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Rodents ate through my wires - Brake Light Switch location ?

GTI-Jay

Ready to race!
Location
USA
My car is typically garaged. But as luck would have it, i'm in the middle of a remodel at home, and my garage is being used for all my furniture, while i have a new tile floor put down. So i left my gti on the drive outside for the entirety of last week.

I had an EPC light come on, then the ACC cruise control light come on, then a warning to check my brake fluid. My first thought was ugh i bet you a rodent has eaten my wires. Cos its happened before on a different car of mine parked not too far away... But with all my tools locked away due to having my home being remodeled, no useable garage at the moment and the car under warranty, i took it to the dealer, hoping that perhaps i just had a bad sensor. But nope they came back and told me sorry a rodent had eaten right through my brake light switch wires and the repair would be $600. So i just paid the $125 diagnostic fee and said thanks i'll take care of it myself, taking a couple of donuts on my way out the door.

I do have a VW re-pinning toolkit, and some of the junior and micro power timer connectors commonly used on VW's .. so i should be able to fix it myself. As long as i can easily get to it.

But i don't know where that switch is located.. I can't get the car up at the moment, or take my wheels off. Cos again all my tools / jacks aren't accessible at the moment. Well not at least until the earliest which is next week when i can start putting all my furniture back inside the house.

However in the meantime, i'd like to figure out where is the brake light switch located on the gti ? and get whatever i need ordered up so when i have my garage back i can get this fixed.

I should of asked at the dealer, but the service girl wasn't going to know. It has to be outside somewhere otherwise the rodents wouldn't of gone for it. The only brake light switch i know of is inside the car.

Advice welcomed.

Also curious who else has this happened too? This is the 2nd time in the last couple of yrs.. The annoying thing is i garage my cars, but you know occasionally i've got to park them outside... They say lightning never strikes twice !
 

GTI-Jay

Ready to race!
Location
USA
Found it, its right under the master cylinder. Which does open an area of concern. That's pretty high up in the engine bay. I was looking around the underside, thinking that's where they'll be feasting on. There's plenty of other wires to choose from, some of which could be a LOT more complex to rewire.

Kinda paranoid to leave my car out. Can't get it into my garage for a good few days still.
 

Escape Hatch

Drag Racing Champion
Location
USA
Car(s)
Mk7 GTI
Found it, its right under the master cylinder. Which does open an area of concern. That's pretty high up in the engine bay. I was looking around the underside, thinking that's where they'll be feasting on. There's plenty of other wires to choose from, some of which could be a LOT more complex to rewire.

Kinda paranoid to leave my car out. Can't get it into my garage for a good few days still.

Leave some rodent traps/poison at each tire. Should be enough to take care of them.
 

Chogokin

Autocross Newbie
Location
So Cal
Car(s)
GTI Sport | Audi A3
Rodents suck. We have mice...but at the beginning of the Stay at Home orders in March...with more people staying at home...we got tons more running around.

This happened to my GF's Cooper. Then they started moving in on my GTI. One time I found a chicken bone on top of my battery. When I went to install my intercooler and removed my bumper...I found a nest behind the bumper. Fortunately I haven't come across any chewed up wires. They pee'd and pooped all over the engine of the Cooper...I was so nasty to clean up.

rats1.JPG


rats2.JPG
 

The Fed

Old Guys Rule
Location
Florida
I think another member had this happen to the same wires for the brake light. Those wires must be especially tasty.
 

Jeffapotamus

New member
Location
NW Indiana
Car(s)
2019 GTI
Had rodents eat several wires on the wiring harness on my Xb years ago. $1200 for a new one. Service tech tipped me that it's covered by car insurance. I only had to pay the deductible.
GTI-Jay if you haven't fixed it yet, check with your insurance agent.
 

GTI-Jay

Ready to race!
Location
USA
Finally got my car back in my garage. But i did a little research, and apparently peppermint oil is a good deterrent. I sprayed up my engine bay and on my wife's VW. just get some for $5 from Walmart and sprinkle it all over the engine bay.. it smells nice and may save you a lot of money !

After waiting for some 20 gauge wire to arrive, i finally got around to fixing. I had about 10 wires in total to fix. The problem is there was two blacks, and two browns on that sub harness, and i had no idea which went with the other end. So i figured, well i have a 50/50 on each color, so i just tacked them lightly and went to do a test drive... First problem... No key fob detected... i was WTF.... I went to get my spare fob, and the same thing happened. Again i was ugh, did i f something up ? But nope it was just bad luck that both my key fob batteries decided to die, well at least my main one, decided to die tonight. Cos it unlocked the car an hour earlier.... My spare who knows when that went. But what are the odds. Anyway, changed the batteries in the fobs and drove the car ! Good news is i have brake lights again.. but my adaptive cruise control is still disabled. I'm guessing its my brown wires, that i have crisscrossed. There was two affected connectors and a brown wire coming off each. Either that or the resistance has changed enough for it to throw a code. I'll tackle tomorrow. But at least i have brake lights again and the car is drivable. Hopefully i've not changed the resistance by adding solder and a slightly different gauge wire. I did go to VW to try and buy some OEM wires and connectors to keep it as OEM as possible, but they wanted way too much money. They only sell one yellow color, and it always has one of their million connectors attached.. Luckily i invested in a de-pin kit a while ago, so got to use it to de-pin the affected wires cos i didn't have a lot of wire to work with. They nibbled right at the end of the wires. The OEM is copper and a lot stiffer and less strands than the Amazon automotive wiring i bought. But it is what it is. If push comes to shove and it does end up throwing codes due to too many joins, i'll buy some actual VW wiring and connectors from Europe off fleabay and make it cleaner. But it'll take a good few weeks to arrive. I needed a solution that got me back on the road, and not wait for international deliveries.
 

GTI-Jay

Ready to race!
Location
USA
Had rodents eat several wires on the wiring harness on my Xb years ago. $1200 for a new one. Service tech tipped me that it's covered by car insurance. I only had to pay the deductible.
GTI-Jay if you haven't fixed it yet, check with your insurance agent.

Yeah i just shudder at the thought of higher premiums. The total cost for the repair, now i looked at VW's quote was more like $900. I think my deductible is $500 so for $400 i'm not sure it would be worth making a claim.. Besides, i think i've got it fixed now. I need to play around with a couple more combinations of wires, to get rid of my ACC error, but the EPC light is off now and my brake lights are working again. So nearly there.
 

Golfs everyday

Autocross Newbie
Location
USA
Yeah, mice is a hit or miss problem. I've had a car chewed on while my wife parked her car long time ago at an office building in the city using their valet service. It must have been parked at the far corner or something because it did a number to the sensor wiring giving off all sorts of DTC's especially after rain (water droplets shorted it out). I had a not fun time re-soldering it all under the car. Good thing wires are color coded..
 

Strange Mud

Autocross Champion
Location
Small Town CT
Car(s)
2017 GTI (+3 more)
I use a combo of peppermint and spearmint oil on cotton balls. They sell a commercially available version called Mouse Magic. The oil works for me in my rural CT detached garage. However if you read reviews it is hit/miss.

not original question but helpfulish.

Mud
 

Golfs everyday

Autocross Newbie
Location
USA
Thanks to this thread it reminded me to go spray some peppermint under my WRX and Forester parked outside.

I make my peppermint spray using peppermint oil and tap water. Not sure the ratio but smells very minty.
 

BlackandwhiteGTI

New member
Location
St. Louis, MO
Sorry to be late, but this is a mystery to me...

Story: A week or two ago I went out to start my gti, because the temperature was in the negatives and I hadn't driven it in almost a week, and it was dead (expected, new battery solved it later on) I was planning on jumping it the next day, so I pressed the start/stop button to get out of accessory mode and instead of turning off, it just cranked like a dead car would. That's when I found out that my brakes lights were on as I walked around the car. I had to jump start my car to turn it off. After replacing the battery and brake light switch, Front Assist and ACC, Hill Hold Assist, and all of the other lights you get with a dead battery were still there. I ended up reading about someone with a split wire because of rodents and another one that mentioned a slightly burned fuse. I checked everything but then today I noticed that all of the wires to the brake light switch and brake fluid reservoir were almost cut cleanly in half (minus one blue wire to the brake fluid reservoir was still semi-intact) It was in a spot that I would have assumed rubbing would have caused it. Today we tried to reattach all of the wires and tried to make sure to get them all in the correct places. The black and red wires we tried reversing them just to see it both ways and the second way only illuminated some of the led's on the MK7.5 Euro taillights, so we left it in the first position we tried.
Any explanation to fix this without taking it to the dealer?

Question: What else could be wrong? Could the brake light switch I got be faulty?

Could the two ground wires being switched cause this?


TL : DR Battery went dead, started car and brake lights stuck on when ignition is on


Extra Info: Mk7.5 Tail lights have been on my car for almost 1.5 years, with no problems.
No obvious signs of animals inside the engine bay, never had problems with the other 3 cars and animals in the driveway.
 
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