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Fitting A New Brake Light Switch


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#1 tim-spam

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:38 PM

Having had the brake lights not work once or twice in the last few months, I bought a replacement switch at my local VW agent. The parts man warned me that it is difficult to fit without breaking it, and that their fitters regularly broke them! Also, VW would refuse a refund for a broken switch.
Anyway, over the weekend, when towing the trailer, the glowplug warning light started to flash, and the brake lights stopped working - so, replacement time had arrived. I removed the RH lower dashboard trim and started to remove the old switch, but this proved difficult, as it was virtually impossible to turn it in the necessary direction to get the locating tags to line up with the cutouts in the metal bracket - so I pulled hard enough to break off one of the tags (the pointed one).
The problem then became obvious - one of the tags is shorter and squared off, and the other is longer with a pointed end. When these are aligned with the appropriate cutouts in the metal bracket, a foul condition between the steering column and the electrical socket part of the switch prevents the switch from being engaged (a LHD car may be OK, and I guess that if the pedal bracket was unbolted and moved over, it would also be OK). The simpler solution is to file the pointed tag to match the shorter one so that the switch can be inserted 180 deg the other way. It is then very simple to turn the switch to its correct position.
By the way, with the trim removed, this really is a simple job, with no access problems at all.

#2 Masked Marauder

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:50 PM

A top-tip sir! I remember how I struggled as it fouled the pedal bracket.
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#3 west

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:36 PM

I did this in the dark with a flashlight (hence missing fingers)

but:



1.have friend push and keep brake pedal down
1a study new switch, note the difference in lugs.
2.remove fuse cover
3.remove panel under fuse box (just clips-easy)
4. have spanner -17mm ready
5. place spanner round old switch and rotate clockwise slowly
6 after 1/4 turn, the switch (should) pop.
7.remove wire from switch
8. study hole in holder and the new switch and allign
9. With a little dexterity, push down on top of switch
10. rotate new switch with spanner 1/4 turn anti clockwise.
11. switch should pop back in.
12 re-attach wires
13 pop back fuse trims.


incase of failure at point 10, swear, swear some more and then dismantle lower dash.

easy really.


Ps, before purchase, ensure you have the correct version, either two pin or four pin.



regards

#4 tim-spam

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 06:35 PM

I guess yours may be a Mk 1, as the lower dashboard trim on the Mk 2 needs to be unscrewed to remove it. However, now that I've done it once, should I need to do it again, I may try to do it with the lower dash panel in place, although access looks very tight, so this may not be possible.

#5 bigdaddy

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:59 PM

3.remove panel under fuse box (just clips-easy)



Mine is a mk 1,,,,,and it has four screws and three clips holding it on,,,,,in fact one of the screws is behind the trim above the ashtray,,,,,



I have changed the brake light switch and it is an easy 15 min job :huh:
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#6 Trig

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 08:51 PM

Just had this problem with my TDi. ie. glow plug warning light flashing and brake lights not working. I have changed the brake sensor but it hasn't made any difference! I previously changed the sensor in 2003 and everything then worked ok. What is the problem likely to be this time?
Going on 2 week holiday on friday night with the car so really need this resolved :ph34r:
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#7 bigdaddy

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:29 PM

Try the bulbs,,,,,,,different makes of bulbs sometimes cause this,,,,,,or on of the bulbs filiment is broke and touching something :ph34r:
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#8 Trig

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 09:52 PM

Try the bulbs,,,,,,,different makes of bulbs sometimes cause this,,,,,,or on of the bulbs filiment is broke and touching something :ph34r:


I haven't changed the bulbs but the car passed its mot on monday and one of the minor comments was that one of the upper tail gate lights was out. Could it realy be down to that :wacko:
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#9 Trig

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Posted 27 July 2006 - 08:08 PM

managed to get an auto electrician to sort it out today. i was surprised to be charged for 2.5 hours work for him to fix shorting cables at the tail gate. :16:
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#10 AVSDOYLE

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Posted 03 March 2007 - 04:17 PM

Guys. I have added this advice from 'Jimbo73' It saved me a lot of time and effort and worth a try.

If its just sticking try WD40 on it, this happened to mine.

May save you a stiff neck


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#11 Dodger

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 09:42 AM

I've got brake light switch failure again. Other than removing the old switch, how can I tell if I need to buy a 2 pin or a 4 pin switch?

#12 sepulchrave

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 10:39 AM

I've got brake light switch failure again. Other than removing the old switch, how can I tell if I need to buy a 2 pin or a 4 pin switch?


Unplug it then look at it?
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#13 Dodger

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Posted 20 June 2008 - 08:05 PM

Couldn't look at it because wife had the car.

Ford techniciain said it would be a 4 pin switch, and it was.

Easier to fit than I thought it was going to be. Removed the trim so that I could see properly. Once you realise that the two tabs are not the same so that there is only one way round it can go in or come out then it was easy. No need to file the tab down in my case.

New switch is green and a revised larger design than the black one which came out.

#14 gregers

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Posted 01 July 2009 - 10:02 PM

yet again this forum has been a godsend and save me a wad of cash,had all the flashing lights etc followed all the instructions and removed the switch phoned the dealers and fords quoted me for the 2 pin £8.33 4 pin £16.03 plus vat.bloody hell repackaged vw part with nearly 50%mark up.
vw £8.89 inc vat,bit of a no brainer really. part no/1co945511ardw.

lots of swearing etc and bruised knuckles but as said before once you know how to do it,if needed to do it again it will be a lot quicker.

one thing i did do wether this was neccessary but once replaced the flashing glow plug light well was still flashing,so i disconected the battery for about 20 mins and that cleared it.i did make sure i had my radio code before disconecting.

ford smax tdci titanium 2008.with convers+dash board.

LEXUS IS 200 SE NAVIGATOR 2005.aka Lexi Boi NOW SOLD.

GALAXY GHIA 1.9TDI(115BHP)2003 now sold.

also driving 63 reg vw tiguan tdi blue-motion in stunning white.



RIP DAD,21/12/10 :(


#15 bodgerd

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 06:46 PM

Hi all, I had the same problem as described (flashing glow pub indicator, no brake lights working, etc). The brake light switch itself also felt quite warm, so disconnected the cable. Cost me £60 from Frauds for supply and fit new switch. Would have done it myself as I'd already taken old one off to inspect (and sussed out the bit about the different tabs, etc), but was put off by the instructions on this link...http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1158315 (I hope I'm alowed to include this in a posting even if it is a different forum as the photos are really relevant). I didn't fancy getting a new switch and then breaking it while installing it - maybe just too risk-adverse! But thought the instructions might be useful for others.
2009 GALAXY Ghia 2.0 Diesel

#16 big_kev

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 08:00 PM

...http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=1158315 (I hope I'm alowed to include this in a posting even if it is a different forum as the photos are really relevant).


Don't worry about linking to another site ( as long as its relevant......or contains pictures of naked women..."did I just say that aloud !" ).

Some nice useful photos.

Your lucky you didn't get frauds to diagnose the problem they would most likely have said faulty ECU and charged you about £500+.

Well done.... ;)
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#17 elize

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:20 PM

have had same problem glow plug no brake lights etc Had this switch out a few times now and run servisol through it ,it was a Pig first time
{ doesnt want to fit properly does it } but easier after a few times, it also has some weird rachet mechanisim on the plunger {god Knows what for} i just cant understand why this dam thing needs to be so complex its only a switch for gods sake
It is playing up again so will finaly get a new switch but have found to get you out of trouble when out and about Just pull over get out of the car press the brake pedal down with one hand run your finger up the top face of the pedal lever under the dash and your finger will be stoped by the switch plunger just pull this plunger back down onto the pedal lever with the end of your finger you will hear or and feel the rachet clicking and your brake lights are back in business

#18 dnalevy

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Posted 20 October 2009 - 11:20 PM

1998 alhambra here

After changing my brake switch the following has happened:

Wipers front and back are dead
abs and brake warning light is on
interior courtesy lights dont work

All fuses seem to be ok unless there are hidden ones ive missed?

What could have gone wrong?

Any help would be much appreciated.

Thanks!

#19 gregers

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 07:56 PM

iirc there are 3 layers of fuses on the fuse board.

ford smax tdci titanium 2008.with convers+dash board.

LEXUS IS 200 SE NAVIGATOR 2005.aka Lexi Boi NOW SOLD.

GALAXY GHIA 1.9TDI(115BHP)2003 now sold.

also driving 63 reg vw tiguan tdi blue-motion in stunning white.



RIP DAD,21/12/10 :(


#20 dnalevy

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Posted 21 October 2009 - 08:01 PM

In the end it was blown fuses that had gone unnoticed.