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Shop BMW Brake Light Circuit Error

Special Thanks To Karl Bergmann

This problem occurs when the OBC display tells you there is a Brake Light Circuit Error. Here's the fix: (as always read the disclaimer below)


 - You need to buy the Brake light switch. There are 2 kinds, First is With Check Control P/N 61318360417 (E36 ONLY) and the second is without Check Control P/N 61318360420 (E36 ONLY) Double check with your dealer to see which part you need. You can get the part right here at


 - You need to remove the screws that hold the plastic panel on underneath the steering column (I think there are about 4 of them).


 - Get a good flashlight a screwdriver and a good pair of pliers.


 - The brake light switch is under the top of the brake pedal arm, under the dash. Examine the switch that you got from the dealer so you know how it works.


 - The red tab, when pressed down, locks it into place. SO, the last step before buttoning everything down is to press the red tab down to lock the switch in place.


 - Manual transmission: to make things easier, I would park the car on a level surface so you can have the car in the on position.


 - The best way to get the old switch out is to grab your pair of pliers and break off the red tab or the entire white button. Then it is easy to pull out once you have the wiring harness disconnected.


 - In order to get the old switch out, you need to have the brake pedal depressed as far as possible. If the car is off, the brake pedal stiffens up and makes removal of the switch rather difficult. The switch is engaged when the pedal is released, so the pedal needs to be depressed to release the switch.


Here are the details:

 - Make sure the parking brake is on and the car is in Park (auto). Make sure car is on a level surface


 - remove panel below steering column


 - climb under dash, upside down


 - depress brake pedal


 - remove wiring harness from switch


 - break off the red tab or the entire white button


 - remove switch from its bracket


 - pop in the new switch


 - depress the red tab on the switch to lock it into place


 - connect wiring harness


 - reinstall panel under the steering column


You are done. The whole job took about 30 minutes. It may take longer, depending on how easy it is for you to get around under the dash.