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Brakes On Es300 - 97

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97 ES300 - brake light indicator was going on in the morning. No brake fading or any other symptoms. Was perfect on the way home (it is still warm outside!).

Opened the hood and it looked like brake fluid is a bit on the low side (when the indicator lit up).

Added a little bit of brake fluid (cleaned the cap first, used a funnel). The problem disappears.

Based on my understanding - this should point to brake pads being worn out. Odd thing is - I looked at the outer brake pads - and they look decent. The car was at the dealership 6 weeks ago to get a sticker and they did not metion any problems. I would assume that they would try to get me to change the pads if they would be too thin.

Front pads and disks were changed at 110k, rear pads and disks - at 125k.

Is it time for change again? Or could there be another reason for the brake light to go on? I will take a look for any leaks over the weekend. What else?

Thanks for the feedback!

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What you describe is perfectly normal. As the pads wear (all 8 of them) the fluid level in the MC will go down making the low brake fluid light come on. You top up the fluid and continue on driving.

I'd bet that you don't have a fluid leak anywhere, but it is wise to check. What its saying is that the pads are wearing down but it doesn't mean that anything needs replacing yet. Again, its wise to check anyway. The squeal tabs on the brake pads are what tells you to start replacing parts. That and brake pulsing or the brakes grabbing in one direction.

Its good practice to have the brakes taken apart twice a year and clean and relube the slide pins. Its an easy DIYer job that doesn't require any special tools or expertise. That way you know for sure where you stand. Every 4 years its wise to flush the system and refill with fresh fluid. That keeps the calipers from seizing up due to internal corrosion.

I'm a backyard mechanic whose been in the backyard a while and I do the brakes on all my own vehicles. Its not rocket science, and its saves a lot of money, and gives a great deal of peace of mind. Good Luck!

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the fluid level in the master brake cylinder has a very very very sensitive sensor. a hair under the level it wants = instant light.

top it up and away you go.

(but by all means if you think something else is wrong dont kill yourself by not checking!)

gb gave you the other advice. you can visually see pad wear. and it will screech like a pig when they get too "low". only reason to change them before this is if you dont like how it's biting.

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