09-14-2011 06:00 PM
EF Premium Member
How-To: replace your 'reverse/backup light switch'
FYI: this was for a 2004 Chevy Cavalier base with a 5spd. It is most likely the same on all Getrag F23 transmissions (I think 02-05 Cav/Sunfires?)
Your car goes into Reverse just fine, but you noticed your reverse lights dont come on anymore?
Chances are, it's simply your "backup light switch". Can be had for about $26.99 at Auto Zone (http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...artNumber=true)
The good news is, its very easy to install a new one, and it only takes a few quick steps. I'll show you with some rather crappy iPhone pics, and less than 30minutes of your time, how you can get a new switch installed and making sure people see you backing up in parking lots! (and illuminate that dark driveway like mine!)
Basic tools required:
1. 7mm socket
2. wratchet, for said socket
3. 3in extension, just makes it easier, not 100% necessary
4. 3/4" wrench
6. Jack stand (ALWAYS use one under the car)
7. NEW reverse switch (I got the Duralast "RB451") - $26.99
8. your car (if you dont have this, get one..makes it way easier! )
1. JACK UP THE CAR, REMOVE D/F WHEEL: pretty simple, mine has tuner lugs and my air gun helps tremendously with this, set the wheel out of the way, and make sure you have room to work inside the wheel well.
2. REMOVE INNER WHEEL LINER: there are 4 (7mm) bolts holding on part of the plastic wheel liner you need to remove. There is also a tab underneath (sort of like the press-in tabs holding fabric into your trunk or interior).
3. LOCATE SWITCH, UNPLUG WIRE: for some reason, GM thought it would be smart to face the tab to release the plug from the switch, FACING THE MOTOR. so this is easier without mechanic gloves on. You simply lift the tab from the switch, and pull. I used two hands, very easy and it comes right out.
4. REMOVE THE REVERSE SWITCH: mine came off VERY easy. I only had to give it a very small turn (3/4" wrench) before it was easy enough to unscrew by hand. You shouldnt have any fluid or anything come out, I believe this is higher than the fluid actually sits in the transmission.
5. INSTALL THE NEW REVERSE SWITCH: my method of putting ANYTHING threaded on, twist it as if you were UNscrewing it, until you feel the threads pass the 'entrance' thread. then turn clockwise to tighten by hand. With mine, there was no way to tighten it down with the tab for the plug facing me, so i had to reinstall it the way the old one was, facing the motor. Plugging the connector back in is that easy. It literally snaps right in.
6. HAVE SOMEONE CHECK: you can either be doing this in a garage and see via illumination, or have a friend stand behind the car and watch for the reverse lights to come on. I had to start the car (in neutral, while on jack stands), and then put it into reverse...WALAA!
7. REINSTALL REMAINING PARTS IN REVERSE ORDER: the installation takes all of 30minutes if you havent done it before and the part itself swaps out in a matter of seconds.
Thats it. You are now legal (actually I dont believe many states if any REQUIRE reverse lights, but its dumb not to have them for obvious reasons). Plus you might have gotten to inspect a few other parts that are easy to get to like me, I noticed its time for the poly bushing upgrade
The Following User Says Thank You to bLu04dd For This Useful Post:
09-15-2011 08:13 AM
Official Forum Whore
Been meaning to replace mine for a while now, will be using your very good how to to do it now, thanks!
09-15-2011 10:55 AM
EF Premium Member
Thanks! I consider myself an avg mechanic, but I like to help whenever I can, especially when its such a simple task to make your car perform like it should!
09-15-2011 08:57 PM
Senior Citizen Member
Very good write up. all the pics make it really clear