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
The door switches work by grounding a circuit when the door is open. When
the door is closed, that circuit goes open.
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
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
(This account is not used for email.)
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.
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?
======================================================> A very modest collection of Honda tech info can be found at:
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.
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.
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
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.
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
A very modest collection of Honda tech info can be found at:
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.