Touchy brake lights

When I stop and get out of the car about 50% of the time my brake lights are on. I took the dash off and cleaned the switch and readjusted it. It worked for a while and now it’s doing the same thing. I just have to touch the brake pedal and the light goes off. Is it normal for the brake light switch adjustment to be so temperamental. I only have to push the brake pedal down a half an inch for full brakes. That is not much travel to make the switch work. Could the master cylinder return spring be too weak? I thought about getting an old fashion brake pressure switch and plumb it into the brake lines to get around this problem.

We have had the same trouble on our pre-2005 GEMs. Be sure the linkage has lubrication and is not binding. Most of our switches have been replaced by 10,000 miles. Have not found the switch aftermarket, so we are stuck with dealer. If you do any brake plumbing, you must use all steel fittings and double flare ends. On four GEMs, we have never had any master cylinder trouble.


Thx. I just wanted to know if that was the nature of the beast.

The 2002 Gem I just bought has a different brake issue. Every other light functions except for the brake lights. I visually checked the switch and it is physically moving so I can only assume it is damaged. Any idea what they go for new?

There is a 50% chance you can take the switch loose and spray WD40 or Gumout lube in all of the crevices and work it in and the switch may start working. Blow it out and dry it. It gets gummed up from air and useage. They are between $17 and $27 plus shipping.

Thanks for the tip… I’ll give it a try this weekend. Had some dead battery cells to deal with so I put some new batteries in her today. It really moves now!