Gremlins turning Tail Lights On

My car is a 1986 Toyota MR-2. In cooler weather gremlins turn my tail lights on and run my battery down. I just replaced an 8-year battery that I only had for 4-5 years. Two days later it happened again. If I hit the brake pedal a couple of times and pull it up with the top of my shoe, it will turn the lights out. Any idea what’s causing this?

There is a button that is pushed by your brake pedal lever that is “off” when pushed in (when you let your foot off of the pedal) and “on” when it’s released (when you push the pedal in). That switch is what energizes your brake light circuit. That switch is bad or needs adjusting.

There could be dirt or corrosion in the switch, preventing it from moving properly, in which case cleaning it would restore it’s function. Also, no need to post your question twice.

The switch as described on a previous post maybe the problem. To me it sounds like the petal is not coming “up” properly since you said you can raise it with the tip of your shoe. There may be a “return spring” in the linkage for the petal that has lost its springiness. It is also possible that the master brake cyclinder is not working properly, which is more serious since the master cyclinder is a critical component that powers the brakes. Probably not serious but you need to get to the root cause of the problem.

There is a rubber bumper on the brake pedal that actuates the switch everytime you release the pedal. This bumper is most probably rotted out and the actuator for the switch is going through the hole leaving the brake lights on. A screw and a nut will suffice to fill the hole in and stop this.

I have repaired this on several cars in this manner.