Boo switch? - brake lights, cruise control and shifting out of Park


MitchG
10-23-2003, 10:33 PM
I've seen a couple of posts about this, but I just want to make sure...

My 2000 Ford Taurus has been having these problems:

1) Cruise control doesn't work -- when I engage it, the cruise light flashes on and then off, as if I stepped on the brake.

2) For the last few weeks, it has been getting more and more difficult to shift out of Park. I have to stomp way down on the brake.

3) Just today, the brake lights went on and stayed on (when I'm not pressing the pedal).

I poked around near the brake pedal and saw a rectangular blue plastic box on the pivot between the brake pedal and the brake rod, with a two-wire cable attached. Is this the infamous BOO switch? Would its failure result in the symptoms I'm having?

When I disconnected the cable, the brake lights went out, but I can no longer shift out of Park. If I plug it back in, I can shift out of Park, but the brake lights go on again (even when I'm not pressing the pedal).

I presume this part is bad, and I guess I can get another one from a parts store. Am I right?

I'm also wondering how the thing works. Does it activate by sensing compression between the brake pedal and the brake rod.

This is the second time this has happened on this car. The first time it was fixed under warranty. Now I gotta do it myself. Is this a failure-prone part?

Thanks a lot, and sorry for the long post.

--MitchG

Dan_in_WA
10-24-2003, 10:51 PM
You've found your problem, alright.

I had the same problem on my '87. I pulled that BOO switch out and just cleaned it up with a little WD-40 and took it apart just enough to polish the contact surfaces.

All it is, is a spring-loaded contact. Take it out and look at it, work it back and forth with your fingers. You'll be able to tell why it's sticking.

MitchG
10-25-2003, 10:18 PM
Thanks, Dan. It was the BOO switch. I got a replacement one and that did the trick. I cleaned up the first, so now I have a spare.

That fixed the brake light and shifting problem, but I still have the problem with the cruise control -- when I try to set it, the CRUISE light flashes on when I press the SET button, but immediately goes off. I guess this is some other problem. Any ideas?

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