I'm kind of a wordy fella so I beg your forgiveness in advance. Please help!
I have an 05 Escape XLS, front wheel drive, and I noticed that the brake lights were on when I came out to my car after work the other day. After some research I discovered that the brake light switch was most likely the problem, so after some more digging, determined that this was the part that was having issues:
So I went under the dash by the brake pedal mount and found two switches, one of which looked exactly like the one above. I gave it an easy turn and it came right out. I noticed immediately that the little button shaft on the switch was depressed completely and could be pushed in no further. So I tried to pull out the button and it popped out fairly easily, and the brake lights turned off. Then I pushed it again and it went through a short range of what felt like a spring-resisted motion, just like should be expected, the brake lights came on, then it clicked and bottomed out, sticking at the bottom, and the brake lights stayed on.
So I disconnected the cable and ordered the part from a local repair place. Upon examining the new part, I noticed that the button shaft was sticking out a LONG ways, similar to the product picture above, much longer than the one I had removed from my vehicle. After messing with the old one for a minute, it seemed that it had an adjustable mechanism inside which allowed it to adjust to a shorter length while allowing the same range of braking motion (about 2 or 3 mm), and that it could be shortened by simply pushing it in. I guess that is the reason the old one failed because it was very easy to adjust, so easy that just a small push would snap it to a shorter length, rather than going through the 3 mm range for normal braking use before snapping to a shorter length. And this snapping to a shorter length would just continue under a small amount of pressure until the button had bottomed out, clicking one last time at the very bottom and sticking there.
So the new switch works the same way I figure. I try to push it in and it goes through the 3 mm or so resisted range and then stops quite firmly, however, I can't push it in any further to get it to snap to a shorter length. I'm pushing pretty hard on it and I fear that I'm going to break the poor thing, but it still doesn't give. Before I slap the sucker in a vice and start cranking it down to try to get it to adjust to a shorter length, I wanted to get some feedback from someone who might have installed one of these before.
The other posts out on the web suggest that you simply need to push on the brake pedal and put the new switch in place and let the pedal go and the rest is supposed to take care of itself, or the switch will self-adjust to the right length. But I can't even get the thing in there because the button is out so far. That's why I'm tempted to put it in a vice (and see if I can break it and spend another $20. )
Someone please help!