What is the Courtesy Light Switch?
Proper lighting for your car is vital. The courtesy light switch is a simple electrical switch that has a ground and power supply that run through a light bulb when it is activated, completing a circuit. When you get into your vehicle at night, you may have to hunt in your purse for keys or in your center console for change at the drive thru window. The dome light illuminates your car so these problems are eliminated. When you open your door, the courtesy light illuminates if it is set to the ‘door’ position. Your entry and exit from your vehicle is illuminated so you can see your immediate vicinity and any belongings you need to take with you. It usually dims out or turns off within 30 seconds, or when the ignition key is cycled. With the press of a button or flick of a switch, you can turn the dome light on with the ignition on or off to see whatever you need in your car. You’ll need to turn the light off to prevent battery drain when the ignition is turned off. If the courtesy light switch is not functioning, the dome light won’t turn on. Sometimes the interior light will be dim, indicating a problem with the switch as well.
Facts to Note:
In many cases, the courtesy light does not operate because it has been accidentally switched off. Check to make sure it is in the ‘door’ or ‘on’ position so it will operate as you wish.
The dome light is much more common to replace than the courtesy light switch. Have the bulb checked or replaced before changing the light switch.
You should always drive with the courtesy light turned off to prevent distractions to yourself and other drivers.
How to Fix:
The courtesy light switch is confirmed that it needs to be replaced. The battery is disconnected and the dash trim panel is removed.
The faulty courtesy light switch is disconnected and removed.
The new courtesy light switch is fixed and connected.
The trim panel is reinstalled and battery is reconnected.
The vehicle is tested to ensure proper operation of the courtesy lights
Light bulbs do burn out frequently but switches do not. If your courtesy light is not working, have one of your expert technicians check it out and change the switch if necessary.
Common signs indicating you may need to change the Courtesy Light Switch:
Interior dome light will not turn on when doors are opened
Courtesy light doesn’t turn on when switch is pressed
Dome light flickers or is dim when turned on
Importance of this service:
The interior light is not integral to the safe driving operation of your vehicle. It is, however, required to work in most jurisdictions for a safety inspection. Replace a defective courtesy light switch as soon as possible.