Brake & clutch switches


Cost: Cheap


Time: 30min

E34 clutch switch (white) - brake switch (black)

On the BMW E34 the clutch and brake light switches are located under the dash, above the pedals. RHD car have the switch on the opposite side-passenger side (left hand side). the switch is not located on the brake pedal.

Failure syndromes:
Erratic or no cruise control for clutch switch.
Erratic or no cruise control, erratic or no functioning of brake lights for brake light switch.


  • Screwdrivers
  • Pliers

1. You need to remove the screws that hold the plastic panel on underneath the steering column (I think there are about 4 of them). Get a good flashlight a screwdriver and good pair of pliers. The brake light switch is under the top of the brake pedal arm, under the dash.
2. Examine the switch that you got from the dealer so you know how it works. The red tab, when pressed down, locks it into place. So, the last step before buttoning everything down is to press the red tab down to lock the switch in place. The best way to get the old switch out is to grab your pair of pliers and break off the red tab or the entire white button. Then it is easy to pull out once you have the wiring harness disconnected.
3. To make things easier, I would park the car on a lever surface so you can have the car in the on position. In order to get the old switch out, you need to have the brake pedal depressed as far as possible. If the car is off, the brake pedal stiffens up and makes removal of the switch rather difficult. The switch is engaged when the pedal is released, so the pedal needs to be depressed to release the switch.
4. Pop in the new switch, connect wiring harness then re-install panel under the steering column.

Thanks to Karl Bergmann, Gary M & Ken

- Home of the Bmw 518i, 520i, 524td, 525tds, 525i, 535i, 530i, 540i, M5 and other Bmw E34 chassis -