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Old 07-31-2019, 09:53 AM   #1
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Brake Lights Only Work When the Key is On or the Car Is Running - Normal Behavior?

1999 Boxster, 2.5L, Manual

The other day I went to check and see if any of the three brake light bulbs were burnt out as part of routine maintenance. Personally I hate following people with burnt out brake light bulbs so I try to not be one of those people myself.

I had my 9 year daughter get in the car and press the brake pedal. No lights come one. I ask if she is pushing the brake pedal, she says yes, but nope it’s the clutch. I guess I shouldn’t have assumed she knew which pedal was witch…..

She’s now pushing the brake pedal. I walk to the back of the car and I have no brake lights. I’m thinking crap, can I be that jerk driving around with no brake lights?

Thinking something is odd I put the key in the ignition and turn the power on to the car. Now I have brake lights when the pedal is pushed.

Is this normal behavior for a Boxster, Porsche, etc…? I know on prior American and Japanese cars I have owned the brake lights come on when the pedal is pushed regardless of the key state.

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Old 07-31-2019, 10:40 AM   #2
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Which makes and models have the brakelights worked absent a key in the ignition? Never heard of it.

I believe if the key isn't positioned to at least the accessories position... no juice.

No juice? No lights.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowski View Post
Is this normal behavior for a Boxster, Porsche, etc…?
It's typical of German cars in general. Both of my Porsches, my Mercedes, and prior Volkswagens worked identically in that regard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lowski View Post
I know on prior American and Japanese cars I have owned the brake lights come on when the pedal is pushed regardless of the key state.
Same, both late-model Subarus in my driveway will do this.
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Old 08-03-2019, 04:04 PM   #4
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I can confirm that the brake lights only work with the key inserted and power on. This is normal behavior for a 1997-1999 2.5L Boxster.

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