wrx 02 ABS n HANDBREAK lights up
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This is a discussion on wrx 02 ABS n HANDBREAK lights up within the General Maintenance, Troubleshooting & Accidents. forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; help me with it.... its on all the time...what to do with it???...

  1. #1
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    wrx 02 ABS n HANDBREAK lights up

    help me with it.... its on all the time...what to do with it???

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  3. #2
    Registered User supranai's Avatar
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    Check the brake fluid resevoir to see if it is low. That will set off brake and abs lights on some toyota and honda models. I'm not sure about subarus tho. It would be a good start.

  4. #3
    Registered User Sarra's Avatar
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    The 'Handbrake' light isn't a 'handbrake' light, it's a 'master warning light for the service brakes'. The 'service brakes' are the things that make the car slow down when you press the brake pedal.

    There is a sensor in your brake lines that consists of a ball, and a switch. In the event of a fluid leak at a caliper or on a line, the change in pressure pushes that ball so that it closes the switch, and turns that red "BRAKE" light on on your dash. This usually happens when you stomp the brakes, and brake line explodes or pops off or whatever. Since that circuit has activated (been closed), it is also disabling your ABS, to prevent damage to the ABS pump, since it is possible that fluid will drain from part or all of the ABS unit.

    This could be minor.

    Or you could lose ALL BRAKES IN YOUR CAR. I would recommend you tow your car to a dealership for diagnosis. It sure beats even the chance of going on Mr. Toad's wild ride. If your brakes are really spongey, then you probably have blown a brake line already and only have two functional brake calipers on your car right now. Otherwise, it's probably a wiring problem somewhere, and a dealership will need to fix it anyway because that is a critical circuit, since it can disable the ABS system as well. It also sounds like either a complex problem (a cut wire cannot cause this, it would have to be a short to power somewhere), or a hydraulic problem, which will require proper technique to fix anyway. Even if it isn't a problem with wiring, if the little ball has moved on it's own for some reason, it needs to be reset, and that can be tricky to do on your own unless you know exactly what you are doing.

  5. #4
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    The simplest explanation is low brake fluid level due to normal wear of pads. As stated check the level of fluid, and if it is low top it off with correct fluid provided you can exclude a leak or failure. If you cannot confidently exclude the possibility of a leak or failure, by all means have the car flatbedded (NEVER, EVER have it towed) for repair. Think simple first and work from there. Even if the fluid is simply low due to normal pad wear you still need to determine IMO whether the pads are still within safe spec, or whether you need to replace the pads. For fun, check the ABS fuse too just in case.
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    Registered User Sarra's Avatar
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    Eh. The 2004 has a fluid level monitor built into the res. on the master cylinder? I'll have to look up if that shuts down ABS as well, but I would doubt that it would.

    Just be glad it isn't a Hydraboost system. Good god those are a pain to work on.

  7. #6
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarra View Post
    Eh. The 2004 has a fluid level monitor built into the res. on the master cylinder? I'll have to look up if that shuts down ABS as well, but I would doubt that it would.
    I'm looking at the manual and the diagnostics for the ABS are not DIY anyway, so the car is probably better off flatbedded to a shop... but from memory (I don't know what section it's in and I've got a bugeye) wouldn't low fluid level disable the ABS regardless of pressure in the system?
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
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  8. #7
    Registered User Sarra's Avatar
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    Not necessarily. If the res. gets low, it's pretty hard to get air into the ABS. It's only when you get a ton of air into the lines, or the lines go dry that you get air into the ABS system. Or, a local SOIC member experienced this, an ABS line gets rubbed through and you lose your brake fluid through the ABS line itself (he went on Mr. Toad's Wild ride, and was very lucky to not total his car).

    Essentially, a low res. has a "low" chance of getting air into the ABS, where when you have a brake caliper explode, line explode, or some other catastrophic failure of the hydraulic system, it's guaranteed that you will get air into the ABS system. If you do have a brake hose not connected to anything, and the ABS activates, I think some types of pumps can burn out, or be destroyed in other ways, by actuating with air in them, and you would be highly likely to have 2 wheels lock in panic braking if you only have two wheels with usable brakes. At the very least, getting the air out of an ABS system is one of the biggest pains in the ass in the entire universe, and I for one, am thankful I have never had to do it. Yet.

  9. #8
    He simply abides. SD_GR's Avatar
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    You know, I wonder if the poster's battery light is also on, indicating a charging system problem... Nah, they'd have posted that too I suppose. OK consensus seems to be have the car looked at.
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    The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. Ernest Hemingway
    I lied. I cheated. I bribed men to cover the crimes of other men. I am an accessory to murder. But the most damning thing of all... I think I can live with it. And if I had to do it all over again - I would. Benjamin Sisko
    DISCLAIMER: Opinions expressed are the author's alone and are inherently worthless.

  10. #9
    Registered User Sarra's Avatar
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    Well... If the coolant temp is pegged, the fuel level is pegged, the low fuel light is on, the ABS light is on, and the red Brake light is on, then it's a ground problem. The ground on the driver side, front intake runner came loose, and all hell breaks loose in the cluster when that happens. Tighten that ground and that will fix that. HOWEVER, the BRAKE light will only be illuminated at half strength, since it will be forced to run in series with something else.

    Sometimes, people won't associate one thing with another. Just throwing this out there as a possibility.

  11. #10
    Moderator T0rque's Avatar
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    We should probably stop throwing confusion at this guy.

    OP- Easiest thing to do is check your brake fluid. If your brake fluid is low remove all 4 wheels and check the inner brake pads and outer brake pads at all 4 wheels. If they are not in need of replacement check for fluid near calipers or brake hoses. Find fluid, you found the leak. Simply spray water on anything the brake fluid has come in contact with and call a tow truck, let them know your vehicle is all wheel drive. If your not mechanically inclined and dont know how to jack your car up and take off the wheels, the brake system is not something to ignore. Call a tow truck and send it to a reputable shop that will use OEM Parts to repair your brakes.


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