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Brake pad warning light – always on despite breakpads being fine

Discussion in 'Audi S4/A4/A4 Cab (B7 Chassis)' started by marballs, May 5, 2014.

  1. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    I’ve learnt to live with it, but it is annoying. My brake pad warning lights stay on, despite the brake pads being fine.

    This is confirmed by Audi and this is on my :
    Audi A4 Avant S Line SE, 56 plate (Sept 2006).

    As it happens it did start occurring after a service at Audi (about 2 weeks)

    Audi have quoted about £400 or something to fix it, but this is too much.

    Anyone else had this and know of a cheaper fix?
    #1
  2. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Check if the wires actually plugged in & also if its been damaged at all.
    #2
  3. ruairi83
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    ruairi83 Well-Known Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Had same problem turned out to be as Nigel said the wire from sensor on pad nipped. I just connect two wires and used electrical tape. Did the job until replaced them last week so no probs anymore
    #3
  4. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    hmm, only thing is I would not have the first idea in how to do any of this. So would a private garage look at this for me at a reasonable price. It would be nice to have it working properly again.

    Do you reckon Audi knocked it when doing the service?
    #4
  5. Wiggy_
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    Wiggy_ Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    It could be your inside pads? Also thr above.. probably a damaged wire. Vrry easy to check and see mate.
    #5
  6. Wiggy_
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    Wiggy_ Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Also doubt audi will of touched that during a service.
    #6
  7. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Note that when the message first came on, as I had recently had a service, I took it back to Audi, who said they would check and confirmed that the break pads are fine.
    they quoted me a cost to fix the warning light that was high.
    If it was an easy fix, I would have thought Audi would have put it right at the time. But maybe that's not policy and the policy is to quote for the fix. Maybe they simply looked at the break pads to make sure they are not worn.


    Anyway, welcome any suggestions how I (who will be unable to do anything but the most basic tasks, and I mean basic) could approach this without paying Audi about £350 or something like that.

    Thanks again.
    #7
  8. Wiggy_
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    Wiggy_ Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Did you ask specifically what they were quoating you to do? Then wed know if they are speaking the truth.. what was the quote if you dont mind me asking
    #8
  9. Wiggy_
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    Wiggy_ Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Just noticed the price sorry. But yeh did u not ask what theu wanted 350 for exactly. Or what they had too do.
    #9
  10. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 5, 2014]
    £350 to stop the light comeing on ?
    have you got that on paper id love to see it
    i could have the light sorted in half hour wheel off sort it wheel on done.
    #10
  11. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    it was the verbal estimate cost the sales person gave. Bear in mind I had taken my car back into Audi to investigate why the brake warning light had come on right after a service. I was understandably frustrated to be told they would have to take it for analysis and because it could be electrical fault it might be hard to diagnose etc. etc. and £350 was given as a possible price.

    But they also told me £400 to replace the Glove box which does not open (covered in another post).
    #11
  12. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 5, 2014]
    just take wheel off and check wire
    if no damage unplug and clean up and refit
    #12
  13. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    Due to another fault, I'm due to go to Kwik fit and have one of my tyres swapped around. Do you think I could ask them to have a quick look at the same time?
    Is it obvious to see when the wheel is off what I'm looking for.
    Does anyone have a stock photo.
    note, I'm the type of person that would likely call the RAC to change a tyre, unless I was feeling super confident or they were going to be ages, then I might give it a nervous go.
    I did achieve a wheel change once an my old Mondeo, but I had a friend with me who knew more about this type of thing.
    #13
  14. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 5, 2014]
    where are you from
    dont ask kwik fit they could balls the lot up or say you need pads
    #14
  15. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    West London.
    #15
  16. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 5, 2014]
    to far for me to come
    #16
  17. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 5, 2014]
    thanks for the thought though. Where are you based?
    #17
  18. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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  19. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 12, 2014]
    OK. I took the car to a local trusted garage. I only stopped using him on my Audi before because I wanted all Audi stamps in my service book.

    He checked out the wheels and found, the front pads were complete worn, hence the warning light!!
    he said from an external visual inspection it would not have been clear, but with the wheels off, it was immediately obvious.

    Now how comes Audi, after a service, give me a document saying my breakpads are fine. The warning light comes on, they tell me they have checked the breaks again, and they are fine and all is safe, and it might be a break light sensor problem that to get fixed I would need analysed at "expensive" per hour.

    So I decided to live it with for about 6 months and finally got round to looking into it on this forum, from which, and due to a glove box problem (which Audi wanted £400 for, fixed for £40) I took it to a garage, who right away identify the problem is exactly what the car is telling me. The break pads are worn.

    Total of £130 (other bits done to) and all problems solved including warning light!!

    I'm thinking of making a bit of a fuss about this. I've kept the break pads as evidence. Open to other opinions.

    Thanks
    #19
  20. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [May 13, 2014]
    I'd be making a fuss. They either didn't check them or didn't do it very well. I'd be telling them you're worried about what else they are not doing. Are they even changing the oil at services when you've paid for it?! Tell them the trust is gone.
    #20
  21. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 13, 2014]
    Does anyone know the most effective way of complaining? I'll probably write an open message on twitter as well, but if there is a good person to write to in Audi I would welcome it. Doubt anyone does, but just in case.
    #21
  22. Craig Cull
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    Craig Cull Well-Known Member

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    [May 13, 2014]
    Have you had someone plug it in with vagcom? Mine does this a lot and it doesn't even have the wear sensors as I just looped an old pad sensor the keep the light off when I upgraded to the cayenne calipers, But when I plug it in, mine says an intermittent fault elsewhere with the brakes. Not that the pads are low, I assume this is where Audi are getting the £350 price tag from?? What exactly did they say?
    #22
  23. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 13, 2014]
    So Audi told you 6 month ago they were fine ?
    #23
  24. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 13, 2014]
    If I read it right 6 month ago they might have been fine but with a wire problem
    #24
  25. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 13, 2014]
    Who are you referring to when you say "Audi"? Do you mean an Audi dealer, because if you do, that is not Audi.
    #25
  26. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 25, 2014]
    Update,
    A delay in responding here but here is the status. I will now be writing to Audi with the letter below. As for who am I referring to, Audi west London, their flag ship dealership. It may not be Audi, but from my point of view it is as it has Audi all over it, it says Audi west London, and they answer as Audi and everything about it, is Audi. If they are technically not Audi and some other limited company, they are at least representing Audi.

    Here is my letter

    "
    Dear Audi,

    I write in relation to a recent events that have destroyed my confidence in the Audi service centres and in particular raised deep concerns over the safety of an service at an Audi garage / dealership.

    I will summarise the best I can the events that have occurred.

    In Aug 2013 I took my Audi (NUMBER PLATE) for a service at your Audi West London service centre. Generally the service and experience is good, although I do actually remember the Wi-Fi being down at the time.

    The service was complete and all seemed well. However a few days after the service a warning light came on which I later learnt was to indicate the that brake pads had worn. The service had indicated that the brake pads on my car were fine and did not need replacing.
    Concerned I contacted Audi west London, they checked records and confirmed that my break pads were fine as the recent service showed that. However still concerned I arranged with Audi West London for my car to be looked at to ensure all was fine.

    This was done soon after and my car was inspected while I waited at Audi West London, and as normal I was treated well.
    When they had finished inspecting my car, I was informed that my car breaks were OK, and the likely fault with a faulty break warning light sensor and I was given an hourly rate to fully diagnose the fault with the break pad sensor.
    Feeling safe that there was not an issue with the car breaks I carried on, living with the warning light on my dashboard as I did not see the justification in spending just to fix a warning light.

    More recently, I had a minor issue with my glove box handle which I took to a local garage to get fix as a minor fault (Audi quoted close to £400 to replace the entire glove box saying a specific repair was not possible). While at the garage I asked if he could check the connection on my break pad warning lights due to the warning light being on.

    To my horror he revealed that my front brake pads were completely worn and in need of replacement. The garage was able to identify this simply by removing the wheels and examining the brake pads. On replacement of the brake pads, the warning light “problem” was immediately resolved.
    So quite simply the break warning light was on because my brake pads needed replacement, and despite a major Audi service which reported them being fine, and a subsequent revisit, to investigate why the warning light was on, Audi failed to identify a rudimentary basic issue with my Audi car which should have been spotted as part of a basic service.
    This leaves me deeply concerned about what else has been missed, and left me thinking, what is the point of going to Audi for a service, other than to get a cup of tea and obtain an official stamp in the log book.

    I expect this matter to be treated with the utmost seriousness as I’m sure the non-replacement of brake pads is a important matter.

    I anticipate your prompt response.

    Kind regards

    "
    Anyone know the best person to write to?
    #26
  27. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 25, 2014]
    I think I will also add:

    "It should be easy for you to verify the facts from the logs you have of my visits and hopefully you also record calls and will have details of the assurances I was given regarding the break pads."
    #27
  28. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 25, 2014]
    #28
  29. hades-
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    hades- Yorkshire & Humber Rep. Regional Rep VCDS Map User

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    [May 25, 2014]
    can i just ask the miles in aug 13 when service was done and miles when they were replaced ?
    #29
  30. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 25, 2014]
    off top of my head no more than 2000 - 3000 miles. I do under 7000 miles per year and even less recently. I guess worst case 3500.
    I can of course officially check eventually if it comes to that.
    #30
  31. Mike_B
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    Mike_B Active Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    Phone the garage. Ask the wee lassie who answers the phone for the name of the Managing Director is. She will tell you his name. Thank her and hang up. Now write to him. Send your letter by registered post. Leave out the bit about your broken glove box which I irrelevant to your problem with your brakes.
    #31
  32. al_p
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    al_p Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    where the pads worn evenly on both sides ? only reason i ask is if the guy at audi checked just the outer pad and it looked ok but the inner pad had worn out this could be a reason for audi saying there ok , in all honesty i really do not trust dealerships as alot of the "mechanics" don't know there a55 from there elbow and are pretty lazy , i tend to do things myself but if that's not possible i use a mechanic i know as i have had nothing but issues with dealers. if a car has dealer service history i tend to either look over it with fine toothcombe or end up buying it as broke like the one i just bought full dealer service history £1000's of receipts engine completely buggered .. sorry about that i think it turned into a rant at the end there ... i hate dealers lol
    #32
  33. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 26, 2014]
    Your letter will carry so much more credibility if you spell "brakes" correctly.
    #33
    Artimus likes this.
  34. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    Don't worry this letter was just a draft. Thanks to Microsoft grammar team who make Word, brakes was corrected before being sent to Audi UK MD.
    I'll keep you updated. I am right in thinking that it is fair to consider it dangerous to not replace brake pads.

    Thanks
    #34
  35. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 26, 2014]
    I would say the best place to send this to is not Audi UK but the managing director (or CEO or whatever his title is) of the company that owns West London Audi. That's what I was getting at in my earlier post. "West London Audi" is just the trading name for brand identity purposes of the limited company that owns the business. In the case of my local dealer, that is S G Smith Ltd. Audi UK is a different business altogether, and its only link to the company that owns West London Audi is that Audi UK granted the dealer's franchise.

    Find out the name of the company that owns West London Audi, then do a company search to identify its chief executive, address your letter to him, and send a copy to Audi UK Customer Services.
    #35
  36. jdp1962
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    jdp1962 Grumpy Old Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [May 26, 2014]
    I meant to add, in response to this question, it could have been, but thankfully it wasn't. You have to be clear what you aim to get from this letter. I work in dispute resolution, and I often see people wanting to be compensated for something bad that could have happened, but didn't. But compensation doesn't get awarded for something that didn't happen.
    #36
  37. Gravelcar
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    Gravelcar Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    I was going to say exactly the same thing.

    Also, play on the safety aspect more. Good luck - got to stamp this sort of thing out.
    #37
  38. marballs
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    marballs Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    Thanks for the input.
    I considered before what do I want out of writing this letter, but the truth is I'm not sure, other than for their to be action.
    It's a genuine concern that something so basic was missed, somewhere I put so much trust in. Suddenly all my other faults that have occurred AFTER taking it in for a service now come into questions.

    E.g. needing to top up oil 4 months after a service (remember I do low miles). I called Audi about that at the time and they said it can happen.

    The fact that I sent in for a 2 year service at the last service, and my clock says it will be due within a year. I emailed them about this and they said don't worry. I let this go because I will need to MOT it anyway, and if the service light is on after 1 year I will get them to reset it than. But still, sloppy.

    There was a boon / rear jet washer issue, but before I comment on that I need to remember the facts.

    But basically I question the value and quality of their service, and the exposure to risk.
    In fact is there any other damage that can be done by using that car with very worn pads?

    Either way, the more I consider it, the more I get angry about it and more determined to ensure this message gets out there.
    #38
  39. stevegrass777
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    stevegrass777 Member

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    [May 26, 2014]
    I just wouldn't go again, and when they ring to ask why you don't pay them to service your car,tell them why.
    On another note,
    Some wear indicators on pads come on just past half way.Ate pads I think did this on me.Although Ate are very good.
    #39
  40. easy going Si
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    easy going Si Member

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    [May 30, 2014]
    Hi yer Marballs

    your in west London have a look at this Audi independent, Russell automotive 0208 200 0995 NW9 8AU the workshop is up by Queensbury ( near Edgware ) and don't you dare say that is to far for you to drive I drive from Somerset M5 junction 23, ask to speak to Steve he has only got Audi master tech mechanics uses all genuine parts and I would not trust anyone else to work on my car and his labour rates are about half the price of Audi

    Honest recommendation he is bloody good

    And always if you can pay by credit card you are backed up by legal protection in law the credit consumer act of 1972 and if you are unhappy with work then contact your card company and ask them to issue a chargeback after that the tone of a stroppy person on the phone will soon change remember if they have to many compliants in a year the card machine is taken away (and I believe it affects there credit rating) , the least you could expect is to give there credit manager a awkward conversation with mastercard or visa when you make the compliant they have to explain there side and normally the card company will always come down on the card holder's side Marballs let your card company do the dirty work for you that's why you pay card insurance visa/dbit cards are roughly the same but with slightly less protection but you are still covered under the sale of goods act I think

    hope this helps ( home work look up chargeback and the credit consumer act ) hope this helps and try Steve you won't regret it
    #40

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