How to Replace the Brake Switch on Vehicles

by Contributing WriterUpdated June 12, 2017

The Vehicles uses a screw-in type of switch located in a bracket behind the top-side of the brake pedal arm. It is essentially just an on and off switch. When the plunger is pushed in, as is the case when the brake pedal is all the way up, the switch turns open. As the brake pedal is depressed, the arm extends the plunger in the switch, which closes the switch; this allows power to travel to the taillights, turning them on.

Under The Hood:

 How to Replace the Brake Switch on a Pontiac Grand Prix

Remove the electrical connector from the brake light switch. A flashlight will be necessary to see the switch, since it is behind the dash. Lie on the driver's side floor so that you can see the top of the brake pedal arm. There will be a while plastic button-type switch in a bracket toward the backside top of the brake pedal arm. Use the needle-nose pliers to work the electrical connector off of the switch.

Remove the brake light switch by using the right arm to slightly depress the brake pedal while using regular pliers to loosen the white plastic nut on the brake light switch. The plastic nut is used as a lock nut to hold the brake light switch in the proper position. Once loosened, unscrew the brake light switch from the bracket.

Install the lock nut on the new brake light switch if it does not come with one. Screw the brake light switch into the bracket, making sure that the brake pedal arm is all the way out. Screw the switch in to the point that the button on the switch comes into contact with the brake pedal arm enough to depress the button all the way in. Run the nut into the bracket and tighten sufficiently so that the switch will not move by twisting. Connect the electrical connector.

Check to see if the taillights come on when the pedal is first depressed. If the pedal needs to be depressed too far before the brake lights come on, loosen the locknut, back the switch out a little and try again.

Items you will need

  • Flashlight

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Pliers

 How to Replace the Brake Switch on a 1999 Tahoe

Open the hood of your Tahoe, and remove the negative battery cable with your socket set. This will keep you from shorting out anything while you work on your SUV.

Move to where you can look beneath the driver's side dashboard where your brake pedal is. The brake light switch is mounted at the top base of the pedal.

Remove the screw that holds the clip in place holding the brake light switch. Unplug the wiring from the back of the old switch.

Insert the wiring plug back into the back of the new sensor.

Re-mount the new sensor to its retaining clip at the top base of the brake pedal. Replace the negative battery cable, and tighten it.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Replacement brake switch

 How to Replace a Brake Switch in a Mustang

Locate the brake switch under the driver's side dashboard at the pivoting end of the brake pedal assembly.

Remove the electrical wiring harness from the switch by squeezing in on the two tabs on the wiring connector by hand and pulling the connector apart.

Remove the clip from the brake switch mounting stud on the brake pedal assembly by sliding it out with a pair of needle-nose pliers. Save the clip for re-use.

Slide the brake switch and washer down and away from the mounting stud. Do not remove the master cylinder rod from the mounting stud. Discard the old switch, but keep the washer.

Slide the new switch onto the brake pedal assembly mounting stud, keeping the master cylinder rod between the two flanges on the switch. Reinstall the washer onto the mounting stud.

Insert the clip back into the groove on the mounting stud by sliding it back in with your needle-nose pliers.

Plug the electrical wiring harness into the new switch until the tabs on the connector snap into place.

Items you will need

  • Needle-nose pliers

  • Brake switch

 How to Replace the Brake Switch on an Altima

Remove the cotter pin from the pin bolt that holds the brake pedal to the brake booster with a pair of pliers. There is a small cotter pin running through the brake pedal to brake booster connection. You need to pull this cotter pin out to remove the larger pin that holds the brake pedal to the brake booster.

Slide the pin out of the brake booster mounting bracket.

Pull up on the brake pedal to slide it out of the brake booster mounting bracket.

Remove the bolts holding the brake switch to the firewall using a socket wrench.

Remove the electrical connector on the brake switch by pulling it straight off the switch.

Slide the switch off the firewall.

Install the new switch. Installation is the reverse of removal. Make sure that you replace the cotter pin in the brake booster to brake pedal connection. The cotter pin prevents the retaining pin in the brake booster mounting bracket from coming off.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

  • Pliers

  • Socket wrench

  • Socket set

  • New brake switch

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