$3 costs $500

Brake switch padI’m sure Risu has ranted about this Toyota part years ago. This is from the rally FX, which I’m sure is the same part # as Risu’s LandCruiser and every other Toyota in creation.

It’s the rubber pad that presses against the brake light switch to turn it off when at rest. Rubber is squishy. Over time the plunger on the switch creates a depression in the rubber. The plunger is perfectly centered on the pad, and the retaining nub on the back of the pad is also perfectly centered. Eventually the pad squishes so much the switch no longer turns off, usually the pad falls off but in my case amazingly was still attached.┬áThis┬ámakes your brake lights stay on and drain your battery till its dead. In this case my brand new lithium pack which cost me that near $500. I was afraid it drained the pack to the point of damage, but I was fortunate enough to recover it using some fiddly recharging.

The failed pad is on left. In the middle is one I was able to miraculously pull out of the parts FX intact and filled the depression with RTV. Didn’t have to use it as I was able to get to Toyota to get the replacement part, less than $3. There’s probably a box full of them right next to the door to the warehouse like the box of gum at the supermarket checkout counter. All I had to tell the counter guy was I needed the brake light switch pad for a Corolla.

I shouldn’t complain, the car is just a year shy of 30 years old.

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