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George H.
George H., ASE Master Technician
Category: Chrysler
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Experience:  ASE Master Tech 15+ Years
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Chrysler: The brake lights stay..minivan..brake light switch

Resolved Question:

The brake lights stay on on my 06 chrysler town and country minivan. I have replaced the brake light switch but they still stay on as soon as i hit the brakes. What could the problem be? I have also checked the bulbs, made sure the master cylinder is full of brake fluid and checked that the fuse for the brake lamps is good
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Chrysler
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

Hello I will help you with your question,

 

Was the switch installed using the procedure below?

 

Click here for procedure

 

Let me know if it is adjusted correctly

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
it was adjusted properly as far as the black lever goes. the only thing that varied in that procedure was that i put the switch in place before plugging the connector in. The reason for this was that the wires on the connector are not long enough for me to rotate the switch far enough to install it with the connector plugged in. after i installed the switch then i adjusted the black lever in the front to the vertical position
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

With the switch rotated into the locked position in the bracket try cycling the switch lever from locked to unlocked and back again.

 

You should be able to work the switch with it dismounted from the pedal bracket to confirm that it works correctly and the lights do go out with the switch fully depressed. Make sure the pedal comes up fully the second time you step on the brakes and release it, try this without the switch mounted. It is in the switch or the pedal movement so see which it is.

 

Let me know how I can help you

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok i tried that and it made no difference. when i start the van the brake lights are not on until i step on the brake pedal, then they stay on
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

Ok, so is the brake pedal returning to the fully released position after you step on it the first time?

 

The lights turn off each time you work the switch by hand?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
the brake pedal returns to the fully released position but once you step on the brake pedal the brake lights stay on until you turn the van off.
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

If you can turn the lights off by pressing the plunger every time and the pedal returns fully each time there has to be a change between the first and second times you step on the brake pedal. One or the other has to be out of adjustment.

 

You can reach in and push the plunger and turn the lights off once they stay on?

 

We are discussing the brake lights on the rear of the vehicle?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

we are talking about the brake lights on the back of the vehicle but once you step on the brake pedal one time they stay on. there is no making them go out again unless you turn the ignition key off. then when you turn the key back on again the brake lights are off until you step on the brake pedal. then they stay on no matter what until you turn the vehicle off again

Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

OK, so you cannot turn them on and off with the plunger unless you turn the key off.

 

Could be a couple of things here, the switch tells the Body Computer to turn the lights on and the Body computer does the actual work.

 

There is a caution when installing the switch

 

CAUTION: The switch can only be adjusted once. That is during initial installation of the switch. If the switch is not adjusted properly or has been removed for some service, a new switch must be installed and adjusted.

 

If the issue is not in the switch (and it sounds like it is not) then you will need a scantool capable of seeing the switch input to the BCM and the output to the lamps.

 

The center high mount lamp should go onn and off with the switch, is this the case?

 

You may need to replace the BCM.

 

Have you towed a trailer with this vehicle?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
We have not towed with this vehicle at all, what is the BCM and how do i get this checked?
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

The BCM is the BODY CONTOL MODULE and controls the lighting functions of the vehicle.

 

The center high mount lamp is directly controlled by the switch, does it act normally?

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
i never thougth about that lamp until you mentioned it. since im working on this in my driveway by myself at the moment it is impossible for me to tell if that lamp is working properly or not. what i can tell you is that it is not staying on like the two rear brake lamps are but then again I don't know if the bulb is working or not
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

If you can back up to a wall you can see the reflection of the third lamp or use a prop rod on the pedal but if they are staying on you should be able to walk to the rear of the vehicle and see if the light is on.

 

 

 

If the third lamp is not staying on the issue is with the BCM and it may need to be replaced but you will need a good scantool to see if the BCM lamp command is off but the lights stay on an internal relay is sticking on. In that case the BCM would have to be replaced.

 

A shop with a Chrysler star scan tool or some of the aftermarket tools will allow them to see the data in the BCM and diagnose this but if it is the BCM there is no repair only replacement.

 

Let me know how I can help you

 

Thanks

 

 

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
ok well at least this gives me a direction to look other than the brake light switch. I have to leave for work so i will click on accept answer. Thanks for your help I appreciate it. One last thing, if im not asking for more than my 18 bucks worth, do you know if the BCM is a dealer item or is it something i can pick up at a parts store?
Expert:  George H. replied 5 years ago.

The BCM IS a dealer only item and will need to be programmed to install it so you will need the dealer or a well equipped shop to do it. I would have them do the diagnosis and if they concur with what I have told you have them go ahead and replace it. Once you get past the switch there is little else that can be done as all the control is in the computer from that point.

 

Let me know how I can help you

 

Thank you

 

 

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