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Dome/headliner lights not working with door open

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    Dome/headliner lights not working with door open

    Been trying to track this down for a bit, the "rear" (sedan) dome/headliner lights aren't coming on with the door opening. They work fine in the "always" on mode but don't respond with any of the doors opening.

    At first I was able to get them to come on by manually moving the plunger on the door a bit so I thought it was a bad switch. Replaced the switch, found a break in the wire so I cut that out and added a new connector. Nada

    Thought it might be the ground? screw so I cleaned up that area and replaced with a new non-rusted screw. Still nada.

    Assuming its still something with the switch (I haven't touched any of the other door switches) since it was partially working before I started messing with it.

    86 325e sedan
    • Magnaflow Cat-back
    • SSSquid Stage 1 Chip

    If none of your doors activate the interior lights (there are only two, not front or rear, unless someone wired in a map light mirror to be on with the door switches) it's probably the lights.

    Pull the lights down and look at the contacts for corrosion, also, often the plastic will be cracked/fatigued in a way that does not allow the contacts to function in certain positions. Be careful when removing them from the headlining as they are very liable to break.

    If all tests okay there you just need to check the wiring between switches/lights.


      Use a test light to check for power at the lights with the doors open. If you have power, then the problem is with the lights. If not, your problem lies elsewhere.


        on the verts, there is a module in the drivers speaker hole in the kick panel. It controls the dome lights. You may have a similar problem with yours. Also, I found out the light is very sensitive to the proper bulbs. I liked to never found a led that would work. (and some incandescents would not work either).