Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Bolton, Connecticut
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Re: Interior light switch operation
Welcome to this site! It's always useful when you register (to pose a question for our board members to answer) that you include in your info (for display next to your username) the model year & model # [I thru V for the 2010 or 1 thru 9 or their 2-letter code equivalents (such as the "AM" equivalent to my pkg #4 in my signature at the end of each of my posts) for the 2nd generation (2004 thru 2009)] for us to be better able to help you. So, are you talking about a 2001-2003, or a 2004-2009, or a 2010?? I, myself can't tell you anything about a 2010 or a 2001-2003, but others here can.
If you're talking about the 2G (2004-2009), are you asking about the front interior light or the rear interior light?? Both lights in those years have switches that allow the light to be set for always off, always on, or on only when a door is opened. In the rear one the slide switch is within the lens at the forward edge of the actual light lens. In the front one the slide switch is between the 2 independently operated map light switches that are only either always on or always off based on repeated presses of their individual switches that are forward of the light lens. The slide switch is only for the interior light (the middle bulb of the 3 within that lens). For the front slide switch, the full left position is for on only when a door opens, the middle position is for always off, & the full right position is for always on & is clearly labeled that way between the switch & the lens. The rear one uses the opposite position setup & is also clearly labeled as such right on the lens.
The only other interior light switch in a 2G is in the cargo area & it's just a 2 position rocker switch. One position is always off & the other position is for on only when the cargo hatch is lifted. I like that position because you don't have to fumble around in the dark feeling for the location of the switch to turn the light on. However the drawback of using that position is that it has caused many a dead 12V battery when the hatch isn't closed securely (& left that way for an extended period of time) & it's hidden by the roll-out cargo cover. Apparently the switch throw length for the "hatch open" warning light on the dash is long & the hatch has to be fully released from its catch in order for the warning light to illuminate. But the throw of the separate switch for the cargo light must be shorter & allows the light to turn on while the hatch is still latched (but loosely) without tripping the warning light on the dash. The best way to prevent this from happening (with the rocker switch in the on position) is to be sure to slam the hatch hard when closing it or ALWAYS lock your car whenever you're not in it. If the hatch isn't fully closed, you'll get a single LOOOONG beep (& it WON'T lock) when you attempt to lock it (a single short beep is the correct response when the car locks properly).
Of course, none of what I said above may apply if you have a 2010 (I just don't know---& I know nothing about the 2001 thru 2003 either), so that's why it is useful to provide your year & model # when you register (you can still go back to your profile now & add it in). I hope this has been of some help to you.
Ken (in Bolton,Ct) 2005 Pkg #4 (AM)