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One thing that seems to bring on the errors is pumping the brakes to seat the pads with the battery connected. The system seems to note a rapid movement of excessive fluid and thinks there is a leak and throws the codes.
that makes me wonder what would happen if someone would pump the brake to set the pad before taking it off service mode. I wonder if that's the reason?
 

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Its interesting with the Corvette c8 eboost if you push the brakes even a bit accidentally while the calipers are off you can have the pistons pop right out...

...but even worse the car runs abs checks in park so even not pushing the brake pedal if the car happens to run an abs check while the caliper is off you're screwed. You could get lucky changing the pads 10 times and no abs check happens but 1 more time and :(

The alfa doesn't seem as picky but yeah you don't want to confuse the computer. If you change the pad to brake pedal position significantly it can error you out. For example if you put in new pads then pump up the pedal with the new pads and youre old pads were all the way worn it is now going to be...lets say ....10mm less per side of each caliper the pistons have to travel out.
 

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not really. Modern ABS system calibrates distance need to travel to make sure they don't lock up brakes too long. On sports cars and on the track it could save some lives. That's why all brake works need to be done in service mode which resets all the settings, once it sets the pads as it turns back on. Now if you do a brake job without service mode, you run the risk of failure especially if you start pumping the brakes. Battery disconnect is a good idea but not always necessary since when brake system is in service mode, ABS shouldn't activate.
 

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I was referring to the Vette system not Alfa's.

I get why Alfa does what they do, you just need to follow the procedure properly.

What was described with the vette.... That's just an obvious design to screw up anyone who wants to maintain their car themselves. Which IMO is idiotic. Like I said... Sure they function great.
 

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8 piston calipers are what's on the vette. All of the 4 pistons needs to equally pressurized when pushing it back. If not all 4 on each side is pushed in together, one or two will pop up. This is when you need the old pad or caliper spreader. It is tricky to work with 8 piston brakes but I never had one pop out. However in theory, I guess it could happen if the brake system wasn't vented prior to service (open the brake reservoir) and pad worn down so low that it had way to push back?
 

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I have worked on 8 piston brakes maybe a hundred times.

What was described is a stupid design having nothing to with the caliper pistons.

The car runs ABS checks in park? Which can randomly cause a piston to pop while the brakes are off??

That is period stupid. No one needs the ABS when the car is in park. All that is, is a landmine for people doing thier own brakes.

Doing a little research on the C8 brakes is quite eye opening actually. Seems like they have more quirks then Alfa's. Not looking forward to ever being involved in a repair on one.
 

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I replaced my rotors and the pads without disconnecting the battery. I did place the car in a service mode and it was same as any other cars.. sensor wasn't replaced since I never got the indicator to go off. I just transferred the sensor from the old pad to the new one as I would have done for any other cars. No fail safe, no warning lights at all. So for those who are getting these fail safe issue, I'm just simply curious. Did you turn off your car after you placed your car in service mode? I did. Maybe that's the missing step?
Good point, but cannot be, as I and others with the errors have all turned our cars off after setting the service mode (with the exception of a few others that left it on). And thanks for the input about the brake pad wear sensor, but, my main question still has not been answered: Did you unplug the connector that goes to the rear parking brake motors on each side? These are completely different than the brake pad wear sensors. The pad sensors/connectors are for the pads, the park brake connectors power the park brake motors. The connection to the park brakes have a grey clip tab that pulls out like our coil packs/mass air flow sensor. This is where I think the issue lies.

I just replaced my pads and the only thing I unplugged were the wear sensors. For the life of me I do not remember if I turned the car off when I went into service mode. I need to find the procedure example that I followed when I performed my maintenance. I would be interested in what steps were followed that lead to the unfortunate limp home mode/brake forever mode.
So no disconnection of the park brake motor connections at all? with no codes? That is great to hear, and further validates where I may be going with this. Thanks for the input!

One thing that seems to bring on the errors is pumping the brakes to seat the pads with the battery connected. The system seems to note a rapid movement of excessive fluid and thinks there is a leak and throws the codes.
Again, another great point. But, again, I have seen this done plenty of times without receiving the error codes. As a matter of fact, other owners are actually suggesting pumping the brakes to AVOID the error codes, and did so themselves with no issues. Therefore I am going to rule this unrelated; until further input/experimentation. I personally did NOT pump the brakes before powering ignition only and taking out of service mode. $300 later at Alfa dealer to clear codes and my car is good to go.
 

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8 piston calipers are what's on the vette. All of the 4 pistons needs to equally pressurized when pushing it back. If not all 4 on each side is pushed in together, one or two will pop up. This is when you need the old pad or caliper spreader. It is tricky to work with 8 piston brakes but I never had one pop out. However in theory, I guess it could happen if the brake system wasn't vented prior to service (open the brake reservoir) and pad worn down so low that it had way to push back?
That is good info. But, would this apply to the 2.0 rear calipers on our cars where they only have a single piston in each rear? And I do understand if the fronts would require this with 4 pistons per caliper. For reference, I did have the brake reservoir cap off during the install. As far as the wear, my pads were very low, so the pistons did travel quite the distance when I used my spreader tool. I'll have a thread up later today with a few notes and pics from the install.

I have worked on 8 piston brakes maybe a hundred times.

What was described is a stupid design having nothing to with the caliper pistons.

The car runs ABS checks in park? Which can randomly cause a piston to pop while the brakes are off??

That is period stupid. No one needs the ABS when the car is in park. All that is, is a landmine for people doing their own brakes.

Doing a little research on the C8 brakes is quite eye opening actually. Seems like they have more quirks then Alfa's. Not looking forward to ever being involved in a repair on one.
Agreed; I've had Brembo brakes (6 piston) on both of my older (06' & 09') Mercedes AMG cars and replaced pads/rotors/fluid without any issue. It's the new IBS systems; and how the manufacture's engineered the modules to react to certain perimeters and conditions I suppose. But, aside from the system's technology, there is a step being missed or a step not being performed by certain owners including myself, where some have the error codes and fail safe mode and most do not. So, to keep the main question alive, does anyone think this is because some owners are unplugging the REAR PARK BRAKE CONNECTORS? Everyone unplugs the brake pad wear sensors of course, but not all will unplug the park brake motors at the connections, because it is not a necessary step in the rear brake job. I only unplugged them to inspect the connectors and wiring harness, clean, and add a dab of dielectric grease as I would with any electrical connector that is installed in an area susceptible to dirt and debris.
 

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I basically need a controlled variable; someone that knows EXACTLY each step they took and if they DID in fact disconnect the rear parking brake connectors during the install. If they did unplug them, did they have the error codes and limp mode afterwards? If they did not, did they have the codes and limp mode? This will rule out where I am heading with this theory and we can put it to rest.
 

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General rule when working on a car...

If you don't HAVE to do something... Don't.
That includes disconnecting things cleaning them and adding electrical grease... If there isn't a problem, if it isn't a needed part of the job, don't do it. Unless it's a known trouble spot and it's pre-emptive... I don't believe any of the connectors for the brake system have been flagged as being a problem from dirt. Granted the cars are still new enough we are still finding the problem areas, still, don't think it's nessesary.

To be on subject, I haven't done my brakes yet and probably won't till late next year given how they look, so not experienced with these brakes specifically. And haven't done any preliminary research to see what the quirks are on the job (they all have quirks).

However, I have worked on a lot of cars with electric parking brakes. Diagnosed alot of trouble codes.

Don't ever disconnect the parking brake on an electronic system if you don't have to. Do a Google search, you will find people who did their own brakes who then have trouble codes, non-functioning parking brakes and a ton of other issues on most every brand.

Most cars have a specific parking brake service mode, I don't think the brake service mode in our cars is the same as that, there is probably another mode for the EPB service.

I say this because the brake service mode on our cars doesn't just retract the piston on the rear brakes, as part of that it also tells the parking brake to not trigger. Which means it is actively communicating with the system. Disconnecting something while it is actively in communication with the car will ALWAYS throw codes and cause complications.
 

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General rule when working on a car...

If you don't HAVE to do something... Don't.
That includes disconnecting things cleaning them and adding electrical grease... If there isn't a problem, if it isn't a needed part of the job, don't do it. Unless it's a known trouble spot and it's pre-emptive... I don't believe any of the connectors for the brake system have been flagged as being a problem from dirt. Granted the cars are still new enough we are still finding the problem areas, still, don't think it's nessesary.

To be on subject, I haven't done my brakes yet and probably won't till late next year given how they look, so not experienced with these brakes specifically. And haven't done any preliminary research to see what the quirks are on the job (they all have quirks).

However, I have worked on a lot of cars with electric parking brakes. Diagnosed alot of trouble codes.

Don't ever disconnect the parking brake on an electronic system if you don't have to. Do a Google search, you will find people who did their own brakes who then have trouble codes, non-functioning parking brakes and a ton of other issues on most every brand.

Most cars have a specific parking brake service mode, I don't think the brake service mode in our cars is the same as that, there is probably another mode for the EPB service.

I say this because the brake service mode on our cars doesn't just retract the piston on the rear brakes, as part of that it also tells the parking brake to not trigger. Which means it is actively communicating with the system. Disconnecting something while it is actively in communication with the car will ALWAYS throw codes and cause complications.
I agree with everything said; and I will remember this for next vehicle at least for the parking brake connectors while actively performing a brake service. Obviously due to the area where the wiring is located, I figured it wouldn't cause any harm, and only benefit the connectors to stay in top shape. Again, lessoned learned while in brake service mode. Other than that, mechanically speaking, brakes are a straight forward job and it is embarrassing yet understandable in today's world why they charge what they do.

The answer is of course not. There was no reason to disengage the parking brakes since they were already retracted.
Thank you!! Very happy to hear that answer. For now, I will conclude that the disconnection of the parking brake motor wires is what caused the error codes/fail safe; I only wish we could hear from the OP on whether they did or didn't, but as stated, they most likely do not have an Alfa anymore and are no longer logging into this forum. Thanks again to everyone for all contributions.
 

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Look at the above brake job. The lights came on even without disengaging the parking brakes. I think it has to do something with pushing back on the calipers too far back. Just a theory but I don't think it's the parking brakes. Did you disconnect the battery after setting the car in service mode? If so, on reconnect, all lights would fire on simply because it has to. I never disconnected my battery for pads or to bleed so I'm wondering if that's the piece missing?

Just thought of something. Auto parking brake mode. Is yours on? Mine is always kept off. Could that be the reason? park, auto p-brake off, disengage parking brakes if the light is still on, then service mode.
 

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Look at the above brake job. The lights came on even without disengaging the parking brakes. I think it has to do something with pushing back on the calipers too far back. Just a theory but I don't think it's the parking brakes. Did you disconnect the battery after setting the car in service mode? If so, on reconnect, all lights would fire on simply because it has to. I never disconnected my battery for pads or to bleed so I'm wondering if that's the piece missing?

Just thought of something. Auto parking brake mode. Is yours on? Mine is always kept off. Could that be the reason? park, auto p-brake off, disengage parking brakes if the light is still on, then service mode.
I watch his videos; he's great. I also had my auto park brake setting off before I did the retraction process. He obviously didn't disconnect the battery, because he would've included that in his video due to how detailed he is with his content. What sucks is that he didn't show whether he left the ignition on or off after the retraction. As a reminder, I turned mine off to not drain the battery because I had left it connected. I agree and I'm starting to think that it has something to do with the fluid movement/air in the system. We will have to see.

So you bled the brakes when you did yours? Because I did not. Only had the reservoir cap off as mentioned.
 

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during my rotor and pad change, I didn't have to push back much since the pads really didn't needed to be change. I did have my ignition off and only different thing I see from yours is that my auto parking system was never on. Maybe recycling the circuit with the engine off and on should do the trick after disengaging the auto parking brakes?

Brake fluid change was done after the pad change. (about 2-3 weeks later I believe) only because I wanted to make sure that each job was done properly. Parked, brake service mode, then ignition off. Of course the wheels were taken off then and the power bleeder was pumped. I did see some residue coming off but not to the degree of OMG and I saw no air. I just wished they had the dye one still available so I can see when the new fluids were coming off. Please know that I usually don't wait for any symptoms before I do these simple maintenance. Pads are routinely changed 2-3 years and bleed 2-3 years as well. Why? because it's cheap and I never want to deal with leaking calipers ever again.
 

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I did in fact have the auto park brake feature OFF before I did the retraction procedure; I believe the fluid movement/air in system scenario is making the most sense at this point, as my pads were well worn (more so on rears) and the pistons did get pushed back a good amount, with only the brake reservoir cap off for pressure release/fluid overflow. I'll just monitor any further issues from owners and piece together what might be the exact cause/incorrect method. Other than this issue I performed yet another flawless brake job and it is worth every second of your time to save money and do yourself as we've all mentioned. Thanks again for all inputs.
 

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I believe that the procedure I followed said to turn off the auto park brake feature. I did not disconnect the battery and I think I kept the car on. I had no issues once I figured out how to navigate the infotainment system to access the brake retraction option. My rear brakes were really worn so I did have quite a bit of brake fluid to remove from the system when I pushed back the calipers. No issue at all for this change.

P.S. I also have the parking sensors off so not sure if that makes any difference but I remember some post that talked about parking sensors and how that can cause a problem if you are too close to a car or garage door etc.
 

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Hi all,
How about the following steps to avoid Christmas lights? Your comments are welcomed 😀

  • Make sure auto parking brake is set to off. If it is on, turn it off, turn on and off the engine to make sure it is registered.
  • Turn on brake service mode
  • Disconnect the battery
  • Perform brake pad change WITHOUT removing the parking brake sensor
  • Connect the battery
  • Turn the ignition on (not the engine) Turn off the brake service mode. I am not sure what the system will show at this point…Would it remember that it was put on brake service mode before the battery removed??? I have no clue…Anyone knows???
  • Turn the engine on and turn steering wheel all away right, hold for 2-3 seconds, turn left and hold for 2-3 seconds. This is the common procedure after battery disconnect and reconnect
 

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I believe that the procedure I followed said to turn off the auto park brake feature. I did not disconnect the battery and I think I kept the car on. I had no issues once I figured out how to navigate the infotainment system to access the brake retraction option. My rear brakes were really worn so I did have quite a bit of brake fluid to remove from the system when I pushed back the calipers. No issue at all for this change.

P.S. I also have the parking sensors off so not sure if that makes any difference but I remember some post that talked about parking sensors and how that can cause a problem if you are too close to a car or garage door etc.
So in comparison, I turned ignition off after caliper piston retraction. You left yours on. As mentioned, I did not disconnect the battery either.
To update possible causes thus far, we have:
possible fluid movement/air in system during piston retraction, battery connected/disconnected, ignition on/off after retraction process in settings, and/or the disconnection of the rear parking brake motors by unplugging wiring harness on both sides.
 
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