Brake lights are essential for the safety of your Freightliner truck while driving. Whenever you press the brake pedal, the brake light switch activates the brake lights to alert other road users that you’re slowing down.
A damaged brake light switch is the most common cause of brake light problems. For troubleshooting and repair purposes, it’s important to know the location of the brake light switch on your Freightliner.
Keep reading to learn more about where the brake light switch is located on a Freightliner and how to access, test, troubleshoot and replace it.
Freightliner Brake Light Switch Location
Where is the Freightliner brake light switch located? A Freightliner’s brake light switch is found near the brake pedal, underneath the steering column. You can access the brake light switch by opening the protective casing to reveal a panel of switches where it is the topmost switch.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for locating the brake light switch on a Freightliner;
- Step 1: Park the truck on flat ground in a well-lit area, then turn off the engine, and engage the parking brake.
- Step 2: Disconnect the truck battery.
- Step 3: Find the brake pedal beneath the steering wheel on the driver’s side.
- Step 4: Use a screwdriver to open the paneling found near the brake pedal. Removing the protective casing exposes several wiring harnesses connected to switches.
- Step 5: The brake light switch is typically the topmost one among all the switches. You can distinguish the brake light switch on newer Freightliners since it has a distinctive orange stripe.
Here’s a video that will help you locate your truck’s brake light switch.
Common Freightliner Brake Light Switch Problems
Brake light switch problems can manifest in many ways, including the following;
Brake lights fail to illuminate
Brake light failure is the most common problem associated with brake light switch issues.
Brake lights stay on
If your truck’s brake lights stay on after the brake pedal is released, the brake light switch is probably damaged.
Unpredictable brake light operation
A faulty brake switch can cause the brake lights to operate inconsistently. In this case, the lights may turn off and on intermittently and at unpredictable intervals.
Cruise control problems
Cruise control is supposed to disengage whenever the brake pedal is pressed. However, if the Freightliner’s brake light switch malfunctions, cruise control may remain engaged even after pressing the brake pedal.
What Causes A Freightliner Brake Light Switch To Go Bad?
Freightliner brake light switches can go bad due to various reasons, including the following;
Brake light switches can become unscrewed and loose over time due to vibrations, disrupting current flow to the brake lights.
Sometimes, brake light switches get corroded due to exposure to moisture. This corrosion damages the switch’s contacts and hinders the flow of electricity to the brake lights.
The brake light switch on a Freightliner is found near the air management system’s switches. So it can get damaged by accident during routine maintenance.
Some brake light switches may have manufacturing defects that cause premature wear and tear and other issues, damaging the switch.
Troubleshooting Freightliner Brake Light Switch Problems
If you’re experiencing problems with your brake light switch, you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot it;
Check for any dirt build-up
Inspect the brake light switch and clean any accumulated dirt using wd-40 and a clean cloth.
Check the connection
The brake light switch can get unscrewed and dislodged due to vibrations, so you should check whether it’s properly connected. If the switch has been dislodged, tighten it using the 1 -1/16 wrench.
Inspect the switch’s wiring
Check the wiring harness and electrical connector associated with the brake light switch and ensure there are no loose connections. Look for signs of damage, breaks, or corrosion along the wires. If any of the wires are damaged, find a replacement.
Test the switch
Here’s how to test the brake light switch;
- Unhook the electrical connector to expose its terminals.
- Find a multimeter and set it to continuity mode.
- Connect the multimeter’s probes to the brake light switch’s terminals.
- Press the brake pedal and check the multimeter reading. The reading should indicate continuity since pressing the brake pedal closes the brake light circuit.
- Release the brake pedal and observe the multimeter reading. The reading should indicate a lack of continuity due to an open circuit.
- Repeat this process a few times and observe the continuity readings to ensure consistent results.
- If the test results aren’t as expected, the brake light switch is probably faulty and requires a replacement.
How To Replace A Freightliner Brake Light Switch?
If you realize that the brake light switch needs to be replaced, we recommend replacing it with [this one]. Replacing a freightliner brake light switch is a fairly straightforward process you can do yourself. Use the guide provided above to locate the switch and then follow the process below;
- The brake light switch is typically connected to the truck’s electrical system via a connector. To disconnect the electrical connector from the brake light switch, pull it off gently.
- After removing the electrical connector, you can unscrew the brake light switch from the panel. Use a 1 – 1/16 wrench and be gentle to avoid damaging the switch hole’s internal thread.
- Plug the new brake light switch into the hole and screw it in gently.
- Use the 1 – 1/16 wrench to secure the new brake light switch.
- Connect the electrical connector to the new brake light switch.
- Reconnect the truck battery and test the brake lights.
Here are some answers to common questions about freightliner brake light switches.
Q: Does Freightliner brake light switch location vary by model?
No, the brake light switch location doesn’t change from one Freightliner model to another. Instead, you can always access your truck’s brake light switch under the steering wheel near the brake pedal.
Q: Is it expensive to replace a bad brake light switch?
No. Brake light switches are relatively cheap parts, with an average price of about $20. Replacing a brake light switch is a simple repair you can do on your own, but if you decide to hire a mechanic, it’ll only cost an extra $100.
A Freightliner’s brake light switch is typically found near the brake pedal underneath the steering wheel. And you can access it by opening a protective panel. Brake light switch location is broadly the same regardless of your Freightliner model or year of manufacture.
The brake light switch on a Freightliner is easy to troubleshoot and fix. Though you need a 1 – 1/16 wrench to remove and replace the switch, the process is simple as long as you know its location.
Meet Zayan, the mechanical genius behind the highly acclaimed brakes problems and solutions website. With over a decade of hands-on experience in the automotive industry, Zayan has become a trusted authority in the realm of brake systems.
His passion for cars, coupled with his expertise in solving complex brake-related issues, has earned him a devoted following of car enthusiasts, mechanics, and everyday drivers seeking reliable guidance.