What is a brake light switch?
Your brake light switch is a simple spring-loaded switch that is held open by a tab on the brake pedal, keeping the brake lights off. When you push the pedal down, the spring causes the switch to close, completing the electrical circuit and turning on the brake lights. Releasing the pedal, which rises back up to its normal position by its own spring, depresses the plunger on the brake light switch and turns off the lights.
What are the symptoms of a faulty brake light switch?
The switch can fail one of two ways: it can fail to illuminate the brake lights, the most common failure. Rarely, a switch will fall out of its bracket or become misadjusted, and leave the brake lights on permanently. If your cruise control suddenly stops working, check your brake lights: the cruise control requires the brake lights to work properly. The problem might be a brake light switch, or simply a burned out brake lamp. Some vehicles may turn on the BRAKE WARNING light as well.
What’s the severity of a bad brake light switch?
Severe, as it’s in your best interests to be sure the cars following you in traffic have warning that you’re slowing down. Also, if your brake light switch is bad, your cruise control won’t work properly. The cruise control is supposed to shut off if the brake lights go on—a bad switch won’t make that happen. Luckily, this is a very easy, stress free repair.
The switch is located right near the tip of your right foot near the brake pedal, so it’s easy to access. The switch may actually snap into place without the use of any tools at all. $20-50 dollars should cover the labor costs on most cars. Some luxury cars may require dismantling some of the lower dashboard, raising costs to $100 or more.
Need to replace a brake light switch? Book service online in minutes with repair shops in your area. Openbay is car repair for the modern world.