Brake pad sensor?
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  1. #1
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    Brake pad sensor?

    Hi,

    Today, I just got a 'check brake pads' warning come up on my 2002 Passat Tdi. After removing both front wheels I discovered that all pads have plenty wear left on them and are no where near needing replaced.
    However, I've just been thinking that maybe this warning is related to the rear pads. Can anyone tell me if the rear brakes have pad wear sensors without me going back out tonight to check?

    If they don't, is it possible that my front brake pad sensor wiring may be damaged, and is this a common fault with these cars?

    Thanks,
    Davie.

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  3. #2
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    no rear pad sensors ... maybe you think your brake pads are good but they really are low .. take a picture of them to get opinions on here .....(best bet_)

  4. #3
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    Thanks,
    at least that's that possibility eliminated. Will have another look at my pads.
    Davie

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  6. #5
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    This could be more than just brake pad wear. My pads are fine but I'm getting the same trouble.

    Brake pad warning light

  7. #6
    PZ
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    The sensor is on the inside front pads only. Be sure to check the inside pad as it may wear faster than the outside. This is usually a problem with the rear brakes, but can happen on the fronts too.

  8. #7
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    Hi again,

    Went and got a new set of front pads with sensors today. Jacked up the car and removed the wheels to discover that a previous owner must have snipped off the sensor harness on the car side!
    Pads that were on the car never had any sensors fitted.
    Fitted my new pads and checked the splicing of the wires on both sides of the car in order to ensure the sensors should be bypassed. I then snipped the sensors off the pads themselves. Everything looks to be ok.
    However, when turning the ignition key, i'm still getting a 'beep' and a 'check brake pads warning!'
    Any ideas? Is it likely that there could be a break in the circuit further back?

    Cheers,
    Davie

  9. #8
    PZ
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    The sensor wires are imbedded in the pads. When the pads wear, the wires contact the rotor and complete the circuit. Perhaps the cut harness is making contact and completing the circuit.

  10. #9
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    Thanks PZ,
    What i've currently done is just twist the two (sensor) wires coming from the car side together, and just snipped the sensor plug coming from the pad totally off.

    By doing this, have i in effect completed the circuit and therefore given the system a false signal by tricking it into thinking the pads are totally worn?

    If this is the case, I assume i have to keep the two wires insulated from one another to keep the circuit open and allow the system to believe the pads are fine???

    Cheers,
    Davie.

  11. #10
    PZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by DavieMac11 View Post
    Thanks PZ,
    What i've currently done is just twist the two (sensor) wires coming from the car side together, and just snipped the sensor plug coming from the pad totally off.

    By doing this, have i in effect completed the circuit and therefore given the system a false signal by tricking it into thinking the pads are totally worn?

    If this is the case, I assume i have to keep the two wires insulated from one another to keep the circuit open and allow the system to believe the pads are fine???

    Cheers,
    Davie.
    Sound right, but I have never worn down a set of pads to confirm it. It should work unless they changed the design of the pads so there is a wire inside that wears thru and opens the circuit! It's been 24 years since I have been to the brake pad training seminar (yes, I really did go to one 24 years ago).

  12. #11
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    Spoke to a mechanic at my local VW dealer today about my problem. He seems convinced that the wire has probably broken further back through general wear and tear/weathering. Supposedly he's seen quite a few with this fault. Suggested I traced the wiring right back and just connected a piece of wire to complete the circuit.
    Surely I should just be able to get a dealer to plug in a VAG COM and switch off this function?

    Davie

  13. #12
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    my light came on also.

    replaced front rotor and pads with new pads that had sensors built in.

    Code cleared after driving a bit, but would come back on now and then.

    I took wheels off and totally bypassed the sensor. clipped the wires on the pads and cut off the connector on the wheel hub and twisted the wires together. Both wheels, done. Light gone.

    Now if I want to replace the pads, I will do it on myself and dont have that lite to worry about on my dash.

  14. #13
    PZ
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    Sorry, I did confirm the circuit is completed and embedded inside the pad and wears away to open. So, bypass and connect the wires to put out the light.

  15. #14
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    I have had the same problem on my 02. Driving along all of a sudden it lights and the display says to check pads. The light stays on until I turn off the car. When I turn it on it's gone, but eventually it will happen again. I pulled the wheels and the pads look okay. I ordered new pads anway figuring I will use them at some point. I think it's because the wire harness that runs through the fender line in a rubber grommet might be broken from the grommet being out for a long time. Does anyone know if that harness plugs into a main harness inside the firewall? It looks like they should have designed it that way in case the car is in a frontal accident that damages the wire in the wheel well.

  16. #15
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    Anyone know how to take out rear abs sensors. I pulled on it and almost broke it.

    Does it just slide out like the fronts? I cant figure it out.

  17. #16
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    Is there a place you can buy pads with the sensers on them already cheaper then the dealer? I'm looking for something better the the Bendex and Wagner brands at the local auto store.

  18. #17
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    you can get the ones with the sensor all over. non dealer shops and online. They are all more expensive. What I would do is just get them without and remove sensors wires on car (just clip the wires and twist together and dash light will go off).

    I did this after getting the more expensive ones installed and having the dash light come on now and then for no reason.

    REAR SENSORS
    anyone know how to remove and check. I could not get them to budge. Fronts came out fine.

  19. #18
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    No rear sensors.

  20. #19
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    Just did my brakes yesterday and got the warning. I thought it was the wiring harnes. But after a few pumps and restarts the warning went away. You probably need to pump the brake pedal to build the pressure back up.

  21. #20
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    Same problem, I bought aftermarket pads without the sensors. I just bent a 1/2 of paperclip and inserted it into the car-side sensor jack and e-taped the hell out of it. The light and chirp went away.

  22. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartglx4motion View Post
    No rear sensors.
    Right, no rear brake pad sensors.

    I was talking about the abs speed sensor. I will take another look at it tonight and see if I can get it out.

  23. #22
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    Which model years have sensors

  24. #23
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    B5 models do not have wear sensor circuits, even tho the wiring may be there. B5.5 (2001.5 and beyond) and up have wear sensors.

  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by JayTheSnork View Post
    B5 models do not have wear sensor circuits, even tho the wiring may be there. B5.5 (2001.5 and beyond) and up have wear sensors.
    My 2001 B5 has wear sensors. I replaced my front pads with new ones that had the sensors, but I must have some problem with the connector of harness as I can't get the "Stop Check Brakes" message and indicator light to go off. I need to remove the wheels again and try cutting the wires on the car side of the connector and try splicing them together.

  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tortugazoom View Post
    My 2001 B5 has wear sensors. I replaced my front pads with new ones that had the sensors, but I must have some problem with the connector of harness as I can't get the "Stop Check Brakes" message and indicator light to go off. I need to remove the wheels again and try cutting the wires on the car side of the connector and try splicing them together.
    I thought I had wear sensors on my front brakes as well - the connector was there, and it went to another near the hub. follow the cable up to where it goes into the wheel well, and pop out the grommet. I'd bet there is only the ABS sensor connected out of that pigtail, and the brake wear sensor isn't connected - that one threw me when I first saw it, and I fished around to try to find the connector in there - I checked the other side, and it was the same, not connected. your STOP CHECK BRAKES message is likely an indication of either an impending fault with the ABS system, or a low level on your brake fluid reservoir.

  27. #26
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    My 2000 had them. I expect it was a running change on the 99s.

  28. #27
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    Same here. My 2001 B5 has sensors.

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    no matter how many of these things I have worked on, it constantly amazes me what I learn...

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