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Old 09-07-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
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How To: Repair brake switch.

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A 355nation How To presented by
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Project Name
How-to repair brake switch

Project Description
Repairing the dreaded dead brake switch with very little effort

Skill Level
Low

Project Vehicle
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Colorado
Year: 2005
Engine: 3.5L

Tools Needed
Sand paper

Project Time
10 minutes or less

Project Cost
Sand paper

When the brake switch fails, your brake lights stop working along with other related items including the cruise control.

Yes GM has issued another recall on the good ole brake switch again. (NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 09V310000) 2004 and 2006 year models.
http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/pr...s&type=VEHICLE

I had mine replaced under recall back in 2007 shortly after I bought the truck. Now in September 2009 it died again. I would normally take it to the dealership and have them replace the switch as most of you should. However I rely heavily on my truck for my job. So I needed a fix this weekend. I pulled the one from the brake lever in my truck and took it apart.
  • Disconnect the battery
  • Press the brake pedal with your hand and twist the switch (the larger of the two), then pull it out.
  • Disconnect the lead going into the switch.
  • Seperate the two halves, exposing the contacts and freeing the spring inside. (Careful not to lose the spring) (leave the push pin inside in the depressed position)
  • Pull the thicker of the two leads out. (not the copper one) You may need to bend the copper lead back (a small amount) to allow the primary lead room to pull out. Notice the lump on one side. It may have carbon built up on it, causing it to not make good contact to the copper lead.
  • Now pull the copper lead out and notice the v folded piece has a metal lump as a contact that rubs the primary contact to complete the circuit that allows your brake lights to burn. This piece is most likely blackend as well and or even somewhat melted.
  • Sand both contacts lightly to remove any buildup that may cause it to not make good contact.
  • Apply a small amount of dieletric grease to both contacts to reduce carbon build up.
  • Reassemble the switch in reverse order.


This corrected my problem. Basically the contacts in the switch had built up too much carbon scoring to allow proper conduction of electricity. The fact they had too much carbon build up is why they are under recall. The newer switches most likely use a different contact metal to prevent this issue. (We hope)

Some of you guys may not be so lucky. If the contacts are in too bad of shape, you may need to replace the switch. I advise that even if you clean yours up and get it working to take it to the dealership and have them replace the switch under the second recall.

For now, I am up and running with working brake lights!
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:53 PM   #2
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Re: How-to: Repair brake switch.

Nice job man. Thanks
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:12 PM   #3
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

No problem bro. Just figured I would share so others wouldn't be running around without brake lights.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:14 PM   #4
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

haha i just had this fixed like 2weeks ago . yeah it was faulty for sure.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:20 PM   #5
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

mine was also! just fixed a couple weeks ago too.
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Old 09-07-2009, 07:46 PM   #6
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

nice write-up and a good easy fix for once. was this a prob on 07 and up? never heard about it before now.
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Old 09-07-2009, 08:40 PM   #7
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

Only 2004 and 2006 according to the Government.
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Old 09-07-2009, 11:35 PM   #8
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Re: How-To: Repair brake switch.

Nice bit of info.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:15 PM   #9
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

man, i'm havin the same issue. I tried both switches and i did need to sand off some carbon, but it still didn't work.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

buy the new switch, it's $12
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:42 PM   #11
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

13.00 at Chevy for the part, it worked.
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Old 06-10-2010, 04:56 PM   #12
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

My solution is more for when you are stranded away from a parts store and need a quick fix. I performed it with a pocket knife.
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 PM   #13
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

Thanks for this tutorial. I might be needing this next week when I get to buy my new brake switch. Can I ask some help from you guys? I'm thinking if it's okay to buy at the brake switch store? I'm thinking of just buying online since it will save me more time.
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Old 11-19-2011, 02:51 PM   #14
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

Good post, thanks. I had no brake lights so I went to my dealer to have the switch replaced and they said they didn't have time. It was 11:45 and they close at 1:00, that's an hour and 15 minutes. I bought the part from them for $12.00, got home by 12:15, pulled the truck in the garage, swapped the switch out in 1 minute. I kid you not, it took 1 minute. I'll always love my Chevy's but the dealers are a disgrace.
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:54 AM   #15
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

I may have to do this soon. When I had my last inspection I had NO brake lights....but a little fiddling with the switch and got them working. So here's hoping it holds out a while. I didn't see this writeup until now, but I may very well try this next. Since my truck is an 07, we'll have to see what goes on.
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:47 AM   #16
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

I think GM now has an unlimited mileage warranty on the brake switches. If ya PM me the last 8 of your VIN I can tell ya. I am a GM service Advisor
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

#09186B: Special Coverage Adjustment-Brake Lamps Inoperative or Continuous Illumination - (Mar 14, 2011)
Subject: 09186B — SPECIAL COVERAGE ADJUSTMENT – BRAKE LAMPS INOPERATIVE OR CONTINUOUS ILLUMINATION



Models: 2004-2009 CHEVROLET COLORADO

2004-2009 GMC CANYON



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Part Information, Service Procedure, and Warranty Transaction Information sections in this bulletin have been revised to include the replacement of burned out brake lamp bulb(s).
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Prior to performing this repair, check to see if the vehicle is involved in Safety Recall 06030. If the vehicle is involved in Safety Recall 06030 and the repair has not been performed, perform the repair using Safety Recall 06030 (labor code V1508). If the vehicle is not involved in the safety recall or has already had the safety recall performed, proceed with repairs using this Special Coverage bulletin.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Please discard all copies of bulletin 09186A, issued October 2010.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Condition

Some customers of 2004-2009 model year Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon vehicles may comment about the loss of brake lamps or continuous illumination of the brake lamps. This may be caused by contamination in the brake lamp switch. The performance of the brakes is not affected. Also, if equipped, they may comment about the loss of cruise control.

Special Coverage Adjustment

This special coverage covers the condition described above for a period of 7 years or 100,000 miles (160,000 km), whichever occurs first, from the date the vehicle was originally placed in service, regardless of ownership.

Dealers are to install a new brake lamp switch assembly. The repairs will be made at no charge to the customer.

For vehicles covered by Vehicle Service Contracts, all eligible claims with repair orders on or after September 28, 2010, are covered by this special coverage and must be submitted using the labor operation codes provided with this bulletin. Claims with repair orders prior to September 28, 2010, must be submitted to the Service Contract provider.

if it helps anyone
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:02 AM   #18
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

It helps me!
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Old 01-17-2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

good deal
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Old 01-26-2012, 04:05 PM   #20
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Re: How To: Repair brake switch.

mine was replaced in aug. 2010 and i just called the dealer and they want to charge me full price
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