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'Brakes' on DIS and flashing handbrake light

Discussion in 'A4/A4 cabriolet/S4 forum(B6 chassis)' started by Veero, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Veero
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    Veero Member

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    So over the coldest winter my A4 was being a little sluggish turning over. It never failed to start but always laboured a bit.

    Every now and again from cold I would start it up and 'Brakes' would appear on the DIS accompanied by a beep and the handbrake indication light flashing. Brake pads will need replacing in ~6-10 months or so and fluid is at a happy level in the reservoir.

    Some googling revealed it could have been a dying battery, which is supported by the fact it was labouring to start. So I stuck a new Bosch S4 battery in and it starts on the first crank from the starter but twice now since changing the battery I've had the flashing light, 'Brakes' on DIS and the beep. As I said brake pads aren't dead yet and there is plenty of fluid in it.

    Any ideas?
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  2. IanFM
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    IanFM Active Member

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    I have the same issue and mine randomly does it when turning right.

    I beleive it maybe either the sensor in the brake fluid reservior or randomly the headlight switch.

    I'm going to try changing the reservior first and see how that goes.
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  3. Mike B
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    Mike B Member

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    It is said to be a reaction in the sensor to a spike in the wire to the battery which touches it .I cured it by moving the wire and putting some foam between as insulation .Also charging the battery helps.Changing the res did nothing
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  4. Alan H
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    Alan H Need a V8 or Bi-Turbo.......

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    Low battery voltage can cause this issue. This has been discussed before I believe. A lot of the guys on here have cured it by putting a new battery on...
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2013
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  5. BahnStormer77
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    BahnStormer77 BahnStormer

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    it's a known problem on starting... especially from cold: the typically over-engineered Audi solution is to put a circuit in there to suppress the error message for the first 20-30 seconds when it starts...

    If it carries on any longer / when you're turning, then it could be loose wiring or genuinely worn discs... definitely nothing to worry about if it's only on startup.
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  6. Stu!!!
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    Stu!!! Member

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    I had the same problem when turning right, but it was always after just starting my journey, so i assumed it was the battery.

    I topped the brake fluid up during a routine check of levels (oil, coolant, brake fluid etc) and its completely stopped now - so i assume the fluid was enough to trigger the sensor when the car was turning right :)
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  7. benjie
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    benjie Member

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    When turning right it's the sensor in the bottle.
    On start up, it's the ABS module detecting a low voltage spike during cranking (isn't it?) - Change battery soon-ish, then ignore it.
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  8. timboukvw
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    timboukvw Member

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    Got the same problem and read somewhere its common problem in the cold weather and changing the reservoir is the cure.
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  9. Greeny233
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    Greeny233 Member

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    I've had the same problem (only once this winter, but quite a few times last winter). I was always led to believe it was the battery voltage getting low with the cold weather. I'm still using the original battery and its been fine for over a year. I wouldn't worry about it too much.
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  10. Veero
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    Veero Member

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    Errm yes that's exactly what I did, then the first time I started it after the brand new battery being fitted it did it again.

    It's not really a concern, just an annoyance since I know the fluids and pads are ok, especially if you've got passengers with you who all look round and then appear a bit startled when the word 'BRAKES' is flashing on the dash. "Oh it's nothing to worry about", then they all look concerned as you set off :laugh:

    It will get new pads all round in the relatively near future, so maybe the slight angle of my drive is just enough to dip the fluid level to trigger the sensor. If I can be arsed I might change the reservoir at some point if that doesn't solve it.

    It has only ever done it on starting in cold conditions, maybe the warmer imminent weather will help too...
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  11. quattrojames
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    quattrojames Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This is the first thread I've ever seen with the issue on a petrol engine. Normally it's the extra compression needed to start the diesels which drag the battery level down.
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  12. Veero
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    Veero Member

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    I like to present new and unique problems in many aspects of my existence :)
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  13. Funkyfin2000
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    Funkyfin2000 Member

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    Does your car misfire and be lumpy for 10 secs or so whilst this happens?
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  14. Veero
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    Veero Member

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    Nope, starts straight away and idles smoothly at ~1100 for 30-60 secs.
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  15. Alan H
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    Alan H Need a V8 or Bi-Turbo.......

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    I have the same problem, but its when I switch on my aftermarket HID's. more of an annoyance than a full blown issue.
    And the thing is I'm too tight to buy a 60 amp battery, just keep using the 55 amp one.
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  16. Inertiauk
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    Inertiauk Member

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    I resolved this issue by changing the res. Good luck.
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  17. Veero
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    Veero Member

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    Hmm well it seemed to go away with a new battery, now it's got cold again it sounds like it's labouring a tiny bit just as it turns over and the beeping and 'brakes' is back on regularly.

    Alternator perhaps? Not had a battery warning yet but seems a bit odd to be ok for a couple of weeks with a new battery and now gradually getting bad again.
    #17

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