'91 Chevrolet Lumina: Short Circuit problem

Hi all;
I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction here:
I've got a '91 Chevvy Lumina that's a little worse for wear. There is a larg-ish dent in the driver's side door (This might or might not have
something to do with the problem, so I mention it)
When I shut the door of the car, the dash lights are supposed to stay on for a minute or two, a 'feature', I guess. Unfortunately, they only seem to shut off 50% of the time. The problem seems to occur much more frequently when it's wet out - either rain or snow (And with a Canadian winter coming on, I'd *really* like to solve this problem) - so of course the battery drains down to nothing overnight.
Can anyone tell me where I should be looking for the source of this problem ? If you need more info, please ask - I'd be most greatful for any insights provided!
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Marc Bissonnette
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Check the door switch (usually in the jamb) and see if it's working properly. If the door is mashed, it may not always be pushing the switch in far enough to shut it off..
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Robert Hancock Saskatoon, SK, Canada
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It works in that when I push it in, the dome light turns off - any idea if it's a multi-position switch ? I.e. is it possible that there is more than one position on the switch (one to turn the dome light off, another indicating 'fully' closed ?)
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Marc Bissonnette
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I think that you'll find that these switches are a "make or break" ground switch. That is, the contacts on the switch carry the ground current only and the light socket is always "hot". There should be only one position on this switch. I had a similar problem in a car where it would blow fuses on the brake lights but only on rainy days. I found a nick in the insulation on a wire feeding the brake lights. Maybe you have a break in the isulation of a wire that is, under certain weather condtions, allowing the circuit to complete without using the switch.
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Rich B) wrote in

Good point - I guess that means an afternoon of exciting wire-tracing. Ugh.
Thanks for the pointer!
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Marc Bissonnette
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Mine would short out whenever the carpet got wet. Yours may be a wire with broken insulation that is laying against a body part. It may even be just a few strands of one wire making the connection. Good luck in your search (oh, BTW be sure to check the switch first to make sure it isn't damaged).
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snipped-for-privacy@webtv.net (Rich B) wrote in

Thanks, I'll spend some time looking over the car this weekend and post results back here, in case anyone else happens to be Googling for a similar problem :)
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Marc Bissonnette
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