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    Thread: DIY - Installing a new brake light switch (without breaking it!)

    1. 07-11-2004 11:31 PM #36
      Thanks for the DIY......If you have the old switch (type A) you can take the switch apart and fix it your self. When you take the switch apart there is a little gold conductor that gets knocked off its track. Just re-align the conductor and put the switch back together. To make sure its working right after words take a multimeter and set it to ohms. Then place one lead on pin 2 and the other on pin 3. You should read an open one way and a short the other way (depending on if the switch is depressed or extended). The switch its self was an easy fix. Dont waste the money if you dont have to!!

    2. 07-12-2004 12:15 AM #37
      Thanks for the info.

      Gary


    3. Banned
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      07-18-2004 05:30 PM #38
      I just got a new switch, followed the instructions and all worked well, everything described happened.

      The brake lights stay on now. All of the time.

      If I push the pedal down and push the switch all the way in, they still stay on.

      Is there anything else I need to do.

      The original A switch leaves them off all of the time, the D switch leaves them on all of the time.

      Any ideas?


    4. 07-18-2004 09:29 PM #39
      It's possible that the new switch broke while you were installing it. When it breaks, the lights stay on all of the time. It's such a stupid design ... something shouldn't break even when installed correctly!

      I'm local, so if you're still having trouble with the switch, I can probably stop by and help out.

      Gary


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      07-18-2004 09:41 PM #40
      Hey, thanks Gary. I followed the procedure to a T.

      If I broke the new one with the 'improved desgin' then I will not put it on the car at all. I will pick up a generic stop light switch used on GM vehicles.

      I handled it with extreme care. I repair motherboards, overclock cpus, repair pcb boards so I know how to be delicate.

      However I did fix my old one!

      I took the old switch apart and found all of the contacts were black.

      I cleaned them up with copper cleaner, then tinned them over using some gold acid free solder.

      installed the old switch and it works perfectly, no EPC light, tested it with a hundred pumps of the pedal with my wife behind the car.

      It works perfectly.

      I will exchange the switch tomorrow and toss it on the shelf for another 80k.


      FYI: Gold solder is available at an electronics store, I happened to have some since I do motherboard and other PCB repairs.

      I would not use standard solder since this will corode faster than the copper contacts themselves.


    6. 07-18-2004 10:04 PM #41
      Nice work! I have the old switch as well and did a similar cleaning procedure to fix it. The DIY is based on my sister's Jetta which has the newer style switch.

      I'm sure you were careful when installing the switch. That's how delicate the internal mechanism is! It can break even when installed correctly. I've heard of dealers, who should and supposedly do know the correct installation procedure taking as many as 5 times to get the switch in correctly!

      Gary


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      07-18-2004 10:21 PM #42
      Well Mr. CorradoG60, installed 6 of them today.

      he says I did it wrong.

      If the original breaks again, I will replace it with a universal sealed double momentary switch.

      That will be a permanent fix.


      Thanks again for your help.

      -B


    8. 07-18-2004 11:16 PM #43
      Anytime.

      Gary


    9. 07-19-2004 03:25 PM #44
      Gary,

      Any luck with the form? I gave those guys $10 at the dealership and man am I pissed, lol. I hate Stohlmans! I just got the new switch an hour ago and am going to try to fix the problem today. Thanks again!

      Justin


    10. 07-19-2004 03:40 PM #45
      I've got the form sitting on my desk. It claims that the recall (code WX) is only for 99-02 Jettas. Golfs/GTIs are not included.

      I'd give VWOA a call and ask what the deal is. The # is 866-896-2872.

      Gary


    11. 07-19-2004 03:44 PM #46
      last time i checked, it was a recall.. dealership fixed mine for freeeeeeeeee

    12. 07-19-2004 06:13 PM #47
      Hey Gary,

      I replaced my A version of the switch with the new D version in the GTI. Followed your instructions to a T. Held the switch in place, pulled the brake pedal out making sure the switch did not move, turned the switch to lock it in, then connected the wiring harness and.....still no brake lights......nothing. Any ideas???


    13. 07-19-2004 06:16 PM #48
      Quote, originally posted by xxmotodrewxx »
      last time i checked, it was a recall.. dealership fixed mine for freeeeeeeeee

      Yes, but since most dealers are scum.... tend to break things.... don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.... think there isn't a difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil... etc... etc... etc...


      For all these MANY reasons... a lot of REAL enthusiasts prefer to do their own work. Considering I paid $12 for the switch, spent 20minutes installing it, and VW is refunding my $12... I think I'm the one who made out... Dropping it off at the dealer would have taken longer than 20mins, plus the hassle of getting a ride while I'm w/o my car, etc...


      At least Gary is nice enough to take the time and make these FREAKING AWESOME DIYs for people... so don't knock it, show some appreciation.


      If you don't want to do it yourself, DON'T READ THE DIY.


    14. 07-19-2004 06:40 PM #49
      Was the brake pedal depressed when you installed it, or was it pulled UP against the stop (the normal position when driving and the brakes aren't applied)? The latter should be the case when installing the switch.

      If that didn't help out, then I'm not sure what's up. Does the old switch still work (sometimes). If you want to drop by my work again, I'll take the new switch apart and see if it's broken.

      Gary


    15. 07-19-2004 06:41 PM #50
      Quote, originally posted by digitalhippie »

      Yes, but since most dealers are scum.... tend to break things.... don't know their ass from a hole in the ground.... think there isn't a difference between synthetic and conventional motor oil... etc... etc... etc...


      For all these MANY reasons... a lot of REAL enthusiasts prefer to do their own work. Considering I paid $12 for the switch, spent 20minutes installing it, and VW is refunding my $12... I think I'm the one who made out... Dropping it off at the dealer would have taken longer than 20mins, plus the hassle of getting a ride while I'm w/o my car, etc...


      At least Gary is nice enough to take the time and make these FREAKING AWESOME DIYs for people... so don't knock it, show some appreciation.


      If you don't want to do it yourself, DON'T READ THE DIY.


      Thanks for writing that so I didn't have to! I hate it when people don't read through the whole thread before replying.

      Gary


    16. 07-19-2004 06:47 PM #51
      I had the brake pedal depressed, inserted the switch, let the pedal up , heard the ratcheting, the switch did not move as the pedal came up snugly, then turned the switch CW and plugged it in.

    17. 07-19-2004 06:56 PM #52
      Sounds like you installed it correctly.

      Do you hae a multimeter? If you do, take the plug off of the switch and test for continuity when the switch is depressed and not depressed. That should at least tell you if the switch is working correctly and the problem is somewhere else.

      Gary


    18. 07-19-2004 07:08 PM #53
      No I don't have one

    19. 07-19-2004 08:19 PM #54
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      Thanks for writing that so I didn't have to!


      No prob, I got your back... least I can do


    20. 07-19-2004 08:58 PM #55
      Quote, originally posted by JDM3 »
      No I don't have one

      Can you stop by Chantilly sometime? I can hook you up.

      Gary


    21. 07-19-2004 09:00 PM #56
      Quote, originally posted by digitalhippie »

      No prob, I got your back... least I can do


    22. 07-19-2004 09:00 PM #57
      Saving me again Just let me know ehn is good for you and I'll be there.

    23. 07-19-2004 09:03 PM #58
      Anytime is fine for me. I'm usually there until 4 or so, but will be leaving tomorrow around 3 to go for my emissions testing. Pick a day/time and let me know.

      Gary


    24. 07-19-2004 09:06 PM #59
      How about 10:00 tomorrow? I need to go for emissions and inspections too! Also, looks like I'll be needing new rubber as well.

    25. 07-19-2004 09:13 PM #60
      10 is cool. Call me when you get there. I'll IM you my cell # in case you don't have it anymore.

      Gary


    26. 07-20-2004 10:47 PM #61
      Edited for stupid question. Should have read further in the thread before posting. Sorry.


      Modified by alindley at 7:49 PM 7-20-2004

    27. 07-20-2004 10:54 PM #62
      Quote, originally posted by wowmegti »
      Well Mr. CorradoG60, installed 6 of them today.

      he says I did it wrong.

      Because you did, as simple as that


    28. 07-20-2004 11:00 PM #63
      Quote, originally posted by CorradoG60 »

      Because you did, as simple as that


      Since it broke, then it was most likely installed incorrectly. But that doesn't mean that the directions in the DIY are incorrect. Just because it's not how you do it at work doesn't make it wrong. There is one simple condition that needs to be met when installing the switch (the internal spring needs to be compressed) and both of our methods satisify that condition.

      Gary


      Modified by VgRt6 at 7:35 PM 8-9-2004


    29. 08-09-2004 08:01 PM #64
      great writeup. Just had to change the brake switch on my '03 (32000 km's). I had a cel last weekend and scanned with vag-com to find that the switch had thrown a fit. It worked well the rest of the weekend but I'm not one to take chances with my brake lights.

      The service dude told me there was a recall but I'm not about to have them see all the wiring I've done under the dash for a $12 part.


    30. 08-20-2004 09:12 PM #65
      awesome write up... just finished doing mine... i have brake lights again!

    31. Junior Member monkeybrettvw's Avatar
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      02 VW GTI 1.8 Matchstick Red
      09-07-2004 11:01 PM #66
      Wow. Brilliant DIY. After one failed attempt, I thought, "Hmm. Surely someone on Vortex already went through this crap." I did not expect to find such a thorough post on it tho. You even took the thing apart? Dam. I immediately recognized how cheap the part was (and how a seemingly easy procedure was botched by me the first time).

      My new switches came with the plungers fully extended, and as I said to the parts guy, "Hmm, mine was not nearly as extended as this when I took it off", he said, "Yeah, don't push it in...lots of people have broken them here just by pushing (clicking) them in." Duh. It could not install UNLESS it were clicked in. I figured that that was an adjustment as I was mangling my first replacement part, but who knew that compressing *against the tension as you lock it in* was the trick? Only someone who took it apart.

      Anyway, thanks so much for the detailed instructions. Piece of cake to fix. Your post really stands out.

      Maybe my airbag light will go out now.


    32. 09-07-2004 11:16 PM #67
      Glad the DIY helped out. Good luck with the airbag light. That fix can't be as easy as this one!

      Gary


    33. 09-13-2004 10:55 PM #68
      Good work man, I got it replaced and it only took me one switch but my airbag light won't go off now.
      Thanks for the article

    34. 09-14-2004 07:50 AM #69
      We should Print out all the DIY's and make a book of it so people don't have to do searches for them all.

    35. 09-14-2004 12:13 PM #70
      Gary should publish a book

      Start taking donations, and self-publish... geez, think you got enough DIYs now, and you could probably have other authors throw some in for a small royalty percentage


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