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Travis Wilhite

Brake lights won't come on at night

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My wife noticed that my brake lights were off at night when I wasn't putting my foot on the pedal. The led brake lights at each corner come on when I press the brake pedal. The brake light in the car at the top also works when pressing the pedal. I have tried various settings with the headlights, but it made no difference. I tried putting the hazards on and off a few times, and it didn't help. Just curious where to start looking. Thanks. It's a 2009 mkz v6.

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See if the 2009 Lincoln MKZ uses a brake pedal stoplight switch.

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Brake lights, or parking lights?  Sounds like your brake lights work as they should.  If your parking lights don't work, that is a totally different question.

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So I have some additional details.  The red lights that are on the trunk do not work at all except for the reverse light.  The hazards work.  The brake lights at the edges only work when I press the brake pedal.  I have a friend that has an 08 MKZ, and I know what should be working.  The brake lights should be on at a lower level when the headlights are manually on without the brake pedal being pressed.  All of the parking lights should be on.  The only light that is off would be the brake light inside the car on the back window.  I hope this clears things up.

Edited by Travis Wilhite

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Brake lights are only supposed to be on when you depress the brake pedal. That's why they are called brake lights.

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Your description is what is confusing.  Brake lights are brake lights.  Parking lights are parking lights.  Brake lights do not light up at a lower level to produce parking lights.  I guess what you are TRYING to ask is why the parking lights at the outer edges of your tail lights do NOT come on when the headlights are on.  I am assuming the parking lights on the trunk lid (I am not familiar with pre-2013 MKZ lighting) do not work at all, but the backup light does (totally different circuit).  So, if this is what you really meant, then let's start troubleshooting...

 

Do your front parking lights work?  If not, is there a fuse for the parking lights? 

 

Does your instrument lighting work/not work? 

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Brake lights are only supposed to be on when you depress the brake pedal. That's why they are called brake lights.

Ditto.

 

At night, the "Running lights - Parking lights" go all the way across the back of the car. When you put your brakes on, only the corners get brighter. That is why they are called Brake Lights.

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Sounds like your tail lights are out and not the brake lights.  I have a 2010 MKZ and my left tailight just went out.  Turn signal light and brake lights come on as they should but half the tail lights don't work.  Ford wants $500 for the part itself.  I did some searching and you can find the assembly on Ebay for $150.  It comes out with 3 screws and is an easy fix.  You cannot just replace the bulb (except for the turn signal light).   You need to replace the entire LED assembly which is basically the entire tail light itself.  That's what is so expensive.  Pop off the plastic trim, pull away the felt liner to expose the tail light nuts and disconnect 2 wire assemblies and that's it.

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