Brake Lights Stay On

deskjockey12deskjockey12 Member Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I have an '87 Camry. The brake lights stay on all the time, even after the engine is turned-off. The brake light switch has been replaced. The light sensor in the trunk has been checked out as being OK. Fuses and bulbs are good. Is it a ground problem? If so where is a logical place to start? Any ideas on what the problem is?
Thanks in advance.


  • mastermechanicmastermechanic Member Posts: 31

    Is the brake switch adjusted correctly? Try pushing the brake switch in and see if the light goes out. Remove the fuses for the brake switch, if any, and see if you have a light. If you have a light in either of these cases, you either have some kind of ground feed back, or it is not the brake light but a tail light lit. Some bulbs have multiple circuits. Step on the brakes to see if more light comes on. If it does, your problem is in the running lights circuit. Unless you did some kind of repair, my guess is a faulty switch. Do you have DLRs?
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Thats where to start, the brake switch! When the switch was replaced it was probably either not adjusted properly or the retainer that holds it in place is shot. Look under the dash and you will see a switch, sometimes two if you have cruise control, if you see a little nipple sticking out of the switch push it in by hand and have someone tell you if the lights go out. If they do you need to adjust the switch. If not then the switch itself may be bad, it wouldn't be the first time I have heard of a new part being bad. If the lights don't go out when you press in on the switch try disconnecting it, once disconnected the lights should go out.

    Keep us informed on your progress.
  • deskjockey12deskjockey12 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks Mastermechanic and JGMilberg. Your advice was "right on target". Although a shop replaced the brake light switch, they apparently did not adjust it correctly. As you both suggested, I got up it in under the dash and pushed-in the brake light switch. WhaLa! They went off. I adjusted it and I'm back in business. I really appreciate your helpl.
  • jgmilbergjgmilberg Member Posts: 872
    Keep an eye on the brake lights for a while if the retainer that hold the switch in position is bad the switch can move out of position again. If that happens get a new retainer for the switch.
  • mastermechanicmastermechanic Member Posts: 31

    Do like I did with a slipping switch in retainer. I used a narrow octogon nut on the other side. The switch should be plastic so you can cross thread it if you need to. Make sure you adjust to the proper length of switch. You don't want the pedal pounding the hell out of the switch. I never had a problem since then.
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