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Old 06-09-2011, 08:14 AM   #1
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Default Brake lights won't turn off

When trying to start my car this morning, I noticed my battery was dead. This was odd since the battery is under 6 months old.

I hooked up a battery charger and started inspecting different areas of the car. All three brake lights were active and I could not figure out why. The brake pedal comes back up normally; it is not sticking, grinding, or making any funny noises. The parking brake also was disengaged.

Some other sources of information indicate that this issue may be caused by a faulty switch that is actuated by pressing the brake pedal. Unfortunately I wasn't able to troubleshoot extensively (had to go to work), so I would appreciate any advice.

Some things that might matter:
  1. Vehicle is 1994 Del Sol Si; no a/c; no ABS; automatic transmission; bone-stock aside from aftermarket wheels.
  2. The parking brake cable needs to be replaced. It is stretched out, or it has snapped.
  3. I replaced the brake master cylinder about 8 months ago.
  4. My rear rotors and pads were replaced 3 weeks ago.

As of this moment, the car is parked with the negative terminal disconnected as to not kill the battery again.

Last edited by z3pp3h; 06-09-2011 at 08:17 AM. Reason: adding more information
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Old 06-09-2011, 08:58 AM   #2
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

The brake switch going bad is a common problem. I would try either verifying that the switch is bad or just replace it. I don't think that a brake switch would cost that much. If it's not a bad switch then it's very possible that there is a wiring problem. Maybe a short somewhere that is getting power to the lights with out the switch being pushed in.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Bad switch on the brake pedal. Cheap and easy fix.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Yeah probably the brake switch, it is either going bad or the switch has been moved to where its constantly on.
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Old 06-09-2011, 09:41 AM   #5
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Thanks for the responses! Will look into this later when I get a chance.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Until you get a chance to look into it just pop the fuse for the breaks out when you park as not to drain your battery.
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Old 06-09-2011, 10:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

check the plastic piece on the brake pedal (blue round thing before the switch) . the plastic or rubber pushes the brake light switch on and off when pedal is pressed and depressed. most likely it broke into pieces. thats what happen to me and a bunch of other threads ive read. GL
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:35 PM   #8
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Got it fixed. Thanks everyone.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

listen to these ppl... ^^^^^^^
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Old 06-14-2011, 06:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Quote:
Originally Posted by z3pp3h View Post
Got it fixed. Thanks everyone.
well what was it??
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Old 06-14-2011, 09:02 AM   #11
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Quote:
Originally Posted by delsolo95 View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
guarantee it was this. happens on like every older honda/acura
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

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Originally Posted by alphalanos View Post
guarantee it was this. happens on like every older honda/acura
Same thing just happened to my teg. I just popped in a plastic gromit from the kick panel to fix it till I can get the replacement part
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Old 09-08-2011, 06:44 AM   #13
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

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Originally Posted by delsolo95 View Post
well what was it??
Sorry for the late response! Haven't been able to visit in a while.

The problem was exactly what you said - small plastic disc that rivets into the brake pedal arm. Paid about $5.00 at the dealership, and a huge relief since I was not looking forward to replacing the actual mechanical/electrical components.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:17 AM   #14
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

This thread helped me out a lot, especially the image that delsolo95 posted. After I bought the part for $5 at the dealer I asked one of the technicians would they charge me to put the little plastic part on and he told me to bring the car around he'd just pop it there.
Then his boss told him he had to charge me and it would be $99.95, I went home, came to this thread via Google and it took a few seconds to pop in the part once I read the posts and saw the picture.

All in all, I wanna say thanks to the Honda tech community for saving me a $100.
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Old 09-13-2012, 05:57 AM   #15
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

Great information! This issue is now solved thank you all.

It was indeed the failure of the blue rubber switch stop that flattened the battery over night. Parked in bright sunshine and did not see the brake lights! Need to go and buy a new battery anyway as the unit on the Prelude has, I feel, been deep cycled before this episode and once you take one of these lead/acid units under 10.6 volts you may as well forget any further use.

Just to top it off, the battery in the prelude was actually an incorrect unit of about 40 Amp hours, so it had to go anyway.
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:34 AM   #16
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

My brake lights were not shutting off and this thread came up in my first search. $3.71 at the dealership this morning and problem fixed. If anyone is still looking at this... Thanks!
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Old 02-17-2014, 04:31 PM   #17
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Default Re: Brake lights won't turn off

FYI, there is also a rubber grommet on the clutch pedal that often breaks and makes it impossible to start your car. For that, and for this, I simply use a small round magnet. I read about it here as a temporary fix, but I've continued to use them as a permanent fix. The first time, on the clutch switch, the magnet slid and I had to redo it. But once I got it centered correctly, it's worked for several months now.

Regarding the brake switch and grommet. Someone told me a few days ago that my backup lights didn't come on. When putting the magnet on the brake pedal for my tail lights tonight, I noticed another switch on the clutch pedal that seemed to be missing a grommet. I've put on a magnet to see if that's what controls the backup lights.
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