In this article, we’ll detail what the P0573 code is, its symptoms and highlight a simple solution to resolve it. We’ll even cover some FAQs to give you a better understanding of engine codes.
This Article Contains
- What Is Code P0573?
- What Does Code P0573 Mean?
- What Triggers The P0573 Code?
- What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0573?
- Is The P0573 Code Critical?
- How Is The P0573 Code Diagnosed?
- How Is the P0573 Code Fixed?
- A Simple Answer To P0573 Code Problems
- 5 P0573 Code FAQs
What Is Code P0573?
Code P0573 is a generic onboard diagnostics code (OBD code) or diagnostics trouble code (DTC) generated by your vehicle’s onboard computer.
The P0573 code is defined as “Cruise Control / Brake Switch A Circuit High” and indicates a high voltage signal malfunction in the cruise control brake switch (stop light switch).
The letter designation “A” can point to a particular component like a wiring harness, connector and so on. Your mechanic would have to refer to the vehicle manufacturer manual to determine which one it is.
What Does Code P0573 Mean?
The P0573 code means that the vehicle powertrain control module (PCM) has detected a higher-than-normal voltage level within the cruise control brake switch circuit.
This higher voltage in the stop light switch signal tells the PCM that vehicle speed can’t be controlled. The PCM will then disable the cruise control system and set the P0573 DTC.
What Triggers The P0573 Code?
Several reasons can trigger the P0573 code.
Here are some of the common causes:
- Damaged components within the cruise control brake switch
- The cruise control brake switch is dislocated from its mount
- Bent or broken connector pins creating a short or open circuit in the brake switch harness connector
- Corrosion in the brake switch harness connector
- Pinched or chafed brake switch circuit wiring on the brake pedal, impeding the electrical signal
- Debris obstructing the brake light switch operation
- A blown fuse that creates an open circuit
- Errors in the onboard engine computer
Next, what kind of symptoms can signal a P0573 code?
What Are The Symptoms Of Code P0573?
A P0573 error code can come with several symptoms.
However, here are the more usual ones:
- The cruise control system doesn’t work (this is the most common symptom)
- Cruise control turns on but doesn’t engage
- Cruise control functions (set, accelerate, resume) don’t operate as they should
- Rear brake lights that don’t respond due to faulty brake light switch
Additionally, some symptoms may not only relate to the P0573 code, like the Check Engine light. An illuminated Check Engine light can indicate many things, including ABS or engine fuel issues.
Other symptoms, like a problematic speedometer needle, might not be directly related to the P0573 code (which has to do with the brake switch) but can be caused by a component that affects both.
For example, a faulty PCM could be misinterpreting wheel sensor speeds and the brake switch circuit signal simultaneously.
Is The P0573 Code Critical?
By itself, the P0573 code isn’t critical.
It really depends on the cause of the P0573 code and whether other DTCs (like the P0571 or P0572) accompany it.
A broken cruise control switch just means you won’t be able to use the cruise control but doesn’t create other driving issues.
However, a broken brake light switch or faulty PCM can spell more serious issues that impact driver safety. This is why getting your P0573 code diagnosed thoroughly is essential.
How Is The P0573 Code Diagnosed?
To start the diagnostic steps, your mechanic will turn on the ignition and read all the stored codes with an OBD scan tool. They will then clear the code and test drive your vehicle to check if the DTC returns.
If the DTC returns, they’ll first check the brake light switch assembly, as this is the most common cause for the P0573 error code.
They could also check for noticeable issues like a faulty fuse or damaged wiring harness.
How Is The P0573 Code Fixed?
Depending on the cause, the repair procedure for the P0573 code could involve:
- Replacing a faulty cruise control brake switch
- Replacing a blown fuse
- Replacing a defective brake pedal or brake light switch
- Clearing dirt and debris from the cruise control brake switch assembly
- Replacing or repairing a damaged harness, connectors, and so on
Your mechanic might even need to replace your PCM.
However, this is rare and will require a flash process to calibrate the new PCM to your vehicle).
With all this in mind, what’s an easy way to get code P0573 resolved?
A Simple Answer To P0573 Code Problems
To solve your P0573 code issues, you’ll want a reliable, professional mechanic to diagnose the code and perform thorough repairs.
It’s even better if they’re mobile mechanics who can drop by your home, so you don’t have to drive a faulty car to a workshop.
Fortunately, you’re in luck, as RepairSmith is just a few clicks away!
RepairSmith is a convenient mobile vehicle repair and maintenance solution.
These are some of the benefits they offer:
- OBD code diagnoses and repairs can be made right in your driveway
- Competitive and upfront pricing
- Online booking is convenient and easy
- Expert, ASE-certified technicians conduct vehicle inspection and servicing
- All maintenance work and repairs are executed with high-quality equipment and replacement parts
- RepairSmith provides a 12-month | 12,000-mile warranty for all repairs
Wondering how much this may cost?
RepairSmith usually charges between $95-$150 for a code diagnosis, depending on your location. The diagnosis fee can be added to the final cost of the repair if you choose to get the repairs done.
For reference, a brake light switch replacement could cost you anywhere between $50-$160. This price can vary based on your vehicle make and model, location and other factors.
For an accurate estimate, just fill this online form.
We’ve covered the basics of the P0573 code.
Now, let’s move on to some FAQs.
5 P0573 Code FAQs
Here are a couple of answers to FAQs that you may have in mind.
1. What Is An OBD Code?
The OBD code is an error code generated by a vehicle’s onboard diagnostics (OBD) system. It’s also known as a diagnostic trouble code (DTC), OBD-II code, or engine fault code and helps narrow down the cause of a specific problem.
Note: OBD-II is the second generation of onboard self-diagnostics.
2. What Is A Generic DTC?
A generic trouble code is one where the DTC (or OBD code) reflects the same issue for any OBD-II vehicle regardless of make. For example, a P0573 code in a Jeep, Audi, or Kia, would mean the same problem.
3. What Is A PCM or ECM?
The powertrain control module (PCM) is the onboard computer of the vehicle. It monitors different sensor arrays and switches related to all types of vehicle functionality.
It’s also known as the:
- ECM: Engine control module
- ECU: Engine control unit or electronic control unit
4. What Is A Brake Switch?
The brake switch is also known as the brake light switch, stop light switch or stop lamp switch. It’s mounted on the brake pedal arm and is connected to the brake pedal and PCM circuit.
The brake switch serves multiple functions.
- Activates the brake light
- Releases the automatic transmission level from ‘park’
- Deactivates cruise control while driving
- Allows the engine to start when the brake pedal is depressed
5. How Does The Stop Lamp Switch Circuit Work?
The engine control module (ECM) monitors the voltage on the stop lamp switch (brake switch) circuit.
When the brake pedal is pressed, the stop lamp switch delivers a battery positive voltage to the “terminal STP” of the ECM circuit. This stop lamp switch signal tells the ECM to cancel cruise control.
When the brake pedal is released, the stop lamp circuit is reconnected to the ground circuit. The ECM reads zero voltage and knows that the brake pedal is free.
Troubleshooting an OBD code isn’t always straightforward.
If a P0573 code turns up, the best thing to do is get an experienced mechanic to give your car a thorough lookover.
Fortunately, with RepairSmith available, getting hold of a trustworthy mechanic is easy. Just contact them, and ASE-certified technicians will be at your door to lend a hand!