake switch and verify the line to BCM is not grounded when brake is released.

You mentioned cleaning the switch ... I've heard these little guys can get pretty gunked up ... and you didn't specifically mention checking for open/closed contacts.

My apologies if you have checked, and I'd still check wire leading to BCM to make sure its: (1) not pinched and touching ground, or (2) the BCM input driver is not shorted and keeping light on.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 05 Vue - Brake Warning.jpg (170.3 KB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg 05 Vue - Park Brake Audible Warn.jpg (85.1 KB, 85 views)
File Type: jpg 05 Vue - Park Brake Schematic.jpg (150.2 KB, 94 views)
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Old 09-10-2012, 05:53 PM   #12
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Pull the handbrake up a click while you're moving around 10 MPH. It should continuously dingdingdingdingdingdingdingding until you come to a stop or fall below like 3 MPH. That should allow you to differentiate between the handbrake switch and the fluid switch.
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Old 09-11-2012, 11:37 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

thanks far2grumpy and ryanB3 for the info.

I'm glad to have the confirmation about the chime.

far2grumpy you put a doubt in my mind about my test of the hand brake switch..... I will disconnect the switch for a couples of days and see if the problem still there. Next i will try to trace the wire up to the BCM and see if there is a possible pinch or damage of any sort.

Thanks for your input... I will report back with the results if any....
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:27 AM   #14
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Update:

Too bad .... Even with the hand brake switch disconnected, the problem still there.

The only test remaining is to test for a pinched wire between the BCM and the hand brake switch. I might choose to redo the wire from BCM -> switch if nothing obvious is found. Because if the wire is the fault here I'm 99% sure it is an intermittent ground and this is difficult to pin point.

If this test also fail, does this mean a faulty BCM ?

Can someone indicate me where the BCM is located ? How many connector at the BCM ? If my memory serve me well, the Hand brake switch is light/blue ?


Will report with results !
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Old 09-14-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by pomerlo View Post
Can someone indicate me where the BCM is located ? How many connector at the BCM ? If my memory serve me well, the Hand brake switch is light/blue ?


Will report with results !
BCM is behind HVAC control panel ... radio must be removed to access. This means pulling IP bezel and storage compartment. The bezel is held with snap fasteners. Apply gentle pressure starting with lower section.

The BCM has four connectors ... park brake wire is light-blue and is routed to connector # 2 - contact A2.

C2 is the 24-contact grey connector (C3 is 24-contact pink connector).

See the thumbnail for guide to locate contact.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BCM Park Brake.jpg (105.1 KB, 77 views)
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Old 09-14-2012, 02:36 PM   #16
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Again you put another doubt in my mind by mentionning removing the radio. Because the radio was replaced with an aftermarket one about a year ago, it could be that I've squeezed a wire there !!

Again, thanks a bunch far2grumpy I appreciate your help!

Will post back the result
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:48 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Update:

I redo the wire from the BCM to the Parking Brake switch and the result still the same. I'm 100 % sure that was the correct wire since the parking brake light turns on when I apply it.

To me, the only thing left to suspect is the BCM. I won't spend hundreds of dollars on another BCM because this car is pretty close to his end of life.

I was thinking of disconnecting the light and the chime. Can I cut the wire at the BCM ? Maybe you have the diagram far2grumpy ?
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Old 11-27-2012, 12:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

I've been suffering with similar issues on my '04 RL Vue for a while now. I can remember how a couple years ago, one day as I got in and started it to leave work, before I even put it in reverse, I got the fast "bingbingbingbing!" chime for 4-5 seconds (with no dash lights). I almost always pull up the parking brake when parking, so I've probably just worn out the switch, but it didn't have the "(!)brake" light on the dash lit.... so it confused me to say the least.

The occasional "bingbingbing!" at startup with no dash lights got a little more frequent over the last few years, but it doesn't happen every time, by any means. HOWEVER... in the last few months, the dash light for (!)brake has decided ever-more frequently that it just wants to stay on ALL THE DANG TIME. I have tried whacking the e-brake handle back forcefully (while parked and while moving), and it sometimes makes it go away, but usually no change. At first it only came on when I mashed the gas and accelerated hard. Now it's on nearly all the time. Sometimes it goes off for a few seconds just to come back on.

I replaced my front pads and rotors and my rear shoes and drums and bled the lines last year, and I'm noticing a LOT more brake dust in the rear so I am probably not adjusted correctly back in the back. I was replacing my shocks and struts this weekend and banged on the drum and was shocked that a LOT of black dust came out. I'm probably dragging shoes. Yeesh.

Any other guesses as to why my dash brake light is on almost all the time? It's driving me nuts. Arrrrr.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:40 AM   #19
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Quote:
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Any other guesses as to why my dash brake light is on almost all the time? It's driving me nuts. Arrrrr.
See the thumbnail for IPC brake warning light. The light is connected to park brake and brake fluid reservoir.

I've had problems with the coolant level switch on a couple of Vue's.
Do you suppose your brake warn light is associated with the brake fluid reservoir switch?

A gunked switch could explain why light came on when accelerating.

I believe I would remove the connector next time light stays on and check results.
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Old 11-30-2012, 11:38 AM   #20
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Default Re: Brake light on dash ?

Ok, this is embarrassing... Evidently, after my last brake job, as the pads and shoes settled in, it must have sucked down more of the brake fluid. I checked the reservoir and it was very near the "low" marking, which explains why (at least at first) the dash light only came on when I was accelerating hard - the fluid in the reservoir was sloshing away from the sensor (I'm guessing) and it was detecting low fluid. As the pads and shoes wore down, ever so slightly more fluid drained out of the reservoir and into the lines, to the point where only when it was really warm did the light ever seem to shut off (or if I was on a downhill grade, perhaps?).

I topped off the fluid to the upper fill level, and guess what, no more dash light. Ugh. I'm a bonehead.

Thanks for the tip about the sensor in the reservoir, I didn't know about that. Once you mentioned that the sensor may be gummed up, I realized I should at least check the fluid level, and sure enough, that's all it was.
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