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This guide will discuss Volvo brake light switch symptoms and how to replace it.

Table of Contents

Volvo brake light switch is mounted above the brake pedal. A faulty brake light switch can cause several issues.


Symptoms of a bad brake light switch on a Volvo can range from the brake lights not working to the car refusing to go in gear. 

  • Brake lights don't work. 
  • Cruise control won't engage.
  • Erratic automatic transmission shifting
  • Shifter won't come out of Park.
  • The engine won't start.
  • Brake switch high input code P0573
  • Service engine light on.
  • Brake warning light illuminated
  • The brake light stays on

How to Replace Volvo Brake Light Switch

Brake light switch location

What you will need


  1. Park the Volvo and set the parking brakes.
  2. Remove the panel under the dashboard on the driver's side. It is held in place with several T25 Torx screws. To remove the panel, you need to pull it towards the back, then lower it down.
  3. Locate the brake light switch.
  4. Disconnect the electrical connector by pressing on the connector and pulling it out.
  5. Next, you need to remove the brake light switch. Slide the white-collar forward to allow the retaining clips to be released.
  6. When applicable, adjust the new brake switch so that it matches the length of the old one.
  7. Install the new brake switch on the mounting braked. Ensure the switch plunger is fully extended.
  8. Connect the electrical connector.

Verify the brake lights are working properly. If the brake lights are staying on constantly, remove the brake light switch and adjust it.

I replaced the brake light switch, but why am I still getting P0573 cruise control/brake light switch, MIL on?

  • This code may also be triggered by the brake travel sensor that is installed in the brake booster. Check the connection to the brake booster sensor and replace it if necessary. Other problems that can trigger this code include a damaged wire harness to the brake sensor.

Brake lights won't turn on unless I press hard on the brake pedal.

  • This may be due to the brake light switch needing to be adjusted. To fix the problem, access the brake light switch. Remove it and adust it. Newer Volvo models have self-adjusting brake light switch, which means the only remedy would replace the brake light switch.

What is the brake light switch used for?

  • The brake light switch is responsible for activating the brake lights when the brake pedal is pressed. Brake light switch is also used to switch cruise control OFF. Also, it is used to unlock the shift interlock solenoid in the gear shifter.

Replaced brake light switch, but brake lights still don't work?

  • Check the rear light warning module. First, inspect it for water damage. If there is no visible damage, use a Volvo scanner to read fault codes from it. The module is located in the rear side panel, luggage compartment.