E34 Touring interior light question

Another newcomer question about the 1992 525i Touring I bought recently:
Next to the rear seats on each side, there is one of these:
http://members.shaw.ca/michael.poplawski/bmw/rear-light.jpg
As far as I can tell:
it's a light it doesn't light up (neither side)
Are they actually lights, and what would it take to have them light up? Or are they something else?
-- Mike Poplawski Victoria, BC Canada
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I would say they are lights. My E34 saloon/sedan has a similar pair, which light up along with the roof light when a door is opened. Mike.
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First thing to do is check the bulbs as both may have blown. Before assuming it's a wiring fault. ;-)
--
*Suicidal twin kills sister by mistake.

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

No, the first thing to do is check the position of the interior light switch. It has three positions: On, Off and On only when doors open.
Oh, and RTFM.
--
-Fred W

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Fred W wrote:

My '92 5 Touring has four lights with three-position switches built into them. Three of them in the front (two map reading lights and a central light) and one in the rear (cargo area light).

My 5 Series manual tells me that the rear map reading lights have switches. That may be true for the sedan, but for the Touring, there are no switches that I could find, nor does the supplemental Touring manual cover them.
I ended up pulling the light assemblies out of the ceiling and looking them over. Apparently, there is nothing wrong with the bulbs--new bulbs from an auto parts shop did not illuminate. I'll talk to the repair shop when I take the car in for service, but I'm open to more suggestions. I find it a little odd that both lights are not functioning, but of course, the car is 14 years old, and the previous owners may not have been carrying rear seat passengers. They may not have been working for years.
-- Michael Poplawski Victoria, BC
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Poor shot.
In a 7, the light has a switch. Depending on the model, when it is off and the centre light is on then it may come on when the door opens. If it is on and the centre light is one then it will come on when the door opens. If it is on and the ignition is on then it will come on as a reading light for the rear passenger. Later models have separate bulbs.
In the touring it may be illumination for the rear, in which case expect it to come on when the tailgate is open.
Check
bulb switch settings fuses door switches wiring
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