When the brake pedal on an automobile is depressed, a brake switch closes and lets voltage flow to the brake lights. This switch has a “hot” side (the terminal which has battery voltage always present), and a “cold” side (which delivers voltage on demand to the brake lights). When replacing a brake switch, or when checking the related circuit, it is important that you know the hot and cold sides. Being aware of which is which will help you avoid blowing fuses from or melting wires when working on the brake lighting system.
Things You’ll Need: Safety glasses, Light weight gloves, Test light or voltmeter
- Put on your safety glasses and gloves. Locate the brake switch on the vehicle. It is usually underneath the dash just above the brake pedal. Look for a small switch attached to the brake linkage that has two wires connected to it.