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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I have an urgent problem I need to get a roadworthy certificate within a few days for the compassionate police enforcers. The handbrake light is staying on even tho handbrake is released and the cable from handbrake to instrument cluster seems ok and is making some connection (possibly not strong enough but that's unlikely). There is enough fluid in reservoir and I've tried connecting the two wires together that plug into it but don't know if that info makes a difference but it made no difference anyway

As far as I know this circuit isn't connected to ABS and there's no cables to brake pads that I can see. The light appears the have only two functions from little knowledge I have about it.

Brake fluid and handbrake?

Miscellaneous info?
One tail light isn't working and an indicator stays on after straightening the steering up after a left turn. Also the radio is missing and this van was once used as a refrigerator and some butchering seems to have been done to electrics .

Help extremely appreciated.

Martin
 

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Super fantastic Mod Technical Supremo Nice Guy
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You say reservoir has enough fluid in,
take cap off Get a torch over the top of the reservoir, and now have a look through the reservoir bottle to make sure

Fluid must be over minimal line
 
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Sounds like you've got to the handbrake lever switch?
Often these work in reverse...ie pulling the lever releases switch and it closes...putting the light on.
Releasing the lever makes switch and opens it.
No guarantee on that BTW.

A multi meter would confirm and switch operation is okay.
 

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Indicator cancel is likely to be the stalk, when you indicate a pin protrudes and the rotating steering column hits the pin to cancel. Take off the cowling on the steering and have a look.
Tail light check for volts at connector check bulb, or connector to the cluster or corrosion in the cluster are most likely causes.
(and I agree about the checking the handbrake switch)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like you've got to the handbrake lever switch?
Often these work in reverse...ie pulling the lever releases switch and it closes...putting the light on.
Releasing the lever makes switch and opens it.
No guarantee on that BTW.

A multi meter would confirm and switch operation is okay.

This one just connects a cable from the instrument panel (handbrake light) to an earth. I've tried bypassing the switch with no success
 

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Super fantastic Mod Technical Supremo Nice Guy
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So fluid level has been checked and its ok
Its deffo handbrake light and not brake pad low indicator warning light?
 

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This one just connects a cable from the instrument panel (handbrake light) to an earth. I've tried bypassing the switch with no success
Have you actually traced the wire or just assuming that's the way it's wired?
if you're correct:
If the switch failed open circuit the handbrake light would be permanently off?
And if you removed the switch the light would be off.
And bypassing the switch would put the light on permanently.
So if you're correct about the way it's wired the wire must be permanently shorted to earth. Is it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Have you actually traced the wire or just assuming that's the way it's wired?
if you're correct:
If the switch failed open circuit the handbrake light would be permanently off?
And if you removed the switch the light would be off.
And bypassing the switch would put the light on permanently.
So if you're correct about the way it's wired the wire must be permanently shorted to earth. Is it?
I connected one end of the multimeter to the end of the cable that plugs into handbrake switch beside the hand brake and found two similar coloured cables in the bunch of wires going into one side of the instrument cluster. Both cables are connected to the handbrake cable switch according to my multi meter. The light apparently goes out when earthed. I'm not familiar with such switches so it confused me. The earth appears to be fine. The switch on handbrake that is.

I bypassed the switch and it made no difference . The way this switch is set up on this van is that it connects to earth when handbrake is released.
I believe that's an open circuit yes? That is supposed to somehow turn off the light but theirs the reservoir working off the same light. Before addressing that issue am I missing something regarding the handbrake?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The switch connects a little cable from instrument cluster to an earth when handbrake is released. I connected a cable to the little cable and past the switch to the earth. The earth is basically the body of the handbrake which is bolted to the floor of the van.

I'll try to attach a photo of wiring diagram from Haynes manual
 

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I connected one end of the multimeter to the end of the cable that plugs into handbrake switch beside the hand brake and found two similar coloured cables in the bunch of wires going into one side of the instrument cluster. Both cables are connected to the handbrake cable switch according to my multi meter. The light apparently goes out when earthed. I'm not familiar with such switches so it confused me. The earth appears to be fine. The switch on handbrake that is.

I bypassed the switch and it made no difference . The way this switch is set up on this van is that it connects to earth when handbrake is released.
I believe that's an open circuit yes? That is supposed to somehow turn off the light but theirs the reservoir working off the same light. Before addressing that issue am I missing something regarding the handbrake?
No, it's a closed circuit when it connects to earth, if the reservoir is involved it will be parallel connections, the only way that would make sense as you've described it is if the circuit was open when the handbrake was released (off)
The reservoir similarly would make the circuit when fluid was low.
I'm assuming the circuit from what you've said - I don't have details. so on that basis if the handbrake switch is disconnected and the light is still on something else in the circuit is causing it unless there are more electronics involved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok excuse my inexperience. It's not of much help anyway. In my brain fogged and stressed out state I assumed earthing the cable would turn off the light but after inspecting a switch from one of my donor vans it appears the switch breaks the link between earth and light by pushing the pin away from a piece of copper it holds against the part that receives the clip on the end of the single wire that comes from instrument panel. Sorry for the confusion. Does this clarify things a bit?

I am moving search else where. The test centre guys told me all they are really interested in is the handbrake side. They will let a faulty reservoir sensor pass but I still need to find a way to bypass those parts from keeping the light on. Or whatever else might be causing it 😣

Please don't
Forum copyright rules apply
 

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it appears the switch breaks the link between earth and light by pushing the pin away
Which is what I expected.
And disconnecting switch should turn light out.
You may have an earth fault on the wire....check what voltage to earth, I would expect 12v??
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
No, it's a closed circuit when it connects to earth, if the reservoir is involved it will be parallel connections, the only way that would make sense as you've described it is if the circuit was open when the handbrake was released (off)
The reservoir similarly would make the circuit when fluid was low.
I'm assuming the circuit from what you've said - I don't have details. so on that basis if the handbrake switch is disconnected and the light is still on something else in the circuit is causing it unless there are more electronics involved.

I now believe releasing the handbrake disconnects a single cable from the instrument panel to an earth. The earth is basically the handbrake lever which is screwed to the floor. A pin is pushed through plastic casing pushing a peice of copper away from the copper connector that connects to the wire from instrument cluster. Thanks for your reply
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Which is what I expected.
And disconnecting switch should turn light out.
You may have an earth fault on the wire....check what voltage to earth, I would expect 12v??
It's reading 0.59 with meter set at 20V on a crappy meter I bought yesterday and thanks for speedy reply 👍🏻
 

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Check your meter by reading across battery terminals 12.7v??? or thereabouts.

That low a reading suggests the cable is already connected to earth.
Disconnect fluid level sensor and check again.

Next step is then tracing wire back to find where
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Check your meter by reading across battery terminals 12.7v??? or thereabouts.

That low a reading suggests the cable is already connected to earth.
Disconnect fluid level sensor and check again.

Next step is then tracing wire back to find where
Ok very interesting. I'm just getting a chance to try that now . Thank you so much
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok very interesting. I'm just getting a chance to try that now . Thank you so much
I didn't get much time to look but somre facts that may be of some use I discovered.

Both cables from the brake fluid reservoir gave an audible signal of continuity to the connector going into the instrument panel. There is a reading of 0.20 volts (set at 2V) if I remember correctly between the two cables .

Since writing this I noticed that the black and red cable from one side of the reservoir sensor is just a short cable that is joined with some other black cables and screwed about 12inches behind reservoir on to an earth point on the body of van. So how did it show continuity with a cable of same colour on the bunch of wires going into instrument cluster?

I probably am missing something obvious cos I'm not thinking straight at all lately due to stress.

Once again your help and anyone's advice is greatly appreciated.

Marty
 
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