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Old 02-22-2017, 01:35 PM   #1
Rainprincess64
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Post 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Hello all, I am posting about my '03 Saturn Vue. So the last couple years I noticed my brake (!) light shine on once in a good while and would turn off and not come back on for a long time after restarting the car. However lately it's been coming on almost every time I drive and goes off either within a few minutes of driving or will come on not when I'm going to work (30ish min) but when I'm coming home later in the day. The pads are fine, rotors are good, I replaced the bearings a couple years ago. I did have my boyfriend fill up the brake fluid which didn't make the light stay off. It seems like my light starts to ding especially after going down or even up a hill or speed bump.

I appreciate any and all input. I did read a thread from a few years back for similar issues but I guess what I want to know is what it most likely is based on my case (I saw many suggestions and I'm a woman who's a bit of a newbie to this stuff). I also may need instructions for a newbie with pictures. I saw some pics from the other thread but I honestly had no idea what I was looking at or how to find the said sensors and such described. For those who will likely ask, I have the feared 4 cylinder model with the CVT (188k miles and still going strong).
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Old 02-25-2017, 05:05 PM   #2
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2003 VUE 2.2L
Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Update: so I decided to let my run in park for a few min before taking off a couple times lately and the light didn't come on either those two times. If I don't light comes on and chimes for a few seconds. Any ideas out there?
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

The brake warning light has two functions ... low brake fluid and/or parking brake switch is active because brake is set, or switch is sticking on or switch requires adjustment.

I've not had a problem on my Vue's but the description leads me to believe the audible warning is only active when a signal is received from the parking brake.

Thumbnail is extract from service manual.

Repost or send private message if you'd like to have instructions to service the parking brake switch or if you'd like to change the brake fluid level switch.
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File Type: jpg 03 Vue - Brake Warning.jpg (64.7 KB, 18 views)
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Old 02-25-2017, 08:43 PM   #4
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Instructions would be amazing. Is this an easy fix or is this a job for someone with experience?
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Old 02-25-2017, 09:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainprincess64 View Post
Instructions would be amazing. Is this an easy fix or is this a job for someone with experience?
Sticky parking brake switch "might" be reparable by a good cleaning ... which means removing console between seats. And you'll need to do same if switch requires replacement. I'll check those procedures when I get back home.

Same basic answer if problem is caused by brake fluid switch ... I'll check and let you know.

I'm thinking at this point that you and BF can handle this repair.

PS ... you have CVT with 188k so I'm also thinking you have someone very important watching over you!
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:14 PM   #6
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Post Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

How long would this take and how much do the parts involved cost? I actually bought the car with 120k miles 5.5 years ago. As you can understand I freaked a good bit when I heard about cvt failures after buying the car. I never checked if this transmission is original or not, doubt it. I'm sometimes amazed hasn't died on As I've put so miles on her.
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Old 02-25-2017, 11:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainprincess64 View Post
How long would this take and how much do the parts involved cost? I actually bought the car with 120k miles 5.5 years ago. As you can understand I freaked a good bit when I heard about cvt failures after buying the car. I never checked if this transmission is original or not, doubt it. I'm sometimes amazed hasn't died on As I've put so miles on her.
I've checked all possible causes of brake light with audible warning and parking brake switch is prime candidate.

The switch is replaceable - see attached file extracted from service manual - RockAuto.com has the switch for less than $4 (plus shipping).

I've attached illustration of the switch which shows two copper contacts touching each other ... this is with parking brake handle raised ... the contacts should not be touching when parking brake handle is lowered.

I would remove the console and check those contacts - its possible the contacts are still making intermittent contact when parking brake is released or perhaps there's old fluids on switch to close the circuit with parking brake off.

You might be able to cure the problem with a little cleaning or bending of the contacts .

There are a few steps to remove console - those procedures exceed forum limits for posting ... PM email address if you'd like to have.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 03 Vue - Parking Brake Switch.jpg (40.6 KB, 17 views)
Attached Files
File Type: pdf 03 Vue - PB Switch R2.pdf (70.4 KB, 19 views)
...
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:33 AM   #8
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Default Re: 2003 Saturn Vue brake light on dash

Quote:
Originally Posted by far2grumpy View Post
I've checked all possible causes of brake light with audible warning and parking brake switch is prime candidate.

The switch is replaceable - see attached file extracted from service manual - RockAuto.com has the switch for less than $4 (plus shipping).

I've attached illustration of the switch which shows two copper contacts touching each other ... this is with parking brake handle raised ... the contacts should not be touching when parking brake handle is lowered.

I would remove the console and check those contacts - its possible the contacts are still making intermittent contact when parking brake is released or perhaps there's old fluids on switch to close the circuit with parking brake off.

You might be able to cure the problem with a little cleaning or bending of the contacts .

There are a few steps to remove console - those procedures exceed forum limits for posting ... PM email address if you'd like to have.
Just sent you a PM.
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