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Reverse Light Switch Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Reverse Light Switch Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$75

Talent:

**

Tools:

19mm wrench, DVOM, fuse jumper wire, floor jack, jack stands, wheel chocks, safety glasses

Applicable Models:

R56 MINI Cooper Hatchback (2007-11)
R56 MINI Cooper S Hatchback (2007-11)

Parts Required:

Reverse light switch

Hot Tip:

Test circuit before replacing switch

Performance Gain:

Proper reverse light function

Complementary Modification:

Replace reverse light bulbs also

Manual transmission MINI R56 models utilize a reverse light switch in the transmission to activate the reverse lights when the transmission is shifted into reverse. The reverse light switch is a mechanical momentary style switch. This means it closes when pressed and opens when released. It does not latch closed. It is mounted in the transmission housing.

The reverse light switch sends a signal to the footwell module (located in the left side kick panel) to activate the reverse light bulbs. The light control module is supplied power by fuses located in the front fuse holder: fuses F47 (40 amp) (check with the latest repair information to confirm fuse numbers). The switch has a permanent ground supplied to Pin 2 that is sent to the lighting control module when the switch is closed. An easy way to test the switch is to unplug it. Then jump the terminals to each other using a fused jumper wire. When jumped, the reverse lights should activate.

In this tech article, I will go over testing and replacing the reverse light switch.

Remember that your car may have been serviced before and had 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 you're 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. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands. See our tech article on jacking your vehicle.

Working below the transmission, remove the transmission splash shield. See our tech article on engine splash shield replacing.

The red arrows show the location of the reverse light switch.
Figure 1

The red arrows show the location of the reverse light switch. It is mounted between the two shift cables.

First remove the air duct that runs from the intake air housing to the radiator support.
Figure 2

First remove the air duct that runs from the intake air housing to the radiator support. Pull the coolant reservoir out of the way. See our tech article on coolant reservoir replacing. Working at the left side of the radiator support, remove the fresh air duct (red arrow) by pulling it straight out of the radiator support. Then, unclip it from the intake air housing and remove it.

Next, remove the right side shift cable retainer (red arrow).
Figure 3

Next, remove the right side shift cable retainer (red arrow). Use a flathead screwdriver and lever it away from the cable end (green arrow).

Use the flathead screwdriver (red arrow) to lever the cable end off the shift lever.
Figure 4

Use the flathead screwdriver (red arrow) to lever the cable end off the shift lever. Note the position of the retainer (green arrow). It has to be removed completely from the cable end.

Press the electrical connector wire retainer (red arrows) and pull the connector straight off the switch.
Figure 5

Press the electrical connector wire retainer (red arrows) and pull the connector straight off the switch.

Next, use a short 19mm (red arrow) wrench and loosen the switch (green arrow).
Figure 6

Next, use a short 19mm (red arrow) wrench and loosen the switch (green arrow). You will have to place the wrench alongside the transmission. It will just fit. Break the switch free. Then remove the wrench.

Unscrew the reverse light switch and remove it from your transmission.
Figure 7

Unscrew the reverse light switch and remove it from your transmission. I have changed a handful of these switches and none of them had a sealing washer. When installing the new one, do not add a sealing washer unless your vehicle has one when removed. It could change the way the switch works, altering the insertion depth into the transmission. Screw in the new sensor. Tighten it using a 19mm wrench. Then plug in the electrical connector. Reinstall the shift cable and check the operation of your switch.




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