The courtesy light bulb switch controls the courtesy light. When you open and close the doors of the vehicle, the courtesy light comes on to allow you to see better. This is both convenient and much safer for you and your passengers. The courtesy light bulb switch works on a circuit, so once the circuit is complete, the light bulb illuminates. The switch is what allows the courtesy light bulb switch circuit to be completed.
The courtesy light bulb does not stay on for a long time, it usually turns off within a minute or when you put the key in the ignition. If you need the courtesy light bulb to stay on longer, simply flip the switch and it will come back on. If you forget to turn the courtesy bulb off, the battery will run down and your vehicle may not start in the morning.
The courtesy light bulb switch can be turned off if you feel you do not need it. Sometime these can be turned off accidentally, so before you think a bulb or switch is broken, check to see if the courtesy light bulb switch has just been turned off. The switch should be in the on or door position so it will light up when you need it to. In addition, the switch may fail due to an electrical issue. If you have checked the switch and it is in one of the positions above and the light bulb is good, there could be an electrical problem with the switch. It is best to have a mechanic diagnose this issue so the courtesy light bulb switch can be replaced immediately.
Signs your courtesy light bulb switch needs to be replaced include:
- The dome light flickers or does not turn on at all
- The courtesy light does not turn on even when you change the settings
- The dome light does not come on when the doors are open
The courtesy light bulb switch will not affect the performance of your vehicle, but it can be a safety issue. It will help you in entering your vehicle and putting your seatbelt on. Therefore, you should be aware of the symptoms that your courtesy light bulb switch is going bad and have this issue inspected if needed.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as How Long Does a Courtesy Light Bulb Switch Last? and was authored by Valerie Johnston.