page title icon Car Interior Lights Won’t Turn On When Door Opens

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Car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens? In this blog, I will show you how to fix interior lights in cars.

I return late at night from work on most days. One fine day, I found that my car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens. With my hands full with my belongings and sometimes grocery bags, it was tough for me to find my way inside my car in the dark, and I ended up bumping my head on the car ceiling.


How to fix interior lights in car


Now you may think this is a very minor inconvenience, but when you are always coming home at night, believe me, it’s not! I didn’t have time to take my car to a garage, so I let my inner mechanic out and tried to repair it myself. I searched the internet on how to fix interior lights in cars and then did the following steps.

What Will You Require?

For someone with no proper technical knowledge like myself, the task of repairing something on your own might seem daunting. But, with few tools and a step-by-step guide to help you through the process, you will do alright. Some of the tools or equipment that you may require are listed below. 


Car Interior Lights Won't Turn On When Door Opens


  • A screwdriver
  • Replacement Bulb in case the one you have in your car is faulty
  • A multimeter
  • A fuse wire
  • Switch

How To Fix Interior Lights in Cars 

While the problem doesn’t seem like much, it can be frustrating when you are in a dimly lit parking at night. Follow this step-by-step procedure to solve the issue of car interior lights not working.

Step 1 Checking The Dome Light 

The first step-in in this procedure is checking whether the dome light is working or not. Most of the time, the problem is not as big as it seems. The same is the scenario in this case. 

While it may seem obvious, the first step to finding out why your car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens is to check whether the switch beside the dome light is on or off. Most car interior dome lights have control with three settings- ON, OFF, and Door or Auto. 


Car Interior Lights Won't Turn On When Door Opens


Make sure that you set the switch on the door or auto setting. Sometimes we change the setting to ON or OFF and forget about it, and that may be the reason why your car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens. 

In case there is a dimmer switch in your car, try adjusting it in several directions to see if it does the trick. Also, try different combinations of buttons while rotating the dimmer switch.

Step 2 How To Fix Interior Lights in Car When The Bulb is Broken Or Fused

The second step in fixing interior lights in cars happens when the lights won’t work even after step one. If all the other car functions are working fine and the only issue is that the car interior lights are not turning on when the door opens, then the problem might be something that all lights connect with. 

In this step, you would need to check your car’s fuse box for whether you have a blown fuse problem. The location of your fuse box would vary according to the vehicle. Most of the time, it is near the glove box, dashboard, or engine. You would need a multimeter to check a fuse. If the fuse is faulty, all you need to do is replace the fuse wire, and all should be fine. 

If some of the lights are working fine and only one or two car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens, then there is a good chance that the bulbs are faulty. Try to replace the bulbs and then check whether or not they are working.


Car Interior Lights Won't Turn On When Door Opens


Step 3 How To Fix Interior Lights in Car When There Is a Wiring Fault or Short Circuit

It is not very common for a fuse to blow without any underlying problem with the car. In case you had a blown fuse that you replaced and upon starting the car, it blows again. It is where the third step comes in. You need to check the wiring for a short circuit. 

If you can find the short circuit, it is not that difficult to repair. But if you are not sure about whether or not you can fix it on your own, it would be best to take help from a professional mechanic. 

Step 4 Testing Whether The Door Switch Works

The fourth and the last step in rectifying the problem of car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens to check whether the door switch works or not. The faulty door switch can impact the whole interior light system at once. 

Door switches work with the mechanism of turning on whenever someone opens the door. When these switches work appropriately, they turn on the interior lights whenever someone opens the door and the lights shut off sometimes after the door closes. 


Car Interior Lights Won't Turn On When Door Opens


A faulty door switch is easy to find. If your car interior lights won’t turn on when the door opens and this problem only happens with a specific door, that door has a bad switch. Let’s say the car interior lights work perfectly fine with all the other doors but not with the left front door. Then you need to check the door switch at that door. 

You can check whether you are dealing with a faulty switch or not by testing it with a multimeter. If the switch is defective, you need to replace it with a new switch, which will solve car interior lights not turning on.


Even though correcting faulty interior lights seems like a small problem compared to others, it can become a safety hazard. 

As someone who often rides at night, I need to have proper functioning interior lights. While the actual process of how to fix interior lights in cars is quite simple, it is important to find out the main reason for your car’s interior lights not working. 


Fix Interior Lights in Cars


If this article helped you solve your problem, share it with others who might require a solution. I would love to hear your feedback. Feel free to share your experience of how things worked out for you.


[1] Effects of Automotive Interior Lighting on Driver Vision

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