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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Forum,

My brake lights have stopped working for the second time in a month. I cannot find the reason why.

On the first time, I checked the bulbs and found that both brake light bulbs were fine, however one reverse light and one of the tail light (opposite side left half) had blown. I replaced them promptly but the brake lights still didn't work.

After checking the plug and sockets to the rear light arrays (not sure what they're really called but that's what I'll call them for now ^^), checking the fuses (all of them, the manual didn't specify what were for brake lights and google wasn't all that helpful) and the switch above the passenger foot well I found all to be in good condition.

I decided on a hunch to just give the bulb connections, switch connection, and fuses a clean and magically the brake lights started to work again!? This was about 3 weeks ago.

This morning after getting into work I was told that my brake lights were not working, so I dutifully performed the checks once again and all I could find was that the switch seemed a tiny bit shaky (about a mm of lateral movement when touched) and there was a slight hissing sound from the passenger foot well when I depressed the brake pedal. I checked the fluid level and it was fine.

I next tried pressing the brake pedal with the engine off and the hissing stopped after a few tries, but returned when the engine was turned on. The brakes still work as I tested them by inching forward and trying them, though they felt a little sharp.

What else should I do?

I know most garages will do a brake analysis/diagnostic for free, but is it purely a mechanical analysis or will they check the electronics too?

Any advice would be welcome.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Gibbo! I sorted out the switch, however it's revealed a new development on the issue.

When I tried the brake light it came on! But only once. The brake pedal felt slightly loose after that and was still hissing. On a hunch I pressed the brake pedal when the engine was off and after a few pumps the pedal began to resist and the hissing stopped.

When I turned the engine back on, I tried the brakes and they lit up again. I got about 3 uses out of them before they stopped working, with each press of the pedal came the hissing sound, and the pedal became softer to press.

I tried this a few more times and the results were reliably consistent.

Conclusion: I'm guessing there is some sort of hydraulic actuator that activates the brake light switch, when the engine is on it is leaking air and ceasing to function correctly. However when the engine is off, the hydraulics somehow retain the air?

I'm no expert so some input/advice would be welcome here.

Thanks again.
 

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Brake lights are switched mechanically by a switch mounted under the dash in the passenger side. The hydraulics are purely for applying the brakes. The internal contacts of the switch are made from a sprung metal which can weaken and cause intermittent operation. The hissing is probably a leak in the vacuum circuit not the hydraulics and will be a different issue. I'd agree with Gibbo and get the switch replaced. They can be a bit of a pig to adjust correctly though.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Been a few days now since I replaced the switch. Still get the hissing but otherwise everything seems to be working fine.

Thanks guys!
 
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