brake light on after doing rear brakes
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  1. #1
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    brake light on after doing rear brakes

    first of all Im new here so hello everyone. Yesterday I decided to do the rear brakes I got an 02 1.8t. I did front brakes couple months ago had no porblem at all. Rear brakes pain in the ass I spend 3 hours with the C clamp trying to push the piston in and it just wouldnt move. Then I tried screwing it in that did nothing. Finally gave up opened up the fluid lines and pushed the piston that way! After a good 5 hours of hard manual labor I managed to change the brakes put them on. Without bleeding them I turned the car on to straighten out the front weels. then car gives me a nice "BRAKE FAILURE SERVICE MANUAL" and brake light kept flashing. Then I turned car off bleed the brakes (old school method pumping and screwing and unscrewing) then same thing brake light still on. Took car for a spin, the pedal is a little off but brakes work fine ABS works fine.

    Now Im left with 3 problems!

    1. How do I get rid of the cel? do I have to unplug one of the relays? or do I have to take it to a shop to do a VGA
    2. Why isnt the brake pedal the same way it was before? (all air is out of the lines spend one hour bleeding and re bleeding)
    3. when I was pushing the piston I managed to damage the rubber housing around it how do I replace that?

    any help greatly apprciated and never again am I doing rear brakes myself

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  3. #2
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    You did it wrong. Very wrong. Please don't work on your brakes without knowing what you're doing, unless you want to die, and kill others in the process. You could have spent $15 on a Haynes manual, or read a thread for free here, for how to do the brakes right. Never attempt a repair job without knowing what you're doing.

    Ok, now that the admonishments are out of the way, lets answer your questions.

    1. To clear the CEL, you must fix the problem. There is no shortcut here. It's your brakes.
    2. Your brake pedal is off because you got air in the lines in all likelihood, or the fluid level is very low, or you wrecked your calipers (see the next answer)
    3. Your broke your calipers because you did it wrong. The rear calipers cannot be pushed in without turning them clockwise at the same time. You need a special tool to do this. If you were somehow able to push the calipers in without turning them, you in all likelihood damaged the parking brake assembly inside the calipers. I didn't know this was possible, but I guess anything is possible if you try hard enough. They CANNOT be pushed in without turning them. At any rate, the dust boot must be replaced, or else the calipers will not last long. You can unscrew the caliper pistons all the way and replace all the seals that way, but frankly, given the butchery you've already subjected this car to, I cannot recommend you do it yourself. Please, for the love of all that's good and holy, have someone who knows what they're doing, or can at least do a search and read a thread on how to replace the rear brakes, do this job.

    You will make things worse and kill yourself. You've already committed an epic fail and changed the brakes without knowing what you're doing, and costing yourself at least $300 in parts plus additional labor. Don't commit more fail by trying to figure the rest out on your own.

    Sorry for being so harsh in my tone, but really, brakes are serious business. You screw up, people can die.

  4. #3
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    first already got the beantly manual for the passat but for every single thing it needs a special tool! I dought it I damaged any of the caliper pistons since now they are working fine only thing is the rubber housing Ill try to take it easy next time and thanx man turned out just needed a little more brake fluid! all good now

  5. #4
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    Sounds like you ruined the ABS system/seals or valves by not cracking the bleeder screws and putting immense pressure on the system in the beginning. The best case is that you got air in the lines, but if it's not better after bleeding, most likely you damaged the ABS system.

  6. #5
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    The ABS system is less likely to be damaged- the seals in there are metal on metal. If your brake pedal "feels funny" you may still have some lingering hydraulic issue. I don't trust that something isn't wrong with your calipers internally.

    You still have the issue with the caliper boots as well. If they're torn, you must replace them soon, or replace the caliper. The only way to reasonably get to these seals is removing the caliper piston.

    To remove the rear caliper piston, you must use the proper tool and turn the piston until it comes out entirely. Then, using a plastic or wooden tool, remove the seal from the bore, and remove the boot from the piston and the bore.

    Make sure that you plug up the line coming into the caliper, or else you will run your hydraulics dry as the brake fluid drains out.

    I cannot recommend that you do this yourself, however. Please have a professional do it. Your life, and the lives of everyone around you, are in your hands when you work on brakes, and you're off to a less than auspicious start.

  7. #6
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    you make me look like a total nob! Its not about some professional or me doing it! ( I installed the K04 with a friend) I think I can do a simple brake job. first I didnt even look at the manual and thought that the rear brakes were the same as the front you could push the piston in without rotating. But sometime next week or so Ill buy new boot and the tool and check the calipers for any damage! thanx guys your help much appreciated! cheers

  8. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by zona View Post
    you make me look like a total nob! Its not about some professional or me doing it! ( I installed the K04 with a friend) I think I can do a simple brake job. first I didnt even look at the manual and thought that the rear brakes were the same as the front you could push the piston in without rotating. But sometime next week or so Ill buy new boot and the tool and check the calipers for any damage! thanx guys your help much appreciated! cheers
    Doesn't "first I didnt even look at the manual and thought that the rear brakes were the same as the front you could push the piston in without rotating" kinda say it all?

    Speaks volumes to me. I wouldn't fix this by myself if I were you. Get some help, or let a pro do it. You clearly don't want to take the time to do the job right, or you would have read the damn instructions.

    And no one is trying to make you look like a total nob, as you say. You pretty much did that to yourself. No big deal - just fix it now the right way. If in doubt, seek help.

  9. #8
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    Seriously, why'd you bother buying the manual if you're not going to read it? Even on jobs I think I know how to do, I look at the manual just to make sure I'm not missing anything, on any car. Even oil changes- gotta look up the torque spec somewhere, right?

    First thing every car gets that comes into my household- the factory book. I don't get it to sit pretty on my shelf. I use the damned thing.

    So... take the time to do the job the right way. This includes looking up how to do any job before you begin, even jobs you think you know how to do. At some point during this 5 hour battle trying to compress the pistons, would it have killed you to crack open the book rather than suffer needlessly and break stuff more?

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    Seriously, why'd you bother buying the manual if you're not going to read it? Even on jobs I think I know how to do, I look at the manual just to make sure I'm not missing anything, on any car. Even oil changes- gotta look up the torque spec somewhere, right?

    First thing every car gets that comes into my household- the factory book. I don't get it to sit pretty on my shelf. I use the damned thing.

    So... take the time to do the job the right way. This includes looking up how to do any job before you begin, even jobs you think you know how to do. At some point during this 5 hour battle trying to compress the pistons, would it have killed you to crack open the book rather than suffer needlessly and break stuff more?
    I dont like reading and I was lazy just wanted to get it out of the way! but will do different next time. Let me ask you guys another quick question where do I get the special tool for the caliper? I went to 4 pep boys and 3 autozones and none of them had it and Im not buying stuff from dealers! any links online ?

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by zona View Post
    I dont like reading and I was lazy just wanted to get it out of the way! but will do different next time. Let me ask you guys another quick question where do I get the special tool for the caliper? I went to 4 pep boys and 3 autozones and none of them had it and Im not buying stuff from dealers! any links online ?
    autozone has a universal caliper piston compressor kit that has a bunch of discs.

    if they say they don't have it, go talk to the guys in the grey shirts. the red shirts are just newbies. (grey = management)

    i work there, almost all stores have the kit.

    oem pads are great. they fit perfectly, unlike the PBR brand which i'm not too fond of.

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by zona View Post
    I dont like reading and I was lazy just wanted to get it out of the way! but will do different next time. Let me ask you guys another quick question where do I get the special tool for the caliper? I went to 4 pep boys and 3 autozones and none of them had it and Im not buying stuff from dealers! any links online ?
    Well, if you liked to read (as in searching and reading around this forum), you probably could have saved yourself 7 trips (4 to pepboys, 3 to autozone).

    Harbor Freight.

    P.S. IIRC, one of the autoparts places (either advanced or autozone) will rent you the caliper retraction tool for free. You pay a deposit and get your money back if/when you return it. Reading will save you time and money.

  13. #12
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    Just don't rent the little cube shaped one that goes on the end of a ratchet. It's utter crap.

    You want something like this:

    http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=40732



    Best of all, it's $20, and it'll do just about any brake caliper (I use it instead of a C-Clamp to retract conventional pistons as well).

  14. #13
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    well, hold up. don't go condemning that cube just yet.

    there are sometimes situations where you may need it if the piston has extended too far to use the tool you pictured. there are plenty of times when the pads wear too thin, and it's difficult.

    that's prolly the best time for the cube...

    then again, just remove the plate on the pictured tool and it does the same thing...

    point being, it's crap if you see no use for it.

  15. #14
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    Meh, the cube is unnecessary if you don't wear your pads to the backing plate.

  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctobio View Post
    Meh, the cube is unnecessary if you don't wear your pads to the backing plate.
    agreed
    i was a noob, once upon a time.
    but we won't go into that...

  17. #16
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    Wind back caliper tool

    ZONA - did you get one of those tools, I think they sell them on amazon too !!

    CarBasics

  18. #17
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    I already tried the little cube and it doesnt fit! while I was in the middle of clamping the shit out of the piston I went to pep boys and asked for the special tool all they had was the litte cube and the C clamps! waisted whole saturday going up and down and trying to push the piston in. but yeah im going with what ctobio linked! Just ordered! thanx guys

  19. #18
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    That generic cube sucks. Gotta get the real deal....great deal at germanautoparts too.....got it to me in about 2 days.

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