What is Brake Light Switch and How to Replace it in Land Rover

Would you ever drive knowing that your brakes aren’t in order? Most likely your answer is no. Well, same should be the case for your brake light switch. If you think there is an issue with your brake light switch, you need to get it repaired or replaced immediately. Or better yet, you can do it yourself using our easy step-by-step guide.

Driving around with a bad brake light switch is not only dangerous for you but can be equally risky for all those driving on the road with you. So, for everyone’s safety, read this blog on how to replace the brake light switch in your Land Rover, and change that bad switch right away.

What is the Brake Light Switch and How does it Work?

Even though the brake light switch seems to be a small part, it is actually a very significant part of your car. As its name suggests, it is connected to the brake system and is mainly responsible for turning on/off the brake lights. Additionally, in more modern cars, the brake light switch can also release the transmission from the park. The switch is normally under your dashboard, near the brake pedal.

The brake light switch is an electrical switch attached to your brake pedal. Usually, it has either a one way or a two-way electric switch. Basically, the brake light switch has a spring-loaded mechanism. So, when you press the brake pedal down, the spring results in a closed switch. Ultimately this completes the electrical circuit which causes the brake lights to turn on.

Similarly, when you take your foot off the brake pedal, the switch is again left open, and the brake lights turn off.

How important is the Brake Light Switch?

You can grasp the importance of the brake light switch simply from the fact that it controls the brake lights. When you’re driving on the road with other cars, the brake lights indicate to those behind you that you’re about to slow down. This way they can maintain a safe distance from your vehicle. However, imagine if your brake lights are not working.

People behind you won’t know when you’re slowing down, and eventually, this could result in some pretty nasty accidents on the road. Therefore, it is not just crucial for your own safety but also all other drivers on the road. Moreover, you can also get fined for driving around with broken brake lights.

Furthermore, since the brake light switch also connects to the cruise control switch, it is important to keep it in order if you’re a frequent user of cruise control. The cruise control automatically turns off when the brake lights turn on. So, if the brake lights don’t work, cruise control won’t work properly either. After all, cruise control does help in saving fuel.

What are the Symptoms of a bad Brake Light Switch?

The symptoms of a faulty brake light switch are pretty straightforward and common. In fact, they are so common that you might not even think they are connected to a small thing like the brake light switch. Despite that, whenever you experience these symptoms next, it is a sign that you need to replace your brake light switch immediately.

  • Brake Light Stays On

One symptom of a bad brake light switch is that the brake light stays on. Even when you are not pressing down on the pedal, the brake light remains illuminated. Moreover, because of this, the lights can burn out much quicker and cause an unnecessary draining of the battery.

  • Brake Light Does Not Turn On

The opposite of the previous symptom, if your brake light does not turn on at all, it is another dangerous sign that there’s something wrong with the brake light switch. So, even when you are pressing the brake pedal, the brake light won’t turn on.

More importantly, because the brake light indicates drivers behind you that you’re slowing down, it becomes even more crucial that you don’t take this sign lightly.

  • Gear Does Not Move out of Park

The brake light switch is also connected to the gear shift system. So, another sign of a faulty brake light switch is when you can’t shift out of the park to reverse, neutral, or drive. Moreover, the brake lights won’t work either so you can always tell by that.

  • Car Won’t Start

Sometimes, especially if your car has a push-button start system, you will not be able to start your car only. This is another problem that a bad brake light switch causes. In this case, you might have to press down harder on the brake pedal or change gears to be able to start your car.

Although if you think the problem is related to the engine, then you can go through here to see how to resolve it.

  • Cruise Control Won’t Work

Another symptom of a bad switch is that the cruise control won’t work. The cruise control switch is not able to close which prevents it from being set. Or it could also be that you are not able to turn off the cruise control. Both situations require the brake light switch to be replaced.

  • ABS or Check Engine Light (CEL) might Turn On

If your car detects a problem in the brakes or the brake lights, it might cause the Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) light or CEL to turn on while you’re driving. This could be because the brake light is sticking or it’s not working consistently.

How to Replace the Brake Light Switch in your Land Rover?

If you spot any of the signs mentioned above, it’s time to replace the brake light switch. Moreover, once you’ve gone through this easy step-by-step guide, you’ll wonder why you never bothered to do it before. Replacing this switch can take you from ten minutes to almost 2 hours, depending on how bad the situation is. But overall, it’s not a hard job. You’ll need the following tools:

  • Screwdriver
  • New Brake Light Switch

That’s all the tools and parts you need for this easy job. If you’re not sure where to get the parts from, you can get them from here. Although you do need to keep a couple of things in mind when purchasing Land Rover parts. Besides that, these are the four easy steps to replacing a brake light switch:

  • Unscrew cover under the dashboard to access the brake light switch
  • Remove the old switch from its bracket by rotating clockwise and pulling gently
  • Insert the new switch into the bracket by rotating anticlockwise
  • Replace cover under dashboard

If you’re still facing problems or experiencing the same symptoms, you can check the brake light fuse or the brake light wire harness. You can get these parts here. Moreover, you can also go through these other common Land Rover malfunctions.

Final Words

Just like your brake system or your airbags, the brake light switch plays an integral part in your and your vehicle’s safety. Therefore, a faulty brake light switch is one of those problems which you need to address right away.

There’s no room for procrastination in the situation. Moreover, now that you’ve seen the four-step procedure to replacing it, you have no excuse for putting it off any longer.



Sr Apr 24, 2019
Holy crap that's a long article to explain how to replace a brake light switch when you can just Google it in 30 seconds!
David cochrane Sep 25, 2020
Very interesting article re the BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH I have my own observations and I tried to send a very detailed
discription of my issues on the RR p38a cutting out but I over ran on the number of letters permissible and don't know how many I am able to have !! Can you help with this Dave
Your comment...

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