Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Cars & TransportationMaintenance & Repairs · 10 years ago

Why are my brake lights staying on when I turn off my car?

I have a '97 Ford Escort. I got home around 9pm, turned off the car and didn't notice anything when I went inside the first time, but when I looked outside around 10:30, I noticed my brake lights were on. I turned the car on, and pushed the brake pedal a few times, then turned it off. Still on. So, the only thing I could do for now, was to pull the fuse out. What do I need to do to fix this? If I pull quite hard on the pedal, the light goes off, but when I let go they stay on.

Oh, and a few months ago, I replaced my right rear turn signal bulb. A month after that, it was not working again. Took the bulb out, looked at it. Didn't look like anything was blown on it. Changed it again. Could this have anything to do with it?

I'm running a DC-AC Inverter through my lighter socket.

10 Answers

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  • 10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Then it's your brake return spring. They can wear out overtime. I had a 1967 Fury that this happened to.

    The problem was, parts are a lot harder to find for that car than your Escort :)

    For about a month, I actually drove around with a string looped around the steering wheel that I would wind around the pedal when I parked!

    I then bought some quick-release battery connections, so instead of the string, I'd park the car, pop the hood, and disconnect the battery.

    Crazy.

    Finally, I had to modify a generic spring to work.

    Check with your local autozone or other part stores, otherwise, the dealer parts counter can get it for you.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    The brake light switch is located near the pivot point where your brake pedal connects. The switch is adjustable to put it closer or further away from the brake pedal arm. Either the brake pedal is sticking, the switch is sticking or the spring which holds the brake pedal up fully has broken. Check it out and spray some WD-40. You may have to adjust the brake light switch by loosening the mounting nut. It has two nuts, one on each side of the bracket. Loosen the one on the push button side and then turn the one off on the other side a little and then re-tighten it. Do not go to far, test it. The brake pedal arm pushes on the push button side of the switch and must push it in far enough to make contact. It is similar to the little push button switch on your door jam which turns the dome light on when you open the door. If it is not fully depressed it will not shut off the light.

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  • 10 years ago

    There's a brake light switch under your dash that is sticking "closed loop" meaning it is completing the circuit to turn on your brake lights, even when the pedal is supposedly pushing against it to open the circuit. If you look where the rod that holds the brake pedal rests against a stop when you aren't pressing on it, you will see an electrical switch that stays pressed in by the natural return pressure of the breake pedal when it is not depressed.

    So when you depress the pedal, it "un-presses" the switch such that it completes the brake light circuit, illuminating the brake lights. Basically an inverse button - you press the button to turn OFF the brake lights, and as long as the button is not pressed, the lights stay ON. So, looks like your "button" is jamming open/up such that it can't be pressed in enough by the natural return pressure of the brake pedal (hence when you pull on the pedal hard yourself it finally cuts out the brake lights), and/or the switch is going bad internally such that the contacts have found a way to touch even when they aren't supposed to regardless of the return pressure.

    Probably looks something like this:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1998-Ford-Escort-ZX...

    Solution: time to get rid of the Escort.

    Or maybe replace the brake light switch, check a local junkyard, maybe ebay, local auto parts store, or at worst the dealer.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    There are brake light switches in two places..

    -under your Brake pedal near the pivot. When you brake, switch activates.

    -inside your emergency brake handle. When E-brake is on, switch activates.

    One or both of these switches is getting stuck in the ON position. Try visually checking for obstructions and/or lubricating the switch. If switch is bad/cracked, you'll probably have to replace. Luckily these parts aren't very expensive, even cheaper if you get them from the salvage yard.

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  • Gomer
    Lv 4
    10 years ago

    part one lights on... replace your brake light switch or if possible readjust it. But before you do...Some cars have a little rubber grommet that falls to the floor... and i think escort is one of them... If you see a hole where the brake light switch contacts the brake pedal... get a new grommet from dealer...

    Second problem brake light bulb could have been bad or you could have a bad light socket. Some can be fixed or you can replace them for pretty cheap with a relacement light socket.

    Source(s): 21 yrs auto experience
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  • 10 years ago

    theres a fuse u can take out everytime u get out of the car to turn that off if pullin up on the brake fails theres a button that is jammed that can be fixed and is very in expensive. I had this same problem on my '97 escort back in '07.

    Source(s): had the same problem
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  • 4 years ago

    check your brake light switch on your brake pedal you have a little rubber tit that makes contact with switch and it is probably broke. it may just be out of adjustment. take a small screwdriver and push in on switch and see if your lights go out. if not check your fuses and relays. or worst case you could have a wire shorted out.

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  • 10 years ago

    your brake light switch is sticking, it either needs adjusted or replaced, it's on top of your brake pedal up under the dash.

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  • 10 years ago

    Either the brake pedal switch is bad or not adjusted correctly. Replace it.

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  • 10 years ago

    if you look at your brake pedal,you will see a switch,when you press down on the pedal,the plunger expands and makes a circuit,ie light's on,id check out the switch as they are a common fault for your problem

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