How Long Does a Courtesy Light Bulb Last?

courtesy light bulb

The courtesy light bulb is also called a dome light and is located on the ceiling in your vehicle. It is normally towards the front of the car and provides light when you open the car door. This light makes it easier to enter or exit the vehicle, find items, and put your seatbelt on. Some courtesy light bulbs last for an extended period of time after all of the doors are shut, staying on for a minute or two. These courtesy light bulbs can be turned on and off by a switch.

Many modern vehicles use LED light bulbs for courtesy light bulbs. Traditional incandescent light bulbs may also still be used. LED bulbs do have a longer lifespan and are brighter than incandescent bulbs, but they can sometime be more expensive up front. Incandescent bulbs do not burn as brightly and normally last a couple thousand hours, but they tend to be cheaper in the beginning. Most new vehicles are making the move to LED lights because they are more environmentally friendly.

For example, an LED light bulb may last for 12 years and can be placed in many different areas of the vehicle. Some LED lights are available in different colors for the interior of your vehicle. This may be illegal in some states though, so it is important to check with your local regulations before installing these light bulbs.

Signs your courtesy light bulb is going out include:

  • The light is dim
  • The light flickers when it is on
  • The light does not turn on at all
  • The light has physical damage that you can see

Courtesy light bulbs do go bad after a certain amount of time, especially if you use them a lot. They are bound to burn out or can become damaged. When this happens, they need to be replaced as soon as possible to aid you in seeing when entering and exiting the vehicle. It is important to be aware of the symptoms the courtesy bulbs give off before they completely fail. That way, you can be ready with new bulbs so there will not be as much inconvenience.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

More related articles

Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...

Related questions

Q: High-end vs. low-end headlights

Of course, you'll want to do a price comparison of the bulb you're going to buy. If you go to the cheapest, discount auto parts stores, and buy the cheapest bulb, they will burn out faster. Those ones that were...

Q: Electronics don’t work right when it’s raining

The power steering belt could be slipping when you go through a puddle causing no power assist till the belt is out of the water. Check belt and tensioner for need of replacement. The electronics malfunctioning after going through a...

Q: Turn signal comes off ocassionally - 2000 BMW 328Ci

Hello. It sounds like you have a problem with the turn signal switch or the socket that the turn signal bulb goes into. If there is a problem with the fuse, it usually causes a problem that is not intermittent,...