It is ten-thirty in the evening and my phone is ringing, which is not usually an indicator that things are going well.
It is the Front Desk Clerk telling me that a neighbor has reported that my car’s brake lights are on for some reason.
I grab a pair of pants and a hoodie, go downstairs and verify that they are, indeed on. Not the way I left them.
After about thirty minutes of troubleshooting, I decide that the best course of action was to pull the wiring from each individual brake light, since I had access to the trunk. The better call would have been to disconnect the battery, but I was downstairs in pajamas with no tools. Satisfied that the brake lights would no longer drain the battery (but now suddenly anxious that pulling the individual brake light connections would cause a fire somehow) I went back upstairs.
The next morning, I search for “honda civic brake light not turning off.” I scrub through a few videos and find that this might be a simple fixâ€”a plastic bumper that actuates the actual brake light switch had shattered.
I head downstairs with a flashlight and after a short forensics examination, find pieces of shattered plastic indicating that this might be the simple fix. I pull the panel and discover that a button on the switch is sticking through a gap in the brake pedal lever where the plastic tab would sit.
After heading back upstairs to pack up tools, tape, and some nickelsâ€”thanks again internet!â€”I was able to get the car to a state I was happy with. Brake lights functional, car starts, battery no longer draining, and car could be used in a pinch. Ordered the replacement part and then went about the rest of the day.
Thursday the part came and a short time later the plastic bumper was replaced.
Thank you kind neighbor, I owe you a coffee for saving me a dead battery surprise.
Thank you internet, for providing a literal stop-button-from-going-through-a-gap solution.
“There is no use in quantifying the amount of help you give, any amount is enough.”Ghost, Destiny 2: Beyond Light
// to be honest I didn't expect that quote either.