The number one reason why your car is fitted with brake lights is to keep you and other motorists safe. These pair of lights is the only way you can communicate with them by letting them know when you are slowing down or how far your car is far from them. A malfunctioning brake light can lead to accidents. In as much as there are myriad of reasons as to why your brake light stay on when car is off, you need to make sure that tail lights are in good working condition before hitting the road.
The Mechanism of The Brake Light System
Every time you press on the brake pedal, a cable that links the brake mechanism and the tail lights will activate a switch which will turn on the lights. The brake light intensity increases depending on the pressure applied to the pedal. Modern cars have three sets of light that are connected to three different types of braking system; the parking brake, the ABS, and the Brake System (The one that brings the car to a complete stop).
What Are The Reasons Behind This Problem?
By taking you through these issues, I hope that by the end of the day you will be able to troubleshoot the simple problems or take your car to a certified garage for simple repair.
A Malfunctioning Switch
A failing switch is the most common problem in this scenario. The switch could be broken or stuck in the on position and fails to disconnect even when the brake pedal is not depressed. To solve this you need to locate the switch just below the brake pedal. Try to flip the switch and see how the lights behave. If you see an ON and OFF flicker, then you must replace the switch.
A loose wiring harness that connects the switch and wiring cables can also cause this problem.
Raised or Sticking Brake Pedal
Due to the expected wear and tear, the brake pedal springs may not be able to connect with the switch or worn out springs or the pedal itself. Check this by making sure that the brake pedal goes all the way down and safely comes back up. Failure of the pedal to disengage will leave the light on even after a complete stop.
You can also check if there may be any pressure on the pedal after lifting your foot as this is what may be forcing the pedal not to disengage completely. To confirm this, you can have someone check for you how the lights behave when you try to lift off the brake pedal from its current position.
Low Brake Fluid Levels
If you have an inconsistent amount of brake fluid in the car braking system, you are bound to get unpredictable results. Due to this sudden change, the brake lights may turn ON or OFF when driving and may fail to shut OFF when the vehicle is in a parking lot. Low levels of brake fluid can be caused by leaking on the brake lines or the master cylinder.
Damaged Level Sensor
Every car has a brake fluid sensor installed in its master cylinder. If the sensitivity of this sensor drops or fails to record any level changes, your vehicle’s brake lights will stay on.
Unstable Brake Fluid Pressure
The braking performance of your car is affected by uneven fluid pressure on the braking mechanisms. If the pressure levels are not stable, the brake lights will stay on as an indicator of the existing problem. The danger of having uneven fluid pressure is swerving from one side to the other when braking.
A Faulty Speed Sensor
Speed sensors are supposed to get the correct readings of the car tire rotation when the car is in motion. This information is further sent to the central computer control module which further controls the Anti-Locking Braking system (ABS). If the ABS is not getting the correct information, your brake light will not go off.
When the braking fails, you should consider this as an emergency repair because the failure of this light to go OFF indicates many other underlying dangers that the article has not covered. It is a good idea to drive to a trusted auto shop and get the problem fixed immediately. Remember that every time you have a brake light staying on when the car off presents the biggest danger to you and trailing traffic.
I hope that the article has opened been able to give you a proper insight into the possibilities and underlying risks as to why you have a malfunctioning brake light. I encourage you to share this article and share other ideas or reasons you may have in the comment section.