Why do Brake lights stay on? (5 Reasons Why Brake Lights Stay On - How to Fix It)
The car brakes protect you from an accident. Also, the lights alert others when your vehicle slows down. If any component of the system is not working properly, this could cause serious damage.
While it’s extremely dangerous to drive with brake lights that don’t come on, it’s just as scary having a set that is stuck on. Let's take a look at why brake lights don't turn on, and what you can do to fix it. Let’s begin with the causes:
A faulty sensor or brake light switch is the most likely reason your brake lights remain on. You can also have a defective brake pedal or an issue with the electrical system. You may have used the incorrect bulbs if you replaced your rear lights bulbs recently.
These problems are most likely to be the cause of your stuck brake lights. Let’s look at each defective brake light symptom in-depth.
- Here are 5 Reasons Brake lights stay on
- How to Install Brake Lights That Stay On
Here are 5 Reasons Brake lights stay on
1. Faulty Sensor or Brake Light Switch
This is the most obvious reason your brake lights won’t go off. When the switch inside the brake system isn’t working right, your lights can’t turn off.
A braking system's switches and sensors are responsible for telling lights when the pedal is down or up. The lights will not receive the correct message if either one of the sensors or switches is damaged.
You can adjust the brake pedal switch by moving it near your pedal.
2. Breathing Problem with the Brake Pedal Spring
A spring is located inside the brake pedal. It allows it to return back to its original location once it has been released. It can get weaker as the spring becomes worn out.
Because the pedal doesn’t return to its natural spot, the brake lights remain on. You may also notice that your brake pads can remain engaged which could lead to increased pad wear and additional rotor wear.
3. Brake Pedal stuck
What’s even worse than having a bad spring in the pedal is having a defective pedal itself. If you can’t get the brake pedal to come back up from the floor, the lights are not going to go off.
For the light switches to work and the pedal to return to its initial position, it must be in the same place as before. It will continue to appear that you brake because it is.
4. An electrical system that is not working properly
A fault in an electrical system can cause many components to fail, including brake lights. This can lead to lights not working properly, illuminating poorly or causing them to stop turning on.
This might be the most complicated cause to troubleshoot and shouldn’t be looked at until the other possible sources have been ruled out.
5. Installed the wrong light bulbs
It is unlikely that this will happen, however it could occur if your taillights or brake light have been changed.
Two types of light bulbs are available, each with one or more circuits. A light bulb that has one circuit installed in a socket with two circuits can cause it to shorten the circuit and the brake lights will turn on.
If you see more than one circuit, check your socket. Next, inspect the bulb. Replace the bulb if it’s the wrong type.
How to Install Brake Lights That Stay On
For most people with basic mechanical knowledge, it isn’t difficult to hunt down the brake light malfunction. These are some steps you should follow.
1. The Brake Switch should be inspected
Your brake pedal switch should be located under the dash right beside the pedal. Verify that it is not depressing.
It is important to have the brake components replaced if they are defective. If your brake lights stop working, it will be repaired.
Also, make sure to check the adjustment for the brake pedal switch. If it does have an adjustment, it should look engaged even though the pedal is not released.
2. Examine the Brake Pedal Stopper
There’s also a stopper in play that needs your attention. You should look at the area where the stopper might be missing if it isn't there.
You might be able reattach the item if it is still intact. If it's broken, you can reattach it.
3. Look for Brake Pedal Spring
Under the pedal is where you will find the brake pedal spring. If you kneel down on the driver’s side, you should be able to see it. If this spring has lost its tension and can’t return back to normal, the brake system remains engaged, which causes the lights to illuminate.
Use a pair needle nosepliers to remove the spring from its hook and then replace it. To ensure you have a solution, make sure to check the brake lights once they are installed.
4. Check for Debris or Corrosion
The braking system has many components that could become damaged or covered up with debris. Any amount of debris, even the smallest, can cause problems.
To ensure that nothing is corroded, dirt, or any other contaminants has occurred, check the pedal, brake lights and all lines between.
5. Check Electrical System
This is the most complex option, and it should be examined. If there is an issue with the braking system’s wiring, the lights might act unusually.
A service manual will help you to inspect the connections and wiring. However, this isn’t a task that should be done without extensive automotive knowledge.
You should also check that the bulbs are installed correctly at the rear.
6. Talk to a mechanic
If all else fails you can take your vehicle to the mechanic. You don’t want to take chances with the braking system, even if it is only an issue with the light.
You could also be making other drivers' lives difficult by using these lights. Additionally, you don’t know what else is wrong that could potentially leave you without brakes if not repaired.
Don’t take chances with your safety and the security of others on the road.
Can you drive your car while the brake lights are on?
It’s actually not safe to drive a car with the brake light on, even though it may seem like it would be fine. If you’re in traffic and your brake lights stay on, other drivers may not see you actually braking, which could cause a rear-end collision.
Are brake lights illegal?
It is against the law to have your brake lights on while driving. If your brake lights are stuck on, it means that the drivers behind you won’t be able to see when you’re braking, which could lead to some serious accidents. If your brake lights have become stuck, you should get them replaced as soon as possible.
What is the cost of repairing a brake light switch in your area?
The cost to fix a brake light sensor will vary depending on your vehicle's make and model. This repair will cost you anywhere between $25 and $300. You may be able replace the switch for $25-$100 if you have the necessary mechanical skills.
Are brake lights that remain on draining the battery?
Yes, brake lights that won’t turn off when you remove the key from the ignition will drain your car battery pretty quickly. It is unlikely that your car's brake lights will go out if the ignition is turned on.