Dome Light Won’t Turn Off When the Door Is Closed?

There can be a few reasons why the dome light won’t turn off when the door is closed on your car or truck. Sometimes it’s because it’s been manually left on, and other times there may be a problem with the dome light switch or the door. This article and video reviews how to diagnose and fix a dome light that won’t turn off even when the door is shut.

Why the Dome Light Stays on and Won’t Turn Off When the Door Is Closed

How to Fix a Dome Light That Won’t Turn Off When the Door Is Closed

Dome light that stays on with the door closed

Why the Dome Light Will Not Turn Off

The dome light is supposed to turn on when you get in and out of the car. It’s mostly for courtesy, and allows you to see if it’s dark outside.

Here’s why your dome light might not turn off after you’ve closed your car or truck’s door

  1. Dimmer Switch Is on
  2. Bad Dome Light Switch
  3. Bad Door Hinges, Misaligned Door, or Bad Door Latch
  4. Dome Light Was Manually Turned On

How to Diagnose a Dome Light That Won’t Turn Off When the Door Is Closed

  1. Check and See If the Dimmer Switch Is on

    If your vehicle has a dimmer switch, it may be turned on. In this case, the dim setting just needs to be adjusted.

  2. Find and Test the Dome Light Switch, Which May Be a Button Switch or Latch Switch

    Look for a push button switch on the door jamb or around the door frame. Check along the door for a dome light switch. If you find one, this means you have a button switch.

    Your door may not have a dome light switch. If you don’t see a switch, pull the door latch with a screwdriver to see if the latch turns it off. This means you have a latch switch.

    If the switch does not turn the light off, it’s not usually because of the wiring, but the interrupter that’s part of the switch.

    If the switch works or turns off the dome light, it may be the condition of the door that’s keeping it on.

  3. Check the Door Hinges, the Striker, and the Door Latch If the Switch Works

    The dome light staying on can also be an indicator there is a problem with the door.

    If the door has loose hinges or is misaligned and sits improperly, it can’t latch completely in and the switch won’t turn off since the latch is not interrupting the circuit. The door doesn’t fully latch but still closes so it doesn’t swing open while driving, and the light stays on as an indicator that something is wrong.

    If you have to slam the door harder than usual to turn off the dome light, it’s a sign the hinges are bad.

    To check the door hinge, have an assistant grab the bottom of the door, and lift up and down. Look at the hinges and see if they’re loose.

    Check the striker and the door latch for obvious, visible damage. There will be rubbing damage on both, meaning the latch has been hitting up against the striker, which can damage the door latch over time.
    Read here to learn more about how to check the door hinges and the condition of the door

  4. See If the Dome Light Was Left on

    Depending on the kind of dome light, see if it was left on. It may be a push dome light, or it may have a switch that lets you change the setting.

Reasons Why Your Dome Light Won’t Turn On

If the dome light doesn’t work at all, it’s commonly because of an electrical issue.

1. Check the Dome Light Bulb and Connector

Remove the dome light lens and check the bulb for a burnt out filament or black or discolored glass. If this is the case, the bulb is bad and you’ll have to replace it.

Read more about how to check the condition of a bulb and socket

2. Test for Power at the Dome Light

If the dome light doesn’t work after replacing the bulb, test it with a power probe like a test light. Test for power at the circuit. If there is power and the test light lights up, there is still an issue with the bulb or the bulb’s connector points.

Read more about how to check electrical problems on your car with a test light

3. If There’s No Power, Check the Fuse or Relay

If the test light does not light up, that means there is no power at the dome light and further diagnosing is required. Usually a relay or a fuse will be the issue. Check the fuse since it is likely burnt. If not, it could be the switch or the door.

Read more about how to test and identify a blown fuse

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How to Fix a Dome Light That Won't Turn Off When the Door Is Closed - 1A Auto
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How to Fix a Dome Light That Won't Turn Off When the Door Is Closed - 1A Auto
If your dome light won't turn on or if your dome light won't turn off when the door is closed, this article and video explains how to diagnose and fix problems with your dome light
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1A Auto
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3 thoughts to “Dome Light Won’t Turn Off When the Door Is Closed?”

  1. My lights work…the light comes on when the door is open for the driver side. But when you close the door the passenger side light stays on even in the off position

    1. My Saturn Vue 2006 just started doing the same thing. I believe the plunger switch has gone bad on the passenger side — there’s one on each side of the front dash where the doors make contact. We used a shim and duct tape to increase pressure on the switch, and the lights started operating properly again for a week or so. Now trying to determine a short term fix until I can order new switches.

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