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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just replaced the brake booster on my 2001 Ford Escape. Everything works great - the hissing sound is gone, the pedal is not too stiff or too spongy, and it stops fine. The only problem is now my brake/stop lights (outside) are always on. I had to pull the fuse just to keep my battery from running down.

There used to be a little play in the pedal when the engine was off which I assumed was keeping the pedal from hitting the brake switch, but that is no longer the case. It appears that the pedal must always be pushing on the switch just a little bit and causing the lights to stay on.

Does anyone know how I can fix this? Is there an adjustment to raise the pedal just enough to keep the switch from being engaged?

Please - any help is appreciated.

Thank you
 

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I assume you bleed the brake system of air after replacing the booster? This will cause the condition you mentioned. If you did, you might want to try it again?

If you still have the problem, I found this information which could be a contributing factor.
"Check Booster Pushrod Adjustment:
The pushrod that actuates the master cylinder must be properly adjusted. Ideally there should be only slight clearance between the booster pushrod and the master cylinder pushrod. Interference will preload the master cylinder. When the system is preloaded, it builds pressure each time the pedal is pressed. Since the master cylinder is not allowed to fully release the pressure from the previous stroke, the system will eventually lock the wheels. Too much clearance will cause excessive freeplay in the pedal."
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for your reply.

I did not have to bleed the brake system because I never opened any lines - just removed the MC from the booster. I thought about the push rod, but the pedal actually feels perfect. No too much play, etc.

I looked closer this morning and the second switch above the brake pedal (the one with the black cap) is not touching the rubber stopper. It's about 1/8" away and the plunger is much shorter than the one on the other switch that's there. When I pulled the black-cap switch out and pushed the plunger in the brake lights went off. I'm confused though because there are two switches above the brake pedal and the Haynes manual says the other one is the brake switch (not the black one). I'm not sure what the black-capped one is supposed to be for, but I assumed it was to disengage the cruise control when the brake is pressed. Unfortunately, the Haynes manual doesn't say for sure what the other switch is for but since I pressed on it and the lights went out, it doesn't make sense that it's anything but a brake light switch.

Anyone know for sure and could I just get another brake switch and swap the black-cap one out? Auto parts store only has one switch (brake switch) and they have no idea what the other is - not even a hit on cruise control switch in their system either.

Thank you
 

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I can tell you that just a couple months ago I replaced my booster. I had a similar problem in that I couldn't get my cruise control to work. You are right, one is for cruise and one is for the brakes. When removing, I bent the bracket that the switches are mounted on. I guess I was a little too rough. Anyway, I just pushed on the bracket enough to bend it forward and make it make contact with the pedal. Problem solved. Not saying this is your problem, but you may have done the same thing I did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are right on, LEO_Escape. Thank you for the information. I broke down this morning and took it in to a mechanic knowing it was some type of adjustment. They looked at it for 5 minutes, charged me $50, and said basically they couldn't do anything except try a new booster. They said the booster rod was too short probably because it was a re-manufactured part and they didn't get the rod exactly the right length. They recommended not trying a new booster (lot of time and cost), but rather just super glue something (like a coin) to fill the space between the plunger and the rubber piece that is on the pedal or bend the bracket down. Afraid I may mess something up with the bracket, I took the super glue approach and it worked like a champ.

Unfortunately, I paid $50 for that advice and basically you told me the same thing (thank you).

Thank you very much.
 

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I can't tell you how many times I paid to have work done only to feel ripped off. Luckily, I have many people in my family that are mechanically inclined and taught me over the years. I was even a mechanic at a Ford dealership for a while. INVALUABLE skill. If time permits, always ask us first. Chances are, someones been there and done that. Glad to hear it's fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well... the brake lights work great now that I added something to make sure the second (black top) switch is pushed in when the pedal is up; however, now my cruise control will not work.

The Haynes manual says the top switch is for the brakes, but when I pushed it in they would not go off. It was the black-top switch (which I think is for the cruise) that made the lights go off. I'm a little confused by that, but now I'm not sure why the cruise doesn't work. Any chance the two are flipped around and maybe the lighter-top switch is actually the cruise and I have to do something there, too?

I can live without cruise control, but it tends to protect me when I don't pay attention and go to fast. :)

Any help is appreciated. Great support from this forum.

Thank you.
 

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It's possible. Did you take them out or unplug them at all? Could have been a previous owner that was screwing around down there. If I get a chance to, I'll upload a picture of mine and we'll go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm the first owner and they are still in the original positions. Their positions even match the Haynes manual, but I find it really weird that the one with the black top is what made the brake lights go off but the other (with the light top) is supposedly the brake switch. Also, the one with the black top has a much shorter plunger than the other one.

Maybe the other one was messed up too, and I just didn't realize it because I was trying to fix the brake lights.

Thanks
 

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Alright, sorry it took so long. This is what mine looks like.



The bottom one with green and gray harness is the brake on/off switch. I disconnected it to verify.
The top with gray and blue is the cruise control.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you for posting. I also found the bottom one to be the stoplight switch. That's the one I had to glue something to the rubber stopper it hits against to make it turn off. Why I was confused is because the Haynes manual says the top one is the stoplight switch.

It sounds like in my messing around I must have done something to the cruise (top) switch. It's possible I didn't seat it correctly or it's not touching as well.

Thanks for standing on your head! :) I'll do the same again tomorrow to see if I can fix it.

Thank you very much.
 

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I so wish I had found this earlier. I just replaced my brake booster and my lights were doing the same thing... I tried to get help from a web site and the guy kept telling me i didn't know automachanics and I should let him help me.... ugh what a night. I fixed it by sticking a felt pad (like from furniture ) and its working like a charm... Thanks for letting me know I'm not the only one out there....
 

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I know this is an old post, however, I wanted to up date the thread to a real solution to the problems vs. putting felt pads or nickels to fill the gap.

If you take the brake switch off. Depress the black post and it will turn off the brake lights. If you take that post and pull it out (it has a ratchet system) until it stays depressed when installed back. When the brake pedal is not in use the switch is depressed making the lights stay off. When you press on the brake pedal it lets the post on the switch come all the way out and this causes the brake light to come on.

Do not put shims, nickels, felt pads on it just slide out the post on the switch and it will be an easy job.

The Brake Booster is an easy job. In my 2005 it is not necessary to remove drain the master cylinder and bleed the brakes. Remove the MC from the brake booster by taking off the 2 nuts, sensor and the booster hose. Push the MC towards the front and inward towards the engine gently. Remove the brake booster. You may have to twist it a little to get it out. Remove the nuts inside the firewall and unhook the pedal has previously described. The hard part was finding a brake booster in stock.
 
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