How to Change the Brake Light Switch in a Dodge RAM Vanby Dan Ferrell
Your Dodge Ram van uses an electrical brake light switch mounted on the brake pedal to activate the stop lights whenever you depress the pedal. It alerts traffic behind you that you are slowing or stopping. A a failed brake switch not only is unable to turn on the stops light but also puts you and other drivers in a dangerous situation. Solve this problem in a few minutes with a minimum of tools by installing a new, fully functioning switch in your Ram van now.
Removing the Brake Light Switch
Open the driver's-side door and remove the lower column cover using a Phillips-head screwdriver.
Look at the lower panel under the instrument panel and find the hood release lever, park brake release lever and Data Link Connector (an electrical connector) attached to the lower panel.
Unfasten and remove the hood release lever, parking brake release lever and Data Link Connector, using a ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.
Detach and move to the side the lower panel from under the instrument panel, using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.
Locate the brake light switch mounted on the upper arm of the brake pedal. Depress the brake pedal with your hand and hold it in that position. With your free hand, turn the brake switch about 30 degrees counterclockwise to release it from its mounting bracket. Look carefully at the release position of the switch so that you insert the new unit in the same position during the installation procedure.
Pull the switch straight out of the mounting bracket, let go of the brake pedal and unplug the switch electrical connector.
Installing the New Brake Light Switch
Look at the small lever located on top of the new switch. The lever slides to one side to engage the switch plunger. Make sure not to move this lever until the end of the installation.
Plug in the new switch electrical connector.
Depress the brake pedal with one hand and, with your free hand, install the switch in its release position in its mounting bracket.
Turn the switch about 30 degrees clockwise until it snaps in place and let go of the brake pedal.
Slide the small lever on top of the brake light switch to engage the switch plunger.
Install the lower panel, hood release lever, parking brake release lever and Data Link Connector, using the ratchet, ratchet extension and socket.
Attach the lower column cover with the Phillips-head screwdriver.
- "Dodge & Plymouth Vans Automotive Repair Manual"; Robert Maddox, P. B. Ward and John H. Haynes; 2003
Things You'll Need
- Phillips-head screwdriver
- Ratchet extension
Since 2003 Dan Ferrell has contributed general and consumer-oriented news to television and the Web. His work has appeared in Texas, New Mexico and Miami and on various websites. Ferrell is a certified automation and control technician from the Advanced Technology Center in El Paso, Texas.