How to change a brake light switch, Chevy Aveo
Aveo Brake Light Switch
I didn't know my car even had a part called a brake light switch until it broke last week. My 05 Aveo wouldn't go out of park (annoying) unless I used the emergency brake and I had to start my car while in neutral. The biggest problem with a broken brake light switch is that the brake lights no longer register that the brake pedal is being depressed, and as a result do not light up. Dangerous. Turned out this little plastic piece is a big deal in Aveo-land. It is luckily a pretty cheap part to fix, although no car part stores carried it in our area, so we had to buy the part from a dealership. A brake light switch will set you back about 10 bucks if you fix it yourself, and we were quoted a little more than $50 at the dealership.
The hardest part about replacing a broken brake light switch is getting to where it's located. You're going to want to put the driver's seat as far back as it will go, to give yourself as much room as possible. Putting a towel on the ground will help cushion your knees as you become an amateur contortionist in order to reach the switch. A flashlight is also very handy. The brake light switch is located above the brake pedal about 3/4 of the way up the metal bar which connects your pedal to your car. It is secured by a small bracket and it has a little round nubbin (for lack of a better description) which remains in contact with the metal bar above your brake pedal. It is connected to the wiring system with a white plastic piece which kind of resembles an electrical plug/socket combo.
Once you've located the brake light switch, unplug the switch from the electrical system. This is fairly easy to do, but be gentle, since these are thin plastic parts you're working with. Gently twist the brake light switch to the left with steady pressure. It may take a couple of tries, but don't get frustrated and force it. The switch will pop loose and then all you need to do is replace the old with the new.
Connect the new brake light switch to the electrical system, which is by far the easiest part of the process. Getting the new brake light switch to click in place is a little tricky because it is hard to see what you're doing, while getting enough leverage to turn it into place. Be patient. Position the new switch so that the contours match the bracket. Once you have it positioned, just turn the switch to the right with steady pressure. You'll know it's in the correct position when you hear a satisfying click as the switch locks into place.
This is definitely a manageable part to fix yourself. I'm not a girl with a whole lot of auto repair experience, and it took me about 10 minutes to do. If you know what you're doing, I bet it will take about 2 minutes. This is a simple fix, which will save you time and money, and by far the hardest part of the repair is just getting to the part.