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Old 11-01-2007, 02:08 AM   #1
norabder
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Default Weird brake issues.

I've been having a weird rash of brake issues in the last couple of days. Both times driving to the same bank from work go figure. First as I pulled into the bank the brake idiot light comes on. Checked to see if I forgot the e-brake it was down. So I test the brakes they work so shut the car off. Go in come out turn it on the light comes on, when I press the brakes. Turn the car back off and on same thing its out until I push on the brakes. Say screw it go get food down the road shut off come out and start the car the lights out and stays out.
Second thing which has happened before is the ABS light comes on and there is a running pump like sound from under the hood. I stopped at a stop sign and could hear it with the engine running, turn the car off and it still was running or making the noise. Turn the car back on still does and the light comes on. Turn it off then on it goes out the pump noise goes away and the light is out. Drove it back to work from the bank car rested for 4 hours and then home 15 miles or so away no problem at all.

Any Ideas ?? The brakes work fine after each thing, I added brake fluid after the first but it really wasn't that low.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:50 AM   #2
Gil
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check your fluid level.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:29 AM   #3
jey
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Yes, let's start with the maintenance questions first - when was the last time you flushed the brake fluid?
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:31 AM   #4
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gil_ong View Post
check your fluid level.
Check your reading comprehension.

Quote:
Originally Posted by norabder View Post
Any Ideas ?? The brakes work fine after each thing, I added brake fluid after the first but it really wasn't that low.
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:04 AM   #5
Gil
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well screw me!!
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Old 11-01-2007, 10:40 AM   #6
norabder
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Pretty much flushed the lines a couple of months ago when I added stainless lines and full synthetic. Haven't noticed any leaks anywhere and like I said the level hasn't dropped.

I also added 03 Rs two pots the same time as the stainless lines, not sure if they might be part of the issue but like I said I really haven't had any issues at all before or since the change.
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Old 11-01-2007, 11:27 AM   #7
janikphoto
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well, the abs comes on when the car thinks it is about to skid/lock up. The parking brake light is on when the parking brake is activated. Maybe you have a kink in your line that's keeping the parking break clamped down? Just a wild guess. Check for a dragging caliper or a stuck line.
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:37 PM   #8
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by norabder View Post
Pretty much flushed the lines a couple of months ago when I added stainless lines and full synthetic. Haven't noticed any leaks anywhere and like I said the level hasn't dropped.

I also added 03 Rs two pots the same time as the stainless lines, not sure if they might be part of the issue but like I said I really haven't had any issues at all before or since the change.
Did the system drain completely when you were installing all this stuff? There could be air in the ABS pump. I don't know why it wouldn't have become evident before, though.

When it comes to ABS issues I pretty much just accept I'm going to need the dealer to diagnose it. I vaguely recall the last time I had an intermittent ABS light the tech told me they couldn't pull a code from the ABS unless the light was on. I have something in the ABS system that about once every 6 months decides to act up, but I've never been able to locate the fault because it clears itself by the time I get it to the dealer to check it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by janikphoto View Post
well, the abs comes on when the car thinks it is about to skid/lock up. The parking brake light is on when the parking brake is activated. Maybe you have a kink in your line that's keeping the parking break clamped down? Just a wild guess. Check for a dragging caliper or a stuck line.
The "BRAKE" light also comes on if the fluid in the reservoir is low. He addressed that already, but it could be an intermittent fault in the level switch.

And I'm not sure what you're referring to with "a kink in the line" for the parking brake. It's a cable-operated system, and it doesn't involve the calipers at all.
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Old 11-01-2007, 09:45 PM   #9
janikphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
The "BRAKE" light also comes on if the fluid in the reservoir is low. He addressed that already, but it could be an intermittent fault in the level switch.
Oh, I try to read any threads that I contribute to, but I must've missed his description...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
And I'm not sure what you're referring to with "a kink in the line" for the parking brake. It's a cable-operated system, and it doesn't involve the calipers at all.
Well, it should be obvious that a cable-operated system could kink.

and the caliper comment was not directly related to the parking brake comment. Jeez...
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Old 11-02-2007, 01:09 AM   #10
Patrick Olsen
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Well, it should be obvious that a cable-operated system could kink.
Really? I had no idea. How would a parking brake cable get kinked? How many people do you know of who have parking brake cable kinking problems? Once a parking brake cable is kinked (which is the obvious explanation for an intermittent "BRAKE" light), how does it magically unkink itself? Are there gnomes screwing around with his braking system?

Quote:
Originally Posted by janikphoto View Post
and the caliper comment was not directly related to the parking brake comment. Jeez...
So what was it related to? Did it have anything to do with this thread, or did you just want to mention parts of the brake system for fun?
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Old 11-02-2007, 05:07 PM   #11
01gtlimited
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about the parking brake:
i suppose it would be possible for the cable to kink and hang up. however, my intuition tells me it would be more likely for there to be some corrosion inside the cable sheath that would hang the cable up now and again. however, i'm not sure how relevant this information is to the problem. i'm not sure, but i would imagine the sensor for the parking brake is on the handle assembly somewhere. if the cable was hanging up and not releasing the brake all the way, the handle would likely still go all the way down. my best bet on the brake light would be an intermittent fault in the brake fluid level sensor circuit.

as far as the abs acting up, i'm not sure what to say. wheel speed sensors are a good place to start looking, since the abs looks at them to detect wheel lockup. many times, if it sees a disparate, inappropriate, or absent signal from one or more sensors, it will deactivate the system because it figures it's getting unreliable information. again, wheel speed sensors can be intermittent, and may not set a code if the fault is not currently present.

i'd be curious to see how this turns out.
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Old 11-02-2007, 07:17 PM   #12
Jonathan
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I agree with 01gtlimited.

Okay so you changed the front calipers, Caliper brackets, and rotors from the wimpy stock Legacy "L" size, to the larger more robost Impreza RS/ Legacy Outback/Legacy GT brake set up.

Did you paint the calipers, Caliper brakets, and other associated hardware ?

Did you use any form of a spray "Brake Cleaning" product ?

I am thinking you somehow got something that is somehow interfering with the speed sensors on one or more wheels. In other more simpiler terms, somehow the computer is not seeing a rotational speed signal from one or more wheels SOMETIMES and this is giving the ABS system fits... it knows some wheels are rotating, and perhaps doesnt know why its not getting a signal from another wheel.

I would DISABLE the ABS (pull the fuse?), until you can actually sit down and play with it and check out the operating condition of each of the speed sensours...

Obviously reading up on the Hayes and/or Chiltons manual Subaru ABS braking system might be a good first step, (if you have not done so) just so you know where to look for the ABS speed sensors. IIRC, there is a "tone ring" (A set of funny looking gear teeth) on the axles (or possibly brake rotors ?) that are only used to generate a "pulse" signal for the ABS system. If one of these "tone rings" has been removed, broken, mis-aligned, or covered in several coats of high-temperature brake caliper paint... the ABS speed sensor may not be receiving an especially reliable "pulse" signal. Something as simple as this could be giving your ABS system fits.
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Old 11-02-2007, 10:24 PM   #13
janikphoto
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen View Post
Really? I had no idea. How would a parking brake cable get kinked? How many people do you know of who have parking brake cable kinking problems? Once a parking brake cable is kinked (which is the obvious explanation for an intermittent "BRAKE" light), how does it magically unkink itself? Are there gnomes screwing around with his braking system?


So what was it related to? Did it have anything to do with this thread, or did you just want to mention parts of the brake system for fun?
Jeez, pat. In all the years you've been here, you've never been so mean to me. You wake up on the wrong side of the bed?!?


I listed a kinked cable as a possibilty. Yeah, it was a stupid idea. I should've thought it through more. I figured that a parking brake stuck, well, it might just cause extra friction, causing heat, causing parts to malfunction, causing a light to come on. It was a dumb string of events. Now, would you like a little a-1 sauce on me, assuming you are done flaming me?!?


...and I DID want to mention other brake parts, but not for fun. It ultimately sounded like a caliper issue (whether or not a line kink was related to it), so I thought a double check of the calipers was in order.

I always respected your posts over the years, even the ones I didn't agree with. This jumping on a fellow nasioc member thing changes my view a bit. It's not like I'm some boy racer noob spouting off trash talk...

(now where's that crying imoticon? )
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Old 11-03-2007, 01:49 AM   #14
norabder
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Well the brakes are not painted I thought about it but didn't do it. The lines are not in the OEM spots as the stainless can't be run that way, they have been secured though. I haven't seen or felt any problems since and probably won't for another month, Knock on wood and hope I don't, its a quark or something.
when I had the old L brakes there was a drain right at a stop sign that if I hit just right there would be a clunk and you would hear the pump. I believe it was just the abs kicking in. With the new ones it doesn't do that or I haven't hit it right.

I don't know if this could be the problem but if one side drags slightly would that be enough to get the abs light or I could have had a rock or something could that cause the abs to do what it did?
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