97 Accord brake lights won't turn off

Last night we noticed that the main brake lights (not the CHMSL) on our 1997 Accord sedan wouldn’t turn off. I tapped and released the brake pedal to make sure it wasn’t stuck. Changed gears through drive, reverse, and park. The lights were continually lit, even after the car was shut off.
I didn’t want them to drain the battery, so I removed the bulbs (boy, were they HOT) and the car is now grounded temporarily.
When I pulled the bulbs, I saw a warning light on the dash come on. I red bar near the bottom of the (non-working) speedometer that says Brake Lights or something. I think it’s short hand for “Hey you idiot! Put the brake light bulbs back in!”
So at least it knows the circuit is broken.
So, the question is, what caused this,and how do I fix it without taking it to the dealership and paying $90.00/hr for labor?


Does the CHMSL come on when you’re on the brake pedal?

If the CHMSL bulb is burned out, replace it and see if it comes on when you step on the pedal.

If it does, the stop lamp switch may be the problem.

If the switch is the problem, that is most likely something you could do with basic hand tools.

Look under the pedal, you will probably find some little broken plastic pieces. these are the broken remnants of the brake light switch stopper. It breaks apart, and there is nothing to depress the brake light switch, to turn off the lights. The most common failure by far. I buy 10 stoppers at a time, for my mobile Honda auto repair business. The stopper only costs about $2, and is very easy to install.

This is an automatic? If so, can you change from P to D without having to press the brake pedal?
On our old Integra, (ie Honda) the brake switch controls both the rear lights and an interlock that stops you from shifting into gear unless you press the brake pedal. If you can change it, something is likely wrong with the switch on the pedal.

In addition to db4690’s post, do you have cruise control and does it work? If the rear bulbs are on and the center light is not, then the center light bulb must be out because they all get their poser from the same place. If you have cruise control and it is working, then the brake light switch is defective. If CC is not working, then it could be what Conoso said or its out of adjustment.

The brake switch is the most likely suspect. Disconnect the wiring to it and see if the light go out.