Interior Car Lights Won’t Turn Off

It's time to jump in the car and get ready to hit the roads. So, what do you do when the interior car lights won’t turn off and you can’t get moving yet? Some cases are simple to fix, others may require you to spend a little more time. Either way, leaving the light on can get distracting and causes danger when trying to see what’s ahead of you at night. 

Most often, the interior car lights are on because there is a door that’s cracked open. An electrical fault with the switch can also cause interior car lights to go on. However, you don’t want to overlook the possibility that the switch is in the wrong spot because of a user error. 

This guide will discuss the possible causes for interior light problems. You will also find the most effective solutions to get you back on the road as quickly and easily.

Índice de Contenido
  1. The Causes for Malfunctioning Interior Car Light
    1. 1. Door Not Closed
    2. 2. Failure to Switch
    3. 3. Switching to the wrong setting
  2. Fix Inside Car Light That Won’t Turn Off
    1. 1. Dome Light Switch - Adjustable
    2. 2. You should check your headlight switches
    3. 3. Verify Doors
    4. 4. Examine Wiring
    5. 5. Get help from professionals

The Causes for Malfunctioning Interior Car Light

1. Door Not Closed

Car Door Not Closed Properly

All interior lights are connected to the door. Some models have the lights connected to the trunk. If the trunk is opened, the lights are activated. The lights must be turned off when everything is shut.

The most frequent reason why the lights turn on is because of an open trunk or door. Thankfully, it isn’t difficult to figure out what door is open, especially on newer cars that will tell you which one to close. 

If you are unlucky, it can also be a faulty door switch causing the car to think a car door is open, even if it’s closed.

2. Failure to Switch

Dome Light Switch

There is a manual switch that controls the dome light of your car. If it's set to auto, the dome light will switch off when you close your doors and turn it on when they open. 

However, there’s also a manual setting. If you turn the dome light to the off setting, it won’t turn on no matter what the doors are doing. The dome light can, on the other hand be turned to the off setting and the lights will still work in all situations. 

There’s also the chance that an internal switch in the light is damaged. With wiring running to the switch, there’s always the possibility of a fault. 

3. Switching to the wrong setting

There’s also a way to control the lights from the headlight switch in some car models. Typically, there’s a setting on the left side of the wheel that allows you to manually turn on the interior lights. If the setting has been bumped, it’s possible that the interior lights have been turned on when you don’t want them to be. 

It's a very simple solution. It’s just a matter of changing the setting back to where it should be. 

Fix Inside Car Light That Won’t Turn Off

1. Dome Light Switch - Adjustable

First, look at the dome switch. Each model has a dome light switch. Make sure the switch on the light is turned off.

Turn the light on and see if it works. Next, switch it to manual to pinpoint the cause. It will continue to shut down if it remains at the On setting.

2. You should check your headlight switches

You will need to verify these settings if the dome light can be operated from the switch on the headlight. You will need to follow the exact same procedure as if you were to place the switch directly above the dome light.

Make sure the light is turned off before it turns on again. Next, set it to manual so that you know where the problem is. If adjusting the knob doesn’t change the lighting display at all, there lies your problem. 

3. Verify Doors

An open door will cause the light to remain on when it shouldn’t. This important safety feature ensures you don’t drive away with a door that’s not secured. This issue can be fixed by physically checking each door. You can walk around your car and make sure that every door has been shut correctly.

You should also check if your trunk has an interior light. To resolve the problem, you can either open or close your trunk. 

The door opening feature on some newer cars is now available. This allows you to save time and cut down on your search for the cause. 

You can go one step further if all doors and trunks are closed. To trick the system, open the door and push the button manually. The door may not be properly making contact if the light stops working. If there’s excessive play in the switch or you don’t hear it click, this part could be defective.

Some vehicles may leave their interior lighting on for up to a minute even though they have closed the doors. Run the engine of the vehicle to turn the lights off. 

4. Examine Wiring

If there’s nothing obvious causing the problem, you need to get a closer look at the wiring. A service manual may help you to fix the problem. 

The wiring must be traced from the door to the frame. The wiring should all end behind the dashboard. They will join at a point to make one wiring section that allows the light bulbs to be operated. 

Any damage or physical wear to the wiring should be reported immediately. Additionally, you should take a closer look at the wiring harness to ensure there’s no damage. This fix may be costly depending on the amount of wiring that needs to go. 

5. Get help from professionals

If you have trouble figuring out the wiring yourself or you don’t have a service manual you feel comfortable with, you should seek out help from a professional mechanic instead. These professionals have more knowledge and experience with electrical problems so that you are confident it will be fixed correctly.

Before you go to the mechanic, take the bulb from the dome light. If the light continues to turn on, it will drain the battery of its energy. Some people prefer to pull the fuse to the light, but that’s not always the best solution. It could be controlling multiple interior systems and could cause other issues.

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