5 Reasons Brake Light Stays on When Car is Off

Brake lights are a very important part of a car. This car feature lights up your path at night when driving and also serves as a warning sign to other drivers to slow down to avoid a collision. But in cases where the brake lights stay on even when your car is off calls for immediate attention.

Moving about with a faulty brake light can be awkward; it sometimes passes the wrong message to other drivers, causing confusion on the road and giving you a hard time. If you are observant enough you can avoid this scenario by getting it fixed in time.

A car’s brake light functions with the aid of some connection in the brake system. From the switch to the brake pedal that shows when the lights are turned off or on.

When the brake is pressed, it automatically connects with the switch and then the circuit, turning the brake light on. Now if your brake lights won’t turn off it could be due to some reasons.

Reasons why your brake light stays on

Here are some of the reasons why your brake light stays on when your car is off:

1. Weak Brake Pedal Spring

This is one of the reasons why the brake light stays on when the engine isn’t running. The brake pedal spring holds a huge responsibility in the braking system. Having your brake pedal return to its original position after pushing down and putting the light on, is the work of the brake pedal spring.

If the brake pedal spring loses its effect and cannot go back to its original form when the brakes are pressed, the brake light stays on even when your car is off.

If you notice this quickly take your car for repair or get them replaced.

2. Circuit is Damaged

If you notice a sudden change in your brake light, your light constantly illuminates when the car is in motion and still in position, it simply means some things are not in place.

A damaged electric line can affect a car’s brake light causing an irregular to turn on/off. Most times these occurrences are inevitable especially when a part of the brake system is worn out.

It is usually associated with a burnt fuse in the circuit box. And when this happens, it disrupts the brake light placing them in an ill state.

3. Stiff Brake Pedal

Whenever you notice you can no longer control your brake lights, they remain on while you drive your car and when the car is off, it might be as a result of a stiff brake pedal.

When your car’s brake pedal becomes stiff, the light keeps illuminating. This happens when the switch loses connection with the brake pedal. Both the brake pedal switch and the brake pedal has to be sound for the brake lights to function properly.

When dirt clings to the surface of the pedal, it stiffens. But you don’t have to worry about this, it can be remedied easily via cleaning. You might want to clean it yourself with a good car cleaning kit or have a professional take care of it.

4. Broken Brake Light Switch

This isn’t rocket science, it is easily predictable. When the switch that controls an appliance gets faulty, it affects the entire system. The same thing happens with the brake light switch.

If the switch located at the bottom of the dashboard on the brake pedal is broken, it means the brake light no longer functions effectively, causing it to either stay on or off. The good thing is it can be fixed.

To do this, you should look for the stop switch and check if it is stiff or not. If it is not, then the brake light will go off when pressed, but if it doesn’t go off, you won’t be able to control it, which means you have to get a new one. On the other hand, if the fault is from the stopper, you have to detach completely and replace it because it can’t be fixed.

5. Broken Sockets

This is one of the common reasons for an unstable brake light. When the socket is worn out, the car light behaves abnormally. A faulty socket can be a result of dirt. When it’s clotted with dirt it loses its function.

You should clean your socket once in a while so it doesn’t get too dirty. If after cleaning it persists, then it’s time you replace it. Not to worry, this isn’t much of a problem because it is one of the cheapest parts of a car, it can easily be replaced if it gets damaged.


A faulty brake light may not seem like a big deal to most people, but it sure is. Just because it doesn’t cause your engine to stall or your car to jerk does not mean you should overlook it.

Have you ever thought of the danger it exposes you to on the road? Driving with your brake lights on passes the wrong message to other drivers and this can be risky.

Try placing yourself in this picture. You are driving and you have a vehicle in front of you with the brake light on, the signal is for you to slow down, right? Now in a case where it is constantly on, that gets you confused. You wouldn’t know whether to slow down or not.

So you see why it is important to have your brake light in a good shape. If you ever notice an issue with your brake light no matter how little, do not neglect it, it should be handled as soon as possible. Get it replaced. It won’t cost much and even if it does, it will be worth it.

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