I had this same issue when i replaced the brake light swich--it is most likely either instaled wrong or the switch--I dont think it would be electrical
I wish I had researched this before I just gave the dealership $80 in labor. I'm fuming right now.
This is the second time this part has failed and since the first time happened outside of the warranty period of the part, I had to pay up. That's retarded. If VW doesn't come up with a solution, I'm buying my wife an IS250. We really liked the Passat, but little things like this really bother me. I can handle a little more cheesier plastic for as long as it doesn't break every other year.
Hey VW, get your heads out of your butts before you lose more once-loyal base of customers.
I have had the problem with it not shifting out of park so i replaced the switch and it shifts out of part but now the brake lights are constantly on. Does this mean the the switch is bad? I reinstalled the old switch and the lights are not on but it shifts out of park about 60% of the time. Should i go and try another switch or is there something else that could cause it to not shift out of park.
And to think that until now I thought I had found a cool dealership ...
My brake light switch is crapping out on me, it will come on by itself after I've walked away from the car. Called the dealer. They have the part, it's $15 or $25 depending on the switch; mine should be the $15 one.
According to them it will cost anywhere from $125-170 to fix it. Thats if they can schedule me in. Forget them!!
Thanks for the write up, gonna pick up the switch and do it myself. Hell even if I buy ten and break all but the last one I still could save money.
Well, sold the VW that we had this problem with, but should mention this for everyone. I know the parts person who got us the switch and he let me in on a little secret. Even with the brake light switch failure and an automatic transmission there is a way to get the car in to gear. Basically the shifter lock cycles whenever you turn the key so getting it at that split second is the key.
This is how I was able to move the car around the driveway. Push the shifter button in and pull the shifter towards you some. Now turn the key on to run and the shifter should release long enough to put it in to neutral. Start the car and pull the shifter back in to drive. This is the tricky part, but after a few trys you should be able to get the shifter in to drive or reverse.
Thank you very much for posting this online! Mine failed this past Sunday so I took it to a local guy that I trust to do repairs on Monday. He couldn't even start to look at it until the ealry afternoon. He calls me at 4:30 to tell me that he can't get it to work. He thought the replacement was broken too so he had to order another and wouldn't have it until today. Well, I REALLY needed my car today so went online and found your post, went to the local dealer, bought the part and started working at around 10:00pm. I wanted to be extra careful because you guys make this part seem very delicate. I installed it per the instructions, connected the cable...LIGHTS! Awwww...must have scewed it up. Took it back out, and started playing with it. Unlocked it again, made the mistake of pushing it all the way in. Tried for thirty minutes to pull it back out, like you said we could. As I'm playing with it, I noticed, this thing has a THREE notch turn. When I installed it, I only turn it enough to get to the second notch, which I believe (as you say locks the length). I turned it manually to the third notch and connected the cable...LIGHTS, but push the pin in, NO LIGHTS! So I figured it out one switch too late I thought. Figured I'd get up next morning, go to the local VW again and get a new one since now I knew what I did wrong. Got up the next morning and decided to try pulling out the first one again. Figured if I broke it, I was buying a new one anyway. Grabbed a pair of plyers, and it came right out. (Yes I put it back in the unlock position before I pulled.) Installed it again in five minutes. It took longer to put the paneling back on.
Thanks again...saved me much money and aggrevation!
Great write up, worked like a charm on the first try. Although I felt like a contortionist since I drive a stick and had to start the car to press the pedal in more. It was like a game of twister I had my left hand holding the switch in, my right foot on the brake, then had to reach down and hold the brake with my right hand while swinging my legs out of the canto put my head up under there, but got it done.
this thread was a massive help..
i had my mechanic telling me he couldn't find the part for almost 2 weeks.. went to vw and bought it for $13.09 and used this write up to put it in.. thanks so much man..
I wish i could say... Looks the same as version D which I had in my car and the part was bad. I've had it in for one week now and i've been hesitation free and loving it. First time in 17,000 miles my car has driven like its suppose to
Pic of version E:
Just wanted to let you all know, in case you didn't already. There has been a recall out on this part for some time now, issued Feb 20 2004. If you go to NHTSA.dot.gov you can find all recalls and bulletins that have been issued. The recall I found is for my girlfriends 2001 Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T and the NHTSA ID NUmber is: 04V096000 The dealer should replace this at no cost!
thanks for the great write up..just did mines today..took me two times and one broken to get it right...i have a question though since I dont entirely understand how the mechanism works..what's the difference if you just put it in the bracket without the brake pressed back?i mean isn't it already in the position it would be if you did it your way and let it depress against the plunger?how does it affect the tension of the spring just because you have the brake pedal going against it instead of it going into the pedal? and i'd also like to know if there's any ground wires or loose wires that's supposed to be under the dash?I found a long black wire that leads back to the panel that has the hood release..i dont' know where the other end goes to though..i hope it's not important for car operation.
p.s. and about the recall..i wonder if they're obligated to tell you if you try to go in for a brake light switch service? I called the local VW and they said it'd cost me 170 for it..no mention of a recall at all.
update: seems the switch got in some kind of stuck position 2 hours after my "successful" installation and i had the brake lights on until my dad told me about it..had to pull out the plunger and redo it again..hopefully I didn't break the mechanism and the damn thing will stay fixed.
Modified by HaiSpeedBora at 4:52 PM 3-12-2006
Quote, originally posted by kgruell » Just wanted to let you all know, in case you didn't already. There has been a recall out on this part for some time now, issued Feb 20 2004. If you go to NHTSA.dot.gov you can find all recalls and bulletins that have been issued. The recall I found is for my girlfriends 2001 Jetta Wolfsburg 1.8T and the NHTSA ID NUmber is: 04V096000 The dealer should replace this at no cost!
DEALERS WILL REPLACE THESE SWITCHES. OWNER NOTIFICATION BEGAN ON DURING APRIL 30, 2004. OWNERS SHOULD CONTACT VOLKSWAGEN AT 1-800-822-8987.
does this switch also control the parking lights (night lights)? my parking lights arent working, although the brake lights and license plate lights still work. Does replacing this brake light switch fix this problem? I've already checked all fuses and bulbs. Thanks
Quote, originally posted by RonN »
dont you love the purple ones ive had this in my desk for like 2 months now since my old one decided to work again when i got home. all it needed was a cleaning cause the grease on the plunger was cloged with hair and dirt, keeping the plunger in the "brakes are off" position. And these little brake switches are fun to play with, every time im on the vortex im fidiling with it in my hand.....suprizingly not breaking it even though its supposed to be so sensitive to breaking o well
Great write up. Just did mine in like 20 minutes. Someone beat me to the fact about the E version though. I think mine may have just been stuck since I started playing with it once I replaced it and I just pulled the plunger out and it seems to be working ... oh well it was only $15 CDN including all tax and such. Maybe I'll keep mine for playing with as well lol