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Brake Lights

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13 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Geeberman_*

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Posted 27 November 2003 - 08:52 PM

Don't know if this is related to the stop switch issue that has been posted elsewhere but currently my brake lights only seem to come on when the pedal is fully depressed. I can brake/slow down & the brake lights don't come on.
Anyone any ideas what the cause is & how to repair?

#2 Denis


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Posted 27 November 2003 - 11:54 PM

Just to add to the brake switch debate, mine went about 18 months ago, the early warning signs were when my wife said she couldn't get the car into 'drive' once she'd started it.

I reckoned that as the fault was very common and assuming the replacement switches were the same manufacturer as the originals, the problem would just come back. So, I used an aerosol can of Servisol switch cleaning lubricant (cpc.co.uk) to treat the inside of the original switch and so far so good...

BTW Servisol is an age old treatment for dodgy relays/ switches etc. It cleans/lubes the tarnished contacts and makes them good as new again.

#3 Guest_Paul L_*

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Posted 28 November 2003 - 11:58 AM

Had the same problem with mine. Simply removed the switch and gave it a good dose of WD40! Has worked fine ever since.

#4 Guest_Geeberman_*

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 08:54 PM

Thanks for these replies/suggestions. I tried resetting the switch but to no avail so went and bought a new switch. Fitted this and it did improve a little but the brake light still doesn't come on until the pedal is about half way down.
Curious thing is - I have two switches on the brake pedal a blue one and a black one. It is the black one I have replaced - the blue one doesn't seem to have any effect on the brake lights when I pull the plunger in and out. Consulting a Haynes manual suggests there should be two switches when you have cruise control - I don't have cruise control! The manual also suggests that the brake switch should be the lower of the two - on mine it is the upper of the two!
Spoke to local Ford dealer and they couldn't tell me what the function of the lower blue switch is - they have only ever sold one of these in 8yrs (£15).

By the way it is not possible to put the black brake switch in the lower position because of some locating lugs on the switches - one thought that crossed my mind was that maybe at some part in its service history the switches had been accidentally switched.

Question is - does anyone know what the purpose of this switch is & is it worth replacing this as well to see if it helps with the problem? If not is there anything else I can do about the brake lights?


PS It is a N reg 1.9Tdi if this has any bearing

#5 Guest_Geeberman_*

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Posted 02 December 2003 - 09:10 PM

It is connected - again with a block connector with two pins. There are two cables a dark brown and a beige.

#6 Boggler



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Posted 02 December 2003 - 09:29 PM

The blue one is for Cruise control, I've also got it fitted even though I haven't got Cruise. I think they do this as standardisation, the wiring loom is also fitted for all accessories even though you may not have them.

The brake switch has a built in "ratchet", try depressing the pedal the actually pulling the plunger toward the pedal, this may help.

#7 Guest_kd035050_*

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 08:39 AM

I had this problem with my brake light switch, unfortunaitly I discovered this at 60mph on a busy motorway while towing a 25ft caravan fully loaded and the traffic came to a standstill infront of me due to an accident, I touched the brake pedal and nothing happend due to the cruise control bein on, I had to dip the cluch then hit the brake. I was lucky to get stopped!. This is a very dangerous item to be commonly faulty on any car but to control the release of cruise control is down right stupid. I am just glad my wife wasn't driving as she probably would not have known to dip the clutch and with my three kids in the the car at the time?.

:D Chris

#8 Guest_Geeberman_*

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 09:30 PM

I still have the problem. Tried depressing the brake pedal fully and pulling the rachet mechanism on the brake switch but the brake pedal still needs to be depressed about 1/3 the full travel before the lights come on. A friend with a Ford Focus just needs to touch the brake pedal and the lights come on.

Does anybody else have without cruise control know whether their brake light switch is the lower of the two switches on the brake pedal. As I have said above the Haynes manual suggests it should be but on my car it is the upper of the two switches.

Any other suggestions welcome.


#9 Boggler



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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:07 PM

You could always shave a bit off the end of the plunger, this would drop the plunger so contact is made earlier :D Wouldn't advise it though, you'll find as the pads wear the pedal will drop and your lights will come on earlier anyway. Maybe your mates Ford Focus needs new pads? :D

#10 westie



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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:27 PM

Dont know if this may help, but I had the same problem on my old Galaxy (1.9 tdi) As well as the brake lights not coming on until the end of the travel, they also used to stick on.
Now, it didnt have cruise control, but I changed the BLUE switch and the problem went away. :D

#11 neil



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Posted 29 January 2004 - 08:27 PM

Geeberman - I have a 1.9 TDI 'P' reg. It is the same as yours having a blue and black switch for the brake pedal. The black (brake) switch is mounted above the blue switch and can only be fitted in this position due to the size of 'lugs' on the switch.
To make your brake lights come on with only a small amount of pedal travel do the following, I have done this and it works, but it is a struggle <_< :
First off, remove the blue switch and put it out of way. at the end of the brake switch plunger there is a flat top (the bit that rests on the pedal). Push the brake pedal down with one hand and using aflat screwdriver on the plunger flat. push it down towards the pedal. It should click down on its internal ratchet. This is fiddly and you may have to push the brake pedal down firmly to get enough distance to allow the switch plunger to move down one click. Job done. Replace blue switch
If you havn't already done so, get a new switch, for about eight quid its not worth putting the old one back in.

Both my switches are removed by turning clockwise, not anti clockwise as i have seen mentioned.

Mine doesn't have cruise control, but has the blue switch. Ford couldn't tell me exactly was it was for but VW says it is something to do with the ECU.
If someone knows what this swith does and how it works i would be interested.

#12 seatkid


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 12:36 AM

Ford couldn't tell me exactly was it was for but VW says it is something to do with the ECU.
If someone knows what this swith does and how it works i would be interested.

When you press the brake the accelerator input to the ECU is reset. See http://www.fordgalax...showtopic=1314#

#13 MrT


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Posted 30 January 2004 - 07:31 AM

On my previous Galaxy (2.8i auto 1997), the cruise control nearly caused me to have an accident the first time I used it. I had it set at about 70 on the motorway and the traffic slowed down so as I braked the cruise control cut out as expected, one the hazard had cleared at about 35mph, I re-engaged cruise control and the cruise control dropped the accelerator to the floor, the auto kicked right down, revs up to near the red line and nearly ended up the back of the car in front.

#14 Guest_Geeberman_*

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Posted 15 February 2004 - 12:24 PM

Thanks for all these suggestions - I have now solved this problem.
I believe the blue switch has no function on my "non-cruise control" Galaxy.
The black switch does control when the brake lights come on. A lot of the posts seem to suggest that getting the plunger on the black switch to the extremity of its travel is key to getting the brake lights to come on the moment the brake pedal is touched. With my galaxy I have found this is NOT the case.
I eventually came to the folowing procedure -
1. Remove the brake switch
2. Pull the plunger fully out on its rachet
3. With brake pedal depressed replace the brake switch
4. Slowly let the pedal back up - you will hear some clicking of the rachet
5. At this point my brake lights only come on when the pedal is depressed about half of the travel - the key step now was taking a flat bladed screwdriver and sliding it INBETWEEN the plunger and its contact with the brake pedal arm (with no pressure on the brake pedal) - again you will hear a couple of rachet clicks. Bingo the brakes lights come on the moment they are touched!

It seems for my galaxy at least the plunger needs to be at some midpoint in the rachet to get the sensitivity. Hope this helps others.