How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dan Your Own Question
Dan, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience:  Auto Technician
Type Your Car Question Here...
Dan is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My dashboard lights will not shut off. I've replaced my

This answer was rated:

My dashboard lights will not shut off. I've replaced my ignition switch.
JA: Have you checked the fuses? The dashboard bulbs?
Customer: They won't go off, they stay on.
JA: I'm sorry but I'm not sure we have an expert who covers what you are looking for. Maybe if you give me more details I will find you a connection to someone who can help you.
Customer: After I shut the car off the lights for my 2005 buick lacrosse will not shut off, draining the battery.
JA: Are you fixing your LaCrosse yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Yes I am. There is no fuse I can pull to shut them off. I've replaced the ignition switch thinking that it was going out.
JA: Anything else you want the mechanic to know before I connect you?
Customer: I doubt it's a door sensor because the radio will shut off if either for is opened. And there is no indicator that the door is open.

Hi my name is ***** ***** to JustAnswer.

I believe the door latch has two separate circuits for the radio and dome lamps/dash lights. It still may be your issue. I will look up a schematic and get back to you in a moment.

Does the door chime work when the key is in the ignition and the drivers door open?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Everything works as usual. It's just the dash /stereo lights stay on.

Okay, is it just the dash lights or do the dome lamps stay on as well?

Oh okay. Let me look something up, one moment.

With the key out of the ignition and the door shut, are you able to operate the windows up and down?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Give me a minute
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Alright, one moment I have one other schematic to look up.

One last thing, can you dim the dash lights down with the dimmer switch?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No, they don't region respond at all
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Sorry, mistyped
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Correction, I can if the car is on but not afterwards.

Okay, so dimmed all the way and turn the car off it turns itself back up?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Sounds like a failed headlamp switch. Are you comfortable removing the upper trim piece on the dash to unplug it and test?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I can, but not today. Is the plug clearly visible /easy to find?

This is a diagram to show the screw locations for the trim piece. Really we are just unplugging it to make sure the lights on the dash go out, telling us there isn't a short in the wiring somewhere.

Not too complicated. I think only three or four screws

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If that's the case, then just replace the switch?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
if the lights do go out when I unplug it, then the switch is more than likely the issue correct?
If not it's a bigger problem?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If I left that switch disconnected, would it only affect the dash lights?

No, it would affect the headlamps as well.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok. And there's nothing that I can temporarily unplug to shut off the dash lights?

Let me see if I can find something to isolate it.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.

Okay there is a fuse but you will not have any interior lights. It is in the instrument panel fuse block. Here is a diagram

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm positive I pulled that and they were still on. Let me double check.

If that did not turn them off, try the RAP relay or the CHMSL/BKUP fuse in the instrument panel fuse block.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
None of those shut them off

Alright, that changes some things. I did not know you had already pulled that fuse. I think you may have a Body Control Module failure, but I can't be sure. I will opt-out and let another technician help you.

I am contacting you because the post has not been closed or rated.

This question will automatically close in 7 days.

You have not rated which tells me you are not happy or need more help.

Let me help some more. Is there anything else I can help you with?

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I thought this was put back out there for a better answer but no one ever replied.

It was put back out, you are right no one replied that is why I sent you a message. Give me a minute to review your question and see if I can help more.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ok. I'm thinking it's a faulty light sensor on the dash, maybe it's stuck on. It's only my dash and radio lights but nothing else makes sense. No check engine light or codes have shown up, which is why the body control module doesn't make sense.
Outside of those lights staying on the car runs fine.

It is one of the door switches. The computer keeps the radio and lights on until the door is open. If the switch is not working it thinks the door is always closed. I have seen this before.

You need a scan tool to access the BCM, you will be able to see if the doors are open. check the drivers and passenger door switches. I have also seen broken wires in the door bellows boots where the harness for the doors flex when the door is opened.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I doubt it because the radio will go off if either door is open. The door indicators work because I've tried no closing them completely to test that theory.

If you had the tech2 or similar scan tool you could see if the light sensor was the problem as it would set a code in the BCM.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
If the BCM were going out, wouldn't a code pop up? I'm asking this for my piece of mind, not so much the dash light issue.

You could also have a short to power in the harness which could be keeping the dash lights on.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
But that sensor could be the problem right?

Possible, this is tough to diagnose without being there to look at it.

You should start unplugging fuses, one by one, until the dash lights go off. This will narrow down the problem.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've thought about a short but this happened out of nowhere, no problems leading up to this issue.

Unplug a fuse, then put it back in the same spot, then keep going.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I've unplugged all fuses tied to interior illumination, except the steering wheel fuse, not all at once but none shut off those lights.

You could have another system backfeeding the lights. It may not be related to illumination.

There are quite a few circuits in the vehicle that are hot at all times.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Ah, that makes sense.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'll try the rest of the fuses. But I think that sensor is the issue. I just thought about it today or I would have replaced that lady weekend.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.

You could certainly replace the sensor if you feel that is the issue. Keep in mind I cannot be there to see the vehicle and what is happening or test it etc.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I understand that. I'm just trying to get a better idea of what the problems could be and start with the smaller ones and go from there. I already replaced the ignition switch because I thought maybe it was going out.

Ok sounds like a plan. I am going to sleep now, will be back on tomorrow. Please keep me posted on your progress. Feel free to send me a message anytime, thanks.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Obviously you cannot tell me for sure but if it were the BCM going out, wouldn't it likely pop a code?
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks! I truly appreciate your time and effort on this matter.

You can test the BCM inputs and outputs, and see if it is the problem. It may or may not set a code. It depends on what is happening on the circuit board in the bcm. For your issue you can usually open the bcm up and see corrosion on the green circuit board.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thanks again!

Your welcome.

Dan, ASE Certified Technician
Category: Car
Satisfied Customers: 1655
Experience: Auto Technician
Dan and 9 other Car Specialists are ready to help you

Related Car Questions