My Brake Lights Won’t Turn Off: 5 Most Common Reasons And Best Solutions

The “Brake lights won’t turn off” issue will drain your battery, causing many problems like the “Stop Vehicle, Leave Engine Running” error. In the worst case, your car might cease working immediately, leaving you stranded on the road. Thus, it’s crucial to pinpoint the root cause and fix it as soon as possible.

In today’s post, Driverevolve will introduce the 5 most common reasons you can’t turn off your brake lights and the best fixes in each scenario.

 5 Reasons Why My Brake Lights Won’t Turn Off

Bad Brake Light Switch Or Stopper

The braking light switch on your brake pedal levers might be defective. As you push the pedal, it seems to work normally, but it does not turn off the electrical command that activates the braking lights.

This is a rare malfunction since automakers build that switch to be highly durable. However, it could still fall flat and cause your braking lamps to work continuously. Consult your mechanic about a substitute.

In a few vehicles, the stopper of the brake light switch meets up with a plastic or rubber bumper on the braking pedal handle. This rubber piece may also malfunction or come off its position. Without this bumper, your switch stopper will stretch, lighting up the braking lights.
A bad brake light switch might be the culprit. – Mechanic Base  

In a few vehicles, the stopper of the brake light switch meets up with a plastic or rubber bumper on the braking pedal handle. This rubber piece may also malfunction or come off its position. Without this bumper, your switch stopper will stretch, lighting up the braking lights.

If your braking lamps stay on and you locate tiny plastic (or rubber) pieces on the floor, the issue could be this lost bumper. But how can you tell for sure which is the broken part: the switch or the stopper?

First, inspect if your stopper is still on the brake. Then, step on your braking pedal to access the braking switch, and hit the tab on that switch.

If it doesn’t help to turn off your brake lamps or the tab somehow doesn’t depress completely. A temporary fix is to disable the power supply, but this is not advised if you need to use your car later. Also, this short-term solution is only suitable for vehicles with a battery-powered hood lock rather than a cable-functioned one.

On the flip side, if this works and shuts down your braking lamps, the stopper is most likely not touching its switch. Change the stopper, or stick an object comparable in size to this stopper, such as a penny, for a stopgap measure. This should turn off the lights until you have a replacement.
A missing stopper will force your brake light to stay on. – DIY Auto Works NG 

On the flip side, if this works and shuts down your braking lamps, the stopper is most likely not touching its switch. Change the stopper, or stick an object comparable in size to this stopper, such as a penny, for a stopgap measure. This should turn off the lights until you have a replacement.

Foot On The Brakes

While traveling, many drivers gently place their left foot on the braking pedal to be ready to stop in an emergency. That’s not a bad thing. Pushing that pedal may turn on the brake lights.

If your vehicle holds an automatic gearbox and you frequently decelerate using your brake pedal, you must be extremely careful not to place that foot on or even make contact with the foot brake.

CAN Bus System Malfunction

To run a few lighting features (including the braking lamps), modern vehicles utilize an automated mechanism known as the Controller Area Network (CAN) Bus technology.

This mechanism sends an encrypted output to the processor when you press the foot brake. This processor then transmits power to all the lamps, allowing them to work. One significant advantage of this mechanism is the ability to diagnose a faulty brake light fixture.

When a lightbulb stops working, your vehicle dashboard will show an alert signal or mappings. Not only could you tell if a lamp is out, but the mapping, if available, will usually reveal the area of the failing lightbulb.
A CAN Bus System malfunction is a potential cause. – Corematic

 When a lightbulb stops working, your vehicle dashboard will show an alert signal or mappings. Not only could you tell if a lamp is out, but the mapping, if available, will usually reveal the area of the failing lightbulb.

However, the CAN Bus mechanism can sometimes fall short, preventing your brake lamps from going off. This could be a firmware issue that can only be assessed and fixed by a competent service engineer.

Jammed Brake Pedals 

You might experience a jammed brake pedal if it does not return to its location after pushing it. Rusted parts or unwanted materials stuck in the brake pedal system are usually to blame.

If this issue is not addressed in time, you risk ruining your car’s brake discs and rotors. One common sign of this is that your car makes noise when turning, especially a squeaking one. 

If this is the culprit, seek experts’ help to clean or replace your brake pedals.

Circuitry Issues 

Braking fixtures that can’t just switch off or on may occasionally be a result of defective circuitry. If you’ve attempted all the methods to solve the brake lights problem, but nothing helps, this could be the problem.

Do not neglect this, as a problemed circuit can lead to severe damage to other car parts like the crankshaft position sensor. And since circuit examination is complicated, it’s advisable to contact an experienced mechanic for a detailed diagnosis and best solutions.
There might be a circuitry issue. – Ride Time

 Do not neglect this, as a problemed circuit can lead to severe damage to other car parts like the crankshaft position sensor. And since circuit examination is complicated, it’s advisable to contact an experienced mechanic for a detailed diagnosis and best solutions. 

My Tail Lights Won’t Turn Off When My Car Is Off: What’s The Problem?

Your back lights won’t turn off when the vehicle is off? Depending on the specific car model, the reason might be a malfunctioning braking lamp switch or stopper, a defective trailer lighting plug, or a bad wiring harness.

Identify the root problem and implement suitable methods to address the issue. If the culprit is your brake light switch or stopper, follow the mentioned method in earlier sections.

If your corroded trailer light plugs cause the tail lights to stay on, ensure that this issue doesn't occur with other lighting fixtures in the backlight casing. Then, if your car possesses a trailer lamp plug, unplug it. If the rear lights fail to shine, the switch is likely defective, and the lighting plug might have to be changed.
There are several problems with your taillight. – Motor Verso  

If your corroded trailer light plugs cause the tail lights to stay on, ensure that this issue doesn’t occur with other lighting fixtures in the backlight casing. Then, if your car possesses a trailer lamp plug, unplug it. If the rear lights fail to shine, the switch is likely defective, and the lighting plug might have to be changed.

Ask a mechanic to replace that section in case of a broken wiring harness. 

Wrapping Up 

Knowing why brake lights won’t turn off might help ensure your car’s proper operation and prevent further electricity-related problems. It will also save you from expensive towing (if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere) and repair costs. Got any other reasons why you can’t turn off your brake lights? Tell us in the comment section below!

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