Interior Light

Hello, I have a '97 Honda Civic LX. The interior light comes on when you put the switch in the "ON" position but when you put it in the middle position it
does not come on when you open the door(s). Any suggestions? I'm thinking that the whole light housing needs replacing. Thought I'd check here first.
Thanks, Rosscoe
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Check the door switches first. It may not "know" the door is opened. Does your dash have an indicator to show you if and which door is open? Is that working?
The door switches work by grounding a circuit when the door is open. When the door is closed, that circuit goes open.
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I'll check the door switches. I didn't bother to do that since it doesn't appear to work on any of the 4 doors. No indicator on the dash...at least not that I'm aware of. Hmmm. What exactly am I looking for on the door switches?
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"Me" ( snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com) writes:

Check to see that they are not seized, since they will only seize in the door-closed position. The plungers should move in and out freely. They probably have rubber boots on them but you should still be able to feel the plunger moving without removing the boots.
It would be strange for all four to seize before you noticed it, but I have had many door switches seize, and have never had a problem with a light housing. Dan
(This account is not used for email.)
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No indicator on the dash? You don't have a picture of a car with red lights at each door and trunk/hatch location?
The door switch will either be a plunger in the hinge area, or an "L" shaped slider on the latch side.
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Seth wrote:

I don't know about the OP's car, but my 2004 Civic has only a single door/trunk ajar light. It does not have a set of lights that indicate which door specifically is open like older Hondas did.
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Hmmm. My old Accord LX-i had it as does my '01 Accord EX-V6 as well as my '7 Odyssey EX-L.
Maybe it's the Civic's that don't have it?
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Seth wrote:

Perhaps so. I should add that my Civic is a mid-level LX model, which still has a lot of the available bells and whistles.
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Only the Accords had that. Civics had one light for all.
--
Tegger

The Unofficial Honda/Acura FAQ
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Me wrote:

Usually the middle position is off regardless of doors open or not. One side of middle is on, the other side of middle is on when one or more doors are open. Perhaps you don't have a problem at all?
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No, the housing says "OFF" at one end and "ON" at the other with the middle being blank. I've tried all positions and the light is only on in the "ON" position. I would assume that there is a position that allows the light to come on when the door is open. Maybe not? Rosscoe
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Me wrote:

middle is the position that allows the doors to switch it on. double check in that position.
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Rosscoe,
Could it be related to the issue I had when I changed in my 98 Civic LX the factory radio with an aftermarket one? The ceiling light would not turn on when opening the doors.
The issue had nothing to do with the door switches; in the middle switch position, the circuit is closed THROUGH the "security" connector (the green one) in the back of the radio!
Check that the circuit is still sound, maybe it's been broken inside the green connector.
Serban
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wrote:

Serban, You may be onto something. I just checked all the plungers and they seem to be operational (meaning that they freely move in and out). I did change the radio with an aftermarket but I don't think that it worked prior to doing that. The faceplate light in the head unit quit working so I was planning to take the dash out (when it gets warmer) to see if one of the wires came off. I'll check this green connector while I'm at it. That makes as much sense as anything else I've tried.
Rosscoe
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In my Civic, the factory radio was tied to two connectors: one with all the "useful" wires (12V, speakers, dimming etc) and one that I think is useful for car-alarm/keyless-entry purposes. This second connector is not used by the aftermarket radio.
To restore the ceiling light operation all I did was to insert a paperclip in two of this unused connector's contacts (it's a female connector).
I'm not sure that the 97 model has exactely the same green connector, but if you want, I can take a look at mine to see which two contacts had to be shorted.
Serban
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wrote:

Serban, That's OK. I'll look at the wiring diagrams to see if I can figure it out. Right now, I'm just waiting for warmer weather.
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gigelus2k3 wrote:

Absolutely! For Civic model years 1996 through 1998 the signal from the door switches to the dome light was routed through the factory stereo head unit. The keyless entry receiver was also part of the head unit, so if you replaced the factory stereo you would loose keyless remote. Some people hooked up the factory stereo in parallel with their new after market units to retain keyless entry (the factory stereo could be tucked away inside / behind the dash - yes, it did fit).
A simple solution to the missing dome light is to get one of these: http://tinyurl.com/28k6fl , but you could just as easily do the job with http://tinyurl.com/244ftz
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wrote:

Thanks for the info & links.
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It was the radio. I removed the aftermarket head unit and re-installed the OEM radio and everything works fine now. Thanks to all who offered suggestions.
Rosscoe

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Try cleaning the contacts in the door switches or replace the door switches.

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