Great write up,
my switch just failed and so i have something to add,
on a TDI car the glow plug light will also blink, this is in addition to no cruise control and no brake lights or constant brake lights
I had the dealer replace the brake switch several months ago. I noticed that I had to push the pedal much further to disengage the cruise. Next service I asked them to take a look at it. They told me there was no adjustment. I removed the switch this weekend, reset and reinstalled it per this post. Things are much better now. Thanks for the great instructions.
One note, on my GTI, there are two identical mounting positions for the switch, one lower than the other. The bracket that the switch mounts to is longer than the one pictured. Also, the switch mounts 90 degrees rotated from the instructions. When I first tried to install per the instructions, the switch would not go into the hole. The two tabs on the switch are different from each other and the hole in the bracket to which it mounts is keyed to the tabs.
Replaced my A-type with the purple E-type. Thought I had broken the new switch in the process, but discovered that in addition to the bad switch, I had a bad bulb. Now all is right again.
The switch was $8 online, plus $7.50 for shipping. The process took under 20 minutes.
Thanks to all!
Most of us that know better won't let a dealer put their hands on our cars!
And all for a $10 part?
I live an hour away from the closest dealer and wouldn't that be a fun drive with no brake lights?
Modified by MaryP at 3:22 PM 5-31-2006
Thanks for the great writeup! Just 12,300 miles ago (yep, just out of the "parts and labor" warranty) I paid my dealer $199 to fix my "no brake lights/glowplug lite blinking" problem.
Today when same symptoms re-appeared, I bought the switch and replaced it in ten minutes. And only the cost of the switch.
This writeup was superb!
FWIW: Cause i didn't dork up the first switch, I have an extra. And - it's FREE to whomever needs one. (one good turn deserves another).
FWIW2: I am going to write VW of USA and ask them to reimburse the first expense - even if i do own a "non-recalled" Golf...
Bump for those who haven't seen this is a while. Great write up and problem solved.
I agree with other what a POS switch and can only designed to generate rev for the dealership.
I have the write up and a spare switch as I am sure I will be needing it in the future.
Great write up Gary. Thank you so much. As stated before, took longer to disassemble than to fix the problem. I was one of the FEW lucky people to get it right in the first shot. Thanks again, for your wonderful writeup. Got it taken care of this morning, my epc light went right off and my brake lights came on .
Excellent DIY. I was lucky to find this before I installed the switch and the instructions were spot on.
The only thing I can add is a personal experience. I was on the road when my switch failed and my fix to get me home was to pull fuses 1 by 1 until I disabled the brake swith.
Worked fine for getting me home, the problem is the EPC, Airbag, and Check engine light trips. The car had poor acceleration and wouldnt leave 1st gear...
After changing the brake light switch I had to run VAG COM to clear the codes. Car is fine, just a heads up in case you drive the car with that fuse pulled.
mkvi GTI 4d 6mt CSG autobahn, xenons, dyanaudio, detroits
apr stg. 1/ BFI torque mount insert/ apr carbonio stg 1 and 2/ tiguan noise pipe delete/ awe boost guage w/42dd tap
Awesome!!! I re-read your instructions over and over before doing this! You were right on!!!
BTW--I bought the switch from the dealer, and their instructions were wrong (they say to rotate switch then release the pedal).
Thanks for the Help!!!
Big ups for the post. Great pics and step by steps. Key to my success was following ur instructions to the T and also practing about 4 times w/ the old switch (plunger fully extended)...would've broke the new one if i hadn't since i wasn't depressing the brake completely
im having this problem... but my brake lights work, but i cant shift from park!!! wth!!! what i do notice is that the foot symbol light next to P doesnt turn off when i press my brake!!! I need help asap i have to be at work in the morning and its sunday all the mechanics are closed!!
Another satisfied customer
My brake light switch was also the -E model (bought 08/22/06). Read instructions for 10 minutes, took 5 minutes for the install.
Notes: only took out the panel above the driver's side footwell (3 screws, then bent the panel to take it off) and forgot NOT TO depress the brake pedal when removing the old switch - but the new one still works!
Thanks again -
Have to love the Vortex.
Started having periodic problems with my brake lights staying on a couple of weeks ago, and found a dead battery in the garage this morning. Luckily had another car to get to work.
At least I know this will be an easy fix. The hard part is going to be pushing my car out of my narrow single garage between townhouses to be able to jump start it.
I bought an "E" switch from the dealer for $11.17. I installed it according to the instructions and my brake lights still didn't come on. The only thing I could have done was overturn the swich when locking it in.
How can I tell if the switch is broken? Do you only get 1 try?
Just bought the new "E" purple switch, and am about to install it. Thanks for such a great write-up, woulda been totally lost without it!!
Is this is in the MkIV FAQ/DIY section? If not, it should be there asap!!!!!
Quick update: Everything went really smooth - about 10 minutes. Now I have lights!!! Yeah!
Also: the stealership took $13.75 from me for the switch. Much better though than taking it in and not having a car while they "diagnose" it.
Modified by EndisForever at 12:08 PM 8-28-2006
I went and bought a new switch and thought that it would be the new one but it was the older one....I haven't looked at what was in my car but it feels like the newer one....can the two be interchanged by any chance??
The switch in my 2005 golf tdi failed this morning with the brake lights stuck on. Its still under warranty but I am an hour away from the dealer and I am running b95 so I decided to take a look at the switch myself. I got under the dash and gave the old switch a twist and the lights went off and started working again. Do they ever get stuck but not broken? I suppose I should just order a spare one. Any tips on where to find one online? Several of the older links didnt seem to work.
This is one of those DIY FAQs that has lots of great information and tells you how to fix broken stuff, but it fails to explain the real reason the switch fails and doesn't provide any real technical info. If you want to know more let me illustrate the workings of the switch. The following will allow you to get a failing brake light/pedal switch to work at least temporarily.
Audi/VW has had numerous problems with electric switches since the early 1980s. Having owned several Audi 100s/5000s, I have become an expert at taking the electric window control switches out of these cars and cleaning the poorly designed contacting surfaces that are at fault. Sadly, the brake light switch (which FYI is the same as the brake pedal switch, just 2 different pins on the same switch) on my 05 Jetta is still based on the same design and therefore suffers the same problems.
All newer models have a purple bodied rev. E switch. This switch is actually DIFFICULT to break and in all likelihood can be cleaned / repaired easily. The switch can be readily removed in its unlocked position. You may choose to reset the plunger or you may choose not to, I haven't found that it makes any difference.
1) The plunger part of the switch (which comprises most of the switch) doesn't include any components likely to break. The actual switch part is controlled by a small nub from the plunger. Therefore getting at the innards of the switch is EXTREMELY easy. All you have to do is GENTLY pry the two tabs apart keeping the pinout part of the switch in position (circled in red in the picture below). Then gently push the pinout portion backwards and out.
2) The switch is designed to be CLOSED on pins 2-3 (inner two pins, called the Brake Pedal Switch F47) and OPEN on 1-4 (outer two pins, called the Brake Light Switch F). This is to allow the ecu to be able to check if the switch is functioning, ie have one closed circuit at all times. This is great for the ecu, but not so great for the 1-4 circuit as it tends to arc as the circuit is closed. This leads to corrosion/pitting and eventual failure of the 1-4 part of the switch. Specifically, in the picture below, the contact area is circled in red.
3) To temporarily fix this switch, all you have to do is clean the contact area. The best way I have found to do this is to get a very small piece of sandpaper, lift the switch apart, place the piece of sandpaper in the contact, GENTLY press the switch closed, and sandpaper the contact back and forth a few times. This will make the switch work for a significant amount of time, anywhere from a day to a year depending on your skill and luck, as well as the local environmental conditions (humidity especially will kill these types of switches). In any case it will allow you to get your brakes working immediately on a manual model and it will allow you to shift an automatic model without downtime.
You can check the operation of the switch by using an ohm meter or alternatively a Vag-Com. The Vag-Com is particularly useful for repeated and functional testing with the switch installed.
Modified by DrSmile at 5:44 PM 9-4-2006
Modified by DrSmile at 8:47 PM 9-4-2006
Seems like this would be a good temporary fix, if it worked.
Cleaning up that contact is nothing new for those of us that owned air cooled VWs and cleaned points.
I cleaned everything up. Checked with the Ohm meter, everything checked out. Went back, to the car, installed it, followed the first post to a T and still no love.
Modified by asparks at 7:36 PM 9-5-2006