Tail lights won't turn off

I have a 1992 Acura Integra and the strangest thing happened yesterday. The tail lights turned on all by themselves and would not turn off. The car is seldom used (keeping it for my boys that will be driving soon) and was parked at the time. I tried pulling the fuse and that didn’t kill the lights. I had to disconnect the battery in order to turn them off.

I did have to replace the battery not too long ago. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, since the battery was a few years old, but now I am wondering that it might have died prematurely due to some electrical gremlins. Battery cables have also been replaced within the last year or so due to corrosion.

Tail lights or brake lights? Either way, you pulled the wrong fuse if the lights didn’t go out.
Could be the brake light switch which is often under the brake pedal.

As for the battery dying “prematurely” at a “few years old”, you’e lucky to get 4 years out of a battery, especially if the car isn’t driven, so no, doubt it was due to gremlins.

Well, I did do a bit of web searching after I posted and saw that it might be a brake switch issue. I hooked the battery back up and disconnected the brake switch. Lights were no longer on, so a bad switch looks to the be problem. Strange that it would fail when wasn’t even in use. I guess that I didn’t pull the right fuse earlier.

Now to find a replacement switch.

Maybe change in temperature caused expansion of a wire or piece of metal to make a connection somewhere. Or maybe a gremlin.

Brakelight switch failure is common. We had neighbors who could buy new cars when nobody else in our neighborhoodcould touch a new car. These neighbors traded their 2 year old 1947 Chevrolet for a brand new 1949 Chevrolet. They hadn’t had the car a day when the brakelights sutck on. I don’t know the set-up in your car, but in my Forf products the switch clips in and can be changed without tools. You did get 18 years of service from the present switch.

I had to replace one on my 81 Olds. Most of them I’ve seen are mounted above the brake pedal but my BIL years ago had a 58 Desoto that had the switch go bad. On that one, it was mounted at the end of the master cylinder which made replacement easy. I must have been about 14 at the time but it was one of those things you file away in the back of your mind and recall it 40 years later when your brake lights don’t go out.

Well, it turned out not to be the brake light switch after all. There was a piece of plastic that is supposed to push in the switch, but that had broken. I went to pull the old switch out and put in a new one and off falls part of that plastic piece. Other fragments were sitting on the floor mat. I put a 1/4" hex bolt in the hole for the plastic piece and all is working now with the old switch.

By the time your boys can drive, the entire car will have succumbed to the same “Rotting Plastic” disease…

Well, one is about ready to get his permit this summer. I bought it new and it has been very dependable, so I’ve kept it. One kid (now in college) has already driven it. Two more to go. It is showing its age, but most of the repairs, like this last one, have cost very little.