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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone. I noticed that when I turn on my 07 Malibu, the brake lights illuminate without me touching the brake. Touching the brake then turns the brake lights off. If I brake again, THEN the brake lights come on (when they’re supposed to). Any idea what might be causing this?
 

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This has been an ongoing issue with vehicles of that era. My 2009 Gen7 did it a few times, but the only way I discovered it was that the cruise control would cancel. I don't recall if anything was ever actually fixed after taking it to the dealership.

I suggest that you call a dealership to see if there is any coverage left for the well-known issue where the brake lights turn on when the car is started and stay on, then turn off when the brakes are pressed. I've seen only a few do this while I've been on the interstate, but it does happen.

My 2011 has never done it, but the brake light switch that is actually a BPPS - brake pedal position sensor - appeared to fail. It was different than the above issue but still related. The brake lights would either fail to turn on at all or wouldn't turn on unless I was braking enough to call it a panic stop.
 

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I had the same issue with my 07 Malibu LT, they get corrosion on the two big electrical connectors under the stereo on the passenger side. I carefully unplugged and replugged them a few times, then put a little dielectric grease on them. Later I brought it to the dealership and they addressed it along with some other issues because of various recalls.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited by Moderator)
This has been an ongoing issue with vehicles of that era. My 2009 Gen7 did it a few times, but the only way I discovered it was that the cruise control would cancel. I don't recall if anything was ever actually fixed after taking it to the dealership.

I suggest that you call a dealership to see if there is any coverage left for the well-known issue where the brake lights turn on when the car is started and stay on, then turn off when the brakes are pressed. I've seen only a few do this while I've been on the interstate, but it does happen.

My 2011 has never done it, but the brake light switch that is actually a BPPS - brake pedal position sensor - appeared to fail. It was different than the above issue but still related. The brake lights would either fail to turn on at all or wouldn't turn on unless I was braking enough to call it a panic stop.
Thanks for the reply! I contact Chevy and they said they’d be happy to fix it but it won’t be covered. I would have to pay for it.

I took it to my local mechanic this morning instead and they determined the brake switch was the problem so I went ahead and had that replaced. Everything’s appears to be in proper working order now.
 

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The 2008-2012 Malibu with the exact problem you describe (I had to have the repair done on my 2009) was not caused by the brake switch. It simply required a technician to clean the main BCM connector and reinsert it with dielectric grease. Some people who had the repair done after me claim the technician also fastened it down for more consistent connection.

The gen 6 and gen 7 Malibu share quite a bit mechanically, I assume the BCM as well, so if the issue returns you know what to try next.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The 2008-2012 Malibu with the exact problem you describe (I had to have the repair done on my 2009) was not caused by the brake switch. It simply required a technician to clean the main BCM connector and reinsert it with dielectric grease. Some people who had the repair done after me claim the technician also fastened it down for more consistent connection.

The gen 6 and gen 7 Malibu share quite a bit mechanically, I assume the BCM as well, so if the issue returns you know what to try next.
Duly noted. After getting a new brake switch this morning everything is working as it should. I’ll keep an eye on it.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This has been an ongoing issue with vehicles of that era. My 2009 Gen7 did it a few times, but the only way I discovered it was that the cruise control would cancel. I don't recall if anything was ever actually fixed after taking it to the dealership.

I suggest that you call a dealership to see if there is any coverage left for the well-known issue where the brake lights turn on when the car is started and stay on, then turn off when the brakes are pressed. I've seen only a few do this while I've been on the interstate, but it does happen.

My 2011 has never done it, but the brake light switch that is actually a BPPS - brake pedal position sensor - appeared to fail. It was different than the above issue but still related. The brake lights would either fail to turn on at all or wouldn't turn on unless I was braking enough to call it a panic stop.
Quick update! I just came across a couple of service records from the previous owner and it looks like my Malibu was taken in to Chevrolet to have the brake recall and an old transmission recall taken care of back in 2014. So now it makes more sense that the brake switch was the culprit this time around ?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
The 2008-2012 Malibu with the exact problem you describe (I had to have the repair done on my 2009) was not caused by the brake switch. It simply required a technician to clean the main BCM connector and reinsert it with dielectric grease. Some people who had the repair done after me claim the technician also fastened it down for more consistent connection.

The gen 6 and gen 7 Malibu share quite a bit mechanically, I assume the BCM as well, so if the issue returns you know what to try next.
So it’s been about 5 days since I received a new brake switch and earlier when I turned the car on the brake lights came on. I then drove it for a while and turned it off and on a few more times earlier and there was no problem. My mechanic was convinced the BCM was not to blame (and I discovered that the previous owner did indeed take the car in for the recall pertaining to the brake lights a few years ago).
 

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@TheKillerAnt
Does it seem that your brake light issue has now been resolved? I'm not sure from your comments 'cuz I'm kinda thick that way.
 

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So it’s been about 5 days since I received a new brake switch and earlier when I turned the car on the brake lights came on. I then drove it for a while and turned it off and on a few more times earlier and there was no problem. My mechanic was convinced the BCM was not to blame (and I discovered that the previous owner did indeed take the car in for the recall pertaining to the brake lights a few years ago).
Are you saying the problem came back?

It's not uncommon for the dielectric grease application to need to be redone periodically. I think prematurely wearing out again is why they started using a fastener to hold the connection better. You can test the BCM theory by pushing and jiggling that main connector next time the brake lights come on wrong and see if the lights react to the movement.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Are you saying the problem came back?

It's not uncommon for the dielectric grease application to need to be redone periodically. I think prematurely wearing out again is why they started using a fastener to hold the connection better. You can test the BCM theory by pushing and jiggling that main connector next time the brake lights come on wrong and see if the lights react to the movement.
The brake lights came on once upon turning the ignition. I THINK. I never noticed it again for the rest of the night.

I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks for the help. I normally wouldn’t worry a lot about something like this but the potential hazard it can be on the road concerns me. After all, I miss already spooked as it is afternoon losing our previous car in an accident a few weeks back.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just a quick update: In the months since the installation of a new brake switch, the problem has yet to return 👍
 
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