Replacing Rear Brake Light Switch on a VW

We show you how to replace a faulty brake light switch.

Related Parts:

Brake Light Switch


Hi, I’m Corey from Today, we’re going to replace the brake light switch on a Mk. IV Jetta. The same process will apply to any modern VW with a 4 pin brake light switch including MK. IV Jettas, Golfs, and Beetles. When he brake light switch fails it will cause all sorts of problems. First, your rear brake lights might now turn on when you step on the brakes. Or, they may turn on randomly even if you’re not stepping on the brake pedal. Your cruise control will also be disabled. If you have a diesel, you’ll see a flashing glow plug light in your instrument cluster. If you have an automatic, your transmission will not allow you to shift out of park.

To complete this job, you need a T20 torx screwdriver and access to a high quality scan tool to reset any codes thrown by the broken switch. Importantly, we’ll need the latest version of the brake light switch. The latest revision is green in color, and what’s great about it that there’s no tricks to installing it anymore. You used to have to hold the brake pedal down or in place, and you only got one shot to do it right. Now, you can install the brake switch with the pedal in its natural upright position, and if you don’t get it in the first time you can also try again—there’s nothing inside that breaks if you don’t install it correctly. The green style switch really is free of the problems that plagued earlier versions. Let’s go put it in the car.

To begin, we need to remove the driver’s side footwell underdash panel. Remove the three torque screws at the front edge. The panel is held in by a clip in the middle, so you need to pry the front panel out a bit to disengage the clip. With the panel out of the way, the brake light switch can be seen at the top of the brake pedal. To remove the switch, we’ll just grab the switch with our hand and rotate it counterclockwise 15 to 20 degrees and it’ll pull straight out. After that we’ll disconnect the electrical connector, which has two tabs on either side. Push those tabs in to remove the connector. We’ll slide the new brake light switch in at the same angle we pulled the old one out. Then we’ll rotate it clockwise to lock it in place. After it’s locked in place, we’ll clip the electrical connector back into place.

We’ll test before reassembling the car by pressing the brake pedal. This one looks good. Thanks for watching.

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