Brake lights staying on.

My brake lights won't turn off and are staying on.
Experienced mechanics share their insights in answering this question :
Brake lights staying on after the pedal is released is usually caused by the brake switch near the pedal being misadjusted or missing altogether. It could also be a short to power on the input side of the circuit. Have a certified mechanic, like one from YourMechanic, visually inspect your vehicle for the cause of lights staying on.

How to Identify and Fix Common car Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced mechanics :

Bad Switch: One common reason for the Parking Brake light to stay on is a failing or failed switch. This can be checked easily by jiggling the handle after it is down. If the light turns off (or turns off and then back on), the switch is the most likely culprit and will need to be replaced.
The most common cause your brake lights stay on is because of a faulty brake light switch or sensor. It can also be caused by a faulty brake pedal or a malfunction in the electrical system. If you recently replaced the rear light bulbs when it occurred, you may have installed the wrong light bulbs.
What does it mean if your brake warning light is on? Typically, your brake system warning light being on means your parking brake is engaged, but if you`re still seeing the red (or orange) warning on your dash while the parking brake is disengaged, you will need to get your brakes inspected as soon as possible.
If your car won`t get out of park and your brake lights do not work, then it is most likely a defective brake light switch. The brake light switch energizes an unlock solenoid that allows your shift lever to move out of park. It is for safety, because you HAVE to have your foot on the BRAKE.
The brake light switch is a small component near the brake pedal responsible for activating your car`s brake lights. How does it work? When you press down on the brake, the brake light switch turns on the brake lights at the rear of your vehicle. Essentially, it lets the driver behind know that you intend to slow down.
Tip: When your brake lights stay on while your car is stopped, it can drain your battery. It`s important to resolve brake light issues right away so as to not drain your battery.
Like all fuses, the brake light system fuse can be found in the power distribution center, which is under the dashboard or tucked away underneath the hood.
A replacement brake light switch generally costs around $30 to $75, depending on the make and model of the vehicle. Getting a brake light switch fixed at a shop will add typically $80 to the repair.
You can see your brake light switch by looking under the dash, near the top of the brake pedal. The brake light switch is usually attached to a small bracket that holds the switch, activated when the pedal is depressed, in position.
The most common reasons your brake light is on: The Parking Brake is engaged. Brake Fluid is low or leaking. Worn brake pads.
The Difference Between Brake Lights and Tail Lights

Tail lights are engaged when the you turn on your headlights or when your parking brake is on, whereas the brake lights will light up immediately when you apply pressure to the brakes.

You only need a Brake-Lite Relay if you`re installing a supplemental towed vehicle braking system that pushes or pulls the brake pedal. With the engine off, step on your brakes. If the brake lights do not illuminate, you do not need a Brake-lite Relay.
Yes, in most cases, a brake light switch can be replaced by a DIYer with some common tools.
You need to change the alternator. The brake warning light and alternator are “like” on the same circuit… the alternator voltage is lower than it should be, it triggers the brake warning light too.
The brake light wiring system in most cars is not overly complex. At one end, you have the lights themselves: bulbs in sockets connected to a wiring harness. At the other end is the brake switch, where the pedal presses down and creates contact that completes the circuit. The system draws power from the car`s battery.
If both the ABS and the brake system light come on at the same time, your vehicle is no longer safe to drive. This means there is a serious problem with the car`s braking system and continuing to drive puts yourself and others at risk.
Can You Just Add Brake Fluid to Your Car? Simply said, yes. Although you can take your car to an experienced mechanic to do it for you, this is something you can do on your own without too much hassle.
Any loose, frayed, damaged, or otherwise faulty wiring in your tail light system will usually not affect your brake lights because they are powered by different wiring systems.
And because the taillights and brake lights do not share the same circuit, confirming the ground as a potential cause is not a task that needs much analysis.
If you have a modern car, you`ll have to look for two fuse boxes. Locate your brake light fuse with your car manual. Brake light problems can be caused by a blown fuse. If it`s blown, replace it with a new one.
As mentioned above, brake sensors are designed to break. You should replace them each time you replace your brake pads. It is also a good idea to inspect the sensors regularly between pad changes and replace them when necessary.
The brake warning light could activate for various reasons such as an engaged parking brake, worn brake pads, malfunctions in the Anti-Lock Braking System, sensor failures, low brake fluid levels, or a rear brake light bulb fault.
Your rear lights are controlled through the same switch that controls the headlights. Power is channeled through a relay to the rear lights, illuminating them when the switch is engaged.
The anti-lock braking system uses an ABS sensor or wheel sensor to monitor the wheel speed and send this information to the ABS computer. The ABS computer uses this information to prevent the brakes from locking during an emergency stop.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

When I put my foot on the brake my back left brake light goes off, when I take it off the brake the brake light comes on
ANSWER : I would suggest trying to disconnect and reconnect the wiring to the rear lights. I have seen these older Toyota vehicles rear lighting short out on the lights themselves due to the way the light circuit was made on the lamp housing. Look at the housing circuit on the light to see if one is touching another, and that could tell you why it is malfunctioning. There could also be a problem with the brake light switch. If you are not comfortable dealing with wires, I recommend getting in touch with a certified mechanic who can look at your brake light issue for you to see what’s going on.

Read Full Q/A … : Brake lights staying on.

EPC light on 2004 Jetta. Code said brake switch faulty, but brakes lights worked. Replaced brake switch, now no brake lights.
ANSWER : Hi there. The first thing that pops in my mind beyond of what you have listed is perhaps the electrical harness attached to the brake switch. Perhaps the harness itself is damaged or you have an exposed wire, loose ground wire somewhere. You might want to have a professional mobile mechanic come to your location and complete a brake lights not working inspection to help you diagnose this issue.

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Brake lights are not working. replaced brake light swtch still no brake lights. the third brake light the connection was melted at
ANSWER : The first thing to do is to repair third brake light and replace the brake light fuse and then see if the third brake lights work and the lower lights start working? If only the 3rd brake light starts working then you may need a further checks on the turn signal flasher or switch could be bad.

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No dash lights, back right tail light is out, no parking lights. Brake lights work though as does head lights.
ANSWER : Hi there. In many cases, when you have electrical problems like you’re describing, it’s caused by multiple electrical component failure. It’s likely that a few electrical relays are not working; especially if you have systems that utilize the same components (such as your brake light and tail lights). I would recommend having a professional mobile mechanic come to your location to complete an electrical problems inspection first, so they can pinpoint what is damaged and recommend the right repairs.

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I have no brake lights and third brake light I have checked all fuses and brake pedal switch and the switch is fine and I’m still
ANSWER : Hi there. Well, you’ve listed most of the usual suspects including the brake switch, fuses and tail light assembly. However, one item you might want to also check is the accessory electrical relay. In some cases, the relay that supplies power from the brake switch to the tail light assembly will cause the issues you are describing. I always recommend that home mechanics purchase a service and repair manual for their vehicle to have a schematic accessibly, so it might benefit you to purchase one online to locate this relay or feel free to have one of our mobile mechanic some to your location and complete a brake light inspection, so they can help trace this issue for you.

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Brake sensor is to sensitive causing brakes to flicker while driving. 2005 Mercury Montego
ANSWER : Hi there – your brake light switch needs a minor adjustment. It is adjusted too "tight" or close to the brake pedal lever, or possibly has failed. Adjusting/replacing it will eliminate this flickering problem. I recommend a brake light isn’t working inspection performed by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, and give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

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I replaced the brake light switch. Gear lever unlocked because it had locked. Now the brakes feel hard.
ANSWER : Hi, thanks for writing in. You need to check the brake switch install adjustment. You may have the switch adjusted too tight and it is holding the the brake pedal partly down. This will cause the brake master cylinder to not release the brakes when you let off the pedal. Readjust the switch away from the pedal until you feel some free play again in the pedal. This should fix the problem. If you would like help, consider having an expert automotive technician from YourMechanic come to your home or office to inspect and diagnose this issue for you, and make or suggest any repairs as needed.

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Brake lights stay on 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500
ANSWER : Hi there – I believe your brake light switch is either sticking or mis-adjusted, resulting in the brake lights remaining on after the brakes are used. Turning the ignition switch to the "Off" position removes power to that circuit, and the brake lights go out. I would recommend having your brake light switch replaced by a mobile, professional mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, who will come to your location, diagnose this problem, give you an accurate assessment of damage and cost estimate for repairs.

Read Full Q/A … : Brake lights staying on.