How to Change the Brake Switch on a Hyundai Sonataby TJ Hinton
Hyundai recommends that you perform a close inspection of the brake pedal lever when you remove the covers to expose it on your 2013 Sonata GLS. Constructed of stamped sheet metal, the lever gets its strength comes from various bends and reinforcing shapes designed into it. Check for any non-factory bending, fatigue and deflection while you are working on the switch, and replace the lever as necessary. Once the pedal deflects from its factory shape, it loses strength and may not be able to withstand the pressures associated with an emergency stop. In addition to the lever, check the return spring, clevis pin and pivot pin bushing for damage or wear and replace any bad components.
Find the lower crash pad panel below the steering column, and the triangular side cover on the driver-side end of the dash. Carefully pry the trim strip and side cover off, using a small, flat-head screwdriver. Remove the three lower crash pad mounting screws and separate the panel from the dash enough to access the electrical connectors on the back of the panel. Disconnect the terminals and lay the panel aside to expose the lower reinforcement panel. Using a ratchet and socket, remove the lower reinforcement panel mounting bolts and nut, and set the panel aside.
Locate the brake light switch near the brake pedal lever pivot, and make note of its orientation. Unplug the switch electrical connector. Find the locking plate below the switch body and against the mounting bracket. Gently squeeze the release tabs on the backside of the plate, then pull the tab on the front towards you to remove the plate from the assembly.
Rotate the switch counterclockwise 45 degrees to disengage the threads on the switch barrel from the threaded insert in the bracket, then withdraw the switch barrel from the insert. Install the new switch barrel in the insert at the same 45-degree position. Push the switch in against the pressure of the switch plunger until there is a gap in the range of 1 to 2 mm between the end of the switch barrel and the brake stop, then rotate the switch clockwise 45 degrees to engage the barrel threads with the insert threads. Push the locking plate into position under the switch, and ensure that it snaps securely in place. Install the switch electrical connector. Test the brake lights and ensure that they work as expected. If they do not, access the switch again, then check and adjust the gap as needed.
Install the lower reinforcement panel, mounting bolts and nut then tighten them securely. Hold the lower crash pad near its position, and install the electrical connectors on their terminals. Install the lower crash pad and mounting screws. Snap the side cover in place and install the trim strip.
Things You'll Need
- Flat-head screwdriver
- Ratchet handle
- Socket set
TJ Hinton trained as an auto mechanic at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College and then later graduated from MMI as a certified motorcycle mechanic . He's also worked for 20+ years in home construction, remodeling and repair. His articles appear on InternetAutoGuide.com and TopSpeed.com.