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2000 Mercury Villager tail lights stay on

2000 Mercury Villager tail lights stay on:
This car is supposed to have a tail light relay. But I don’t know where it is,
accept ‘main junction box’ but I don’t know where that is and which component
would be the tail light relay.

I believe the tail lights that are staying on are probably the brake lights. The brake light switch is probably out of adjustment or has failed. It’s a fairly common problem with most vehicles.

@anotherJEK. You are not alone. Electronic components are hard to find unless you know where to look. Ideally, you either need someone experienced to show you where the relays are, or you need a shop manual for your car which will have wiring diagrams and a diagram showing the component locations. It might be the main junction box, but not necessarily. Modern cars have over 1/2 mile of wires going here and there. Relays are spread about all over the car these days.

The tail light ass’y is composed of several different bulbs, and one or more of them are supposed to light for several reasons: 1. Because you turn on the headlights or parking lights; 2. Because you press on the brake pedal; 3. Because you are backing up; 4: Because you have set the turn signal. Any of those actions might energize a relay. The first thing you have to determiine is which of these are the one that is staying on. Thenyou can narrow down which relay you are actually looking for.

Other than simply paying a qualified mechanic fix this – which is probably the best soln’ btw, it shouldn’t be very expensive – here’s some options

  • Maybe somebody here knows where the relay is

  • Google “Mercury Villager tail light relay” and see if that offers any info

  • Visit you local public library and see if they have the shop manual or Chilton’s manual for your car.

  • If not, the libary may have the “Motor” (or there’s one other brand, forget what it is) manuals which cover your car. These are sort of abbreviated shop manuals geared for mechanics. These manuals are useful, but be aware that they leave off instructions experienced mechanics usually already know how to do.

  • Many public libraries offer an internet-based service called “All-Data” which has this kind of information in electronic on-line format. Ask your librarian how to use it.

Are you sure it is not the brake lights?

I know how much wiring vehicles can have. I have been doing auto mechanics over most of my life.
I was hoping to get a response from someone who knows where this component is. The brake lights
go out when the brake is released (as is the case when you park the car and turn off the headlights
and set the emergency break). I am having to disconnect the battery when the car is parked to prevent
the tail lights (including the mid high light at the top of the tail gate). I have the official Mercury shop manual for this model/year but not the wiring diagram addendum. The manual has abstract illustrations
that describe test procedures but does not illustrate the location of various components.

Thank all who have spent time and attention so far.

The main junction box is usually under the hood, with a access cover over it.

The tail light relay is in the central junction box/interior compartment fuse panel.

By the way there is not a center tail light, it is called a center high mounted STOP lamp.

the tail lights (including the mid high light at the top of the tail gate)

The mid high light is normally a brake light. Just saying…

I agree with cigroller and Nevada_45. If the center stop light is glowing constantly, there is a more serious problem. It is probably getting partial power to glow like a tail light, but through the brake light circuit. This sounds like a module problem. You will probably need that wiring diagram addendum to figure out which module the brake light circuit goes through to find the bad module and check/replace it.

O.K.: Thanks for the info:
As it turns out, it is the break pedal stop light switch. It appears to be broken. I disconnected it and reconnected the battery and the lights stayed off.

However, there are two switches that the break pedal operates. I am assuming the one I disconnected
is the stop light switch.

The wire colors to the brake light switch are red/white and yellow/black. The other switch is for the cruise control.

The mid high light that you say is part of the lighting staying on is a brake light only. Since you say that too is staying illuminated, it’s your brake lights that are the problem.

The switch that turns the brakelights on when you press the pedal is located under the dash, up above the brake pedal lever. It’ll be a pushbutton that gets depressed when the lever rises (brake is released) and conpresse4d when the lever descends (brake pedal is pushed).

I had that problem with a wind star, it is a really funky brake switch. I ended up spraying the heck out of it with wd 40 exercising it till Jack LaLane would have been proud, and 3 years and working. The switch on mine was directly above the brake pedal.

I have the same problem. In researching 1993-2002 Villager brake lights that won’t shut off I ran across this TSB : BRAKES, HYDRAULIC:SWITCHES:BRAKE LIGHT

“MERCURY VILLAGER 9999 Safety Report #BC9673961001

which apparently is a pointer to the procedure for fixing this problem – BUT I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to get to the actual procedure from this summary page…

Further research :

"Unknown Mercury Villager Service Brakes, Hydraulic Service Bulletin 12957

NHTSA: Action Number: 50533 Service Bulletin Number: 12957
Report Date:
Oct 01, 1996Component:
Service Brakes, Hydraulic
Summary: Procedure for brake exterior lights stay on (tail & high mount stop light). *tt"

The actual contents of procedure 50533 are nowhere to be found. I did find a cross-reference of all affected vehicles (just about every Ford/Lincoln/Mercury ever made - go to type in “50533” into the “Item Number” box and VOILA…)

The NHTSA website says it can provide the info on “Action Number 50533” for $45.00 an hour plus $0.10 a page ; just give them a credit card # and they’ll bill you. Yeah, right. Some commercial site - - say’s they’ll bill you a flat $12.00 for info and diagrams.

I already have one of those battery cutoff switches - guess I’ll just keep disconnecting the battery whenever I stop for more than a half-hour.

BTW - the fact that there is a TSB and an Action means that the dealer should have to do the repair free of charge.Last time I fell for that they held my Dodge Caravan hostage (claiming that the brakes were so worn they couldn’t legally let me drive the van off the lot) until I had a bulldog of a lawyer-friend call and threaten to sue their ancestors out of their burial clothes. Cost me an expensive dinner (with drinks, of course) but it was worth it to hear the service manager whining that I didn’t have to be so MEAN…

If anyone can find out what is contained in “NHTSA Action Number: 50533” and/or “Service Bulletin Number: 12957” I’d be very grateful.

– cab658