Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Courtesy Light Switch

The courtesy light is the lamp on the interior of the vehicle that turns on when the vehicle's doors are opened. It is usually mounted on the roof of the vehicle’s interior, near the rearview mirror. When the door is opened the switch activates the courtesy light to illuminate the interior of the vehicle for the passengers. The courtesy light switches found on some vehicles are also wired to a timer that will dim the lights automatically after a predetermined period of time. While the courtesy lamp and switch might not be components critical to the safety or performance of the vehicle, they do provide a feature that makes the driving experience more convenient for the passengers. When the switch has a problem, it can disable the switch and remove this convenient feature for the passengers. Usually a bad or failing switch will produce a few symptoms that can alert the driver of a potential problem that should be serviced.

1. Dome light does not come on

One of the most common symptoms of a possible problem with the courtesy light switch is an inoperable dome light. The switch is designed to route power to the courtesy light once the vehicle doors are opened, and will leave the courtesy lamp inoperable if it fails.

2. Flickering courtesy light

Another common symptom of a problem with the courtesy light switch is a flickering courtesy light. Courtesy light switches are activated every single time someone enters and exits the vehicle and are susceptible to wearing out. A flickering light usually indicates that the electrical contacts inside the switch are worn out and are no longer able to make a clean connection. Usually a flickering switch is approaching the end of it’s service life.

3. Dome light stays on

Another less common symptom of a potential issue with a courtesy light switch is a courtesy or dome light that remains on at all times. If the courtesy light switch shorts it can cause power to be allowed to the courtesy light, even when the doors of the vehicle are closed. Depending on the exact wiring setup, this may cause the dome light to remain on even with the key out, which will drain the battery.

The courtesy light and switch are not necessarily components that play an important role in the safety or performance of the vehicle, but they do provide a useful feature for the passengers and can be an inconvenience when they fail. For this reason, if you suspect that your vehicle may be having an issue with the courtesy light or its switch, have the vehicle inspected by a professional technician, such as one from YourMechanic. They will be able to replace your courtesy light switch if necessary.


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Body Electrical and Lighting Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Body Electrical and Lighting Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Vehicle Body Electrical and Lighting Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(149,537)

Rating Summary
140,027
5,194
1,055
749
2,512
140,027
5,194
1,055
749
2,512

Marco

29 years of experience
129 reviews
Marco
29 years of experience
Ford F-150 - Vehicle Body Electrical and Lighting - Highland, California
Great experience! Marco showed up right on time and was very polite and pleasant. He got right to work and assessed my problem quickly and made recommendations for repair which I was able to take care of myself later. Very good experience and would definitely use Marco again!

Matthew

33 years of experience
991 reviews
Matthew
33 years of experience
Pontiac Firebird - Vehicle Body Electrical and Lighting Inspection - Newport News, Virginia
Arrived on time, very professional and knowledgeable - especially about my old car.

Edmar

22 years of experience
217 reviews
Edmar
22 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz S550 - Oil Change - Little Elm, Texas
Awesome mechanic....

Fred

17 years of experience
389 reviews
Fred
17 years of experience
Chrysler PT Cruiser - Adjust Drive Belts - Humble, Texas
Perfect!

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Related articles

How To Use Hazard Lights
Your Your car is equipped with a number of different lights. Depending on the light in question, they serve purposes ranging from visibility to directionality to safety to convenience. Where do your hazard lights fit into that? Actually, it’s a...
How to Buy Good Quality Tail Lamp Bulbs
As As you drive along a dark and winding road in your vehicle one of the things you’re counting on is for other vehicles to be able to spot you. This is thanks to your tail lamp bulbs. Having a...
How Is a Dirty Light Bulb Socket Cleaned?
Your Your car’s light bulb sockets are protected by lenses, so they won’t get as dirty as they might, but they will still accumulate dirt and grime over the years. Regular cleaning can help ensure they remain functional for a...

Related questions

How do I inspect the lights?

Your lights are a very important safety feature. They help you see the road more clearly, and help alert other drivers to your presence. They’re also required by the law. You should periodically check your lights to make sure that...

Dome light and trunk light not working all fuses are good

The lights are controlled by the body control module through the auto shutdown relay in the right instrument panel fuse box. Either the body control module is not activating the auto shutdown relay or the relay is bad and not...

How Can I Clean a Dirty Light Socket on My Car

Cleaning a light socket would depend on what type of dirt, corrosion, or rust the socket was contaminated with. These damages will vary depending on the sockets location on your vehicle. Sockets can be in sealed or semi sealed lens...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com