How to Adjust a Brake Light Switch

Written by laura gianino
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How to Adjust a Brake Light Switch
Some malfunctioning brake lights can be fixed by adjusting the brake light switch. (car brakelight image by Christopher Nolan from

A car's brake lights alert other drivers when you are coming to a stop. If the brake lights do not come on, the brake light switch might need to be adjusted. To adjust your brake light switch you need to follow a few simple steps.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Locate the brake light switch. You'll find it under the dashboard, near the top of the brake pedal. It is typically attached to a small L-shaped bracket, which mounts the switch. You should be able to find the button close to the top of the brake pedal pivot.

  2. 2

    Push the button to adjust the on/off switch. Apply a good amount of pressure and the switch will either turn on or off.

  3. 3

    Determine if the button needs to be pushed in or out. If the brake light is on with the pedal at rest, the button needs to be pushed in by using a screwdriver to pry the button back into the housing. If the brake light does not come on when the pedal is pressed, the button needs to pulled out, and the switch should be removed by rotating the housing a quarter of a turn.

  4. 4

    Turn on the ignition and confirm that the brake light has been fixed by testing the brakes.

Tips and warnings

  • Driving with malfunctioning brake lights is dangerous. If you cannot fix the problem by adjusting your brake light switch, you might have a larger problem that requires the help of a professional mechanic.

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