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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 156 1.8TS SW

The computer screen comes on for a few seconds every now and then but since it doesn't normally do anything I really need, I haven't bothered.

Now it springs to life every now and then with an annoying buzzer and tells me that "the brake fluid is low OR the handbrake is on". Why oh why have the same warning for both? I have checked and re-checked the brake fluid and I tend to know when I've put the handbrake on so I figure it's a loose connection at the handbrake.

The manual tells me that I can kill the buzzer but it does rely on the computer being on long enough to press the buttons and it won't do that.

Short of taking a club hammer to it, does anyone have any ideas at all? PLEASE!!!
 

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First of all it's important, that you check the level of brake fluid. Usually this alarm comes on when the level of brake fluid is below the minimum mark.
Low fluid level can be caused by worn brake pads and brake discs – or even the clutch.
If the level is low you often will find the clutch not working properly.

Usually topping up will cure this alarm - and the issues with the clutch - for a while, but soon you probably will have to replace the brake pads - or the clutch.
Unless there is a leak, then you will have to bleed the system for excessive brake fluid while replacing the pads.

Personally, I've never succeded in switching off those bl... alarms.
 

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If you're sure the fluid is OK why not disconnect the electrical connector, if the warning clears you'll know the sensor in the reservoir is faulty.

Same with the handbrake switch, should be a single wire that is earthed with the handbrake on.

All the best

Pub
 

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Is this happening when you've just come to a halt and applied the handbrake by any chance?
 

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If you're applying the hand brake when the car still has a little momentum you'll get this warning so make sure you're fully stopped before using the hand brake. Connector for the infocentre display lives behind the glovebox to the right - if you want to disable the display entirely, take the glove box liner out and unplug the connector but I wouldn't recommend it as you won't know about any other problems. Budget 50-70 quid or so for a second hand display to replace your faulty one (though it's worth unplugging yours and giving the contacts a spray with contact cleaner and trying it again).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is this happening when you've just come to a halt and applied the handbrake by any chance?
Occasionally but it's fairly random, generally on rough surfaces but since that is most of the roads in my area...............
 

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If you are sure the fluid level, the brake pads and the discs are OK, then it might be caused by a broken wire - e.g. from the hand brake sensor - or even a broken (or loose) hand brake sensor. Also you might want to check the negative ground wiring.
 

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if its only happening on rough ground it may be the fluid needs topping up as the float is close to the mark it comes on and does so as the fluid slops around a bit.
 
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