Brake Stop Lamps On

My 96 Contour SE has an intermittent problem with all 3 rear stop lamps on continuously even when the car ignition is shut off. The brake light switch (on pedal) has been replaced but the problem will continue even with the switch removed from circuit. The circuit (fuse 24) is hot all the time and stop lamps (all 3)should be activated only when pressing brake closing brake light switch. Cruise control did not appear to work when this happened. Must be feedback from another circuit. Any clue where to start looking?

Sounds like you have a short circuit to find. I’d start out by getting a wiring diagram. The library by my house has a subscription to alldatapro, yours may not, but they can get factory service manual for you. If I had to guess, I would suspect your short is under the dash somewhere as I bet the lights ground to the chassis in the back. Just for fun why don’t you double check the function of the brake light switch with a DVM.

The brakelamp are also in the same circuit as the 4- way flasher. Try removing the fuse, if there is one for the 4-way, or unpluging the 4-way flasher.

OK, I have an Alldata subscription and am trying to sort through all the diagrams. There appears to be connections to ABS, Traction Control & Cruise Control. The problem stopped 150 miles into a 600 mile drive on Monday and has not recurred so is more difficult to diagnose. Problem occurred 3 times in 6 months so I need to make problem happen by wiggling connectors, moving wires etc. Emergency flasher work normal. Signal lights work normally. I’m thinking problem must be in engine compartment of car or under dash since cable splits 3-ways near front of trunk as it goes to the 3 different stop lamps each of which exhibits the problem. The stop light switch was changed by a dealer who thought that was problem. Independent mechanic looking at it had pulled stop light switch out of circuit and brake lights stayed on. So brake lamps were getting power from a different source and stop light switch can’t be problem as it is a normally open switch which closed when you press brake pedal. The problem disappeared while the car was just sitting there and dealer said he could not to continue the diagnosis until the problem recurred. Looks like I have to find it myself.

One other item maybe related. The cruise control disengaged twice as I hit large bumps in the road??

Thanks for the suggestions. The more ideas the better. Hope the MN weather warm a bit so I feel more like looking at it.

Since the middle brake light was on also I suspect there is a problem in the wires going to the brake switch and somehow they are getting tied together even though the brake switch is removed. It is the only thing I can think of that would cause that senario of trouble. If the emergency flasher was the trouble then the front lights would be on also it seems and the middle brake light would not be on.

Here is another thought. If there is a trailer hitch on the car check for a back feed problem on the brake lead.