How to Replace Your Subaru Brake Lamp Switch: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you own a Subaru and have noticed issues with your brake lights, it could be due to a faulty brake lamp switch. While this may seem like a daunting repair, replacing the switch yourself can save you time and money. In this article, we’ll go over the symptoms of a faulty brake lamp switch, the tools needed for the job, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to replace it.

Symptoms of a Faulty Brake Lamp Switch

Before we dive into the replacement process, it’s important to understand the symptoms of a faulty brake lamp switch. The most common symptom is that the brake lights won’t turn on when the brake pedal is pressed. This can be a safety hazard, as other drivers won’t be able to tell when you’re braking. If your Subaru has a dashboard warning light for the brakes, this may also come on as a result of a faulty brake lamp switch.

Tools Needed for the Job

To replace the brake lamp switch on your Subaru, you’ll need a few tools. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flathead)
  • Pliers (in case the wiring is difficult to reach)
  • New brake lamp switch (make sure it’s compatible with your Subaru model and year)

Step-by-Step Guide for Replacing Your Subaru Brake Lamp Switch

  1. The first step is to locate the brake lamp switch, which is usually located underneath the brake pedal. To access it, you may need to remove the bottom panel beneath the steering wheel.

  2. Once you’ve located the brake lamp switch, disconnect the wiring from the switch.

  3. Using a screwdriver, remove the mounting screws that are holding the brake lamp switch in place. Set the old switch aside.

  4. Take the new brake lamp switch and attach it to the mounting bracket using the screws you removed in step 3.

  5. Reconnect the wiring to the new switch. Make sure that the wiring is securely connected and that there are no loose connections.

  6. Test the brake lights by pressing down on the brake pedal. If the brake lights turn on, you’ve successfully replaced the brake lamp switch.

  7. Finally, reattach any panels or covers that you removed during the process.

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Tips and Tricks

  • If you’re having trouble reaching the wiring, use pliers to help guide the connections into place.
  • Make sure to test the brake lights before driving your vehicle to ensure that the new switch is working properly.
  • If you’re unsure about anything during the replacement process, consult your Subaru owner’s manual or a reliable source on DIY car repairs.


Q: Can I drive my car with a faulty brake lamp switch?
A: It’s not recommended to drive with a faulty brake lamp switch, as it can be a safety hazard. Other drivers won’t be able to tell when you’re braking, which increases the risk of accidents.

Q: How do I know if the brake lamp switch is causing the issue?
A: If your brake lights aren’t turning on when you press the brake pedal, it’s likely that the brake lamp switch is causing the issue. However, it’s always a good idea to rule out other potential causes, such as a blown fuse or wiring issues.

Q: Do I need to take my Subaru to a mechanic to replace the brake lamp switch?
A: No, you can replace the brake lamp switch yourself. However, if you’re unsure about anything or don’t feel comfortable doing it yourself, it’s always a good idea to consult a mechanic.

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Peter Banks

With years of experience as a professional mechanic and Subaru specialist, Peter is one of the most respected members of our team. He's written several articles on Subaru maintenance and repair, and his advice and tips are always practical and helpful. When he's not working on cars, he enjoys cooking and trying out new recipes.

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