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Brake Light Switch Replacement

BMW 323i Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost

The average cost for a BMW 323i Brake Light Switch Replacement is between $96 and $123. Labor costs are estimated between $44 and $56 while parts are priced between $52 and $67. Estimate does not include taxes and fees.

How Much Does a Brake Light Switch Replacement Cost?

Brake Light Switch Replacement Service and Cost

What is a brake light switch?

The brake light switch is a small electrical component situated on or in contact with the brake pedal. The purpose of this switch is to allow the brake lights to illuminate when the brake pedal moves.

How does the brake light switch work?

One end of this small switch looks like a small button, and when it is pressed the brake lights turn off. The button is pressed by the brake pedal unless the brake pedal is compressed. This creates the situation where the brake lights turn on anytime the brakes are pressed. It is easiest to consider the brake light switch to work the opposite of the brake pedal. When the pedal is pressed, the switch is not, likewise, when the switch is pressed, the brake pedal is resting. This switch also sends a signal to the ignition switch and gear selector. The purpose of this signal is to ensure the brake pedal is pressed before starting the vehicle, or moving the gear selector out of park.

What are the symptoms related to a bad brake light switch?

Consumers often complain that the brake lights stay on and drain the battery when not in use. Additionally, the brake lights may not illuminate when pressing the brake pedal. Often, and especially in modern vehicles, this will result in the inability to start the vehicle, or shift the transmission out of the park position.

Can I drive with a brake light switch problem?

Driving a vehicle with a faulty brake light switch is dangerous, if not impossible. If the brake lights stay on constantly, the vehicle may not have enough power to start after sitting for several hours. If the brake lights do not turn on, the vehicle may be illegal to operate. Additionally, other drivers on the road may think the tail lights of the vehicle are turned on, leaving them unaware when you are braking, and causing a traffic accident. The vehicle may not move from park, even if the gear selector is manually released.

How often do brake light switches need to be replaced?

The brake light switch is known to fail under all conditions, and at no particular age or mileage. Often they are placed where the drivers feet may contact them, and dust, dirt, water, and other contaminants are common. These factors can contribute to malfunctioning. Especially in stop and go traffic, the brake light switch is constantly in use, and this wear and tear will eventually lead to failure.

Brake Light Switch Replacement Repair Information

How are brake light switch issues diagnosed?

Diagnosis of the brake light switch is quick and easy for the trained professional. When the brake lights fail to illuminate, or the transmission cannot be shifted from park, the technician will look for a bad fuse first, then, the brake light switch electrical connector must be tested to confirm it is delivering sufficient electrical power to the switch. If there is sufficient power, the switch is tested with the button pressed and released. The result will determine if the switch has failed. When the brake lights will not turn off, the switch is inspected to ensure contact is being made with the brake pedal. If the brake light switch is mechanically functioning properly, it will be tested with the button pressed and released.

How is a brake light switch replaced?

Replacement of a faulty switch requires removal of retaining hardware, and one electrical connector. Installation is the reverse, but the switch must be adjusted so that the brake lights will turn on when the brake pedal is pressed, and turn off when the brake pedal is in the resting position.

RepairPal Recommendations for brake light switch issues

If the repair and diagnosis of your brake light issue is being trusted to a repair facility, we recommend having the vehicle towed, and taken out of service prior to the repair. In cases where the transmission cannot be shifted from park, the best course of action is to use a flatbed wrecker that raises all four wheels of the vehicle off the ground, preventing harm to the transmission as the drive wheels will not turn.

What to look out for when dealing with brake light switch issues

Failure of the transmission to shift from park is not always caused by the brake light switch. The shift interlock system may be faulty, or contaminants, like coffee and soda, may have spilled in the shift interlock release, causing it to stick.

Can I replace the brake light switch myself?

This is an excellent DIY project that can be completed with minimal effort. We do not advise swapping parts as a testing method, as greater cost is normally incurred in this manner. Assuming a very basic knowledge of the path of electricity through the switch, testing the switch, fuse and circuit are very basic, and straightforward. Also, replacement requires only basic hand-tools. Persons who lack a basic knowledge of testing a series circuit should refer diagnosis to a certified professional.

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