Torque Shop: Brake lights

The brake lights of some cars are wired directly from the battery to the brake switch. PHOTO: PIXABAY

Q: What should I do if my brake lights stay on even after I have switched off the ignition and removed the key?

A: The brake lights of some cars are wired directly from the battery to the brake switch.

Hence, even if your key is not in the ignition, pressing the brake pedal will activate the brake lights. It should go off when you release the pedal.

Whenever the brake pedal is released, a plunger on the arm makes contact with a push button which switches off the lights.

The opposite happens when the pedal is depressed - the push button is released, causing electrical contacts inside the switch to close.

A broken plunger or push button will result in brake lights which stay on even after you have switched off the ignition.

If you can locate the switch, which is under the dashboard around the brake pedal, you can try using a piece of cardboard or paper to activate the push button so the lights go off.

Depending on what has worn out or is broken, this may not always work.

Alternatively, you can search for the brake light fuse and remove it. You can also remove the brake light bulbs, but they are likely to be hot.

Both, however, are temporary measures to prevent your car battery from draining.

You should send your car to a workshop as malfunctioning brake lights might cause rear collisions.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.