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Brake Lights will not go off, stay on all the time

I have a 2001 Nissan Maxima with 130K miles. It’s my teen age daughters car. Tonight while she was out, she noticed the brake lights stayed on all the time. She gets it home, and nothing I do gets the brake lights to go off. No lights on the front of the car are on. I turn the light switch to on/off/auto several times and nothing changes. I hit the brakes hard a couple of times, nothing. Pull the emergency brake a few times and that does not help. I’m sure until problem is fixed it will drain battery. Any ideas on how to fix? Thanks in advance.

Above the brake pedal is the brake light switch.

Unplug the switch, and if the brake lights turn off, it’s the switch.


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and if it’s not the switch, then it’s a wiring fault, a short somewhere. Difficult to find, you need to start with a wiring schematic.

Sounds like the brake light switch is failing is the most likely culprit. OP is right, this will drain the battery over night if not corrected. If not the switch, besides the ideas already suggested, could be something in the brake pedal area has changed. So take a look there. You’ll be looking there in any event to find the switch. A spring has come loose, bracket bent etc. Sometimes something, bracket etc, will get bent if the driver has their foot on the brake pedal and gets into a fender bender.

I’ve had brake light switches fail over the years , but for me they’ve always failed in a way so the brake lights don’t come on when they should, not that they stay on all the time. But I suppose the switch can fail in that manner too.

Yes I had a windstar with an intermittent brake light issue, Craziest switch I ever saw, some wd40 fixed it, don’t recall what vehicle, the brake lights would come on when one opened the driver door, another possibility if applicable. :biking_woman: