Interior light dead | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)

Interior light dead

Discussion in '2nd Gen 1991-1996 1.9L SOHC' started by DrJones, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. DrJones

    DrJones FEOA Donator

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    New bulb.
    won't turn on or be activated by the door.
    Checked the fuse, its good and thats about it.
    Is there a common source for this issue?
    Best place to start?
    Cheers Guys
    :pompus:
  2. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    Are you talking about the dome light? The switches in the door have been a problem with my Escorts. They are on the door frame of the body, down low on the side where the latch loop is, and can be unscrewed and worked out. Its a simple grounding 'button', whose design doesnt let you actually clean the contact surfaces. On a couple Escorts I swapped the driver's door switch that didnt work with one of the rear door switches that did work.
    Also the switch on the dome light seems to get finicky. Sometimes turning it back and forth a few times lets it start working again. Same thing for the switches for the little map lights.
    zzyzzx likes this.
  3. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    Can you turn it on manually at the housing? Seems like ours have a 3 position switch up there. Always off, always on, and "normal" mode. Switch get bumped?
  4. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    I peeled back the rubber and shot some electronic cleaner in the door ones.

    I also had to fold up cardboard and put it between the light housing at the switch end and the headliner. For some reason getting it away from the roof a little let it start working again even though it was never a problem until it became one.
    denisond3 likes this.
  5. LariRudi

    LariRudi FEOA Donator

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    What year is your car? Doesn't it have map lights whose switches are on the side too?

    LarryR
  6. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    93 and 95... No map lights up there that I'm aware of.
  7. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a 93LX hatchback. Its dome light is what I thought the standard 2nd gen dome light was - having the center light with its 3 position switch, and two smaller map lights on each side, each with a rocker switch to turn them on. None of my Escorts have a sunroof though.

    I worked on a 95 Sedan, but as the dome light worked when the door was open, I never looked up at it.
  8. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    Ours probably have map lights then too. Just never noticed them.
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    They are very easy to miss. My sister-in-laws little kids liked to play with them. That would resulted in a dead battery when she needed to go to work the next monday!
  10. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Mine are so dim they're just about worthless. Even with LEDs in the holes.
  11. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    Seeing that my only interaction with the dome light was to turn it off when it ran the battery down (gave her a 6D Maglite... makes a nice security device too) in the 93, I'm sure I just missed them. It appears to work properly in the 95, outside of whatever is going on with the hatch lamp.

    Funny you mention that. Most SMD (surface mount device) type LED bulbs that I've had ARE dimmer than normal incandescent bulbs in practice. The devices are super directional and if the housing isn't very good (reflective) then the bulbs are actually a step backward as far as brightness. I have used them for thrift (dirt cheap on eBay from China) and durability in some cases, but never as an actual lighting upgrade.

    I have bought some bulbs from superbrightleds.com before that are, in fact, super bright. But... they're really expensive too. I only use those for things that are a real PITA to re-do later, like illuminated switch lighting that requires removing 1/2 of the dash.
  12. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    Indeed. The LED for the dome itself is brilliant (literally) because of its shape (tube) but the map lights are crap.

    Well not crap crap just not very amazing compared to the dome. The hatch has an LED too and it's pretty good.

    [​IMG]
  13. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    Is it worse than a normal bulb in the same housing? I'm just curious.
  14. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    It's a tough call because they're white vs the old yellowish. Kinda hard to compare.
  15. dchawk81

    dchawk81 FEOA Member

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    The dome bulbs are way brighter easily but the map lights themselves...I'm not sure. And the same bulbs are brighter in the instrument panel. Go figure.
  16. Maxwelhse

    Maxwelhse FEOA Member

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    The map lights are 194 bulbs? No wonder they're super dim. A 194 lamp is barely adequate for instrument lighting... That is why there are 5 of them for it.
  17. DrJones

    DrJones FEOA Donator

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    Hey Dudes
    It has the three position switch and none of the positions work.
    It has the two little map lights too.
    Its a 96 LX
    Will get the old test light out and see what I can see.
    Cheers.
    Was hoping for a magic solution. lol
    What was I thinking... this is automotive!
    :pompus:
  18. mello

    mello FEOA Member

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    Did you get it repaired? If not let me know.
  19. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    After you pry the dome light lens off, you can unscrew the housing and drop it down. I think there are 3 wires going to it. One of them should have 12 bolts on it at all times. Another wire is a simple ground connection - for making the map lights work and the dome light to work when you set the lever to the 'on' position. The 3rd wire is the one that runs down to either the dashboard area or the pillar that the driver's door shuts to. There are 'push for off' switches on each door, and if they arent corroded badly, then the dome light would come on when the lever is in the 'door' position and the door was open. Its fairly common for those door switches to be gummed up and not grounding the wire going to the dome light.

    If you have unplugged the connector to stop the driver's side automatic seat belt moving, the wire from the driver's door switch for the dome light is on the same conector - so it wouldnt work with the driver's door, but might still work with the other door or doors.

    Its also not unusual for the lever on the dome light or the contacts for the festoon bulb to be dirty - and the light wont come on. Same is true for the rocker switches that turn on the map lights. The map lights are too dim to be useful to me, and I plant to eventually replace them with l.e.d's. ** Am waiting for the prices to drop.

    In the fuse box next to the air cleaner housing under the hood is a 40 amp fuse labelled BTN. If this fuse is blown, your dome light wont have 12 volts going to it, and your running lights wont come on, the automatic shoulder belts wont work, the alternator wont charge, and the radio wont work.

    ** The map lights are dim enough that you dont notice them being on in the daytime. This has led to dead batteries on monday mornings, when my sister-in-laws kids were little.
  20. mello

    mello FEOA Member

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    I had this issue once. The same time the interior lamp went out the radio did not have power either. And upon investigating the schematic i found the wiring harness that goes from the body to the trunk lid had a few broken wires due to the opening and closing over time, bad design, but everything worked after that. Check that out and see if that helps.

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