Dome Lights Won’t Turn off – Common Causes & How To Fix

There are many types of interior lights in your car which can be put in different categories like dashboard lights, map lights, dome lights, etc. And some of them, such as the check engine light or the car battery light, are designed to illuminate if there’s an issue, while others are designed to provide either constant illumination when the engine is on or only when it’s needed.

When locking or unlocking your car or opening or closing the doors, some of these interior lights are automatically turned off and on with sensors or switches located at your cars door pillar, but sometimes the interior lights won’t turn off when they are supposed to. The dome lights are one of those lights. So what do you do if the dome lights won’t turn off?

Luckily, this issue is often quick and easy to diagnose and fix, and in this article, we’ll tell you how. Let’s begin!

What are Dome Lights In a Car?

The Dome light is a light source typically located in the middle of the car’s ceiling. It is a part of your car’s inside lights or interior lights. It provides illumination when the doors are open or when the driver or passengers need to see something in the darkened cabin.

The dome light usually has an On/Off/Auto option, which means it can be switched on and off manually or may be set to come on automatically when a door is opened. In some cars, the dome light will stay on for some time after the door is closed to provide additional light.

The light may also be used as a courtesy light, coming on when the key is turned to the “on” position or when a button is pressed. Dome lights can be either incandescent or LED, and some models may include a dimmer switch to adjust the level of illumination.

How Do I Turn off the Dome Light In My Car?

The dome light in your car is designed to turn on automatically when you open the door and turn off when you close it. However, there may be times when you want to keep the light off, such as when you’re parked in a dark area or don’t want to draw attention to your car.

In most cases, the dome light can be turned off by pressing a button on the center console or near the door handle. If you can’t find the button, consult your car’s owner’s manual for more information. In some cases, the dome light may also be turned off by turning the headlight switch to the Off position. Again, consult your owner’s manual if you’re unsure how to do this.

If Dome Lights Won’t Turn off

If your dome lights won’t turn off, one of the light switches is likely stuck in the “on” position. It is often caused by an open door or boot/trunk lid. It could also be due to a faulty door switch or simply that the dome light was manually turned on and that you need to switch it back to “auto” setting.

Not only is it frustrating if the dome lights won’t turn off, but all interior car lights, such as the dashboard or the map lights, require electricity to stay on.

This means your car battery may drain if the problem is not fixed. After turning your engine off and closing the doors, the light will be on for a short time to provide light.

It is perfectly normal but makes it easy to forget to check that your lights turn off as they should, especially if you’re in a hurry.

4 Causes Dome Lights Won’t Turn off

Here’s 4 potential cause why the dome lights won’t turn off.

1. Open Doors or Boot/Trunk Lid

Doors that aren’t properly closed are the most common cause the lights won’t turn off. If one of the doors is ajar, it could trigger the light to stay on.

2. Faulty Door Switch

Over time, door switches can become worn out or damaged. If the switch or sensors isn’t working properly, it may cause the light to stay on.

3. The Light Was Manually Turned on

It doesn’t take long to forget small things, such as manually turning on the dome light the night before.

4. Wiring Issues

Although it is not very common, the cause of the dome lights not turning off could be faulty wiring. Hopefully, this isn’t the case.

How to Fix Dome Lights That Won’t Turn off

Here’s how to fix dome lights that won’t turn off in 5 easy steps.

1. Adjust the Dome Light Switch

You should first make sure that the dome light switch is in the correct position. In most cases, the switch should be in the “auto” position. This will turn the light on automatically when you open the door and turn it off when you close it. If the switch is in the “on” position, the light will always stay on.

2. Check for Open Doors

The next step is to ensure that all the doors are properly closed. Far from all cars have dashboard lights that indicate if there’s an open door. As mentioned, the light may stay on if one of the doors is ajar.

3. Check the Door Light Switches

If the doors are all closed, and the dome light switch is in the “auto” position, but the light still won’t turn off, there could be a problem with the door light switches, including the boot/trunk lid. These switches are located on the door pillar and are activated when the door is opened.

If the switch is damaged or not working properly, it could cause the light to stay on. The light switch could also be stuck, and you may have to open and close each door or manually press the door switch one at a time to see if the light turns off.

4. Restart Your Car

Another solution that could help is restarting your car. This will reset all the electrical components and may fix the problem.

5. Check the Wiring or See a Technician

If the light still doesn’t turn off, the wiring could be a problem. The best way to do this is to take your car to an auto part store or repair shop and have a technician check it for you. Although this is not a very common problem, it’s worth checking if you have already checked off the other solutions.


Dome lights that won’t turn off can be annoying. It could be caused by an open door or boot/trunk lid, faulty door switches, if the light is manually turned on, or in the worst case, wiring issues.

Hopefully, there’s a minor issue, and there are several things you can do to fix the problem. You can adjust the light switch, check the doors, or restart your car. If none of these work, there could be a problem with the wiring, and it’s best to take your car to an auto technician for further diagnosis and repairs.

We hope you found this article helpful and that you’re able to fix your problem. Happy driving!


Why Do My Dome Lights Stay on?

The most common reason is an open door or faulty door switch. The door switch is responsible for telling the light when to turn on and off. If it is not working properly, the light will stay on. If all your doors are closed, check the boot/trunk lid.

What Do You Do When Your Interior Lights Won’t Turn off?

Make sure the light switch is on “auto” setting. Next is to check all the doors to ensure they are closed. If one of the doors is not entirely closed, the light will stay on. If the light still doesn’t turn off, it may help by lowering the interior light dimmer.

Do Interior Lights Turn Off Automatically?

Dome lights are typically designed to have the options on/off/auto. Assuming the button is set to auto, the light should turn off automatically when all the doors are closed or the car is locked. However, there can be a problem with the light switch or door sensors that prevent this from happening.

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Rickard Cefalk

Rickard is the owner of and a dedicated and avid do-it-yourselfer who has always enjoyed working on his own vehicles since childhood. He now devotes his time to sharing his expert knowledge of car maintenance and other car-related information through his website.

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