1995 Toyota Corolla


Warren Schaffer

June, 8, 2010 AT 7:22 PM

Electrical problem
1995 Toyota Corolla 4 cyl Four Wheel Drive Manual 158000 miles

The other day I hit my brakes real hard to avoid hitting a car that pulled in front of me. We didn't hit and nothing happened to the car. But when I went on the freeway I noticed that the cruise control was not working and before this incident it was fine. I pulled over to check to see if a fuse was blown. I noticed though that the brake lights were on.

So now this is what is happening.
With the car off and the key isn't even in the ignition, when you put your foot on the brake, the brake lights and the dash board lights come on. Take your foot off and they all go out.

With foot off the brake, I turn on the headlights or the running lights and the dash and brake lights also come on and stay on as long as the headlights are on. It makes no difference by putting foot on or off the brake pedal, they just stay on.

I replaced the brake switch, but this did nothing. I have checked all the fuses and checked the wiring and found nothing. There is no burning smell like you would have if the wires were crossed and the fuses don't blow. In fact I drove the car 350 miles in this condition as I was on a trip and had to get home. Nothing else is wrong as far as I can tell.

The cruise control light on the dash comes on when you turn it on but it does not ingage.

Could there be some relay switch that is bad or stuck?

Thank you.


3 Answers



June, 9, 2010 AT 7:59 AM

When you replaced the brake switch did the brake lights work?

If not, readjust until they work. There is a plastic shim that may have fell off.

The cruise will not work if brake lights are not working.


Warren Schaffer

June, 9, 2010 AT 10:46 AM

It turns out that the problem has nothing to do with the brake switch. I got to thinking why the brake lights would come on when you turned on the head lights. This would mean that somewhere there would have to be a direct connection in the wiring.

I pulled the lamps out and found that the brake and tail lights are a dual filament bulb. On the bottom of the bulb the connection posts look like some sort of soft metal like solder. Believe it or not in the fifteen years I have owned the car, I have never changed them, those bulbs are the original. The posts had melted down over time and where touching and they made a direct feed back loop throught the whole system, thus causing the cruise control unit to sense that the brakes where on.

I replaced the bulbs and everything is back to normal again.



June, 10, 2010 AT 8:21 AM

Good catch, thanks for the info.

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