AKA the dome lights, the interior lights automatically come up whenever you enter/exit the vehicle. Located on the ceiling, they make it easier for the passengers to get in and put the seatbelts on. Once the driver turns the key and hits the gas pedal, the lights turn themselves off. But what if they start to malfunction all of a sudden?
You open/close the doors, and check the dash, but the Jeep Wrangler interior lights won’t turn on. As always, there’s more than one cause (and solution) to this problem. It could either be the light switch, the dashboard cluster, or the dome lights. This may even be caused by the connectors in the doors. So, let’s go over each scenario in detail and see what we can do to fix the issue!
#1: Start with the Light Switch
We begin with the quickest and simplest fix. I’m talking about the light switch, of course. In the Wrangler SUVs, the switch controls how the interior lights behave and react to your actions. To make them turn on when you get in and shut off when you start the engine/get out of the vehicle, turn the knob until you get to the “ON” setting. Next, go one step back, and you’re all set. If you’re driving a different Jeep, the light switch design might be different.
But, this is known as the most common cause of malfunctioning lights. So, check the switch light first. Wait a minute: you did everything on, but the problem doesn’t go away? Then it’s time to get a replacement. A faulty switch doesn’t scroll between the various modes very smoothly. Plus, it tends to make cracking sounds. These are the most common signs that it’s failing. A new light switch can be yours for $10-15.
#2: Maybe it’s the Door Connectors?
Do you know how interior lights work? They’re got connectors installed in the doors, and they “tell” them what to do. The connectors signal whenever the doors are being opened or closed, allowing the interior lights to react accordingly. Thus, if the connectors are malfunctioning, the lights will have a hard time keeping up with you and the passengers. What’s the issue here – what might be causing the flaw?
You’ve probably replaced the doors recently (like to install a set of tube doors, maybe), and forgot to reconnect the cables. Or, it could be that they’ve worn out. This happens rather rarely, but could still be a possibility.
#3: Check on the Rear Dome Light
I’m talking about the light in the cargo area. It’s very useful and easy to activate: just press on it and the light will come up. On the downside – it’s very easy to accidentally turn it on or off when putting something in the trunk or removing stuff. That’s why I want you to give it a try and press the rear dome light once or twice. Who knows, maybe that’s your solution!
#4: Inspect the Dashboard
More specifically, I want you to take a good look at the instrument cluster – the part of the dash where all the meters are located. The cluster should only be checked if the previous three steps didn’t help. Chances are, we’re dealing with bad grounding here. If it’s faulty, that will definitely affect the interior lights, as they rely on the instrumental panel to keep them up.
In this situation, buying a new cluster is pretty much the only thing one can do. The average price is $150-450 and depends on the exact model of your Wrangler. The mechanics will charge you extra 150 dollars for the installation. This is important: if your Jeep’s warranty hasn’t expired yet, it might cover all the expenses. Giving them a call wouldn’t hurt, right?
#5: Check on the Fuses and Wires
A quick note: if you recently got a set of new Exterior Lights for Your Jeep, this could be the root of the problem. That’s because when there’s too much pressure on the fuses, they might blow up. Now, in most vehicles, the interior and exterior lights “feed” from different circuits/chains. But, your situation could be different. Besides, sometimes, the electrical spikes can be so strong that they’ll affect all the systems in the vehicle.
So, in any case, diagnosing the wires and the fuses should be a part of the maintenance routine. And, if the other four solutions on the list didn’t do much good, this might be the only remedy. A pack of fuses will cost you $15-20; wires are available for an even lower price.