Monday, December 19, 2011

A Shiny New Brake LIght Switch

As I mentioned on the forum a few days ago, cars behind me at night had begun to flash their brights at me last week.  I finally figured out that the brake light switch was only working when I depressed the brake pedal very firmly. Therefore no brake lights, except when I actually stomped on the pedal.  A bad deal for city driving with all the inattentive, nonattentive, and attention-deficit drivers on the roads.

The next step was to determine where the switch was located.  The 2000 had two versions; a later one mounted inside the car behind the brake pedal, but of course I had the early model, a hydraulic switch on the master cylinder. 

1) The old switch

It looked fine but then the workings aren't exactly visible.

So I acquired a new one; alas the BMW version seems to be NLA.  After a moment's wrestling to loosen the nut on the old unit, the new switch went on quickly.

2) New switch

Now let's hope other drivers stop flashing their lights at me.

POSTSCRIPT:  Since the owners manual indicates that one should flush the brake fluid once a year and mine had last been changed nearly 12 months ago, I filled her up with new fluid today. Now the brakes are firm and operate like new. Best of all, the brake lights illuminate with just a tap on the pedal.

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