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red lit symbol on my dash- what is it

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  • red lit symbol on my dash- what is it

    '94 Astro van- just had some brake work done, new line and adjusting, etc. Now I have a red symbol bottom right on the dash- looks kind of like a brake drum and shoes, but not sure. Just off the top- anybody know what that's all about?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2
    It sounds like they did not use the proper shoes. At a guess, the symbol is a general "something is wrong with the brakes" alert. That could be low brake fluid, or the worn brake sensor wired wrong.

    Dan
    At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and extra parts.

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    • #3
      No parts were changed except one brake line. Supposedly they cleaned everything up- could have damaged or somehow altered the sensor. Brakes work fine. Low brake fluid- that shouldn't be, but could be- is there a sensor for that on this van?
      I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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      • #4
        The owners manual http://www.vadengmpp.com/owners-manu...olet-Astro.pdf shows this symbol on p. 2-55. It states "If the warning light comes on, there could be a brake problem. Have your brake system inspected right away."
        Allan Ostling

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        • #5
          Thanks Allan. So it is a brake system warning light- now to see what to do about it.
          I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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          • #6
            I have an Audi that does the same, the wear sensors in the pads, which are just bits of wire embedded in the pad, once the insulation wears off and the inboard pad touches the disk it triggers the alarm, aka annoying light. Even changing the pad doesn't get rid of it, you have to reset the system, it can be done without a reset tool, that plugs into the car but it's a really silly method that involves turning things on and off in a preset order, very strange setup turning the headlights on then off etc etc, mad
            A visit to the garage to get it seen to is in order, perhaps something was disturbed when the brake line was changed, things are pretty close to each other, but do check brake fluid first, just in case you are loosing vital brake blood, not funny when the pedal suddenly goes to the floor!
            Mark

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            • #7
              GM definitely didn't use brake wear sensors in a 94 Astro van. Either front or rear. My guess is there is a pressure imbalance in the hydraulic system which makes sense since the brake line was repaired.
              GM did use pressure differential valves to sense loss of pressure in 1/2 of the system. Usually in combination with a metering valve and a proportioning valve.
              Joe
              edit to add that they can be a pain to recenter to get the light out too.

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              • #8
                There are in some cars "X" braking system setups. Separate for front right left rear, and the reverse.

                If one system has lower pressure, a plunger moves to one side in a sensor that connects the two, and allows a switch to close. More recent may do the same with two sensors and the vehicle controller.

                The old ones needed to be manually re-centered. Easy to do, hard to keep that way unless you re-bleed correctly.
                1601

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan

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                • #9
                  ^ what that guy said.

                  If the front had the line replaced bleed the rear out some till the light goes out, if a rear line was replaced bleed a front some.

                  One guy has to pump the brakes and watch the light while the other guy opens a bleeder slightly. When the light goes out close the bleeder.
                  Andy

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                  • #10
                    Bring it back Darryl, like the others have said the brake system warning light is on due to a pressure imbalance in the system when the line was changed. Probably nothing actually wrong with the system at this point other than the switch has to be re-centered.
                    Unless of course the light was not on initially and has come on after you took delivery of the car. If this is the case then you may be experiencing a pressure imbalance due to a brake fluid leak, possibly from the line being changed.

                    Irregardless take it back NOW.
                    Home, down in the valley behind the Red Angus
                    Bad Decisions Make Good Stories

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                    • #11
                      Golden rule, suspect first what changed last

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                      • #12
                        I used to work at a place with a fleet of Astros as company vehicles. Most of them had a warning light lit all the time. It looked more or less like a menorah. Since none of the vehicles had a manual (presumably removed for safekeeping...) and nobody else knew what the icon meant either, we call kept driving.

                        Some years later, someone told me that was the international ISO/DIN symbol for "low tire pressure." And it's so obvious and clear, there's not only no reason to put "LOW TIRE PRESSURE" text adjacent to it, but that supplementary text had been deemed to be "possibly confusing" and was officially recommended against.

                        I'm glad all those symbols are so unambiguous to *someone*, because most of them leave me befuddled. I've never managed to figure out the HVAC controls on my truck, and I used to have a Yamaha that occasionally lit an icon that unambiguously meant (as far as I was concerned...) "Insert Rectal Thermometer." Later I found that one was supposed to mean "low brake fluid." Which was probably some kind of glitch since the level in the reservoir was never low when I checked.

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                        • #13
                          The RED light comes on for one of two reason...either low brake fluid level in the master cylinder reservoir, or loss of pressure in one of the 2 hydraulic circuits. Since your vehicle doesn't use a level sensor in the master cylinder, you have a hydraulic problem. I would refrain from driving the vehicle until you sort it out.

                          Is this a 4 wheel ABS car or rear wheel only? If rear only, you have a combination valve plumbed in directly after the master cylinder. Inside this assembly there is a slider that floats in a tube between the front and rear fluid circuits. There is also an electrical switch who's probe is located between two flanges of the slider. When pressure is equal on both sides of the slider, it doesn't move. If pressure is lost in one circuit, the pressure on the other side forces the slider into the switch, completing the circuit and turning on your RED brake light. On rare occasions, once this happens, the slider sticks. You can usually recenter it by bleeding the brakes in a few different manners. Depress the pedal, open a rear bleeder until the pedal falls halfway, then open a front bleeder so that the pedal falls the rest of the way down. Then do it again opening the front bleeder first, rear bleeder second. Pay attention to fluid flow out of the bleeders also...you may have real hydraulic problem causing the issue.

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                          • #14
                            Loose wire in the brake fluid reservoir sensor, or the float is sticking if it works that way.

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