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Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2009/7/5 16:29
From Portland, Oregon
Posts: 57
Car: 1956 Clipper Custom

This is a very intermittent problem. After turning off the engine, the brake lights stay on. I have to disconnect the negative battery cable, to turn off the lights. When I reconnect the negative batter cable, the brake lights remain off.

Is this a faulty break light switch? The the three connections to the switch are fine/clean (e.g., no corrosion).

Can a faulty break light switch explain the intermittent issue of the leveling system not working?

Posted on: 10/26 10:55:59
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15365
If it is the original style 3 terminal switch it could be the problem. The originals are old and probably well past their life expectancy. If a replacement, some of the more modern replacement switches that have been used have not had great reports for longevity.

I would suggest you order the brake switch conversion kit from the Pacific Northwest region which will replace the original style switch with a modern 2 terminal switch and a relay to duplicate the function of the third terminal. Here is a photo of the conversion kit. http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... id=213872#forumpost213872

Kanter and Max may also sell the hydraulic conversion kits and Dwight Heinmuller also sells a mechanical kit which totally gets rid of the hydraulic switch. Many of us have gone that route. https://www.packardparts.org/products/parts/#prettyPhoto

The torsion level control switch gets its power thru the brake switch and if the brake switch is faulty and staying on to keep the brake lights active it would definitely affect the level circuitry and could be the cause of intermittent operation.

Assuming you have power brakes (and manual too but a lesser chance), there is also a possibility the brake pedal is not coming to the normal resting position when you remove your foot. If that is the case the fluid in the master could be trapped and unable to get back into the reservoir. With heat the fluid will expand and that pressure might be keeping the switch on. The next time it happens, before disconnecting the battery you might reach down and pull the pedal back with your hand to see if that makes the switch go off.

Posted on: 10/26 11:24:49
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Howard
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2009/7/5 16:29
From Portland, Oregon
Posts: 57
Howard, thank you for the reply. After turning off the car and pulling back on the brake pedal still results in the brake lights staying on. I have noticed that the brake lights go off after about 10-15 minutes after turning off the car. Is this symptomatic of something?

I can order a replacement switch from Max. I'll also look into the replacement switches you suggested, as another option.

Posted on: 11/1 15:14:31
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1342
If your brakes havenít had any service for a while, it could be that the flexible lines are nearly fully plugged and it takes that long for the shoe return springs to be able to return the fluid to the master, causing it to remain somewhat pressurized for a while. Barring any electrical problems, you should check those and always pressure-flush the brakes annually. When the fluid gets old, it can cause deterioration of the rubber parts but it might not always be obvious.

Posted on: 11/1 16:23:19
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2009/7/5 16:29
From Portland, Oregon
Posts: 57
I had the brakes serviced 3 years ago. The fluid level in the power brake reservoir was low; so, I add more to fill the it up. I'll take the car in to get the brakes checked and the lines flushed.

Posted on: 11/2 16:28:57
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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2014/7/15 11:30
From Terrebonne, OR
Posts: 1342
If youíre taking it in, be sure that they check the lines specifically as itís difficult to tell that anything is wrong otherwise. Those in my old Mercedes had gotten so just being in storage that I couldnít even force over 100lbs of air through them. It seemed that each time I moved it outside to warm it up, it was getting harder and harder to get it moving and that was why!

Posted on: 11/2 16:35:30
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2008/10/31 12:20
From Portland, Oregon, USA
Posts: 1331
I think it's a very good idea to have the brake system checked and flushed, but you may have done what I once did: add too much fluid. As Howard mentioned, the fluid expands. It could make your brakes drag and keep the brakes lights on after it warms up, not just in warm weather, but from use. Once you're parked, it can cool down and release pressure on the switch and system.

Posted on: 11/3 9:18:09
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Re: Brake Lights Stay On
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Joined:
2008/2/16 15:39
From Santa Fe
Posts: 5252
If your Clipper does not have power brakes, check the brake pedal free play. There should be a small amount of play before the brake pedal linkage engages with the master cylinder. A lack of free play may keep the fluid under enough pressure to activate the switch.

Posted on: 11/4 9:07:06
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