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Brake light problems-changing the switch
Published by Deckchair5
03-04-2007
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The problem

Solutions to a problem you didnít know you had. Many Stilo owners will have had to change their brake light switch through ASR warning lights and brake lights not working or brake lights staying on sort of problems but for those that havenít then I feel you should be forewarned of something that may be coming your way if it hasnít already.

Imagine the scene, Iím driving along a dual carriageway and a young lass draws up along side and is pointing and mouthing something unintelligibly like ďI thought my bum looked big enough until I saw the backside of your StiloĒ. At least I think thatís what she says and so I smile sweetly, give her a thumbs up and say back something which probably looks like ďYes you can get a full wax, back and crack down the road for £45 donít you knowĒ

Anyway, I decide to check things at the rear when I get home and Iím lucky in being able to check my rear lights in a neighbours front window acting like a mirror -spoils his TV viewing but handy for me. So everything looks intact and I check my brake lights a few times in the window Ė
Fine, fine, fine, fine, fine, uh?
Did I imagine that? Did the high level brake light come on but not the low level ones? Is that possible?
Fine, fine, fine, fine, then same again!
Fine, fine, fine then NOTHING! Whatís going on?

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Looking at the circuit diagram, you can see the high level brake light is on a different circuit to the low level ones, the high one being directly connected to the brake light switch and the low level ones only being turned on by the body computer so itís easily possible for the high level lights to work with no low level ones

Now I hear that new brake light switches are better designed and more robust than the originals, the operating point isnít right at the top and therefore over sensitive and the switch isnít so affected if you happen to trip your foot underneath the brake pedal. (The original would often reset itís brake light operating point just by a simple act of pulling up on the brake pedal or catching your foot underneath it. Not good).

So Iíd advise everybody to check out the operation of their brake lights, not by asking someone to check as you wonít know whatís happening, but by reflections and watching what happens with your own foot operating the brake pedal. If youíre getting odd things happening too then itís time to replace the brake light switch before someone reshapes your rear end

New switches are £5 from Fiat. Not too difficult to fit but Iíd advise practising shuffling a deck of cards with one hand in the dark upside down first

HOW TO REPLACE
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Remove the sound deadening over foot panel and throw it away if you havenít already done so, more room for your feet and you can hear the indicators as well then.
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Switch is a bayonet, light bulb type, half turn to remove. Connector to it is a pull up release catch which is where youíll need the fingers of steel and origami in the dark skills

It's fiddly and requires some good control one handed under the dash. Get the driver's seat as far back as it will go. The switch is right above the brake pedal arm and, at first, looks like a right pig to do as you can only just get your fingers on it and have to go almost toally by feel but, like a light bulb, just a half twist of the switch and it's out, push it upwards to release it from it's securing bracket. i did it so many times i can do it in seconds now so it's not difficult but a bit of a strain to get to so get comfy

Once it's released you have a bit of slack in the wiring so you can move the switch over the top for a bit more slack so you can get to the electrical connector. This is just a raise release catch on the side of the connector and pull off, again tricky because yoi could only use one hand on it but, once the connector is off, the switch is out.
Thanks avcihuan, JayEm, vladof, Jevge, Frantic fiat fanatic and 3 others thanked for this post
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Old 28-05-2007   #1
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

Hey Deckchair, been a long time. Anyway, once again I have been saved money,time,being stopped by the police thanks to your know how. The brake lights on The DarkStilo were on all the time. Removed brake switch but instead of replacing, pulled plunger all the way out and refitted. Hey Presto!

Red lights only, no blues and twos for me!
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Old 12-06-2008   #2
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

at my wits end, have had 2 new switches and been back to dealer 7 times with brake lights stuck on! all they say is it needs ajusting , lasts 2mths then stuck on again? 02 3 door stilo, any ideas sugg.estions welcome
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Old 20-07-2008   #3
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

A million thanks for this guide. Just had to reset mine. Might be worth saying that to reset the switch I had to pull quite hard with pliers until the plunger 'clicked' out to its position.

Already paid 70 quid for a rip off merchant mechanic to fix this once..... I shall be having strong words on monday morning!
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Old 02-09-2008   #4
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch



Hi, Thanks for the brilliant guide,dosn't help if you have fingers like salami!!!
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Old 13-10-2008   #5
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

brilliant guide. wish i'd read this before doing mine - would have saved a few layers of thum skin before filing the locating lugs! ouch!!! just gonna adjust it now..
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Old 17-09-2009   #6
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

hi,i replaced mine before finding this ,,and had to lye on my back with my legs in the air over the back of the seat!!! with a torch in my mouth!! took me ten tries with hand ripped to bits i could not get new switch locked in and found i had to trim lugs as they were 2mm 2 long so switch could not fully seat in holes ,
Has anyone noticed there are 2 switch holes and 2 sets of wires/connectors and does anyone no why
And before i did find the switch i was told by fiat to find switch on passenger side ??
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Old 23-10-2009   #7
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

I've done this operation recently, the switch now costs £20 from FIAT, and I found that having huge fingers didn't help matters, I found that using a plumbers basin wrench (as used for unbolting tap nuts) works very well. The switch has flat sides and it fits perfectly. The switch on my car was a nightmare to remove. It came out in tiny bits!
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Old 16-02-2010   #8
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Smile Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

brilliant, havent changed it yet but at least I can now reset the switch on my brand new multipla (oct 09) and hopefully people will stop coming up to me in car parks and telling me my lights are on all the time - I'll keep a pair of pliers in the car so I can do it as soon as I notice. what a stupid design!!
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Old 08-04-2010   #9
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Brake light problems-changing the switch

i just got that switch. 10 euro's in Romania but the thing is that the problem was from the left back stop lamp. someone changed the bulb and mounted a 10w bulb. the original is 5w. changed the bulb and no bulb failure eror now
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Old 20-05-2010   #10
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

high guys, after reading this about brake lights being on all the time perhaps you can help me,mine dont come on at all,checked bulbs (o.k) checked fuse for bulbs (o.k) and checked fuse for signal from brake (o.k)
The only warning that comes up on the dash is rear r indicator but thats working fine. could this be a brake switch problem?
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Old 13-07-2010   #11
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

thanks this helped me so much sorted my prob
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Old 02-12-2010   #12
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Talking Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

Just what I was looking for , now I know how, why and when it happened, it was all my fault for my lights being jammed on at all times now, its called careless rushing around in and out of car...........
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Old 05-12-2010   #13
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Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

Where exactly is the switch ? ive had my hand by the brake pedal arm but couldnt find anything? is it in front or behind the arm?? Thanks in advance !!!
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Old 08-12-2010   #14
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Talking Re: Brake light problems-changing the switch

Here are the pics, i bled for these lollol
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