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Brake Light Switch

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What is a brake light switch?

 

The primary function of the brake light switch is to activate the brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, the switch is triggered, completing an electrical circuit and causing the brake lights to illuminate. In many modern vehicles, the brake light switch is also integrated into the shift interlock system. This means that the switch must be engaged (brake pedal pressed) to allow the driver to shift out of "Park" and into another gear, such as "Drive" or "Reverse." This interlock system prevents accidental shifting when the brake pedal is not depressed.

In some vehicles equipped with cruise control, the brake light switch is used to deactivate the cruise control system when the brakes are applied. This safety feature ensures that the vehicle slows down when the driver applies the brakes while using cruise control.

 

Symptoms of a bad brake light switch

 

  1. Brake lights fail to illuminate

Brake lights do not light up when the brake pedal is pressed, risking safety.

  1. Shifting difficulty

Difficulty shifting out of "park" even with the brake pedal pressed.

  1. Cruise control issues

Cruise control may not disengage when brakes are applied.

  1. Dashboard warning lights

Activation of abs or traction control warning lights on the dashboard.

  1. Battery drain

A stuck switch can drain the vehicle's battery due to continuous brake light illumination.

  1. Transmission shift problems

In automatic vehicles, it can hinder gear shift release from "park."

  1. Intermittent brake lights

Brake lights may work inconsistently.

  1. Visible damage

Check for physical damage or wear on the switch or electrical connections.

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