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Possible that the brake light switch shorts with the circuit, sometimes this can be a brake switch ground shorting through the dash boarrd ground circuit and turns the light on.
You need to disconnect the brake switch and trace the line. also check if the rear brake lamp circuit is shorting in the tail lamp assembly and so turns the dash /park light circuit ON.
This can happen if the tail lamp assembly /holder is shorting. So remove and check the tail lamp circuit/ the park/brake lights.
The steps to replace the brake light bulb on a 1996 Toyota Corolla:
The bulb needed is type 1157. After opening the trunk you need to remove the trunk liner on the side (right side for this example)where the brake light bulb is out. The plastic capture grommets hold the liner in place. Once the grommets are removed there is a nut (10mm) that is a bright brass-like color. This needs to be removed. Then on the outside of the trunk on the tail-light lens left side there are two nuts black in color (10mm) they need to be removed. Now the fun starts .... you needto slide the whole assembly back. You will note two black plastic posts on the rear quarter-panel, do not remove these ... these are used to hold the tail-light assembly in place since on the inside of the tail light assembly there are two rod-like protrusions that slide into these brackets. So.... remove the screws and wiggle the assembly back and it "should" slide back so that you can get at the bulb socket hat you twist to remove from the assembly. Now the bulb is visible and you reverse the order of steps to get it all back together .... a miserable design!
To change any of the three tail light bulbs, open rear hatchback locate the thin black strip (approx. 2"W x 21"L) between the body and the tail light assembly.
Next, simply pry off black strip with a small screwdriver wrapped with a rag as to not chip the paint (strip is held on by two clips). Remove the top and bottom bolts (the 2 middle bolts don't need to be removed).
Next grab the lens assembly from the top and bottom and gently pull away from the body. Once the lens is separated from the vehicle simply twist the bulb socket counterclockwise to remove the bulb from the lens assembly.
If similar to 2002 MPV, you detach the whole side light module, then pop out the bulb-socket, then you can replace the bulb. You need a philips screwdriver, medium size.
Open the back hatch.
Remove the two screws on the inside edge of the light-assembly.
Now pull the whole assembly *sideways* not back - it is held by two detent-pins that face out. You can swing it out a bit and then carefully lever it at top or bottom edge.
Lower the assembly face-down, you can see three bulb-sockets. They can be turned a part-turn, I think counter-clockwise, then they pop out. Replace bulb(s), re-insert socket, push assembly back onto pins, replace screws. Just did this for brake/tail light 10 minutes ago.
Open your hatch and behind the tail lights you will see panels with plastic knobs you can unscrew. Behind there are 3 8mm nuts you need to unscrew which will let you remove the whole tail light assembly. There is a post on the actual tail light assembly that holds it in so you may have to give it a firm pull to actually seperate it from the car. If you have the stock infinity sub you will need to remove that first to get to the drivers side tail lamp.
open the rear hatch. Between the tail light housing and the rear hatch opening there is a trim strip with two flush fitted flap doors. Insert a small straight blade screwdriver into the small slot on the tail light side of the flap. Pry gently inboard and the small flap will open (the hinge side of the flap is on the side of the rear hatch opening.) Now you can remove the screws that hold the tail lamp assembly in place. Finally, there is still a "spear point" clip that fits into a socket near the front outboard corner of the assembly. Gently pry with a tape wrapped screwdriver (avoids scratches) and force the assembly straight back. The clip should release and free the assembly so you can change the bulb(s).
We had the same issue with our 2000 Pontiac Montana.Brake lights, turn signal lights, running lights, back-up lights and emergency flasher didn’t work at all or operated at random. The cause: poorly designed aluminum contacts on the tail light circuit board and wiring harness connector arced over and disintegrated with normal use.
Pull the tail lamp assembly, remove the electrical connector and look for burned contacts on the connector plug and the connector socket (they call this long plastic piece with the socket the circuit board: it includes the four bulb sockets.Replace the circuit board and the wiring connector.
You can DIY this job with basic auto mechanical/electrical skills and tools. The two circuit boards and the two connectors set me back $230 (2009 cost) for new parts.The electrical contacts on the factory replacement parts are improved.
I needed a T-30 torx driver to remove the tail light assembly (you need this to change out bulbs, too), wire cutters, wire strippers, electrical tape and an electrical lug crimper to do the job.