Question about 2001 Ford Escort ZX2

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My car's brake lights stay on all the time, and my gear shifter moves threw all the gears without the key even being in the ignition. What is the problem? I had been driving the car, but I have to disconnect the battery so the brake lights don't run all the juice out of the battery when the car is parked. Not to mention, its very unsafe to not have working brake lights...

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Before anything, pull upward on the brake pedal, towards yourself & the seat & see if the brake lights go out. If it does, the return spring is weak or broken.

Otherwise, the brake light should be fixed by replacing the Brake Light Switch which is mounted just in front of the upper portion of the brake pedal on a support brace. I suggest you test the terminals on it first using a 12V test light or meter, (12 Volts should only be in one side of the switch until you push the brake pedal ,then when the pedal is pushed, both terminals are hot with 12 Volts). you are describing a stuck switch.

IF you test it & find it to be bad, just go to the parts store, buy & take a look at the new switch & you more than likely will be able to put it in if you are mechanically inclined at all, just keep the mounting distance the same as far as the contact with the pedal so that the switch works after you press the switch, otherwise it is a quick fix at a service center.


The shifting is controlled by the Ignition switch and a locking cable as you are aware & it usually wouldn't do that if working properly. Ford has had a problem with the Ignition Switch system specifically on that Model, my son drove the 01 for 4 or more years & had to replace the Ign. switch at least 2 times
I would suspect that someone has disabled that part of the system, possibly due to this happening more than once & having to move the car each time. You can trace it & identify the problem only after checking both ends & the actuators through dissasembling the system. Good Luck

Posted on Feb 02, 2010

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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