Why Wont My Car Lights Turn Off? 7 reasons

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Why Wont My Car Lights Turn Off

Have you ever found yourself in a position where your car lights wont turn off? We are going to look at the different types of exterior and interior lights. Most common reasons they wont shut off are:

  • light sensor
  • faulty grounded wire
  • bad switches
  • switch that is stuck in the “on” position
  • blown fuse
  • bad relay
  • daytime headlight/lamps running module.

Let’s start by looking at your car’s exterior lights. Your vehicle has seven sets of exterior lights.

Headlights or Headlamps

The headlight and headlamp provide the same purpose. The ability for the driver to see the road and surrounding area while driving at night, the last thing you want to do is search for the lines on the road.

Your headlights/lamps consist of one system. The low beams and high beams are connected slightly brighter bulbs are used for the high beams.

If they won’t shut off it is typically because of a faulty relay which is a switch that is operated remotely.

If the headlight switch breaks or becomes stuck in the on position your headlights/headlamps will not shut off this can happen using the low beams or high beams.

A temporary fix

A quick solution for disabling the ruined switch is to unhook the battery (negative wire first, then positive wire) and this will turn the light off and prevent your battery from being drained.

If you find that the battery was not the cause of the problem then the wiring needs to be examined. Oftentimes little critters such as mice will move inside under the hoods of vehicles and wreak havoc with your wiring, and the light on the dashboard, doors, the dome light switch, and all the lights.

Other Exterior Lights

There are dozens of lights on your car. Many you may not even realize are there because you have been looking at cars most of your life they are easy to overlook.

Fog Lights

When there is a problem with the fog lights it is usually a problem with the switch or wires. Mechanics suggest cleaning the switch first and if it still doesn’t work then bring it to your dealership for repair or replacement.

fog lights turned off

Brake Lights

Brake lights that don’t turn off will quickly drain your battery and if you’re driving it will appear that you are “stopping” constantly.

Believe it or not, there are several reasons for your brake lights to remain on. Let’s look at the list below and the cause and repair.

If you do not take care of it the damaged brake lights you run the risk of damaging your brakes and needing new ones which can be dangerous and costly.

Bad Spring Release in the Pedal

If the pedal gets stuck in place or there is debris wedged in between the pedal and the switch it will cause the spring release to become damaged and may not work and it is dangerous to drive with a damaged spring release.

Oftentimes you can remedy this problem yourself. Give it a good scrubbing with an old toothbrush to make those contact points shine like new. Then turn the car engine over and pump the pedal a few times. The pedal should return to its original position and the brake lights will turn off.

brake pedal

Broken Brake Switch

The quick and simple fix is to replace the switch. Make use you always disconnect the battery whenever you’re working on a car for obvious safety reasons.

If your car is an older model and you have any issues it’s best to take it to your garage and let the experts do their job so you don’t cause more damage.

Bad Wiring

Rodents enjoy nibbling at the wires in your vehicle if you find chew marks then this is likely the cause of the bad wiring.

You should take the car to the mechanic for repairs. This is more complex than changing a fuse or replacing a light.

Blown Bulb

If you can reach it is easy enough to go to the auto parts store and get a new one and switch it out yourself. if you cannot reach it or find it then you will need assistance from the mechanic. Fixing this problem is inexpensive.

Reverse Lights

These lights let other drivers or pedestrians know you’re going to back up. Usually, when they won’t turn off it is one of three things.

  • Blown fuse
  • Bulb
  • Shifter to the transmission link

Fixing a Blown Fuse

Find your fuse box and replace the fuse if the lights shut off the problem is solved.


Carefully remove it and replace or clean the connectors.

Still having trouble? Read more ways to turn off car lights.

Types of Car Interior Lights

dome light
Dome light
all about car map lights
Map lights

Learn how to turn off interior lights when a door is open. The interior lights of a car are:



Common Problems That Cause Interior Lights To Stay On

If the car’s interior lights do not turn off when the doors are closed, try the following.

  • Secure the hood
  • Close the doors (including hatchbacks)
  • Check for broken door ajar switch
  • When the interior’s turn-off button is broken or missing shattered door
  • Blown Fuse
  • Faulty wiring

How Do I Fix a Dome Light When it Won’t Turn Off

To turn off the dome light, flip the dashboard light control knob to the lowest position. If, the dash light does not change despite the modification, the switch is likely defective.

Further troubleshooting

When your vehicle inside lights don’t turn off automatically when you close the doors then there is an issue that may be caused by one of the following things. You should check each individually to eliminate a possible problem one by one.

  • Is the knob adjusted for the lights dimming switch to the farthest position?
  • Did you close all the doors including a hatch so that they latch?
  • Check the door’s unlock switch to make sure it is off.
  • Missing interior light off button

Further troubleshooting

If the interior lights won’t turn off will it drain my battery?

If the interior lights are left on for an extended period it will drain your car’s battery. Luckily, a jump start will help your battery spring back to life quickly!

Aren’t the lights supposed to turn off automatically?

If your automated lights aren’t turning off, consider the methods listed above. Try disconnecting the battery and unplug the dome box circuit. It’s frequently under the dash, just next to the glove box, or on the engine compartment at times. The dome lights will be disconnected if the lights are removed.



If your car’s dome lights don’t turn off, it’s most likely due to one of the problems listed above. Most of the time, the issue arises when someone else utilizes the interior lights & leaves the buttons in a state you don’t typically leave it in, or there is a flaw that requires a thorough examination.

To address your problem, you’ll have to experiment with different button combinations depending on the model and electrical arrangement. The dimmer is our case’s button and rotating it in several directions but never force it if it doesn’t want to move.

At some time or another, you are bound to have an issue with your car’s light system. You can check some of our other blog posts for other auto-related issues.

Hit a roadblock? Let us connect you with a pro.

If you’re having trouble with your car, it might be time to talk to an expert. Scanner Answers is proud to partner with RepairPal to help you find the best deals on car repair in your area. RepairPal mechanics specialize in offering high quality work at guaranteed fair prices. Find a Repair Shop or speak with an expert now Call (877) 314-1060