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ABS/PSM problem cured

I just thought it might be worth posting this as it may help someone else out at some point.
Starting a few weeks ago I had a couple of isolated instances of PSM and ABS failure notification on the dash display followed by the warning lights being lit. I did note that it only happened as I was braking. However, after turning the car off and restarting there was no reoccurrence for a significant period of time. Now I know I should have taken it to a dealer for inspection but as my nearest dealer is at least a two hour drive and the fact that the fault occurred only twice with a significant period between events I put it off until the next time I would be in the area.
Well, last weekend I started to wish that I had taken it in as the fault was occurring every time I hit the brakes. Naturally this was a Sunday so there was no chance of getting it looked at that weekend so I decided to investigate further. I drove home and backed into the garage. As I came to a stop I noticed I didn’t have any brake lights. Following a little reading around I came to the conclusion that my brake pedal switch was the most likely culprit for both problems. It was very simple to remove, a quarter turn and it just pulls out the bracket mount. The switch appears to have two functions, one is to actuate the brake lights and the other is to send a “Brakes on” signal probably to the cruise control. I would guess that the ABS/PSM looks for both and if it finds one without the other it triggers a fault – don’t take this as gospel it’s just my speculation. You can check the switch by measuring the resistance across terminals 1&4 then 1&2 as marked on the contacts of the switch. 1&4 should be closed circuit (zero resistance) with the switch depressed and then open circuit once it is released (infinite resistance), while 1&2 works the opposite way around. You should easily be able to tell if it isn’t working correctly because one or both sets of contacts will not change no matter what you do with the switch or it may stick and give inconsistent results. This is what was happening with mine. I then took the switch apart and cleaned it and it did give me brake light operation but would still throw up faults. To cut a long story short I ended up ordering a new switch which I fitted today and I have had no fault signals since and I know my brake lights work. Be careful when refitting the switch though as it has a self adjusting mechanism built into it. Basically the plunger on the switch can ratchet so that the distance to the pedal is always set correctly. Make sure that when you fit the switch the plunger is pulled out as far as it will go, then fit the switch into the bracket with the brake pedal pushed down. Once the switch is in the bracket give it a quarter turn to lock it in then release the pedal and the switch adjustment is automatic.
I am planning on visiting my dealer this weekend to get confirmation that everything is as it should be and to get any fault codes in the computer verified and cleared but it would appear that the problem is fixed. A new brake pedal switch is all it needed!
For reference my old switch has a part number of 996.613.113.01 but the new switch has a part number of 996.613.113.02 which I would suppose is a later revision.
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2002 996 Carrera - Seal Grey (Daily Driver / Track Car)
1964 Morris Mini - Former Finnish Rally Car
1987 911 Carrera Coupe - Carmine Red - SOLD :-(
1998 986 Boxster - Black - SOLD
1984 944 - Red - SOLD

Last edited by Aerkuld; 09-13-2007 at 04:08 PM..
Old 09-13-2007, 02:30 PM
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Location of Switch - Under dash above pedals


Switch Detail





For reference, the clutch switch mounts in exactly the same way and is much easier to see if you are struggling to see how to remove it from the bracket.
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2002 996 Carrera - Seal Grey (Daily Driver / Track Car)
1964 Morris Mini - Former Finnish Rally Car
1987 911 Carrera Coupe - Carmine Red - SOLD :-(
1998 986 Boxster - Black - SOLD
1984 944 - Red - SOLD
Old 09-13-2007, 04:07 PM
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This is a great post, thanks for being so detailed. I had the same problem after replacing the brake booster on my 99 c4. Before I ordered a replacement switch I took out the old switch per the instructions above and "reset" the ratcheting pin by pulling it out. Reinstalled the switch and voila - all is well again.

My problem was the switch pin was set to far in and the pedal wasnt hitting it when not applying the brakes, so the brake lights stayed on. This will set off the abs and psm lights after a few miles. Worth a try before ordering a new switch (however the switch is only around 20 bucks shipped).

Thanks again for the great photos.
Old 07-10-2008, 05:36 PM
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My pleasure!

I'm glad it was some help to you.
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2002 996 Carrera - Seal Grey (Daily Driver / Track Car)
1964 Morris Mini - Former Finnish Rally Car
1987 911 Carrera Coupe - Carmine Red - SOLD :-(
1998 986 Boxster - Black - SOLD
1984 944 - Red - SOLD
Old 07-10-2008, 06:10 PM
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Great thread, thanks.
Old 07-13-2008, 08:07 PM
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Excellent writeup! Having trouble with my brake light switch (02 996) and this writeup and part numbers are exactly what I was looking for. thanks.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:25 PM
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Awesome. No problems yet for me but if and when I do my feeble mind *should* be able to recall that this thread exists.

I love internet tech forums.
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jasper
2002 996 - arctic silver - PSS9, H&R sways,X51 oil pan, console delete, AASCO liteweight flywheel, gbox detent, RS motor mounts, 997 shifter. Great car.
past: another 2002 996 and a 1978 SC with-webers-cams-etc.
Old 05-30-2009, 09:37 AM
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awesomeness. this post just keeps on giving. my 03 had the same problem got the new and improved switch from pelican and no more abs/psm light. thanks dude for the detailed post.
Old 03-19-2010, 06:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwetering View Post
Awesome. No problems yet for me but if and when I do my feeble mind *should* be able to recall that this thread exists.

I love internet tech forums.
So one year later and I had no recollection whatsoever of this thread. So much for my feeble mind.

Still no problem for me, but maybe I actually *will* remember this thread of it doesn happen?
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jasper
2002 996 - arctic silver - PSS9, H&R sways,X51 oil pan, console delete, AASCO liteweight flywheel, gbox detent, RS motor mounts, 997 shifter. Great car.
past: another 2002 996 and a 1978 SC with-webers-cams-etc.
Old 03-19-2010, 08:34 AM
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thanks for the detailed post, i am not even close to mechanically inclined, but i followed your detailed instructions (no volt meter) so just cleaned the contacts, and everything is working fine.
This was my first porsche purchase 2001, not even a week old and it failed inspection, i was bummed. Found this post and voila all fixed. Thanks for the detail that even a rookie can fix a 911 brake issue.
Old 04-06-2010, 06:35 PM
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Again thanks to the originator of this post. Same damned thing happened to me on my 2000 C2. Bought the switch from Pelican replaced it and fixed the issue.

Some things to note on the C2 with Tip, I removed the screw which holds the air vent just to give me a little more room to work. I could not turn the switch with my fingers so I used a long needle nose pliers to free it up. I also could not turn the new switch to get it started so I put it into position and using the pliers pushed forward and then turned it just a bit. I was then able to finish turning it with my fingers.
The wire harness should be removed before taking out the switch. Again very easy but I had to use a small flat screw driver to lift the clips, one on each side to release it. The wire harness is keyed so you cannot put it back on wrong.

This is an easy fix but expect to climb into the hard to get to space under the steering wheel.

Chris
Old 10-31-2010, 06:52 AM
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This saved us $2700!

Just wanted to thank the originator and others for this thread. I've had PSM and ABS lights coming on, at first intermittently, then constant. Mechanic read computer codes and said the sensor was bad in the hydraulic pump for the ABS and PSM - and since the sensor is integral to the pump it cost $2700. That's when I started searching the forums. I hadn't noticed my brake lights were malfunctioning, so we checked that and sure enough, they came on only as you depressed the brake and went off when fully depressed. Replaced the switch and problem resolved! Here's link to complete technical article - Pelican Technical Article: Boxster Brake Pedal Switch Replacement / Clutch Pedal Switch Replacement - 986 / 987
As a side note, I actually went to the dealer to get the part since I pass it every day on my way to work. The parts guy isn't real bright and even though I gave him the part number he gave me the wrong part. It ended up being the clutch/switch the technical article mentions. So I just decided to keep it and replace both switches. Ends up the very next morning the car wouldn't start. Put in the clutch switch and the car started right up. The existing switch was loose, so just tightening the screw may have worked, but just replaced anyway since I had the part. For once a mistake turned out to be a good one!
Old 01-16-2011, 11:25 AM
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My wife had the same problem w/ her 2006 Carrera w/ Tip. That switch went out within 2 months & ~ 1,000 miles of ownership. It was replaced by dealer under warranty. My '06 Cab w/six speed failed @ 3 years 11 months & ~ 25,000 miles. It was replaced by dealer under warranty.

I checked my records & they both got the part #'s

Thanks for the write up I now know how to change it in about 3 years.
Old 01-20-2011, 12:19 PM
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I have the same problem.
But I still have CPO so I'm taking it to Dealer.
Old 01-21-2011, 08:18 AM
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Fixed and Thanks

Thanks for the post. I've been fighting with this problem for about a year now. Replaced both front ABS speed sensors, the MAF, and some other bits local Porsche mechanic suggested. It turned out to be the $20 switch all along. 5 minute install and it's working like a champ now.

Here's a picture of the package and the old part. The only tricky part of the install is access to twist the new part in if you have big hands. It's not very difficult though.

Old 03-23-2011, 05:30 PM
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Thanks very much for the post. First I noted both ABS and PSM lights aglow. Then I noted lack of ABS under braking - rear wheel lockup and smoking. Then I got pulled over by police for brake lights not working. Then I found this post. Now I need to obtain replacement switch. 2001 C4.
Old 05-20-2011, 04:39 PM
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Has anyone ever noticed when doing a brake job, under normal braking or even track braking, which, if either set, front or rear brake pads, wear out more than the other? I just did a brake job on my 1999 C2 996 and only needed to replace the rear brake pads. Just wondered if this was normal. Can anyone shed light on this subject. Thanks.
Old 11-28-2011, 12:07 PM
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ABS PSM Warning Light

I had the same problem with the PSM ABS warning lights. After a few $100's to my mechanic I noticed that the lights will come only after I released the brake pedal.

Well, the $20 switch from the dealer di it. Eventhough it is an original Porsche switch it is little dificult to install but with some filing with a nail file should be no poblem.
Old 04-18-2012, 06:03 AM
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I'm having a problem and think the brake switch is at fault...but not sure.

I have the ABS/PSM lights showing up on the dash.
When the headlights are turned off, my brake lights function normally.
When the headlights are turned on, the brake lights do not turn on.

Would a faulty brake switch be the cause of this or could it be something else?


One more thing...I don't get the ABS/PSM error if the headlight switch is off. Only when I turn it on does the error show up.

Last edited by Dan Babb; 01-20-2013 at 10:43 AM..
Old 01-20-2013, 08:19 AM
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Aha!

I'm getting the ABS PSM error which was discussed here and, as expected, I completely forgot about this thread.

Fortunately it was the first hit when I Googled the error so here I am (again).

In my case the error throws when I'm just driving down the road minding my own business rather than during or after I use my brakes.

Furthermore - I've just completed a comprehensive brake service where I replaced my brake servo, my rotors, and pads....and a steering rack. Lots of opportunity to knock or foul sensors which is what I was thinking was my problem until I hit this thread (again).

After reading this thread I remembered that while I was replacing my brake servo I removed the bracket which fixes in place the push rod from the brake pedal to the back of the servo. Seems like maybe I might have dislodged the switch when I did this. I'm at work now so can't crawl under the dash to check.

I did however ask a workmate to help me check my brake lights and lo and behold my right side brake light is out.

So....

step one is replace that bulb. I hope that makes the error go away.

step two is check to see if the switch has been dislodged or if the plunger is maladjusted.

step three is remove the switch and check the electrics and the operation.

step four is check the sensors at the wheels for external damage and clean the connections at the pigtails.

step four is check the wiring harness at the ABS valve and the ABS pump.

I'll report back.
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jasper
2002 996 - arctic silver - PSS9, H&R sways,X51 oil pan, console delete, AASCO liteweight flywheel, gbox detent, RS motor mounts, 997 shifter. Great car.
past: another 2002 996 and a 1978 SC with-webers-cams-etc.
Old 09-13-2013, 08:51 AM
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