This problem occurs when the OBC display tells
you there is a Brake Light Circuit Error. Here's the fix: (as always read the
- 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 Bimmerzone.com
- 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
- remove panel below
- climb under dash,
- depress brake pedal
- remove wiring harness
- break off the red tab
or the entire white button
- remove switch from its
- 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.