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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'll preface this by saying I'm 100% not a car guy, so all that awesome stuff you guys already know I definitely don't have that goin' for me.

My girlfriend has a 2008 Nissan Versa, and her car is doing exactly what's described in this thread.

More specifically, it's doing this (from that thread)

Punch the gas. No response from the car, and her brake lights also don't work. We recently took it to the dealership, and (luckily!) they replaced her transmission for some other reason (something about a Nissan callback, and her car was still under warranty, so, the transmission is brand new). She's been driving it like this for the past couple months, and I'm worried that perhaps she's doing irreparable damage to things that I wouldn't even know about.

So, two questions!

1) The Nissan tech told me to just replace the switch first and see if that'll fix it (he believes that it will), but I dunno exactly what to look for (aside from googling: 2008 versa brake light switch), and even after getting the part I don't feel particularly competent to replace it without a clear set of instructions. Can anyone points me towards some? A video, or has already done this and can fill me in on the details?

About all I think I know is that I need this part:
W0133-1844773
which is presumably an OES Genuine Brake Light Switch

2) Assuming the worst, driving her car like this for the past couple months on the new transmission (and about 6 months since the problem appeared), are there other things we should look in to for potential damage/problems that may have arisen out of this particular problem?

Thanks for any help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Well, it turned out to be easier than I expected. So, in the hopes that it helps someone else:

I learned that while it's heavily referenced as a "brake light switch" most everywhere I searched, that the actual part I ended up purchasing was a stoplight switch. I found it at Autozone for $50 (Part # JA4496); although, I imagine a cheaper alternative could be found online.

The switch was located just behind the arm that holds the brake pedal. After disconnecting the input, it required a 90° counter-clockwise turn, and then it came out fairly easily. I put the new one in, another 90° clockwise turn to secure it, and all the problems were fixed. The brake lights came back on, and the transmission responded as it should. The dealership estimated that it would've cost ~$200 for everything for them to do it, so, we're happy with the $50 that we spent.

Good luck.
 

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glad you got it all worked out!
 

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Good job on the DIY! Modern cars won't come out of Park unless the Brake/Stop Light Switch is switched ie. the brake pedal is depressed. Some cars also don't start without the brake pedal switched, like my new Altima.
Where ya from? Welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, and yeah, I'm glad it worked out too. I'm not really mechanically inclined, so it was relieving to be able to fix it with a minimal amount of effort. Her car has been like that for so long that we can't remember what it used to drive like so I'm still hoping to come across another Versa owner so I can compare the two.
 

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Totally new here (I'm a half-decent mechanic with my 1993 Mustang). Great forum.

Same issue with my son's 2007 Versa ... bogging. No brake lights.
We bought the switch from Autozone and he plugged it in.
Voila ... car worked great, brake lights worked.

BUT ...

Very next day, car was shaking on highway. Now, his repair shop says all the brakes are fried and the reason is that the switch made the brakes stay on full-time.

This makes no sense to me. Is there any way these are connected?

Thanks
 

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The only way I could imagine this happening is if the switch were either too long or improperly installed putting pressure on the pedal.

BUT! If this were the case, I'd think the brake lights would also be always on and that'd be a definate tip-off something was amiss.
 

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This is markfhp's son with the 2007 Versa. Here's the sequence of events up to now:

Saturday: Notice sluggish acceleration. First assumption is CVT problem, and plan to take it to dealer, since the CVT has a 10 y/120,000 mi warranty. A bit of Google-Fu between myself and my dad, and it's obvious it's the brake light switch.

Sunday: I install the brake light switch and go for a test drive in the neighborhood. The brake pedal seems to not travel as far as it usually does, but aside from that, everything works perfectly. Acceleration and braking feel normal.

Monday morning: As soon as I get on the Interstate going to work, it starts wobbling. I get it to the shop, and they install four new tires, which I was planning on getting that week anyway, as the tires were due for replacement.

Tuesday morning: Fine on local roads, it once again starts wobbling on the Interstate. Take it back to the shop, and they tell me that the brakes got cooked from being applied continuously. They suspect the master cylinder.

Wednesday afternoon: The shop did their own research including with Nissan, which is dissuading them from assuming the master cylinder. They blamed it on the brake light switch causing the pedal to be pressed continuously.

I'm waiting on their call today. When they fix the brakes and take the car for a test drive on the Interstate, I think one of two things will happen: one, everything will work. Two, it'll return to the wobbling, pointing to the master cylinder.

I'm trying to figure out how on earth the brake light switch could have caused all this. The brake pedal requires a respectable amount of force to push down, and I'd think I'd have noticed that while installing the switch. I actually distinctively remember, as I pushed-and-turned the switch into its holder, feeling the feather-light touch as the switch was pushed in by the brake pedal arm, as it should be.

Also, how on earth can that switch be installed incorrectly? It's the exact same length as the similar-looking park-brake interlock switch next to it, and push-and-turn isn't exactly easy to screw up. In fact, I'd think it would be impossible to screw it up, since the switch can't be pushed into the hole any further than it's supposed to be. Could inadvertently flip-flopping the brake light and park-brake interlock switches' physical positions do anything nasty?

Could the brake pedal's short travel be some sort of evidence? The pedal seemed to only have a short travel, but return to its normal position. Didn't feel like there was anything holding it down.

Actually, if the switch actually was keeping the brake pedal pushed down, the brake light would be off: pushing the brake pedal with one's foot _releases_ the spring-loaded brake light switch, and the release of that switch turns on the brake light.

OK, my braindump is over. My wife and I are just a pit peeved at the cost of new brakes, and I'm mainly interested to know if this is my fault or not. *grin*

The only way I could imagine this happening is if the switch were either too long or improperly installed putting pressure on the pedal.

BUT! If this were the case, I'd think the brake lights would also be always on and that'd be a definate tip-off something was amiss.
 

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sorry I can't help but I'm dying to know what is going on here. The switch itself is not causing your brakes to be applied. I don't think there is anything that applies the brakes except for the hydraulics. I know later models have electronic brake distribution but on yours which is a 2007 I don't think it does. I also don't know how that works.

I don't see how any of this is your fault.
 

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The possibility here, and I'm scratching my head about this, is that the brake light switch itself pushed down on the brake pedal arm. Which sounds a bit like bench-pressing 200 lbs. with your pinky finger.

sorry I can't help but I'm dying to know what is going on here. The switch itself is not causing your brakes to be applied. I don't think there is anything that applies the brakes except for the hydraulics. I know later models have electronic brake distribution but on yours which is a 2007 I don't think it does. I also don't know how that works.

I don't see how any of this is your fault.
 

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Sunday: I install the brake light switch and go for a test drive in the neighborhood. The brake pedal seems to not travel as far as it usually does, but aside from that, everything works perfectly. Acceleration and braking feel normal.
The possibility here, and I'm scratching my head about this, is that the brake light switch itself pushed down on the brake pedal arm. Which sounds a bit like bench-pressing 200 lbs. with your pinky finger.
Sounds like that might be the issue actually. I would never think the little switch would be able to press the pedal down so much. I know they are adjustable, or at least on my other nissans they are.
 

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The shop just called me; they're going to have the car ready for me when I get off work today. They said the new brake light switch was pressing down just a teeny bit on the brake pedal...just enough to keep the brake slightly applied, and thus cook it.

I'm still trying to figure out how I managed to screw up a push-and-turn mount. Additionally, I'm now scared to touch the brake light switch and see for myself. :)

This would have been quite hard for me to notice myself, considering that the brake pedal, in its home position, is _supposed_ to be in constant contact with the tip of the switch.

Sounds like that might be the issue actually. I would never think the little switch would be able to press the pedal down so much. I know they are adjustable, or at least on my other nissans they are.
 

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sounds like you just pushed the switch all the way in and turned to lock. This is NOT how it's done. You need to pull the brake pedal up with your hand. Then push the switch in. When the threaded end makes contact with the pedal at that point you rotate it to lock in place.
 

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My girlfriend has an 08 Versa CVT and it will not accelerate at all. Up hills are the worst and it takes all of a couple of minutes to get up to a drivable speed. When we turn the car off it sounds as if it will not catch but then it does and starts.
The P, R, N, D, L, lights on the dash do not work and the transmission sounds as if it is just slipping continuously. We just had the tranny replaced a year ago but now the car seems worse than ever.
The brake lights are working fine so I dont think it is a brake light sensor issue.
Any help will be appreciated...
 
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