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The Jeep Cherokee (XJ) is a compact SUV that was manufactured and marketed by Jeep from 1997 to 2001. Sharing the name of the original full-size SJ model, but without a traditional body-on-frame chassis, the XJ instead featured a light-weight unibody design.

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Why do my rear lights stay on when the car is off?

My rear lights stay on continuously whether I'm in the car or not.

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Just so I am understanding this correctly: You turn off the lights and get out of the car, yet the rear lights stay on. Is this correct?

The rear lights or just the brake lights?

Rear Lights and front running lights

I'm having this problem too turn of jeep and front and rear lights stay on

i am having the same issue with my tail lights turning on at random times when the jeep is ignition is off. When i hit the fuse cover panel about in the middle under the steering wheel they will turn off then when the wind blows or something the lights turn back on. i have even thought my own body energy turns these on its baffling. I have gone thru 2 batteries over this and its dragged out for quite some time. PLEASE HELP

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I would look for a switch hanging. If the problem is brake lights check the brake light switch usually by the brake pedal. If not get a repair manual from Auto Zone or someplace like that with a good electrical diagram in it and trace put the circuit that's staying on. Ralph

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Thank you very much

look below for the most helpful answer. Crawl under the dash and look at where the switch touches the pedal and the rubber piece has probably fallen out from being old and brittle.

So on my 96 Nissan pick up. I had the same problem light would not turn off..

When the pi k up was off already.. de ided you look at the brake light switch..

Under the pedal on the floor I found a black plastic stopper broken pieces.

Turned out instead of needing to replace the brake light switch. I purchased 2 black stoppers.. 1 to replace on the brake light switch and 1 to replace for the cruise control switch.. Very easy to install.. push down the brake pedal and you will the hole.. take the stopper and pop into the hole until it pops.. and do the same for the cruise control switch. And then you are all done.. Then no more problems with lights not turning off.

I've tried looking for a wire but can't find it , HELP

Thank you!

I pressed the brake circuitry plug all the way in and they turned off.

For those looking for it, it's under the dash. Follow the brake pedal and mechanism up to the circuitry.

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I actually came across this issue a little while ago. You see when the brake is in the depressed mode the light comes on (as it should) but when not pressed it sort of sits on small bit of rubber the size of a pea. Look at the pedal arm itself - about 4 or 5 inces up the arm you will see a small hole where a rubber used to be (if light stays on means it has fallen off). I actually did not bother to find the correct part but you can stick any plastic or rubber that stops the pedal arm from touching the metal bit where is sit when not pressed. Hope this helps.

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Turns out this was my exact problem, noticed the rubber piece on the floor near the pedals.

I used a small piece of bicycle inner tube in the spot where the rubber grommet used to be.

exact same thing for me. on my Honda accord there is a switch that needs to be depressed for the lights to go off. when brake pedal isn't being used the piece of rubber does that job. mine fell off too and rear lights stayed on.

Exactly the same case with my Nissan Almera, wouldn't guess it's so without some small pieces of rubber I found under the pedal. Just seems hard for now to find where it's located and access the spot, so im gonna check the exact location with the manuals.

Same thing happened to my infinity I30t and I can't seem to locate where the rubber goes I just found the rubber pieces on the floor

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sounds to my like there is a bad connection from (-) to the chassis somewhere. In this case the (+) from somewhere else is using the (-) connection of your rear lites and that's the reason why the stay on all time.

If you know how to use a multimeter follow the wires backwards an see where the (+) comes from. I would guess, somewhere from the ignition switch and/or light switch. There you will find the bad (-) connection to the chassis.

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Hey I just changed the radiator and thermostat.. put all back together..still no heat and it didn't take all the receaminded fuild the only thing I haven't done yet is flush

This thread is about the brake lights staying on, but since I saw this, I'll respond. Have you checked the heater core inside under the dash? And check the radiator fluid again. Once you turned the car and the heat on, the antifreeze pushed down into the system. I don't know what kind of car you have but the antifreeze needs to be for your car and some are concentrated so you need to mix with water. Read the instructions. But it sounds like the heater core.

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If it is the tail lights that are inop there are some common problems associated with this model Jeep. The most common is the tail light sockets. They often melt the housing they fit into and consequently lose ground. The only way to properly fix this is by replacing the entire taillight assembly''italic text''. They have come way down in price and I'm sure by now there are aftermarket solutions. I usually don't use aftermarket electrical parts, but Dorman has made some good stuff and proved me wrong. The very first thing I would check is that the instrument cluster lights are working when the lights are on. If not, check the fuse-they are on the same circuit. It could be that simple. Keep your eye on the cluster lights-when they're not working,neither are your tail lights!

If you have the fancy "Automatic " lighting system it can get a little weird. There was a big problem with BCM's (Body Control Modules). When they go bye-bye, you might think that your Jeep is possessed! The lights will flash on and off in the middle of the night! Unfortunately you will need some specialized equipment for this. The BCM isn't that big of a deal, but you will need a DRBIII factory scan tool to "marry" the BCM to the Jeep.

If I had to make a wager, it'd be the sockets and tail light assemblies. It's a very easy repair-pop the hatch and remove a couple of screws. The assemblies used to come with brand new sockets and bulbs. Plug n play!Love me some Jeeps!


Carefully look at the socket for the rear tailights and all lights on that circuit. You may be getting a poor ground or corrossion is causing a ground feedback. Hard to diagnose something like this from afar even with 10+ years of factory training on Jeeps. Does anything change if you have the brake lights on? This is a ZJ model right? If its a Grand Cherokee that changes everything except looking at the light sockets and associated wiring. Does your Jeep have a trailering plug? That can also create some havoc. If you want to give me the VIN number I'll dig deeper. If there's a way to privately message on here I'll give you my phone number and help as much as I can.


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I'm having the same issue on a 1998 Cherokee XJ. Brake lights seem to work fine. The stop light switch is fine. I'm hoping I did not run a self tapping screw into the wiring when I patched a hole in the floor pan at the rocker panel. I can't find any wiring locations online. On another note, the went off randomly last night. When I got to work today they wouldn't shut off again.

i posted my same problem on here but with i think a better description on the issue. i am getting ready to dive into the tail light replacement option first but you said here something about a trailer brake package. I have one but i disconnected it from the port screwed into the bottom of steering column. That was few years back. I will start with the plastic piece then replace the brake lights then i guess check out the trailer brake component.

I have a problem when I shut my 2006 equinox off last nite the tail lights and running light would not go off but the headlights went off any ideas what to do

I have a 2018 Grand Cherokee. The driver side cabin light stays on all of the time. Really annoying at night. Does anyone know how I can get it to turn off?

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Hi, I normally don't join forum's but after reading on this sight things to check ( I am mechanically inclined to a point) just was looking for things i may have not thought of. I suspected the brake switch just like some of you!

Excuse my grammar graduated years ago so no teachers to impress! lol. Anyway sure enough the rubber contact point was laying in a pile on the floor mat! I looked at the brake pedal after charging the battery! and sure enough the contact had disintegrated and there was a hole where it used to be attached. I went and got a quarter inch bolt and slipped it in the whole and viola! problem solved. I inspected it again and noticed to the left about 1 inch away was the same rubber grommet and a nut where I could have moved the brake switch over to the left and re attached it like nothing happened. After a few choice words I stood in shock as my thoughts of repair shops and dealerships using such a short cut to take advantage of some of us to a high repair bill! This fix seriously took me 10 minutes! It wasn't complicated or rocket science. I am glad these forums and the internet does have value! Hope my rambling may help someone else in the same situation.. Forgot to mention this fix was a 1997 Nissan Pickup. This may help fellow Nissan owners. Good Luck

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I took my car to shop because my air went out, paid $150 they said a valve was leaking. Got home drove one time after that no sir! Took it back again they said they found the whole thing was leaking would cost another $1095 so I let them they kept car 4 days I've use it once Sunday July 2 2017. Been in bed sick since then tonight Friday July ,6 at 8:45 pm told my rear lights were on, I got out of bed went downstairs sure enuf the were drive it sound block still on, AND NO AIR again they are not open Saturday so my neighbor disconnected battery! This is rediculous I have paid close to $1300 dollars still have no air now another problem back lights no car again for the third time in two weeks I think my bext move is BBB

Holy crap thanks y'all. Yep I found small rubber piece on my floorboard. I would have never thought of this or see small rubber piece on floor if I didnt ask google. I am a believer in google now! Lol

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Yes I have a 99 Oldsmobile Intrigue when the key is out the lights stay on why

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I have a 2003 Taurus the brake lights are staying on. My first thought was a bulb is out. As we were looking at them, noticed one of the bulbs was out or had a bad connection on the 3rd brake light inside the rear window. Can't that bulb be why the lights stay on?

Hi @ Tina Smith,

Check that the brake pedal brake light switch is still positioned OK.

You should find it if you follow the brake pedal arm back up from the footpad.

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The problem is with hand-turn signal switch. Start the engine and try to put on the right and left turn signal light, then switch the turn signal light off. Stop the engine and check. If light stay ON. You need to replace your turn signal switch. If light go OFF, prepare to replace the turn signal switch as well. I hope this would be useful.

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