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Old 06-16-2018, 12:28 PM   #1
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Phantom Brake Light Indicator

Has anyone else had this issue? The dashboard brake trouble light has illuminated, which, according to the manual means the brake fluid reservoir is low. The manual also instructs you to stop driving and immediately tow your Sprinter to the nearest dealer.

My brake fluid reservoir is not low, the brakes are working fine, and the dealer checked the computer and brake sensors and could not find any faults. The light is still on. The dealer said that for $150 per hour they could keep digging into it. I declined to enrich them further in this ghost hunt. Click image for larger version

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Old 06-16-2018, 01:12 PM   #2
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Grasping at straws... Might this be trying to tell you that one of the brake light bulbs is burnt out?
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:18 PM   #3
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Grasping at straws... Might this be trying to tell you that one of the brake light bulbs is burnt out?


We tested those and they work fine. I think that type of malfunction displays on the info screen.
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Old 06-16-2018, 03:08 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 3bcamper View Post
Has anyone else had this issue? The dashboard brake trouble light has illuminated, which, according to the manual means the brake fluid reservoir is low. The manual also instructs you to stop driving and immediately tow your Sprinter to the nearest dealer.

My brake fluid reservoir is not low, the brakes are working fine, and the dealer checked the computer and brake sensors and could not find any faults. The light is still on. The dealer said that for $150 per hour they could keep digging into it. I declined to enrich them further in this ghost hunt. Does anyone have any ideas or a similar experience?
Is your Sprinter a Freighliner? What brand of dealer did you have looked at it?

My 2012 Sprinter owners manual says that Brake Light can indicate an EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) malfunction. From the way I read my owners manual the EBD malfunction can be indicated by the Brake Light alone or with other warnings like ABS, ESP and ASR/BAS. The EBD impacts rear wheel brake force distribution.

I think these systems have been on all Sprinters since the NCV3 models were introduced in 2009/2010.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:49 PM   #5
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Is your Sprinter a Freighliner? What brand of dealer did you have looked at it?

My 2012 Sprinter owners manual says that Brake Light can indicate an EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) malfunction. From the way I read my owners manual the EBD malfunction can be indicated by the Brake Light alone or with other warnings like ABS, ESP and ASR/BAS. The EBD impacts rear wheel brake force distribution.

I think these systems have been on all Sprinters since the NCV3 models were introduced in 2009/2010.


I see what youíre looking at in the manual, and as I read it, the ESP and ABS and the tire symbol along with the brake light signal all have to be illuminated together for it to be an issue with the anti-lock or EBV braking system. I may be wrong, but thatís how I read that. I see one other cause listed in the owners manual, and that is the trailer brake booster system malfunction. Iím not towing a trailer, so I donít know what to think of that.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:05 PM   #6
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Phantom Brake Light Indicator

Okay, while troubleshooting something else, I found that this brake light indication was due to the 20 amp trailer socket fuse. Fuse position 14, under the driverís seat. For unknown reason(s) it was blown. I donít tow anything, so there could be a short somewhere. The manual does in fact implicate the trailer system; it says ďThe trailerís brake booster is malfunctioningĒ. I guess a blown fuse qualifies as malfunctioning! Iím a bit disappointed that the Sprinter mechanic didnít find or suggest that. Lesson learned.
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Old 09-26-2018, 06:47 PM   #7
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the Sprinter mechanic didnít find or suggest that. Lesson learned.
3BCAMPER - Great to hear you fixed it yourself. I would suggest most mechanics, even very honest ones, limit what they suggest (goes towards liability & once they go down that road, the questions never end). Also goes back to your original statement -
"The dealer said that for $150 per hour they could keep digging into it."
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