Brake Light Switch
A malfunctioning brake light switch won't just make you incur driving tickets; it can also cause road mishaps as the drivers of the vehicles behind you won't be able to know when you're slowing down or stopping. Fortunately, diagnosing brake light switch problems and replacing a defective one is such an easy task. So if you want to save yourself from the hasales and expense of taking your ride to the shop, you'd better do the task by yourself.
Here's a step-by-step guide on how to replace a defective switch for brake lights:
What you'll need:
- Basic wrench set
- Phillips screwdriver
- Head lamp/flashlight
- Vehicle owner manual
- New switch for the brake lights
Accessing the brake light switch
Step 1: Open the driver's side door of your vehicle and get down on your knees to find the switch that's situated under the dashboard, near the top part of the brake pedal. If there's a mat, you need to remove it so you'll have unobstructed access to the switch. It is also a good idea to use a head lamp since the area under the dashboard is usually dark.
Step 2: Reach the underside of the dash and feel around until you find where the brake pedal connects. That's exactly where the switch is situated in almost all vehicles.
Step 3: The switch and the electrical cover that protects it are held in placed by several Phillips-head screws, so you need a Phillips screwdriver to unscrew and remove each of them until the cover is released. Set the screws aside to avoid losing them.
Removing the defective brake light switch
Step 4: In most vehicles, housed inside the first electrical cover is another cover that's attached in place by bolts. The number of bolts varies from one vehicle model to another. Unbolt them using a socket wrench and put them in a safe container along with the screws. Once all the bolts have been removed, you can take the cover off and get hold of the switch.
Step 5: Remove the switch and disengage the electrical connector that supplies power to it by sliding the switch off the contact.
Installing the new brake light switch
Step 6: As easy as it is to remove, you won't find it hard to install aenew switch in place either. All you have to do is to hold the power cable (the one that you've disconnected in step 5) connecting to the brake light switch, and plug and push it all the way on the replacement switch.
Step 7: Install the second layer of cover (if there's any) on the switch and secure it with the same bolts that you removed in Step 4. If your switch doesn't have such cover, then proceed to bolting the replacement switch in place. Hold the housing or the switch with your one hand and use the other hand to insert and tighten the bolts.
Step 8: Once the brake light switch is installed in place, you can now reinstall the electrical cover by snapping it in place and securing it using the screws that held the old switch housing in its position. Put back the mat that you removed before starting with your DIY task.