Question about Chevrolet S 10

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When engine is turned on, brake lights STAY ON continuously. Have replaced brake switch twice, adjusted plunger, replaced brake booster, calipers, master cyclinder, brake hoses, and bleed brakes. This is a non-ABS system. I've been working on cars for over 40 yrs. but this has me stumped.

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  • dbrun58 Aug 22, 2008

    Thank you for responding. Sorry I forgot to include the year. I have an '89 Chevy S10, non-abs, 4-cyl., 2WD

  • TripleTauto
    TripleTauto May 11, 2010

    what year? I had one that the chmsl relay was sticking and causing brake lights to stay on. this is relay for high mount third brake light.

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  • Master
  • 1,450 Answers

If brake are only staying on with key on it would have to be in turn signal switchsomehow feeding thru since t/s work off of ignition power and brake lights are powered all the time. check and see iof your turn flasher is hot and maybe un plug it.

Posted on Aug 22, 2008

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LOOK DOWN AT BRAKE PEDAL ARM TO SEE IF BRAKE SWITCH FELL OR LOOSE NEED ADJUSTING.IF ALL IS GOOD REPLACE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH.TO ADJUST BRAKE SWITCH.THE BRAKE SWITCH IN BRACKET THE BRAKE SWITCH PLUNGER SHOULD TOUCH BRAKE PEDAL ARM BEFORE BRAKE LIGHTS WILL TURN OFF.

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CHECK BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH TO SEE IF ITS TOUCHING THE BRAKE PEDAL.IF BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH OR BRACKET LOOSE AND AWAY FROM BRAKE PEDAL BRAKE LIGHT WILL STAY ON.IF BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH INTACT BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH NEED REPLACING.WHEN REPLACING BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH OR IT NEEDS ADJUSTING MAKE SURE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH PLUNGER TOUCHES BRAKE PEDAL ARM WHEN YOU RELEASE BRAKE PEDAL BRAKE LIGHTS SHOULD TURN OFF.

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Assuming there is nothing wrong with the Brakes, and that the Brake Pedal does not have the "play" you describe:
There is a Push Brake Light Switch located up behind the Brake Pedal Arm. It is a Push actuated with a Plunger being pushed in activating the Brake Lights.
Follow the Brake Pedal Arm up into behind the Dash. The Switch is adjustable and removable. There are two nuts on this Switch, holding and securing the Switch to a bracket. The Switch itself screws in/out of the bracket after the nuts have been loosened.
Unplug the Switch.
The nuts need to be loosened.
The Switch in your case will need to be unscrewed out of the bracket moving the Plunger away from the Brake Pedal Arm.
In some cases this Plunger is already all the way OUT (with it plugged back in) and the Brake Lights will stay on. In this case the Switch has to be replaced. It will also need to be replaced if the plunger is stuck in the "in" position. The Plunger is retrned to the "out" position by a spring, which maybe malfunctioning.
WITH a helper looking at the Brake Lights and the Switch plugged back in:
Adjust (screw out) the Switch in the Bracket so that the Brake lights to go out. Again if the adjustment does not solve it, remove and replace this Switch.
Once that adjustment is complete, turn the locking nuts on the Switch - securing it in place.
This Switch is available at Autozone Part #80172 for about $15.

Let me know if this helped, or if you have additional information or questions. Feel Free to contact me at FixYa.com!



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That sounds to me like a problem with the power brake booster unit or the master cylinder, the wrong master cylinder could be installed, and this could happen if the plunger rod from the vacuum booster unit is too long for the opening on the rear of the master cylinder, that is why any time that a master cylinder is replaced to be certain that the depth of the plunger valve in the rear of the master cylinder is the same as the original part that was removed. Also the brake booster itself could be malfunctioning and activating the brakes with just the engine vacuum.

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If there are no brake line/fitting leaks and no crimped or bent brake lines/hoses:
The key to my answer is the sound of air leaking...
Check the Brake Booster to the rear of the Master Cylinder.
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2. Checking the Brake Booster Seals:
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(2) If there is no change = GO TO TEST 2 (#3 below)

3. Turn the engine on and wait a couple of minutes and turn the engine off. Push in the Brake Pedal several times.
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Let me know if this helped. or if you have additional information or questions. Feel Free to contact me at FixYa.com!

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1 Answer

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