Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Cobble Hill, BC, Canada
The warning lamps illuminating are not a really accurate indication of brake applications available but one should always err on the side of caution when so few applications illuminate the lamps. The brake pressure warning lamp switches are often faulty, I see them stuck both open and closed due to swelling of the fiber piston in the switch. In a perfect world you would have pressure gauges connected to the system to tell you exactly what brake pressure you have available. Some have attached permanent gauges into their systems for this reason. That said, if you only have five pumps before the warning lamps illuminate you should not be driving your car on the road until you have repaired the accumulators or ascertained exactly what your system pressures are. If you are travelling down a long hill with the engine at idle, making on and off applications of the brakes, you may run out of pressure as the pumps with the engine at idle may not be able to keep up with numerous applications of the brakes. Granted you will still have the master cylinder system available on your year but it will not stop the car quickly. Or, if the engine stalled as you were going down a hill the engine pumps would not be replenishing the system pressure and you could easily lose all brakes quickly in that scenario. With a two and a half ton car it is better to be safe than sorry where brakes are concerned.