Fixing Brake Lights That Stay on Even When Car Is Off

How to Fix Brake Lights Staying On When Your Car is Off

Brake lights are one of the most important parts of your car. They warn others that you’re slowing down, and they’re crucial for keeping you safe on the road. Brake lights typically fail in predictable ways. If your brake lights stay on even when the car is off, there are a handful of common causes.

In this article we’ll look at the main reasons brake lights stay on permanently, and what you can do to fix the issue.

What Causes Brake Lights to Stay On?

1. Faulty Brake Light Switch

Problems with brake lights are almost always caused by a faulty brake light switch. The brake light switch is located behind the brake pedal, and the switch is activated when the pedal is depressed. These switches wear out during normal use. A faulty brake light switch can cause brake lights to stay on constantly, flicker, or not come on at all.

It’s easy to replace the brake light switch yourself. Simply unscrew or unclip the old switch and replace it with a new unit. You can also ask your mechanic or friendly Brisbane auto electrician to do this job for you.

Brake Light Staying On Due To Fault

2. Stuck Brake Pedal

The brake light switch only works if the pedal can be pressed normally. If you press the brake pedal and it stays stuck down, your brake lights will remain on permanently. A brake pedal that’s stuck all the way down (or part of the way down) is a serious safety concern. This is a sign that something is wrong with your actual braking system, rather than just the brake lights. Call your mechanic for advice. You may need to have the car towed into their workshop for repairs.

3. Defective Pedal Spring

Brake pedals are fitted with a spring that helps them return to their resting position. As these springs get old and wear out, they lose their elasticity, which can cause the pedal to slightly depress the brake light switch. Alternatively, the pedal spring may have fallen off or become unhooked, which can have the same effect.

It’s uncommon for pedal springs to wear out entirely. This will usually only be an issue on very old vehicles. Use a torch to inspect the pedal and spring to make sure the pedal returns to the correct position after being pressed. If not, you may need to replace the spring.

4. Incorrect Light Bulbs

The light bulbs on your car have a limited lifespan. If you have recently replaced your brake light bulbs, using the incorrect bulb may cause the lights to stay on when the car is off.

If you have installed a light bulb with a single element in a socket that’s designed for a dual element bulb, this can short the circuit and cause the brake lights to stay on. Check the bulb socket to see whether it’s designed for a single or dual element bulb. If you’re unsure, check the original bulb to see whether it has one filament or two. Replace the bulb with the correct type and the issue should be fixed.

5. Other Electrical Issues

Modern cars are filled with electrics, and finding the source of a problem isn’t always easy. Issues like a dying car battery can cause problems with your lights, windows, wipers and more, so you may need an auto electrician’s help.

If your brake lights stay on but it isn’t being caused by any of the issues listed above, it could also be caused by:

  • Dead or dying car battery
  • Malfunctions in the brake light circuit
  • Faulty relays or fuses
  • Faulty ABS or electronic stability control
  • Issues with the ECU

Many cars now use computers to partially control the brake and signal lights. If these computers become damaged, they can cause problems with the normal function of your brake lights. You will need an auto electrician to diagnose and repair the issue if the ECU is to blame.

Don’t Mess with Faulty Brakes - Contact Access Auto Electrics Today!

Brake lights are one of the most important electrical circuits on your car. If you’re having a problem where the brake lights stay on permanently, it’s usually a sign of a minor issue with your car’s electrics. The team at Access Auto Electrics are experienced auto electricians that can repair any problem with your car!

Faulty brake lights are a common issue that can be incredibly dangerous. If you’ve noticed a problem, bring your car to us and we’ll be able to diagnose the issue quickly. Most brake light faults are caused by dodgy switches, broken bulbs or flat batteries, so we’re usually able to repair the problem on the spot.

Contact us today if you’re having trouble with your brake lights. Our technicians can take care of the issue and get you back on the road sooner!

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