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

    1. Member BigFoot3's Avatar
      Join Date
      Aug 31st, 2004
      2001 VW Jetta TDI 5spd
      05-12-2006 05:03 PM #141
      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

    2. n00b
      Join Date
      May 15th, 2006
      05-15-2006 01:14 PM #142
      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.

    3. Semi-n00b
      Join Date
      Nov 9th, 2000
      2001 VW Golf TDI
      05-17-2006 04:47 PM #143
      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!

    4. Member Martinus's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 24th, 2002
      '84 GTi. '05 WRX wagon. '11 Frontier.
      05-30-2006 08:19 AM #144
      Holy ****os ... what a life saver ! I broke like 2 of these things. ( I tried to twist it in, BEFORE letting the padal back up. )
      Now, I have a nice new purple part on my car.

    5. 05-30-2006 09:52 AM #145
      Awesome write-up. This saved me a ton of cash. I had to replace mine about a week ago and didn't have to pay the dealership.

    6. 05-30-2006 10:58 AM #146
      Quick and painless! Was harder to get the new switch out of the plastic bag LOL. Thanks for the great DIY.

    7. 05-31-2006 12:35 PM #147
      Wow! This was so easy, even a girl could do it!
      It took longer to get the dash parts off.
      My new switch was purple, here's hoping it's a better design. I bought two to have another on hand in case I broke the first one.

    8. Member Martinus's Avatar
      Join Date
      Oct 24th, 2002
      '84 GTi. '05 WRX wagon. '11 Frontier.
      05-31-2006 12:54 PM #148
      There is an official recal on these things, MEOW.
      Just take your car to the paycheck depository, have them deal with it.

    9. 05-31-2006 03:19 PM #149
      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

    10. Member DEZLBOY's Avatar
      Join Date
      Feb 16th, 1999
      2000 Golf TDI GLS
      06-25-2006 12:37 AM #150
      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...
      2000 Golf TDIGLS Candy White 156K miles

    11. 06-26-2006 06:35 PM #151

    12. 06-26-2006 07:58 PM #152
      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. [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthdown.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthdown.gif[/IMG]
      I have the write up and a spare switch as I am sure I will be needing it in the future.

    13. Member
      Join Date
      Jul 31st, 2002
      Potato State
      A Wagon, A Jetta, Another Jetta and a 650cc Scooter
      07-15-2006 12:00 PM #153
      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 . [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]

    14. Member av8roc's Avatar
      Join Date
      Mar 11th, 2006
      LI, NY
      Current: 2013 Passat SE 2005 F-150. Previous '97 Jetta 2.0, 01 Jetta 2.0, '10 GTI Autobahn
      07-17-2006 01:36 PM #154
      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

    15. 07-19-2006 10:08 PM #155
      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!!!

    16. 07-21-2006 09:27 AM #156
      Thanks!! for the info on the break light switch you saved me.

    17. 07-23-2006 04:42 PM #157
      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

    18. 07-23-2006 04:44 PM #158
      great writeup!!

    19. 07-23-2006 05:20 PM #159
      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!!

    20. 07-23-2006 05:36 PM #160
      is there some kind of recall
      i have the 99 and just today my car wont shift out of park and my brake lights ARE working!!!! da hell i have to be at work in the morning!!! my epc light was on for a few too!!! HELP!!!

    21. 08-22-2006 08:41 PM #161
      Another satisfied customer [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      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 -

    22. 08-23-2006 08:05 AM #162
      Your photos and directions were excellent! A 15 minute repair by me that cost $11.00 is invaluable! I can sleep easier tonight knowing my daughter's 1999 Jetta is working correctly! Thanks again!

    23. 08-23-2006 02:00 PM #163

    24. 08-23-2006 02:45 PM #164
      Thank you, excelent thread.
      I'm passing thru this nightmare.

    25. Member
      Join Date
      Nov 20th, 2002
      Seattle, WA
      '08 Porsche Cayman S, '14 F-150, '14 Highlander, '04 Land Rover Discovery II
      08-24-2006 04:27 PM #165
      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.

    26. 08-24-2006 09:27 PM #166
      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?

    27. 08-28-2006 02:46 PM #167
      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!! [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG] [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]
      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

    28. 08-28-2006 06:40 PM #168
      nice this is def gonna help me with my epc

    29. 08-31-2006 04:44 PM #169
      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??

    30. 09-01-2006 09:52 AM #170
      Nevermind....I took it out and obviously it didn't work...had to order. Got the faulty one back in without breaking it!

    31. 09-03-2006 03:06 PM #171
      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.

    32. 09-04-2006 07:55 PM #172
      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.
      The Switch
      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.
      Good luck!

      Modified by DrSmile at 5:44 PM 9-4-2006

      Modified by DrSmile at 8:47 PM 9-4-2006

    33. 09-05-2006 08:30 PM #173
      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

    34. 09-05-2006 09:13 PM #174
      My switch stopped working on the way to work this morning. Luckily I left the bottom part of the dash off so I gave it a few taps and it started working again. I need to find an online supplier.

    35. 09-05-2006 09:49 PM #175
      There's two mentioned in the beginning of this thread.
      1stvwparts and Impex.

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