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E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-20-2012, 09:54 AM
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Flotsam Flotsam is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 BMW 325i
Brake Warning Light Switch - check the bracket first

My brake warning light had been on for a while and i finally decided to do something about it. Pretty common problem on all E36s even M3. After reading a few threads and there is even a DIY on Pelican Parts for this repair.

Upon receiving the new switch, i installed it and low and behold I had the same problem. I ohmed out both switches. What i discovered was both switches worked the same way meaning that my old switch was not bad.

Upon further inspection i notice that the bracket holding a small metal piece which makes contact with the brake switch was misaligned. This is hard to explain so I have included a series of pictures to show you what the problem is. This part is behind the bottom dash panel under the steering wheel and i found that there is a metal knee bulkhead there held by 3 bolts that is best to remove as well to get access. So how this gets misaligned is beyond me except it is a slide on type fastener rather than a bolt so it just probably bends over time.

I used a screwdriver to slightly bend the bracket the switch is held by and the metal piece the switch center makes contact with. I just moved the switch bracket up slightly and the piece the switch makes contact with down slightly and now the switch works perfectly. Warning light is gone.

So I would suggest before you automatically just buy the switch you check out the alignment of the bracket(s).
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2012, 11:46 AM
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jayjaya29 jayjaya29 is offline
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Mein Auto: 97 M3
Good tip. My switch actually died, but that metal bracket is really easy to bend.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:41 PM
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Flotsam Flotsam is offline
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UR welcome
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