Intermittent flashing brake failure light - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 6:02 am Thread Starter
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Intermittent flashing brake failure light

During the week I rode my 2005 bike for the first time for 3 months, it started and ran perfectly, as I approached my destination about 30 miles from home, the brake failure light started flashing. The brakes felt fine, I continued to my destination slowly with the light flashing. Left the bike for about 2 hours, rode off and the light went out as normal, rode home the long way, about 50 miles, everything was fine, just as I entered my drive the brake failure light started flashing again, I donít know if I imagined it or not but the brakes felt odd. Left the bike until yesterday, rode off and the light went off as normal, rode a good 50 miles and did a few hard stops, everything was perfect, no flashing light!

Just to give some brief history, I have owned the bike from new, itís been serviced by BMW from new, last brake fluid change July 2012, it doesnít get used much as I am away for several months at a time. New (BMW dealer supplied) battery fitted when bike last used in March, the battery has been connected to an OptiMate battery conditioner so I am confident the battery is ok, checked front and rear brake fluid levels and both ok. This is the first fault with the bike from new!

I called my local BMW dealer who said it was probably the ABS actuator, cost of part alone £1,500, gulp! Before I take the bike to the dealer and part with a small fortune, does anyone have any clues or suggestions please? I have researched the (excellent and informative) site and fear that the BMW dealer may be correct

Am I right in thinking the bike is ďsafeĒ to ride carefully with the brake failure light flashing, do I just lose ABS, or do I lose servo assistance as well?

Many thanks in anticipation

Regards, Rob
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post #2 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 7:45 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

Many have had this issue. First check the brake fluid level in both reservoirs. If its the same as the 2002 its under the seat on the right side. If its just "little" low the lights will come on.
Let us know, Im sure we get this fixed without going to a dealer who as already ASSUMED
almost 2000$ USD repairs.

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post #3 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 8:05 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

Yup. What Zeke says.

Slightly low of brake fluid level.

B D R
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post #4 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 9:37 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

Unlike the 2002-2004 models (USA market), the 2005-2009 models have the 2 sections reservoirs embedded on top of the ABS modulator. These are the ONLY fluid reservoir monitored by the system - this where you need to fill the DOT4 brake fluid to avoid certain faults. Keep in mind that some faults sequence (warning on dash) are not related to low fluid level.

See 1st attached picture where the yellow arrows are pointing.

Hold the vent hose of each cap with one hand while you use a HEX key (8 mm allen) to turn each black plastic cap. Watch for a small rubber seal (or O-ring) under each cap that may stick to the modulator unit (instead of the cap).

Fluid level can be made full, but normally it is proportionate to wear of the pads - max level under cap when brake pads are new. Otherwise, next time you compress caliper piston to remove wheel, there will be a bit of overflow in vent hose. Min level should be reached ONLY when brake pads are very thin (unless there is a leak somewhere).
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John (Montreal, CANADA)
K1200RS (2002 IceBlue/Red - 96,000 miles)
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post #5 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 10:04 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

Quote:
Originally Posted by gunny View Post
Yup. What Zeke says.

Slightly low of brake fluid level.
+1

However, on your bike you will find the reservoirs on the ABS unit, IIRC. A PITA to get to, but not difficult. A string, preferably with a piece of hose on the end, is a great way to put the fluid where you want, and not where you do not.

DAMHIK.

Antony (Tripod)
Dallas' Northern Suburbs
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post #6 of 8 Old Jul 20th, 2014, 10:15 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

The 2005 and up were also not as sensitive to fluid level as the earlier bikes. Usually if you are getting the slow wig wag of the warning lights then one set of your brake pads is nearing the end of its useful life.

John
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post #7 of 8 Old Aug 1st, 2014, 5:33 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

You may have it sorted by now - I've only just seen the thread, but I had this about 10k miles ago on my 2005 Lux.

I too was warned about all kinds of expensive damage, but it turned out to be nothing more than a wire in the rear cluster that had chafed on a metal fitting and worn through some of the insulation. A really cheap one to fix, once the problem had been found. Make sure you get it done thoroughly and systematically!

Tom

Maidstone,
England

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post #8 of 8 Old Aug 1st, 2014, 7:29 am
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Re: Intermittent flashing brake failure light

I have a GS911 for diagnosing if you are near Peterborough. My post code is PE10 if that helps.

Bob
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