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Brake Light Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Brake Light Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$35

Talent:

***

Tools:

Phillips screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X3 Sport Utility (2004-06)

Parts Required:

Brake light switch

Hot Tip:

Use floor mat from vehicle to kneel on

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty brake or clutch light switch

Complementary Modification:

Replace brake light bulbs

The brake light switch is mounted in front of the brake pedal and is responsible for activating the brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed. The brake pedal switch can fail a few different ways. You may have a brake light warning lamp illuminate in your instrument cluster, indicating a problem with the brake light circuit. If none of the brake lights illuminate and the fuse is fine, the brake light switch is most likely the cause. I have also seen where the brake lights stay on all the time and the warning lamp is also on. If the lighting control module sees a fault with the brake light switch, it will turn the brake lights on all the time. This is for safety. A few things to remember when checking your brake light switch: check fuse (find location using fuse index in fuse panel), check brake light switch adjustment, (see steps below for how to adjust), inspect brake light bulbs. When testing, use a high impedance digital volt ohm meter (DVOM).

Remember your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please include your vehicle information.

The brake light switch (red arrow) is mounted in front of the brake pedal.
Figure 1

The brake light switch (red arrow) is mounted in front of the brake pedal. Remove the lower left side instrument panel trim. See our tech article on lower left side instrument trim panel replacing.

Working at the front of the brake pedal, disconnect the brake light switch (red arrow) electrical connector by pulling connector straight up and out the brake light switch.
Figure 2

Working at the front of the brake pedal, disconnect the brake light switch (red arrow) electrical connector by pulling connector straight up and out the brake light switch.

Remove brake light switch by sliding switch (red arrow) out of mounting bracket toward rear of vehicle (blue arrow).
Figure 3

Remove brake light switch by sliding switch (red arrow) out of mounting bracket toward rear of vehicle (blue arrow).

Once electrical portion of switch is removed, pull mount / adjuster (red arrow) out of mounting bracket by releasing tabs.
Figure 4

Once electrical portion of switch is removed, pull mount / adjuster (red arrow) out of mounting bracket by releasing tabs. The red arrow points to the bottom tab, there is one at the top of the adjuster also. Most times it will just pull out.

The new switch will come assembled.
Figure 5

The new switch will come assembled. Separate the switch from the mount. Press the mount / adjuster (red arrow) into the pedal mounting bracket.

Then slide the switch in (red arrow).
Figure 6

Then slide the switch in (red arrow). Press the brake pedal down and hold it (blue arrow), then slide the new brake light switch all the way into the mounting bracket. Then, slowly release brake pedal and let it come in contact with brake light switch. As it makes contact, the brake light switch will automatically adjust to correct position. Connect electrical connector and check brake light operation.

A quick way to test the switch is to pull the electrical portion out of bracket.
Figure 7

A quick way to test the switch is to pull the electrical portion out of bracket. Then touch a large open end wrench to the tip (blue arrow). This should turn the brake lights on. You can also test for voltage. On our subject vehicle, the blue / red wire send the signal to the lighting control module (LCM) for the brake lights to be activated. You can check if voltage is being sent on that wire when the switch is activated.

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Page last updated: Sat 2/25/2017 03:11:59 AM