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Three Common Interior Light Problems And How To Fix Them

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Every time you open the car door, the light should come on and remain on until the door closes. Every time. If anything short of complete illumination occurs, it means something is amiss with your interior light. Keep reading to learn the top three interior light issues and how to deal with them.

It Flickers

Yes, the light comes on, but then it goes off and on again at a rapid pace. A flickering interior light could mean a number of issues. First, the ground wires could have come loose. If those look good, check the battery (the easiest way is to attach a multimeter to it as it runs). If the multimeter shows a low voltage, you likely have an alternator issue.

Another source of flickering lights is the voltage regulator, and it can be tested by revving the engine a few times (with the car in park, of course) with increasing intensity. As you do this, watch the multimeter–that you’ve previously attached to the battery terminals–and make sure the voltage stops near 14 volts. If it goes higher than 14 as the engine revs, your voltage regulator needs replacing.

It Dims

A dim interior light almost always points to a dying battery. Fortunately, this issue can be easily fixed, as accessing and replacing the battery involves a few simple steps. If you have trouble getting to the battery or you feel more comfortable having a trained mechanic do the work, most shops offer this service for little labor cost. Not to mention, many will recycle the old battery for you.

If the light comes on but dims prematurely, you could have a malfunctioning alternator or battery. Again, attaching a multimeter to the battery terminal as the car runs will show you a normal or low voltage reading. A low reading indicates a failing alternator, and as it fails it can harm the battery. To keep an inconvenience from becoming a catastrophe, make sure to take immediate action and have the problem remedied.

It Stays On

If the light won’t turn off when the door closes, it could have gotten bumped by mistake and a simple click might be all it takes to fix it. If, however, this check doesn’t correct the issue, your best option is to head to your local mechanic since other causes involve complex systems best handled by a professional. In this case, time is of the essence, as a constant light will drain the battery and reduce visibility.

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Image by: l i g h t p o e t / bigstockphoto.com

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