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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-04-2019, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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Brake warning light on since -20

I drive a 97 Concorde in perfect mechanical condition, but since the polar vortex hit a few days ago, the brake warning light has been on and so far I can't figure out why.
Things I've checked:
1) Parking brake is fully released. When setting PB, the warning light gets slightly brighter and when releasing it goes back to slightly dimmer, but doesn't turn off. PB fully sets and fully releases.
2) Brake fluid is nearly full. No leaks.
3) Brake fluid level sensor connector is tight, but I couldn't get my hand in the narrow space underneath to unplug and check terminals for corrosion.
The light has gone off a few times but come back on shortly thereafter.
This vehicle does not have ABS so that is not part of the equation. I don't know of anything else that could trigger this light. Am I missing something?
Thanks,
Mike
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-05-2019, 07:19 AM
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Looks like you're on the right track looking at the master cylinder. Troubleshooting that light without ABS pretty much takes you straight to the level sensor (presuming that all of your wiring is good). Take a look at the attachment for troubleshooting steps, but you've done everything up to that point already...
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File Type: jpg Brake Light.jpg (150.9 KB, 6 views)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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A couple questions...

Can the sensor be resistance checked? Also, how would I remove the sensor...can it be removed w/o losing all the fluid?
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 06:58 PM
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Seeing as how it's labeled as a "Switch"...I would think it would either be almost zero resistance or super high resistance.

You could also try removing the connector from the switch and jumper the two pins and verify the warning light goes out. With that test you can verify it's the switch itself or something back in the wiring.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 07:24 PM
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Some info regarding the switch:

Low Brake Fluid Switch
The low brake fluid switch is located on brake fluid reservoir on master cylinder. See Fig. 11 . If brake fluid
level becomes low, switch contacts close and BRAKE warning light is turned on. Low brake fluid switch does
not disable ABS operation. Low brake fluid switch may also be referred to as brake fluid level switch.

And this little bit of info that's useless!

LOW BRAKE FLUID SWITCH
Removal & Installation
Low brake fluid switch is located on brake fluid reservoir, on master cylinder. See Fig. 11 . Service information
not available.

I'd say you'd have to drain the Master Cylinder to replace the switch.

I can't find anything in the parts catalog regarding a part number for the Low Fluid Switch at all. So I don't know if it can be replaced by itself? Might be available only with a replacement master cylinder?

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-09-2019, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, especially the useless info. Lol

In the troubleshooting flowchart above, it states "Check fluid level switch and master cylinder float for proper operation". Does this reservoir have a float? I can't see thru the fluid to tell what's in there. Not to mention I haven't been successful at locating a replacement part to know what it looks like.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:36 PM
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Does your car have ABS? Traction Control?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 02:52 PM
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It's tough to find a good picture of the Reservoir but here's one. It looks like the fluid level switch is molded into the reservoir and not replaceable. You'd have to replace the reservoir.



That master cylinder is available on Ebay for $19.89 with free shipping.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Brake-Maste...AAAOSw9GVb5sTC
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-10-2019, 09:15 PM
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Mine does this also once in awhile, maybe every few months. I've just ignored it...

Brakes and e-brake are working fine, fluid is good.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 10:17 AM Thread Starter
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No ABS, no traction control. Thanks for the the info/link on that master cylinder. I'm going to try removing the harness and jumpering the two contacts to see what that does.

When I unplug the switch harness, should that make the light stay ON or OFF?

Last edited by mjgrantham; 02-11-2019 at 10:23 AM.
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 10:25 AM
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Low Brake Fluid Switch
The low brake fluid switch is located on brake fluid reservoir on master cylinder. See Fig. 11 . If brake fluid
level becomes low, switch contacts close and BRAKE warning light is turned on
. Low brake fluid switch does
not disable ABS operation. Low brake fluid switch may also be referred to as brake fluid level switch.

See above bold.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:06 PM Thread Starter
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Ahh, I got it now. I've finally gotten under there to unplug the harness and viola! The light went off. Jumping the connectors turned the light on, so the problem indeed is the switch.
I would like to suction out the reservoir fluid to see the sensor. Do you suppose that could introduce air into the system if I don't step on the brake pedal?
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:15 PM
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There won't be a problem with air in the system by suctioning the brake fluid out. Just keep the car off and don't touch the brake pedal.

Don't re use the old Brake fluid. Get new fluid. According to the FSM it'll be DOT 3 type.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:16 PM
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If the sensor has a float...it could very well be it sprung a leak and is filled with brake fluid and dropped to the bottom of the reservoir.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 02-11-2019, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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"If the sensor has a float...it could very well be it sprung a leak and is filled with brake fluid and dropped to the bottom of the reservoir."

That's exactly what I was thinking. And the sensor definitely appears to be molded into the reservoir.
I had in mind to use new brake fluid, but thanks for the tip. It's amazing how grimy it gets. I flushed my lines and reservoir a few years back and it's brown now.

Last edited by mjgrantham; 02-11-2019 at 03:38 PM.
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