Brake Lights Won't Turn Off
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  1. #1
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    Mar 2006
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    Brake Lights Won't Turn Off

    My brake lights (tails & 3rd) will not turn off. They stay on regardless if my foot is on the brake, or if the car is even running! This just happened randomly. Everything was just great before. I'm sure they'll turn off once my battery dies...

    Any help?

    Thanks

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  3. #2
    4th Gear
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    Oct 2005
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    There's a switch at the top of the pedal near the pivot. Put a meter on it and see what it does when you push the pedal.

  4. #3
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    Thanks, however, my electrical skills are woefully lacking. For now I just popped the fuse to save my battery and plan on driving the wife's car.

    Lucky for me it is still under warranty. I know where I'll be Monday morning.

  5. #4
    Super (Charged) Moderator, Grinding Gears...gone fishing! ScottPassat2.8's Avatar
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  6. #5
    Neutral
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    Feb 2006
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    Centennial, CO
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    I agree that it is most likely the brake switch. The switch is normally closed so the circuit is always complete and the brake light stay on. The spring that holds the brake pedal from staying on the floor after the pedal is pushed pulls the pedal back towards you the driver. When the spring pulls the pedal back to a stop plate (furthest position back towards the driver) it pushes the long plastic bar of the brake light switch you see in the pictures that scottpassat2.8 shows in the link he posted. That plastic bar pushes the contacts open so the circuit is now broken and no more current flows and the brake lights turn off. So a couple of thing can happen to make them come on all the time.

    1) First is the brake light switch has come out of it connection point (holding plate) at the brake pedal and now the does not have the pedal holding the switch open any more allowing the brake lights to stay on.
    2) The plastic rod on the brake light switch is broken and not able to open the circuit allowing the brake lights to come on.
    3) The switch has an internal problem and is shorted out internally so the brake light stay on.
    4) The last would be there is a short to ground or power in the brake light circuit before the switch which is highly unlikely but could happen and is much harder to trace out the problem.

    So even with poor electrical skills. you may just want to take a look under the dash. Just follow the brake pedal up until you see the switch and you may see the problem (1, 2 or 3) right away. Use the pictures in scottpassat2.8 links to help you and you still may be able to fix it yourself.

  7. #6
    Banned
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    Feb 2006
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    this happened to some guys a4, the lights were on always. They shut off everyonce and a while and would turn richt back one

  8. #7
    Neutral
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    Oct 2005
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    boston
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    this happend to my 03 and it was covered under warranty. there are other threads on this site that will help.

  9. #8
    6th Gear
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    Jan 2002
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    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by exROVER
    this happend to my 03 and it was covered under warranty. there are other threads on this site that will help.
    Dang it! This happened to me today on my '03. They were okay when I left work but ten minutes later they were stuck on. Like one of the other members, I just pulled the fuse tonight - I'll be at the dealership in the AM.

  10. #9
    3rd Gear
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Tempe Arizona USA
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    2,395
    Brake switch.

    Has happened twice in 40k miles on my wife's '02 Golf. First time the lights wouldn't come on. Second time they stayed on permanently. It is definitely a DIY job, but make sure you follow the instructions to the letter or it may not work. The second switch I had to install decided to be a little difficult. It is a really poor and overly complicated design IMO.

    -Mark

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