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Honda CRV

We have a 2001 Honda CRV FWD with 115,000 miles on it. Frequently, esepcially in the winter, the brake light comes on when the vehicle’s engine is started and remains on until the car warms up. He have had the local Honda dealer attempt to locate the problem and our local mechanic as well. Both have said they couldn’t find anything wrong. The operation of the brakes including the parking brake is otherwise normal.


October 28, 2003

Applies To:
1996-00 Civic - ALL
1997-01 CR-V-ALL
1997-01 Prelude - ALL
1998-02 Accord - ALL

Brake System Indicator Comes On and Goes Off

(Supersedes 03-078, dated October 17, 2003)

Updated information is shown with asterisks.


The brake system indicator comes on after a cold start, then goes off after a few minutes of driving.


The master cylinder reservoir filter is not allowing the cap to vent properly, causing the fluid level in the filter to change.


Replace the master cylinder reservoir filter.


Master Cylinder Reservoir Filter:P/N 46666-S04-J02, H/C 7602899

Float:P/N 46662-S84-999, H/C 5896766


In warranty: The normal warranty applies.

Failed Part: P/N 46666-S04-J02
H/C 7602899

Defect Code: 05401

Symptom Code: 03205

Skill Level: Repair Technician

Out of warranty:
Any repair performed after warranty expiration may be eligible for goodwill consideration by the District Parts and Service Manager or your Zone Office. You must request consideration, and get a decision, before starting work.


  1. Make sure the brake master cylinder fluid is at its proper level.

  2. Release the parking brake.

  3. Check the movement of the float in the reservoir:

^ If the float moves up and down freely, go to step 4.

^ If the float does not move freely, replace the cap and recheck the symptom.

  1. Check that the float does float in brake fluid:

^ If it floats, go to step 5.

^ If it sinks, replace the float and recheck the symptom.

  1. Check for continuity between the terminals of the cap. You should find no continuity when the float is up, and continuity when the float is down.

^ If continuity is correct, go to REPAIR PROCEDURE.

^ If continuity is not correct, replace the cap and recheck the symptom.


  1. Remove the brake master cylinder cap.

  2. Remove and discard the old filter.

  3. Install the new filter in the master cylinder.

  4. Reinstall the brake master cylinder cap.

  5. Check that the brake system indicator is off.

Good One, Knfenimore.
That’s Definitely What I’d Try, First. I’d Bet That Fixes It.

It makes you wonder why a dearler wouldn’t check for TSBs when they have an unusual problem that they are uanable to resolve. I always go first to DTCs and then to TSBs and then the internet when I have any problems on my cars. No sense in reinventing the wheel. Usually others have gone before you.


@commonsenseanswer, I worked at a dealership for over 9 years.

Some of my colleagues weren’t very computer-savvy.

That’s not an excuse.
That’s simply the truth.

This was a common problem for years at the Honda dealer I worked at. We always replaced the filter and the float, and it always fixed the problem.

Nice! My '99 with 248k has been doing this for a while so I ordered the parts from Bernardi (about $6 I think) and installed and no more issue. Thanks!