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    VWVortex


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    Thread: 2000 Passat warning lights: STOP - Brake Fault - Service Manual

    1. 08-06-2006 03:55 PM #1
      Driving the Passat just like any other day on freeway, when the red display screen beeps three or four times and displays the word "STOP", flashing in big capital letters. Then it changes to "Brake Fault", then it says "Service Manual". The hazard light (little triangle with a ! inside), "ABS" light and "Brake" light all come on in the speedometer area. Nothing in owner's manual about this. Brake fluid level seems normal. Haven't had brakes inspected yet for wear. Tested brakes for ABS failure/lockup on a deserted sidestreet and everything seems fine. Anyone know the REAL solution to this problem, or a suggestion for the least expensive way to find it out?
      Thanks for any help.

    2. 12-04-2006 09:19 PM #2
      Bump. Experienced a similar -- yet slightly different -- problem today.

      Description of the problem: the red display screen beeps three or four times and displays the word "STOP", flashing in big capital letters. Then it changes to "Brake Fault", then it says "Service Manual". The red "Brake" light flashes at the same time.

      So far, seems the same -- the difference is that nothing else comes on. No hazard light (little triangle with a ! inside), no "ABS" light. The car has about 15k on the pads/rotors and went through a major inspection in the Summer.

      Thanks for any help!


      Modified by ayilar at 9:16 PM 12-16-2006

      2011 A4 Quattro (6MT)
      2008 MB C350
      2005 MB SC230k (6MT)
      2002 Passat V6 (6MT; sold)
      1995 Golf Sport (5MT; sold)

    3. 12-04-2006 09:31 PM #3
      Must be the day for Brake Lights! - My car flashed the same sequence of lights.

      I did a search on the Vortex and it looks like it could light up for a variety of reasons, low brake fluid, ABS module problem, brake switch etc. I tried to check my brake fluid level (the placement of the tank makes it very difficult to read) and had some trouble adding fluid (DOT 4) (even after opening the screw on the side (top) to bleed it (I assume)) - it seemed I had an air pocket just below it and if I pumped the filter (with a clean finger) it entered the tank. Didn't end up adding a lot (1/8 of a small bottle) but it doesn't show the warning on a short test drive - I guess I'll find out tomorrow. The brake pedal seems fine.

      I noticed there was a bit of green gunk in the brake fluid chamber filter but I couldn't take the filter out (would have helped me determine the level as well) - Any other suggestions?


    4. 12-04-2006 09:50 PM #4
      I have not checked the brake fluid level, but will try to have a look tomorrow.

      The rotors were changed 2 years/10k miles ago, so I would have suspected no issue there, yet she mentions slight vibrations when braking at highway speeds. Would pads needing replacement and/or rotors trigger the lights?




      Modified by ayilar at 9:16 PM 12-16-2006

      2011 A4 Quattro (6MT)
      2008 MB C350
      2005 MB SC230k (6MT)
      2002 Passat V6 (6MT; sold)
      1995 Golf Sport (5MT; sold)

    5. 12-05-2006 12:50 PM #5
      Mine is doing that same thing - again.

      I had my abs module rebuilt twice which worked for a while, but no it is not.

      If very cold (now) the trip computer will work, but once the engine is warm, the lights start flashing and beeping. What a pita.

      I'm going to bring in to a reapair shop to see if it is just the sensors on the wheels because I just got the darn module repaired.

      i will post what fixed it and you should as well. This is a known problem and I have read a ton on it.


    6. 12-05-2006 01:10 PM #6
      Filled up the brake fluid resevoir and drove the car about 15 miles today - no problems with warning so that may have fixed it. Will take a better look at the brake fluid tank this afternoon in daylight.

    7. 12-06-2006 11:15 AM #7
      Speedstream: What is very cold? 30's, or lower? The problem here started on the first cold day of the season, when temps dropped to 35.
      2011 A4 Quattro (6MT)
      2008 MB C350
      2005 MB SC230k (6MT)
      2002 Passat V6 (6MT; sold)
      1995 Golf Sport (5MT; sold)

    8. 12-06-2006 01:00 PM #8
      yes, cold is less than 30 f.

      Maybe I should just top off the resevoir and the "stop" message will go away. ha ha


    9. 12-06-2006 03:27 PM #9
      Had this same experience yesterday (12-5-06) and local VW service charged $130 to "fix" the computer codes. There was no issue with brake fluid, etc. Three hours after leaving the VW shop, the same lights came on again! It's back in the shop today for more diagnostics. I hope this doesn't rival the last experience I had with the Emissions Workshop display flashing. That took years to get fixed with alot of inconvenience.

    10. Member zero666cool's Avatar
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      12-08-2006 12:36 PM #10
      I had the same issue last week, the lights came up twice while driving and went off, same symptoms, and they didn't come up until today again, came up twice, once I was speeding, second I was stopping behind a light, and went away, i'm not too sure what the problem could be, I thought it could've been from the front brake pads, oh btw my passat is 03, B5.5 but the symptom is the same,

      does anyone know if passat b5 b5.5s use pads with sensor or not?


    11. 12-10-2006 06:54 PM #11
      This problem started happening to me yesterday too! and right after I came out of the parts store with new front rotors and pads! and right after I spent $950 for a secondary air system problem and a new water pump.

      I've been doing a lot of searching on the net and have seen 2 main resolutions - spend over $1000 for a new ABS module or top of the brake fluid... I think I'll try the brake fluid first. If this doesn't work maybe I'll leave it across the train tracks. I'm sicks of spending money on it (over 4k in the since Feb 05).


    12. 12-10-2006 07:20 PM #12
      It's most likely the brake fluid level the sensor is VERY sensitive to low brake fluid either from normal pad wear or from not being adequately topped up following a brake job. I've had this happen 3 times now. Just top off the resevoir (it takes a while to for the fluid to go down so it seems as if its full when its not) The warning should go away.

    13. 12-12-2006 09:08 AM #13
      Looks like it was the fluid level in my car as well. As soon as was able to top it off (not as easy as it sounds I found out) no more warnings - didn't have to add much either.

      Even with the bleed screw open the fluid takes a long time to flow from the screen to the reservoir - had to pump the screen a few times and also just wait for an hour or so before adding more fluid. The level was extremely difficult to read (especially in a garage) - I had to take off the weather stripping and the cover near the tank to be able to read the level (in daylight).


    14. 12-14-2006 02:12 PM #14
      The mechanic solved the problem in my case by replacing the brake fluid; the sensor was apparently dealing with a lot of debris, as well, and I understand it was replaced for good measure.

      Was told that it's unlikely the ABS module is involved unless the ABS signal is involved in the warning sequence.

      The brake vibrations had nothing to do with the issue. It came from rotors that needed replacement (again -- looks like she is putting 15k miles max on rotors, the pads had 35% left).


      Modified by ayilar at 9:17 PM 12-16-2006

      2011 A4 Quattro (6MT)
      2008 MB C350
      2005 MB SC230k (6MT)
      2002 Passat V6 (6MT; sold)
      1995 Golf Sport (5MT; sold)

    15. 12-15-2006 10:20 AM #15
      First cold "outting" for me and my R32 gave me the same warning...I have a feeling its just the fluid...have yet to check it out but am pretty sure thats the culprit.

    16. Member zero666cool's Avatar
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      12-15-2006 02:03 PM #16
      I checked my fluid levels, they look ok to me, even though it is really hard to really see the level, it is a very retarded design, how do you check the level properly? I can't even see the fluid moving in the reservoir. my pad look ok too, but I got new pads anyway, now after this brake problem, my car started over heating friggin eyyy, and then the timing belt needs to be replaced, and I wonder what other problems I'm going to encounter after I fix all these

    17. 12-16-2006 09:20 PM #17
      Quote, originally posted by zero666cool »
      I checked my fluid levels, they look ok to me, even though it is really hard to really see the level, it is a very retarded design, how do you check the level properly? I can't even see the fluid moving in the reservoir. my pad look ok too, but I got new pads anyway, now after this brake problem, my car started over heating friggin eyyy, and then the timing belt needs to be replaced, and I wonder what other problems I'm going to encounter after I fix all these

      My thinking exactly. The car is in tip-top form at the moment, and the mechanic recommends not changing it (he says it's in superb mechanical shape), but at the same times he tells me to expect unscheduled repairs worth about $1,800 per year on V-6 Passats that are 5+ years of age. I like the car, but after adding residual depreciation and maintenance, the annual cost is looking like $3,500+. At that rate, and given the opportunity cost of my time (repairs + semi-annual maintenance schedule), a post-Xmas or early-Spring replacement is starting to sound almost fiscally reasonable


      Modified by ayilar at 10:41 PM 12-16-2006

      2011 A4 Quattro (6MT)
      2008 MB C350
      2005 MB SC230k (6MT)
      2002 Passat V6 (6MT; sold)
      1995 Golf Sport (5MT; sold)

    18. Member zero666cool's Avatar
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      12-16-2006 10:02 PM #18
      haha yeah, 3500 a year not including the gas, that's ridicilous! well sort of, I have always been thinking about changing the passat, but again I don't want to spend more money on cars at this time, i was thinking about getting the new A6, probably that's what I would get if I were to get another car, those things are so sexy.

    19. 02-05-2007 10:20 AM #19
      Happened today. Will try the fluid. For those who did the fluid a while back, any recurrence?

    20. 02-05-2007 10:39 AM #20
      None - looks like it was the fluid.


    21. Member projectracerabbit's Avatar
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      07-22-2008 02:07 AM #21
      I am having the same problem on my 02 b5.5
      I will try the fluid thing today. only thing is, before it came on a couple of times but with a month or so in between occurrences, then this morning on the way to work three times. hopefully that is the problem and I do not have to take it to the dealership
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    22. Member classicjetta's Avatar
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      07-23-2008 10:31 AM #22
      Holy ancient thread batman!

      As a reminder to everyone, VW requires a complete brake fluid flush every 2 years regardless of mileage. This is true of everything from a 1975 Rabbit to a 2008 Touareg.


    23. 07-23-2008 11:49 AM #23
      When this happened to me it ended up being some brake light switch or something. It was certainly nothing that merited a giant STOP for me to freak out about.

    24. Member projectracerabbit's Avatar
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      07-24-2008 01:42 AM #24
      filled it up last night and we will see what happens, did not come on this morning.

      good to know about the flush, thanks

      I Diesel!
      I can get CUSTOM EURO PLATES
      37.89 AVG MPG over the life of the car in Germany!

    25. 07-26-2008 06:37 PM #25
      i had the same issue
      i started this thread and kept a daily log
      http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=3929657

      i got some help by a few posters

      one of the posts took me to a website from http://www.passatworld.com
      the post was dead on
      it was my abs module
      opened it up and there are two wires inside (very very very tiny)
      that due to heat and time their solder loses connection... i followed the "easy" steps to repair it, but it is so small it is virtually impossible to re-establish a soldered connection without a fine tipped industrial soldering knife

      i checked ebay which has plenty of replacement ones for under $200
      and i will be calling LKQ (junk yard) on monday to see what they can find....

      imho dont try to fix yours.. its a pita and the out come could be worse than the problems you currently have....


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