97 Taurus interior light won't shut off


Tabgirl
01-12-2006, 11:51 AM
I have a 97 Ford Taurus that keeps costing me $$$$!! :mad: Rather than pay mechanics to fix & refix the problem I'm looking for some expert opinions on this one.

In October 2004 my dome light came on & wouldn't shut off. I took it to the mechanic across the street & they fixed it for $75. From what I've read in this forum, they just sprayed some cleaner or WD40 in there. Two months later I had the same problem & took it back (none too happy). They cleaned it again & there hasn't been any problem. Then recently I noticed that my dome & floor lights would stay on briefly (5-15 seconds) after I shut the door. Last night the dome light wouldn't shut off but finally did after about 30-60 minutes. It did rain yesterday if that's of any use.

I've read in other threads that this is a relay module. So I called the Ford dealer and the parts guy said he didn't know what a relay module was but there was a "gem" module (not sure if I spelled it right). The cost was $231 for the part alone!!! And it controls the interior lights, door locks & power windows. They want $100 to do a diagnosis (plus labor to repair it as well). I don't know how to replace this myself & it sounds like I can't just remove it (which I would prefer to do at this point). Frankly, coming up with $350 plus because a dome light won't go off seems ridiculous to me.

Can someone please help me to figure this out please? None of my other lights or electrical parts seem to be malfunctioning.

markjencole
01-12-2006, 12:13 PM
Interesting, I had the same problem with my '96. It also got to the point that the doors would not lock, and the alarm would sound. I am not sure what the problem was, I just unhooked the dome light and dealt with it until Spring. It seemed to do it only when it was cold and wet. I was thinking it had to do with the door lock mechanism getting moisture, but never tracked it that far. Sorry I couldn't help much more, but you aren't alone on this.

LeSabre97mint
01-12-2006, 12:36 PM
I have a 97 Ford Taurus that keeps costing me $$$$!! :mad: Rather than pay mechanics to fix & refix the problem I'm looking for some expert opinions on this one.

In October 2004 my dome light came on & wouldn't shut off. I took it to the mechanic across the street & they fixed it for $75. From what I've read in this forum, they just sprayed some cleaner or WD40 in there. Two months later I had the same problem & took it back (none too happy). They cleaned it again & there hasn't been any problem. Then recently I noticed that my dome & floor lights would stay on briefly (5-15 seconds) after I shut the door. Last night the dome light wouldn't shut off but finally did after about 30-60 minutes. It did rain yesterday if that's of any use.

I've read in other threads that this is a relay module. So I called the Ford dealer and the parts guy said he didn't know what a relay module was but there was a "gem" module (not sure if I spelled it right). The cost was $231 for the part alone!!! And it controls the interior lights, door locks & power windows. They want $100 to do a diagnosis (plus labor to repair it as well). I don't know how to replace this myself & it sounds like I can't just remove it (which I would prefer to do at this point). Frankly, coming up with $350 plus because a dome light won't go off seems ridiculous to me.

Can someone please help me to figure this out please? None of my other lights or electrical parts seem to be malfunctioning.

Hello

I did a search on the Taurus forum and came up with these threads. :

http://www.automotiveforums.com/vbulletin/search.php?searchid=1375653

Cut and past the above URL

Regards

Dan

shorod
01-12-2006, 01:47 PM
Part of the diagnostics for the Generic Electronics Module (GEM) module should include them looking at the datastream to find out if the GEM is showing a door is open. Or, if you or someone you know is handy with a multimeter, you can backprobe the door switch inputs to the GEM to find out if that is what is causing your electrical issues.

I don't recall ever reading of someone actually NEEDING to replace a GEM module to fix an issue.

Before you condemn the door switches and GEM module though, verify that you didn't have the instrumentation dimmer switch turned to the "interior lights" position. The electrical system "standby" module (I don't recall it's actual name) will turn various electrical accessories off if left on with the key removed from the ignition after a set time.

-Rod

Tabgirl
01-12-2006, 02:18 PM
I did check the dimmer switch last night to make sure it wasn't on. In fact (get ready to crack up) until recently I never even knew that switch worked to turn on the interior lights. I know, I know!!!

So I probably don't want to pay big bucks for the GEM module when it sounds like that won't fix the problem. My immediate concern is the drain on the battery. Do you think I could just remove a fuse for now?

Further fix suggestions are still welcome as well. Thanks everyone for the speedy replies.

way2old
01-12-2006, 03:57 PM
The switches are fairly inexpensive. They are fairly hard to replace though. If you are so inclined, you could replace one in an sfternoon. You need to remove the door panel, find the switch on the latch, unbolt it and replace with a new one. Or you can keep a can of penetrating oil in the car and spray inside the latch mechanism when it starts to act up.

Tabgirl
01-13-2006, 09:33 AM
Well my problem seems to have magically disappeared. Last night the overhead was on & I played with the dimmer switch and it shut off. But then the door ajar light came on again & of course the dome light. It shut off after a couple of minutes. It did the same thing once more but today everything seems to be working fine.

Thanks everyone for the help. :icon16:

shorod
01-13-2006, 01:52 PM
Definitely sounds like you have a flakey door switch. The trick now is determining which one and how to fix it. Many suggest WD-40 or similar, but I do not recommend that. WD-40 IS NOT an electrical parts cleaner. I prefer a few precisely placed shots of electrical parts cleaner (I prefer Caig De-Oxit) and then work the switch numerous times (open and close the door). I had a sticking switch and did the application with De-Oxit once on all four of the doors on my SHO and have not had a problem for over a year.

-Rod

Alana_Towers
11-05-2006, 03:26 PM
Thank you so much guys. I am going out to try the electrical cleaner deal and see if i can SEE at night. My interior light has been on for days in my 97 ford Taurus. Lucky there is an energy saver relay or my battery would be toast. I will post and let you know if it works.
You guys are the best!!!!

shorod
11-05-2006, 07:07 PM
Thank you so much guys. I am going out to try the electrical cleaner deal and see if i can SEE at night. My interior light has been on for days in my 97 ford Taurus. Lucky there is an energy saver relay or my battery would be toast. I will post and let you know if it works.
You guys are the best!!!!

Welcome to the forum!

-Rod

Alana_Towers
11-05-2006, 07:28 PM
I am updating you on the Interior Light problem I have been having:
The Electrical cleaner has worked.
It has also worked for fixing the Door Lock Switch on the drivers side. I have been having problems with this switch not working and the Electrical Cleaner has solved that problem as well.
I look forward to posting more on this very helpful website.
Again thank you so very much I will talk to you again very soon!!!

jocollins1198
02-18-2010, 10:52 AM
'99 Taurus had the same thing. Came into garage with complaints that the dome light wouldn't go off.

After half an hour, reading this post advised me to shoot some elecric component coating into the door latches, and open and close them a few times (to work in the spray), and Wa Lah! Fixed the problem. well at least for the time.

If it comes back, at least I know what the problem is, and can fix it.

Thanks a MILLION!! Half hour fix. This is why I love Forums like this one!

I figured I would post to tell how this one helped me out! Thanks again!

way2old
02-18-2010, 07:19 PM
I am sure the regulars and the Mods are glad to see the forum has helped you. We get paid by your replies. (Just your fix post is your pay) Not enough people post their fixes that they find. Thank you for the vote and welcome to the forums. Please feel fgree to post any problems or any fix that you may feel will help someone else. way2old

riproaringca
05-02-2010, 07:55 AM
Hi, all.

I'm having a similar electrical oddities with my '99 SHO:

1) After replacing what I thought was a battery with a dead cell, the 'door ajar' light stays on even though all doors were firmly closed. The interior lights also stay on.
I checked the interior lamp relay, found that it was really hot and pulled it out to at least get the lights to shut off.

2) Now the ignition will not engage the starter even though there's enough battery to run the electronics, lights, etc. No 'click' of any sort when the key's turned.
I thought I had it solved yesterday when I made sure the battery saver relay and all other in the fuse block under the dash were secure & in place. It started without problem a few times after that. Then, last night went to use the car and same thing - turn the ignition, headlights and panel lights up but no 'click'/starter/cranking.

3) The 'anti-theft' light always blinks on the dash. I have a '99 ZX2 with the same light, but it goes off when the car is unlocked and for sure it turns off when the ignition's been activated.

We did have some heavy rain here yesterday so I'm not ruling out some moisture in the works. Also, this SHO has the touchpad entry keys on the doors. Any chance of those being the culprit when moisture's concerned? (I know they've been the focus of a couple of recalls on F150's.)

I'll try the electrical cleaner route you're suggesting above and keep my fingers crossed. In the meantime, many thanks for any other advice you can share!

shorod
05-02-2010, 07:23 PM
I'm going to hold out for the result from the contact cleaner in the door latches. I'd be surprised if that doesn't fix the interior light issue.

-Rod

riproaringca
05-07-2010, 06:22 PM
Ok. So here's the news on my '99 SHO:

It turns out that the anti-theft transceiver within the steering column had gone kaput, or at least was operating intermittently. That's what was causing the anti-theft dash light to flash even during the couple of times the car would start.

The interior lights stopped acting up when the transceiver was replaced as well.

With the new battery and repair to the anti-theft system my SHO fires-up beautifully now.

I've said it before in other threads: Take your car to a CAA/AAA Approved shop. These shops don't get certified just for having clean floors. ;)
Mine took the time to trace the problem rather than replacing every part related to ignition. (I was ready to blame the no-crank on the starter or solenoid.)

Cost of the anti-theft transceiver (here in Canada) - $65.00
Cost of labour to trace, remove & replace - $240.00

Hope this helps someone else avoid frustration and expense. :)

dan in grand rapid
05-10-2011, 04:54 PM
Hello Everyone,

I have been following this post for about two years and the WD40 has worked well until about a month ago. My interior door lights on my 1996 Taurus stay on now after the door is closed. It does not matter which door you open. The lights typically go off after about 1-2 hours after I leave the car. They are on the entire time I am driving which is quite annoying especially at night. I have turned off the dome light, but the map and door lights are still on. Here is the weird part. The door ajar lights have never come on. The dash does not indicate anything wrong with the doors, but the lights stay on. Does anyone have any suggestions before my battery goes dead?

Thanks,

Dan

shorod
05-10-2011, 11:07 PM
Have you checked to make sure the instrumentation dimmer switch is not turned to the position for the interior lights?

-Rod

dan in grand rapid
05-11-2011, 05:21 AM
Have you checked to make sure the instrumentation dimmer switch is not turned to the position for the interior lights?

-Rod

Yep, I have checked the dimmer switch. It happened a while ago and spraying the door latches fixed the problem. Now spraying does nothing. The door ajar light on the dash also is not lit. The light goes on when I unlock the door (before opening it) and then does not go off until 1-2 hours after I leave the car. I am thinking it is something with the GEM or something in the wiring, but hoping for someone to have had a similar problem with a similar fix.

shorod
05-11-2011, 06:57 AM
Before when you had this problem, did the door ajar light also come on? If so, the problem is not what you experienced before.

The reason I still suspect something with the dimmer switch/interior light circuit is because when you unlock the door, you wake up the Battery Saver Relay. And after you exit your car, a timer begins for the Battery Saver Relay and will turn off things like the radio and interior lamp about 40 minutes after you remove the keys, open, and close the door.

If the car is a wagon, you should make sure you also cleaned the switch for the liftgate. I recommend electrical contact cleaner, NOT WD-40 since WD-40 is not intended for electrical contacts and may attract more dust and crud.

I suppose to rule out door switches you could leave your car unlocked if safe to do so for the hour or so, then open a door. If the interior lights go on when the door is opened, the door switch is not the issue. You'll need to do this over about 4 hours (5 if it's a wagon) to make sure each of the door switches work. Or, if you have access to a scan tool that can access the GEM module, it will be able to tell you if any of the door switches are showing open.

-Rod

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