Brake Light Switch at 1A Auto

What is a Brake Light Switch and where is it Located?

The brake light switch, also known as the stop light switch or brake/stop lamp switch, activates the red brake lights on your rear tail lights when you press the brake pedal. Brake lights are an important safety feature of any car or truck as they allow you to inform other drivers around you that you intend to back up, or that you are slowing down. This helps to eliminate potential accidents and mishaps.

The switch is found underneath the dashboard, above the brake pedal. When you depress the brake pedal, the lever arm that the pedal is attached to pushes a plunger inside the brake light switch that completes an electrical circuit. That causes the brake lights to go on at the rear of your vehicle. If you follow the brake pedal bracket up towards the dash, you should be able to see the switch.

Some newer cars use a brake pedal position sensor instead of the on/off style brake light switch. This works more like the accelerator pedal position sensor and has multiple position settings.  

How do I Know if my Brake Light Switch Needs to be Replaced?

Since you can’t see the brake lights from inside the vehicle, you may not even notice that they’re not working until well after the trouble has set in. In some cases, the switch may become stuck in the on position and you may notice that your brake lights are still on when you exit your vehicle. Otherwise, if someone tells you that your brake lights aren’t coming on, or you fail a safety inspection because they are not working, then there may be a problem with your brake light switch. If only one brake light isn’t working, then the problem is probably with the bulbs or with the tail lamp assembly.

It’s a good idea to check the fuse and bulbs first, to make sure a simpler issue isn’t at play. If those potential problems have been eliminated, then you can turn your attention to the stop light switch. You can test the brake lamp switch with a multimeter that has a continuity setting. With the continuity setting, you can see if a circuit is open or closed. When the brake light switch is pressed, the circuit should change from open to closed or vice versa. If the circuit does not change when depressed, the switch is bad.

Testing a brake pedal position sensor is more complicated, due to the multiple positions of the switch. The position sensor also might not connect directly to the tail light circuit, but might actually communicate with the car’s computer. 

Can I Replace a Brake Light Switch Myself?

Replacing your brake light switch is fairly easy. The switch can be easily accessed underneath your dash. You’ll have to remove the plastic cover behind your brake pedal. Then it’s just a matter of disconnecting the wiring harness from the stop light switch, unbolting it, and connecting the new switch. Afterwards, you’ll want to ask an assistant to watch your brake lights as you test the switch. This simple fix is well worth the time if you want to avoid getting rear-ended. 

Need a Brake Light Switch Replacement?

If your brake light switch is not functioning, your brake lights will not work. As you can probably guess, this is a big safety concern and you should not drive your vehicle if the switch has failed as you will be putting yourself and others at risk. You may also find yourself getting pulled over and handed a ticket. Therefore, you need to invest in a brake light switch replacement immediately if it has failed. Here at 1A Auto, we carry a large selection of brake light switches for many makes and models, and at great prices so you can get your brake lights back in working order again!

We also make shopping for a replacement brake light switch for your car, truck, SUV or van easy here at 1A Auto- we're here to help you select the right part for your vehicle! Call our customer service toll free at 888-844-3393 if you have any questions about our stop lamp switches, warranty, compatibility or to purchase, or you can buy online.

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