Why Do the Tail Lights Stay on When the Car Is Off?

tail lights stay on when the car is off

Tail lights give us security from backward crashes during night time. It works as a visualizer for the other drivers. By the taillights, drivers can assume the size and shape of the car. Having a faulty pair of tail lights is surely an issue. But just like that, if a pair of tail lights get turned on always, then it is also an issue. If your tail lights stay on when the car is off, then a lot of factors can play their role behind it. 

In this blog, we are going to discuss the reasons you have faced an issue that your tail lights won’t turn off.

5 Reasons Behind Tail Lights Stay on When the Car Is Off

car tail lights won't turn off

The tail lights won’t go off if your tail-light assembly has a broken sensor or pedal. It is a severe problem as it consumes the battery during emitting light. So, if they are on even when the vehicle is turned off, then you may pay attention to this issue. The most common and known reason is to have a broken tail-light sensor or switch. A broken pedal or faulty electrical wiring harness can also create a problem. But let’s look into the details of the reasons behind this issue.

  • Broken tail-light switch or sensor: This is not only the most common reason, but it also happens the most. When the switch or the sensor cannot respond properly according to the electrical signal of the transmission or harness, they cannot turn them off. As a result, the backlights or rear lights remain on when the vehicle is off.

  • Bad condition brake pedal: When a driver presses a brake pedal, tail lights get turned on. As time passes, it gets old and weak. So even when the driver releases the pedal, it cannot collect enough signals. As a result, the brake lights won’t turn off.

  • Stucked brake pedal: A defective pedal can create a mess. If the pedal does not come up after its release, then the light is not going to turn off for sure.

  • Faulty electrical system: An electrical issue in the wiring harness can be a cause of many electrical items, including the tail lights. These faults can make the tail lamps stay on when the car is off.

  • Wrong tail-light bulbs: This also happens in the list. Installing the wrong bulb can cause this issue. If you install one circuit in two circuit wiring harness, then it may short the circuit. As a result, the brake lights will always be on.

These are the 5 foremost reasons behind the tail-light failure. and also, if your brake lights don’t work in an appropriate manner, any of these factors can work behind that.

What Can You Do About the Issue of a Tail Lights Staying Turned On?

If a driver faces this problem with the tail-lights, then the possible scenarios that can help the driver are:

  • Check the brake switch properly. If that is broken, then no one can solve the issue without replacing it with a good one.

  • Replace the brake pedal if it has got broken. Cause without a proper brake pedal, no mechanic will be able to solve this issue.

  • Check the electrical wiring properly. A small electrical issue can cause the problem of the brake lights not turning off.

  • If any part of the tail-light assembly gets covered with rust or debris, then it might create a big issue. Cause the brake lights, pedals or lines are prone to get rusted.

  • If any of these things have not happened to your car still, you are facing this issue; the user should consider going to a professional mechanic.

These are some most common and easy tips that a driver should follow while facing tail-light problems. if you can resolve your issue with these tips then it is well and good. but if don’t then you may consider replacing them with a new one. if you want to save some of your money, then you can go for used tail light assembly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do tail lights stay on when the car is off?

This problem may occur due to faulty tail-light assembly parts like brake pedals, brake switches, etc. an electrical wiring issue can also create the same problem.

Why do brake lights work when the car is off?

If you want to use your brake lights when the vehicle is off, then you can surely do it cause they get their power from an unswitched circuit from the fuse block. But if it is happening unintentionally, then you may check the wiring and the parts of the assembly.

How much does it cost to replace a brake light switch?

Well, it surely depends on various factors like a year, model, or manufacturer. Labor charges may also differ from person to person. Averagely, brake light switch replacement costs between $40-$70. Labor charges will get added to the total amount.

What are the symptoms of a faulty brake light switch?

➢You cannot light up the bulbs whenever you want.
➢The brake light won’t turn off accordingly.
➢The ABS light will turn on.
➢A user will not be able to control the cruise properly.

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Automotive Specialist , Auto Vehicle Parts
Peter Patrick is an Automotive Specialist with over 10 years of experience working with clients from all walks of life. He has a passion for helping people understand the complex technology of automobiles, and has a deep understanding of how to best maintain and repair vehicles. Peter has worked on a wide variety of vehicles, from high-end luxury cars to everyday commuters. He has a knack for quickly diagnosing and resolving issues, and takes pride in providing customers with the best customer service possible. When he’s not under the hood of a car, Peter enjoys spending time with his family and friends, as well as taking part in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.

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