The interior car lights are an essential component of your car. They help keep the inside of your vehicle bright at night so that you can see every corner of your car. There are a variety of switches to help control the interior lights of your vehicle.
However, the control system of your car is made to function automatically more, especially with modern vehicles that have sophisticated interior lighting. Car lights problems can occur to anyone, especially in older vehicles. You can panic and be disturbed when you notice that your the lights fail to switch off.
The question in your mind is whether your vehicle might be in danger or other parts of the car are affected. So, if your car lights won’t turn off, it means that one or two components of your car have a fault.
Do you want to learn more on the issue of interior car lights? Read on!
What Lights Are in The Interior of a Car?
The interior lights of a vehicle comprise different categories of lights. They include dashboard lights, dome lights, and map lights.
Usually, the lights are on the car’s ceiling and illuminate as people get into the car or exit. The lighting will stay lit until the car is turned on to allow the passenger to fasten their seat belts safely. At the same time, the lights help when reading maps or finding something lost in the dark.
These lights can sometimes fail and present a safety issue to road users. In this case, the interior car lights fail to turn off. Let us look into causes and methods of fixing them.
Car Interior Lights Wont Turn Off: Causes and Fixes
Here is why your interior car lights won’t turn off and tips for fixing the issue.
The Control Knob is Activated
The interior car lights turn on when you open the vehicle’s door and turn off upon closing the door. If you activate the control knob, the interior car lights turn off. So, if your dome lights are on, then it is because you have activated the control knob.
So, if you realize that the interior car lights are turn off, it could be that your vehicle switch is stuck on the in the same position. Try to adjust the switch of the dome lights and see if you can reduce brightness or turn the lights off completely.
However, if adjusting the switch does not reduce the brightness, or the lights are still stuck, your dome lights are broken.
To fix this, you can remove the bulb so that you don’t drain your car battery before taking it to the mechanic.
Faulty Door Switch
The interior car lights could be on because the door switch is broken. To determine whether one is broken, you will have to open every door and find out if the door switch is broken or not.
Press every switch to see if the lights turn off. When you try pushing them, you are supposed to hear a clicking sound; if you don’t hear it, the door switch is broken.
When your door switch is broken, the lights never shut off because the car always assumes the doors are always open. Take your car to the mechanic for a proper check-up if this happens.
Dimmer Switch to Highest Position
The process of dimming your car lights is done by a setting based on the left position of the wheel on the dashboard.
So when you adjust the dimmer switch to its highest, it will affect your vehicle’s interior lights.
In this regard, if your vehicle’s interior lights remain on and do not go off even after checking for other points of control, you should adjust the dimmer switch setting.
Car Interior Lights Wont Turn Off- Quick Fixes
Here are some methods to aid fix the problem if your interior car lights fail to turn off;
Inspect the Light Switches at the Car Doors
The doors of your car are another point of controlling the interior lights of your car. Thus, it would be best to properly inspect the doors’ switches if your interior lights won’t turn off.
Inspect by opening and closing every door one after the other and see if the lights turn off. If it does not help, look for the manual switch on every door and press it to turn off the lights. You will feel a click after pressing the switch, and if you don’t feel the click and the light fails to go off, the door switch has a problem.
You can therefore fix it by yourself or see a technician.
Adjust the Interior Light’s Switch
It is common to turn on the interior lights with the switch near the light at the car’s roof or dashboard and then forget to turn it off.
So, if you notice your lights have not gone off, it would be best to first check you if forgot to switch it off mistakenly after turning it on manually. If this is the case, turn it off.
Check the Setting of the Headlight Switch
Some vehicles have a knob that controls the brightness of light on the dashboard.
If the brightness is set on the highest, it affects interior lights and may make it not go off.
So, if your find that your car is set on the highest, change the settings and you will have solved the problem.
Inspect the Wiring Properly
If the other methods do not work for you, you can check the wiring.
Trace the interior lights’ wiring and check for any disconnection or a not discoverable problem by the first methods. The wiring runs from the switch located at the door across the frame then into the car’s dashboard.
So, you will need to be very careful when inspecting, or you can consult a technician to help you fix the issue.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will interior lights drain the battery?
When you leave your car even slightly open, it is enough to turn on the internal lights. At the same time, if you leave your car’s interior lights open for a more extended period, it will drain the battery.
How do you turn off the interior lights in a drive-in?
The interior lights are made of a 3-slider switch. The center position opens the door lights; the left is for switching on, and the right is for switching off.
So, if your interior lights are on and the switch is at the center or middle position, inspect and see whether there are doors you have not closed properly.
You can also check the pre-build timer in your car that is made for switching off the lights.
Why won’t my inside car lights turn on when I open the door?
It is mainly because an individual rather than the driver has used dimmer switch or dome lights. It leaves the interior lights in a position where they do not come back on when you try opening the door.
Where is the dome light switch?
A Dome light switch is mounted on the cars’ interior roof close to the rearview mirror. When you open the door, the switch will activate the courtesy lights, which light your car’s interior for the passengers.
How do I turn off the overhead light in my car?
If your dome lights won’t turn off, here is what to do;
- Every car has a dome light switch, so first, adjust it.
- Open every door of your car to look for the door switch. The switch is usually stuck in one position, so you are looking for it.
- Try starting your car and running it for about five minutes. Then turn off the key and remove it from the ignition button.
- Inspect the wiring of every switch or take your car to the mechanic for proper inspection.
What causes dashboard lights to stay on?
According to car experts, if your lights stay on even after removing the key from the ignition, the problem is with the ignition switch.
One of the primary reasons your dashboard lights stay on after removing the key is a short in the control module of the vehicle’s interior lights.
How long does it take for the dome light to drain a battery?
It can take about 24 hours for your dome lights to pull about 24- 48 Amp-hours off your battery.
Dome lights are mostly 12W that need an ampere of current, which means 2 Amps if your car has two bulbs with one below the dashboard for foot lighting.
On Car Interior Lights Wont Turn Off
If car interior lights wont turn off, it is because of one or two issues, as discussed in this article. It could be someone else used your car and left the interior lights button in a different state than you usually do, or there is a significant problem that requires proper inspection.
To fix the issue, you can adjust the lights first, ensure the door switch is not stuck in the same position, run your car for a few minutes, remove the key from the ignition, and inspect your car or take it to a mechanic for a proper check up.
It would be best not to leave your lights on for a longer time because it will drain the battery. If you drain the battery, it might prevent your car from starting up when you need to start it.
Therefore, get a mechanic to fix it soonest possible or use the above tips to fix it yourself.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.