Brake lights stay on. Suspect brake switch bad. Is this common?

Tanker_01

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I have owned my '89 YJ about a month now. The other day on the way to work early a co-worker of mine informed me once we got to the parking lot that my brake lights were not working. I took a look and started to diagnose the issue and this is what I found. Brake lights do not work when brake depressed (obviously), turn signals work correctly, hazards work correctly, when I turn on DRL or headlights the taillight works correctly, no fuses blown. Over all of these functions the brake light does not function. I went ahead and did some research and figured out where the brake switch was and when I went down there to look I discovered that it was disconnected from the plug... Found my issue, NOT. When I plug in the brake switch the brake lights work... all the time, even with the key off. I would be led to think that the switch is malfunctioning? Is there any way to rebuild or reset the switch or will it just be easiest to order a new one?
 

Chris

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While it's not a YJ, the same thing happened with my TJ, and it was indeed the brake light switch. A new one was cheap and easy enough to replace.
 

Flyer58

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The brake circuit is hot all the time even when the key is off. Sound like the switch is the problem.

If you really want to freak people out hook up the switch to the gas pedal. Step on the gas, the lights come on, you zoom away! o_O
just kidding. :LOL:
 
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Tanker_01

Tanker_01

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I replaced the switch. Holy mother that thing is hard to get back on. I ended up not putting the metal bushing all the way through to the other side and just threaded the bolt all the way through to make it work correctly. If I put it on all the way the brake lights still stayed on.
 
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Chris

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Maybe it's different on a YJ. I know on my TJ it wasn't that hard to replace at all.
 

machoheadgames

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I replaced the switch. Holy mother that thing is hard to get back on. I ended up not putting the metal bushing all the way through to the other side and just threaded the bolt all the way through to make it work correctly. If I put it on all the way the brake lights still stayed on.
Why did you replace it? The brake lights are always able to be turned on by pressing the pedal even with key off. From the sounds of you plugging the old one back in, you had no issues. Almost all cars have brake light power when the key is off.
 

machoheadgames

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Maybe it's different on a YJ. I know on my TJ it wasn't that hard to replace at all.
Completely different, especially on an 89 YJ which uses an ancient style switch. 91 and later are more modern but still a bitch to change compared to a TJ. I'm surprised you ever had to change one. Still running the original on mine and no issues whatsoever. It usually takes a long time for them to fail.
 
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Tanker_01

Tanker_01

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Why did you replace it? The brake lights are always able to be turned on by pressing the pedal even with key off. From the sounds of you plugging the old one back in, you had no issues. Almost all cars have brake light power when the key is off.
You misread. when I plugged the old switch in it would keep the brake lights on no matter what, even when uninstalled.
 

machoheadgames

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You misread. when I plugged the old switch in it would keep the brake lights on no matter what, even when uninstalled.
Little bit misleading since it said "they worked...all the time" making it sound like the function was properly working with the pedal, but all the time when the key was off.

I see now though.
 
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Tanker_01

Tanker_01

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Little bit misleading since it said "they worked...all the time" making it sound like the function was properly working with the pedal, but all the time when the key was off.

I see now though.
hey man sorry im not an english teacher. everyone else apparently understood youre the only one trying to play internet police and make me look dumb.
 
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Flyer58

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Having the brake lights come on when the key is off reminds me of the good'ol days nights at the drive-in movies when the cars in front accidentally had the lights come on. :)
 

Chris

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Completely different, especially on an 89 YJ which uses an ancient style switch. 91 and later are more modern but still a bitch to change compared to a TJ. I'm surprised you ever had to change one. Still running the original on mine and no issues whatsoever. It usually takes a long time for them to fail.
Yep, usually they don't go bad, I agree. I guess it was just bad luck, because it went bad at 60k miles.

Well, I guess I'm glad it was easy to change on the TJ. Sounds like the YJ is a pain in the butt!