Toyota Corolla 1970-1987 Repair Guide

Brake Light Switch


See Figure 1

The brake light switch is located at the top of the pedal arm. It is the switch which turns the brake lights on when the brakes are applied. The plunger type switch is held in the off position by the normal position of the brake pedal; when the pedal moves during brake application, the switch plunger moves forward and the brake lights are turned on.

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Fig. Fig. 1: View of the brake light switch-most models similar

The switch is almost always the first place to look for the cause of the brake lights flickering over bumps or staying on without use of the brakes. If the brake lights fail to work with the brakes applied, check the fuse first, then check the switch.


See Figure 2

  1. Remove the wiring from the switch terminals. Put a piece of tape over each exposed wiring connector; one wire terminal may be HOT even though the ignition is OFF . If it accidentally touches metal, a fuse will blow.

On some models, it may be necessary to remove the lower dash trim panel and air duct for access

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Fig. Fig. 2: Location of the brake lamp switch

  1. Loosen the locknut closest to the brake pedal arm. Unscrew the switch from the nut and remove it from the bracket.
  3. Install the new switch and tighten the retaining nuts finger-tight when the switch plunger is lightly compressed against the stopper on the pedal.
  5. Connect an ohmmeter across the terminals of the switch. Move the brake pedal and check the onoff behavior of the switch. Adjust the switch so that the switch comes on at the bottom of the pedal free-play. This brings the brake lights on just as the brakes apply but no sooner.
  7. Tighten the locknuts to hold the switch in position.
  9. Remove the tape and connect the wiring to the switch.