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

    1. 12-12-2006 03:59 PM #211
      Any sort of Electrical Contact Cleaner will work to fix the switch. The problem with the switches is dirty contacts. Volkswagen is replacing the switches with new ones with different contact metals trying to find one that doesn't corrode as badly and, thus far, haven't found one.

      If you're going to try contact cleaning, don't scrape it physically. That's ridiculous. Use a spray. I recommend Chemtronics ES6100 or any decent contact cleaner. Try alliedelec.com and type "contact cleaner" and you'll find a variety of stuff on there or just google it. Techspray makes some good contact cleaners too. Just get good stuff. Don't use the junk from Radio Shack. I just open up the switch and spray the contacts. It works fine and you can use that stuff on keyboards and anything else electronic you want to clean off. It's really great.

      The design of the switch is not flawed as much as the type of metal they're using for their contacts is cheap and inferior. They need to use better contact material and/or (the best solution) use sealed contacts instead of the open-air ones they're using now. Volkswagen feels that it's more economical for them to recall the cars and replace the switches with more inferior ones rather than find a vendor to design a new one that isn't going to corrode. They'd have to find a vendor willing to engineer them a new switch with better contact material. That costs Volkswagen money and there's a formula involved and the cost of the recall is less that the net cost of leaving the flawed products out there.

      So just use contact cleaner and if you're not good with tearing open the switch, just replace it every year...it's a cheap part. I don't think VW's going to ever have a decent switch in there.

      There's a product called Zerust that's a rust preventative stick on cartridge that lasts 2-years and you can glue it on and it covers a 2-foot radius. It absorbs moisture and it's a really cool thing. I snap one underneath my dash and it keeps the moisture and rust from building up all underneath there. I started doing that in my Volvo 240 because of a corrosion problem in its fusebox and it's worked well for under the dash of the VW at keeping the brake light switch from corroding like the old ones. It might be worth a try. I use a VC2-2 cartridge under the dash of all of my cars to keep all the electrical contacts from rusting and I change it every 2 years.


      Modified by bryanmenard at 1:01 PM 12-12-2006


    2. 12-15-2006 02:22 PM #212
      Great description, but I do have a question. Looking at my car, I have two switches on the break pedal. One white w/ two pins, and one as you've described. When I go online, nearly all of the switches for sale are the white one. What do each of these do and which one should I look at first??

      By the way, this is on a 1999 Passat. The reason I'm looking at this is because my cruise control doesn't work and my back window brake light stays on (the other two are fine). Am I on the right track??


      Modified by aren0062 at 11:37 AM 12-15-2006


    3. 01-16-2007 01:40 PM #213
      This thread helped me immensely. The dealer claimed my 2002 Jetta GLX was not "eligible" for a recall on the brake light switch. A call to VW headquarters later said the same thing. Anyway, I bought a nice new purple "E?" switch for $19 at the stealership. They wanted to charge me ~$125 to install one. I wouldve needed a tow truck also, since my car had a dead battery and was locked in park. After replacing the switch and charging the battery it is fine. I had intermittent EPC codes along with the cruise control not working on and off most of the summer. I probably had no brake lights either then..... Anyway, great post and thanks again!

    4. 01-18-2007 12:59 PM #214
      I took a long trip and lost the cruise control and the ESP/ASR came on. I did not know what to do but search here and found this thread and this link http://www.geocities.com/jason...S.htm

      I justcleaned the contacts and reinstalled it. Worked great. Thanks.


    5. 01-18-2007 01:59 PM #215
      That thread is what inspired this DIY.

      There's no reason to buy a new switch if you don't have to. If you combine that DIY with this one, you should be able to remove, clean and reinstall the BLS without any issues.


    6. 01-25-2007 05:00 PM #216
      Umm, Brilliant!!!!

      My mechanic wanted over a $100 for this diagnosis and inastall, crazy!

      Thanks a ton, took me 15 minutes, anybody beat that???


    7. 01-28-2007 10:41 PM #217
      Thanks Gary for the original thread and to bryanmenard for his post.
      I fixed my switch today after it died on me. My brake lights were stuck ON. I will be going to get the green switch this week but I wanted use of my car in the meantime.

      After cleaning the contacts, I tested the switch with a multimeter and both sets of contacts worked perfectly. Once installed in the car however, I could not get my brake lights to come on. Confused, I took the switch out and tested it again with my multimeter. The switch worked 100%. I stuck my head under the dash and shorted pins 1 & 4 on the harness. Brake lights on. Hmmm...
      Long story short: plugging the harness into the brake light switch put stress on the internal pieces, causing 1&4 to be pulled apart. It took about 20 cycles installing, testing, removing, tweaking, re-installing before I got it right. Needless to say, I don’t trust the switch much at all.

      These switches are flawed in a few areas:
      1. Install procedure is relatively complicated.
      2. The design of the contacts is very flawed.
      - cheap material
      - physical design doesn’t allow sufficient room for error. Switch will easily malfunction. A spring could have been used to close the contacts.
      - Switch was poorly engineered: a relay should have been included with the switch. With a relay, there wouldn’t be sufficient current through the switch to cause arcing (and pitting) across the contacts.

      The new green switches seem to be a better design and hopefully we won’t have anymore issues like this to deal with. This is inexcusable for a brake light switch on a modern car.

      Here are some pics of corrosion/pitting on my contacts for those interested.
      The corrosion is hard to miss:


      Update: I installed my *new* green switch today. I brought in my recall notice and the dealer gave me the new switch free. He filled out the recall paperwork and they let me install it myself!! Thanks!



      Modified by natsilver at 2:20 PM 1-29-2007


    8. 02-01-2007 02:49 PM #218
      nice write-up, gonna get the D switch today

    9. 02-01-2007 03:25 PM #219
      Quote, originally posted by natsilver »

      Great pics!


    10. 02-01-2007 03:49 PM #220
      get the part fixed for free,. theres a recall on it, too lazy to read 7 pages, sorry if i am being repetative

    11. 02-22-2007 08:08 PM #221
      Hi - i noticed your installation instructions pertained to the latest brake light switch - the 'D' version..however I was searching online and apparently the newest brake light switch has the item # 1C0-945-511-A-NAR....i found this on the post at the site: http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=2942078
      according to the site, this latest switch is a complete redesign of all previous switches, therefore i was wondering if i could still install this new switch following the steps in your guide..? if not, would you know of anywhere that would tell me that info..BTW I am installing this 4-pin switch for a 2003 jetta GL w/ cruise control..thanks for the help.

    12. Member tyrantanic's Avatar
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      02-27-2007 06:55 PM #222
      Same goes for the clutch position switch (turns off cruise etc)... heres the pics i have of mine... same problem...dirty contacts! ALso some pics of switch assembly...

      Parts layout

      contact arm bend back to show nastyness

      Other side

      Locked Position... sets the little white arm against the proper spot on the contact arm to raise it... mine has a little bump of plastic on it

      unlocked position.. hence why it needs to be turned into place


      Even a stopped clock gives the right time twice a day.

    13. Member rocconut's Avatar
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      02-28-2007 10:56 AM #223
      Quote, originally posted by VgRt6 »
      The procedure below applies to the most recent 4-pin brake light switches with the following part#s - 1J0 945 511 B, 1J0 945 511 C and 1J0 945 511 D (the most recent version - if you buy a new switch it will almost certainly be the 'D' version since it supercedes all previous versions).

      I had a new brake switch installed on my Jetta wagon TDI (04) in Aug 06 9under warranty) but the 1J0 945 511 D part nuber is not the one they replaced according to my invoice I received after the recall/maintenance was completed. The PN is 1J0 945 511 E. Is this the new part number they are going to replace the ones listed in ETKA and available on line with? Or was this a typo on the paper pushers part? When I do a part number search in ETKA 7 the 1J0945511E shows up as a brake switch but I don't know how to find out which vehicle it pertains to except go through each page of all the cars and find the number listed.


    14. 04-15-2007 12:19 AM #224
      Could you not just get a generic switch and install that instead? Other than having to change the wiring connector and adjusting it manually, it seems to be more durable and would be trouble free for many many years to come.

      This might be my out (time will tell soon) as I will have to change mine soon also.


    15. 06-03-2007 04:40 PM #225
      Great write-up, very helpful thread. Our Jetta’s switch failed at the beginning of Memorial Day weekend and this thread helped me to do the repair on our schedule. After I was prepared to deal with the newer type switch, my import car parts store substituted what looks like the “A” version part and made my job easier.

    16. 06-03-2007 04:44 PM #226
      yes there was a recall announcement on this switch i actually just got one in the mail a couple weeks ago. so dealers should replace at no cost.

    17. Member jddaigle's Avatar
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      06-30-2007 02:35 AM #227
      Quote, originally posted by rocconut »

      I had a new brake switch installed on my Jetta wagon TDI (04) in Aug 06 9under warranty) but the 1J0 945 511 D part nuber is not the one they replaced according to my invoice I received after the recall/maintenance was completed. The PN is 1J0 945 511 E. Is this the new part number they are going to replace the ones listed in ETKA and available on line with?

      Just ordered a switch from 1stvwparts and the catalog indicated that the current version is "F", so I guess VW is still revising it.

      - Jeff
      B6 Passat 3.6 & 4motion Resource Thread
      Now: 2008 VW Passat 3.6 4motion Wagon, 2013 Fiat 500 Sport
      Then: 1987 Volvo 745GLE, 1989 Volvo 740GL, 1994 Volvo 940T, 1995 Infiniti G20, 2000 VW Passat 1.8T, 2001 VW Jetta Wolfsburg Ed (x2), 2004 VW Golf TDI, 2006 Jetta TDI

    18. 07-25-2007 08:57 PM #228
      I was driving today and i saw this lady driving a red MKIVjetta with those fake bullet stickers on her car. I'm like...that's hedious. Then a mile later she drives next to me telling me to lower my window.

      Guess what she said.. both my brake lights weren't working. Im like really? so i said thanks to the lady and the poor car

      Anyway, 2 weeks ago before this incident i noticed that my cruise control wasnt working. By the way, i have a 2003 Jetta1.8t (Tiptronic). I was like im going to have it checked out probably other time coz i dont use my cruise control that much. After researching for issues like this online, I was surprised to find out that the cruise control issue is related to the brake light issue im having.

      Who knows how long have i been driving without my brake light not working. Im an accident waiting to happen. If not for that lady who had some balls to tell me that my brake lights werent working i would still be out there driving clueless.

      I just brought my car to the dealership coz my fans broke two weeks ago. I have a feeling they might have caused the issue when they replaced my fan.

      Im going to bring my car back to the dealership on friday to see how much they'll charge me...I got extended warranty. The steps into fixing the BLS looks prety simple but Im not that handy when it comes to cars so im afraid i just might do more damage. Hopefully they wont charge me anything.

      Great Post...helped a lot!


    19. 09-24-2007 04:28 PM #229
      Quote, originally posted by jddaigle »

      Just ordered a switch from 1stvwparts and the catalog indicated that the current version is "F", so I guess VW is still revising it.

      I just went to VW to try to get the "D" switch but they said it was superseded by "E" so I ordered the "E" switch no mention of "F"

      The new "E" switch is green!

      Plus it came with directions I will post when I get home (At work)


      Modified by EvansC at 4:30 PM 9-24-2007


    20. 09-26-2007 05:36 AM #230
      EvansC,

      Can you please post up what the installations instructions are? I bought two of the new green ones from the dealer today (didn't come with instructions) and I can't get either to work!

      Does anyone know if these new green switches (1C0-945-511-A) are prone to breaking like the older B - E revisions.

      Thanks

      Edit: If I connect a switch to the wiring harness and push down on the plunger manually should it light up the brake lights? My switch doesn't light up the brakes when I press the plunger manually - does that mean my switch is broken?


      Modified by Chaosflare at 2:49 AM 9-26-2007


    21. 09-26-2007 09:46 AM #231
      Quote, originally posted by Chaosflare »
      EvansC,

      Does anyone know if these new green switches (1C0-945-511-A) are prone to breaking like the older B - E revisions.

      Edit: If I connect a switch to the wiring harness and push down on the plunger manually should it light up the brake lights? My switch doesn't light up the brakes when I press the plunger manually - does that mean my switch is broken?


      Modified by Chaosflare at 2:49 AM 9-26-2007

      Dunno about the prone to breaking, but knowing vag, most likely. As for pushing the switch to light the lights, iirc, the switch is "on" when it is NOT pushed down, (as it is mounted backwards against the brake pedal arm). I.E. when you push on it, (or when the brake pedal rests against it in it's resting, (not braking) position, there should be no lights....when you or the pedal releases the switch, the lights should light.

      Lately, light reading not to be taken lightly has come to light.


    22. Junior Member
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      10-08-2007 03:05 AM #232
      Any helpful updates on this item and the instructions?

    23. 11-27-2007 04:47 PM #233
      I just replaced the switch on my wife's '05 Beetle. I followed the instructions from VgRt6's initial post, and it went just like he said. In fact, because it was hard to contort myself, I did it without looking at what my hands were doing. It’s very straight forward if you follow the directions.

      They guy at the dealer where I bought the switch didn't give very good directions. He knew there was some trick to it, and offered some small words that amounted to "be careful." Maybe he wanted to charge me to have the service guys do it?

      Couple of interesting points: I am a pretty cheap guy, one of those who might spend $50 in material and my own time, to avoid a $10 part. This was one of those cases. I pulled the switch apart, and it was not broken. The contact was fairly clean; I burnished the contacts, and hit them with some Blue Shower cleaner. It all went back together nicely, and worked three times before it quit again. I pulled it all apart, and inspected my work. It looked and activated correctly, but it would only work sporadically. LESSON LEARNED: just replace the switch. It was $11.87 at the dealer, and it goes in without tools.

      Second lesson: buy it from the dealer. AutoZone wanted almost $20 for the switch, the dealer wanted 10 and change. It's probably the cheapest “dealer part” you'll ever buy. In fact, I didn't think they sold anything that inexpensively.


    24. 01-03-2008 05:32 PM #234
      I'm having the same problem with a 2001 Audi TT. No brake lights at all with the new switch pressed in or not.

    25. Member
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      01-18-2008 04:31 PM #235
      I changed mine this afternoon because my old one decided to crap out on me. Volkswagen did indeed change the style and color of the switch. The last switch was p/n 1J0 945 511 E. It was purple, and to install it you needed to follow Gary's DIY. The new switch however is different. It is completely redesigned, and is now green. The p/n for it is 1C0 945 511 A. It comes with instructions for installing it. The install on the green switch is much simpler than on the old style switches. The main difference is that when you install the green switch, you don't need to depress the brake pedal before you put the switch into the mounting hole.

      The instructions from VW to install the new, green switch are as follows:

      -Leave the brake pedal at its original resting point, and slowly insert the switch into the mounting hole, which will compress the plunger on the switch. Again, it is very important not to depress or hold up the pedal. Leave it in its original resting position as you insert the switch.
      -Rotate the switch to the right until it clicks into place. Then plug in the harness and you're set to go.

      Sidenote: I didn't have to because it worked for me on the first try, but according to the instructions provided by VW the new switch can be installed multiple times. So in the event that it doesn't work the first time, give it another shot before giving up and getting another switch.


    26. 05-21-2008 02:21 PM #236
      I've just finished replacing brake light switch in my '03 Audi A6 for a second time within a year.
      The old one was all brown and looked and felt flimsy.
      The new one looks more robust and is all black with white tip of the plunger and white harness thingy. The part # is 1K2 945 544 RDW and it was an OEM part.
      The difference in instalation was, that it wasn't "clicking" while setting up (before locking) and I almost thought I broke it. But after install, brake lights worked and ABS and ESP lights went away si I assume everything is fine.
      Hopefully this time it will last longet than 9 mnths.

      Oh and I followed the original writeup with pictures. The way with depressing and then releasing brake pedal worked just fine for me.


      Modified by Stank0 at 11:23 AM 5-21-2008


    27. Member krzysztof's Avatar
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      05-26-2008 07:20 PM #237
      This thread has helped me so many times, I'll chime in with a bit of info...

      My parents have an '01 Golf GLS, and they had already been in for their BLS recall last November. But we discovered today that their brake lights didn't work at all. We checked the fuse (#13) and it was burned out. We swapped in a new fuse and it burned out within three pedal presses.

      VAG-COM gave us the usual "implausible signal" code for the brake light switch, so we had a look. It was the new style (green, part number 1C0-945-511-A) but I swapped it anyway, for a new purple rev-D I'd been carrying around as a spare. All is well.

      So: the new style can fail, and don't forget to check the fuse when you replace the switch!

      Edit: ha ha, I'm full of crap, the fuse is popping again today. Ignore the idiot.


      Modified by krzysztof at 7:40 PM 5-27-2008


    28. Member GTIXpress's Avatar
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      06-05-2008 10:39 PM #238
      I just had my brake light switch replaced under the recall at my dealer. But now my cruise control just shuts off if I hit a bump in the road. It can be a big bump or a little one. Has any one else had this happen? I'm thinking of going back to the dealer in case they gave me a bad switch or broke it. Otherwise the cruise does work and I don't have any odd lights on the dash and no codes are being thrown.


      Modified by GTIXpress at 11:04 PM 6-5-2008
      Joe P.
      2002 VW GTI 337 edition (154k miles and counting)
      1969 VW Type 3 Squareback (under construction)

    29. 11-16-2008 11:01 PM #239
      I'm not sure I've done this right. I am replacing a clutch switch which is the same thing. I took the old one out. pushed the clutch petal all of the way back and held it there. Aligned the (brand new) switch into the slot and pushed it hard against the bracket while releasing the petal the switched clicked back and at the resting position of the petal i turned the switch, locking it. For some reason it still starts without the petal depressed and slips at two grand. did I do something wrong>??

    30. 11-23-2008 05:53 PM #240
      Hi there, Can this switch be adjusted? The dealer put my new one in but it seems like it doesn't come on as fast, you have to press harder on the pedal for the lights to go on..

    31. 11-24-2008 09:53 AM #241
      TDI for the win !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    32. Member mzb's Avatar
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      11-24-2008 05:44 PM #242

    33. 12-22-2008 11:15 PM #243
      Need to change the Brake Light switch on my 06 GLI, does anybody know if there's a DIY for that??

      Thanks,


    34. 12-22-2008 11:52 PM #244
      Quote, originally posted by jdanielsen »
      Need to change the Brake Light switch on my 06 GLI, does anybody know if there's a DIY for that??

      Thanks,


      Oh I don't know maybe the MKV forums....

      TDI for the win !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    35. 12-26-2008 11:12 AM #245
      called the VW dealer to get one for my Audi TT - gave them the dealer told me the A has been superceded by the "E" part number at $12 @ . I also found the A at another dealer for $4.


      :update:
      A returned call from Audi parts yielded the same part number 1C0945511A NAR for $3.18. Guess I am headed there.

      got it installed in 2 twists - old one out, new one in - simple

      <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/zeroforum_graphics/grinsanta.gif" BORDER="0">

      Modified by mayfly at 12:17 PM 12-26-2008


      Modified by mayfly at 4:13 PM 12-30-2008


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