Why won't the brake lights cut off?

Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
  • 1996 MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE
  • 155,000 MILES
When I pull the pedal they turn off. They stay on whenever the car is on or off. There is no switch that I can see. But there is a spring that runs from the shaft that is connected to the pedal and a hole under my dash. Could it need a new spring?
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:01 AM

28 Replies

Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There has to be a switch up there somewhere that is out of adjustment. The spring could be weak too, but if the brakes aren't staying applied while you're driving, the pedal has come back far enough.
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:06 AM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
How do I readjust the switch?
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:07 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
Look for a gold threaded shaft. There's either a nut that's loose or two nuts to set the position, then tighten 'em. Would it help if I posted a photo?
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:12 AM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
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Yes please!
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:14 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
There's two versions depending on with or without cruise control. The other one has a silver metal body.
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:22 AM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
So just tighten the bolt?
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:27 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
First you have to see if it's loose. If the nut has loosened, the switch will push back instead of the button getting pressed in by the pedal arm.

If the switch is tight, it may need to be adjusted but you must understand that over-adjusting it can hold the brake pedal down a little. That will make the brake lights turn off but it can keep the brakes applied a little. You'll notice that when driving for a while when the car seems to be moving hard.

My money is on the nut being loose because those switches don't magically get out of adjustment by themselves.
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:32 AM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
Ok thanks. Ill try that
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 1:35 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
On the brake pedal where the switch and pedal brakcet meets, ensure there is no hole on the bracket, meaning a stopper is missing and this would result in the brake switch being turned on at all times.
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Saturday, May 26th, 2012 AT 12:56 PM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
Thanks I got that fixed. But another question. When I turn on my headlights ny interior ones. Like the speedometer and shifter lights don't light up. Why
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 2:50 AM
Tiny
CARADIODOC
  • EXPERT
What was the fix for the brake light switch?

I'm not familiar with the specific circuit for the dash lights, but if only some of them are out, 99 percent chance those bulbs are burned out. If all of them are not working, many cars by 1996 had stopped using the simple, reliable dash light rheostat and began using "pulse-width modulation" dimming which means a relatively complicated electronic circuit to do a formerly simple job. Often those dimmer controls are mounted separately in the dash rather than being built as part of the head light switch. You can likely find one in a salvage yard to try rather than buying a new one, then finding out that isn't the problem.
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 6:14 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Ensure the brightness control switch is not turned to minimum. Try twsiting on it to see if the light comes back on.

If the problem was not there prior to working on the stoplight switch, ensure the brightness control switch wire connector is not dislodged.
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 1:24 PM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
Where's that at
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 8:02 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
It should be somewhere around the meter cluster on dash.
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 8:19 PM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
I meant the connector I know where the knob is it didn't work last night
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 8:22 PM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
Behind the switch.
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 9:49 PM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
Ok ill try
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Friday, June 1st, 2012 AT 9:51 PM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
How do I fix it? How will I know if its bad.
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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 12:43 AM
Tiny
KHLOW2008
  • EXPERT
The switch is a rheostat. Disconnect the connector and use a 5A fused jumper across terminal 2 and 4 (Black/Yellow and Green/White)and turn lights on. If dash lights comes on, the switch is bad.
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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 9:04 AM
Tiny
CHANOGARCIA9
  • MEMBER
I don't have one of those
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Sunday, June 3rd, 2012 AT 3:10 PM

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