Interior car lights are a fantastic feature– as long as they work. If your inside car lights don’t turn off, this can sometimes signal a mechanical problem that requires professional attention. Even in the best-case scenario, inside lights that won’t turn off will drain your car’s battery much quicker than you’d think, causing unnecessary stress and worry.
Inside car lights won’t turn off if a door is not fully closed, some car parts are faulty, the dimmer switch is set too high, or you have activated the control knob. Solutions include adjusting the dimmer switch, deactivating the control knob, and taking your car to a mechanic.
Keep reading to learn more about all the most probable causes of this problem and the best ways to go about fixing each of them.
1. The Door Isn’t Closed Properly
The car door not being closed properly is one of the most common and easy to miss reasons your inside lights won’t turn off.
The lights inside your car usually have three settings. One of these turns the interior lights on anytime you open one of your car doors or the car’s trunk lid.
That means that when you open one of these doors, the inside lights will automatically turn on. Then, once you latch your car doors closed, the lights should automatically turn off.
Therefore, if everyone has gotten out of the car, but you can still see lights inside the vehicle, the first problem you’ll want to account for is one or more doors not being closed properly.
How To Fix
As you can imagine, this is the most straightforward problem to fix on this list.
Try opening and confidently closing each car door and then the trunk. Be sure to open, then close every single door in your vehicle. If the lights turn off within a minute of re-closing every door, including the trunk, you have solved the problem.
If the issue persists after trying this solution, the cause of your lights might be a bit more challenging to resolve.
2. A Door Switch Is Faulty
Following the same logic, the connection between the lights and the car doors will only work as long as the electrical parts in your car work properly. Otherwise, even though you may have closed the door all the way, the message won’t be able to arrive at the vehicle’s light control system.
Verifying whether this is the cause of the problem might take some time and patience. After opening each door and finding its switch, you’ll have to observe the mechanisms individually to check for any damage or irregularities (source).
Most of the time, you’ll be looking for a switch that’s stuck in the “open” position. If this is the case, noticing the problem won’t be tricky, even for less experienced drivers, as there are several ways to find a faulty mechanism.
How To Fix
The first approach would be to look for any visible damage. If any of the switches looks or is placed differently from the others, see if you can move it with your fingers. The second approach is to press each of them to see if the inside lights will turn off.
Additionally, you’ll want to check whether, when pressing the mechanisms, you can hear a clear click sound. If so, the switch is working, but it was stuck in the wrong position. If you don’t hear a sound at all, it’s faulty, and you will probably need to replace it.
3. The Dimmer Switch Is Set to the Highest Position
Usually, you’ll find a “lights dimming” function on the left side of the wheel. Setting this switch to its highest position can affect how your car’s interior lights behave.
Therefore, if after checking each door and its switch you can’t find the cause of the problem, I suggest taking a look at the positioning of the dimmer switch setting.
How To Fix
This is another easy-to-fix problem.
To do so, you’ll need to look for this setting on the dashboard and adjust it accordingly or turn it off altogether. If the switch doesn’t move, it might be broken, in which case you would need to have a mechanic look it over (source).
If it moves but the lights remain on, the problem might be with the control knob.
4. You have Activated The Control Knob
Although in most cars, the inside lights will turn off automatically when closing the doors, some may have been set to manual settings, meaning that if you’ve left the light control knob activated, they won’t turn off until you adjust it.
How To Fix
Fixing this issue is very straightforward.
To do so, look at your car’s light switch settings and look for the “off” position, then switch the lights off.
If the mechanism doesn’t move or the lights remain turned on, the knob is damaged. You won’t be able to fix this problem on your own.
However, until you’re able to take your car to a mechanic, I recommend trying an alternative way to turn off the lights to prevent them from draining its battery. If possible, try removing the bulb altogether.
5. The Control Knob Is Damaged
As I mentioned, if the previous suggestion didn’t work for you, chances are there might be some type of damage or disconnection in your lights’ wiring. So, if nothing else on this guide has worked for you, it’s probably an electrical issue.
If you’ve set up the lighting system yourself and the lights aren’t turning off, chances are you might have made a mistake throughout the installation process.
On the other hand, if this is an unprecedented problem, the only remaining explanation is a malfunction.
How To Fix
The only way to safely fix faulty wiring or a damaged control knob is to take your vehicle to the nearest mechanic, as these problems require professional attention.
Your mechanic will likely run electrical tests on your vehicle and open up the lights’ power supply to look for burnt, damaged, or disconnected wires.
Inside car lights not turning off aren’t usually a cause for concern. However, the reason for this problem can range from a simple unclosed door to a wiring malfunction, which is why taking time to explore each probable cause is crucial.
If you can’t seem to figure out the situation yourself, don’t hesitate to ask for professional help, as doing so can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run.