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Old 01-22-2010, 05:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Fixing interior light 'auto on'

I want to get my interior light working properly as per a standard interior light in a car, just for the sake of night-time convenience, and for the fact I like everything to work as it should.


The 'auto on' or middle mode isn't working, and I can't find any on/off switches in the driver's door cavity that i'd expect to be sensing for an open or closed door. Where do I start? I'm not sure how the circuit can function without this sensor.


And also - are there brighter interior bulbs available? The standard bulb is pretty dim and doesn't throw much light at all. If I misplace anything in the cabin I gotta reach for my torch if I plan on finding it again before daybreak...
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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the two tabs the hold the light bulb in can be bent outwards a little to hold a larger bulb. The door switch is located towards the front of the drivers side door jam where it hinges.
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Old 01-22-2010, 05:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well that'd explain things... no switch there at all!



Also - speaking of lighting - can I install halogen (or similar brighter) headlights without too much fuss? My headlights are mismatched and night vision is less than ideal for my daily drive home.... newer lamps are the order of the day
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Old 01-22-2010, 08:49 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Every vehicle I have ever owned has the interior light "door" switch near the rear edge of the door, so when I saw the post saying it's toward the front where the door hinges I was curious enough to check the parts catalog and on both the Jimny and the Samurai it's clearly shown as being toward the "trailing edge" of the door, right where I expect it to be.

Interesting - huh?

Anyway for a brighter interior light, I would not use a larger bulb, I'd suggest you switch to white LEDs - there's a guy on ebay calls himself "lexenauto" who sells these LED interior light replacements - I'm sure there are other sellers who carry similar replacements, but these are the ones I bought.

It's a little 1" x 3/4" PCB with a dozen surface mount white LEDs that you stick to a convenient surface with double sided tape and two adapters that let you hook it up in place of the standard "festoon" type lamp (looks like a large fuse) or a wedge base.

I used these in my Swift - which has had problems with corrosion on the door switches for years - the corrosion is still there, but it's no longer a problem - the LEDs use so much less current than the regular lamp, that the ylight anyway, and it's bright enough to dazzle.

Oh - they come two in a pack.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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after that topic about the dome light switch last week I went to look for my door switch... I honestly didn't know I had one. Mine was located on the leading edge of the door jamb. Right where I would never have seen it. The door barely opens enough to expose it whith the door straps on.

another thing to look into with the dome light, reflective foil on the back side of it. You have to insulate the switch connectors, but there is no reflector in that lamp housing and you loose like half your light output. LED's are a great idea since those are directional and don't need reflectors.

On the headlights, you can put halogen bulbs in, but they burn hotter and use more power. You would need to replace the sealed beam bulbs with a reflector or projector housing. Getting 7" HID headlights is super expensive if you do it right and get projector housings. If you try to use the cheepo reflector HID's in your headlights you will become a danger to the rest of the drivers on the road with you.
You could just put new stock bulbs in and add some halogen or HID running lights. If you go with HID fog/running lights, make sure that they are in a PROJECTOR housing and that they are aimed correctly.
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Old 01-22-2010, 09:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The door switch location on a Samurai can be accessed through the speaker hole without much trouble. I replaced my non-working switch easily. It plugged into a dual-terminal at the left side of the dash.

Suzuki uses a grounded switch system for most of the lights, and the door switch is no exception. When you open the door, the circuit is completed in the door jamb as the switch closes, connecting the single wire to chassis ground.

I replaced my festoon-style dome-light bulb with a brighter LED module. It has to be properly rotated, since LEDs are uni-directional, but it gets me more light and a lot less heat. The brighter incandescent I first tried got too warm too quickly for me.

Halogen sealed beam headlights are a drop-in for the Samurai. You may have to remove the grill, but it's pretty straightforward.

Edit: I bought the replacement switch from my Suzuki dealer last year. It's still available here in Calif. Seemed pricey for what it is. I thought it easiest to remove the door straps and the speaker to replace it.

Last edited by Merlin93; 01-23-2010 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 01-23-2010, 12:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Where can I find these switches, I mean, where can I buy them new? Are they Sierra/Samurai specific or should I be able to modify any similar spring loaded on/off switch to fit?

Yeah, seems my driver's side has no swtch at all - but there's one in the passenger side... maybe i'll just put it across the other side.


Thanks for the headlight tips too - seems fog lamps have been made illegal in QLD Australia sometime recently (for road use anyway), otherwise I would've just gone this option. Halogen seems like a winner.

Last edited by che_guitarra; 01-23-2010 at 12:33 AM.
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Old 01-24-2010, 12:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I didn't notice your location. You have your drivers side on the right side of the vehicle, we have ours on the left. The door switch is on the left side of the vehicle for both of us. It's just that your passenger side is our drivers side!
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Old 01-24-2010, 07:57 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by che_guitarra View Post
Where can I find these switches, I mean, where can I buy them new? Are they Sierra/Samurai specific or should I be able to modify any similar spring loaded on/off switch to fit?
Check out any auto store which sells alarms, they will probably have them. It's basically a one-terminal switch which connects to ground when it isn't pressed in.
Something like this is what you need.

If there's already one working switch on the passenger side, then running a wire from that to one on the driver's side will do the trick. Either door opening will bring on the light.

edit: Just realised you're in Oz:
http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI....m=310117485496

Last edited by xmastree; 01-24-2010 at 10:17 AM. Reason: added eBay link
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Old 01-24-2010, 04:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fordem View Post
Anyway for a brighter interior light, I would not use a larger bulb, I'd suggest you switch to white LEDs - there's a guy on ebay calls himself "lexenauto" who sells these LED interior light replacements - I'm sure there are other sellers who carry similar replacements, but these are the ones I bought.
Here's a similar one with more LED's. Interestingly, at 8W my (Jimny) interior light is too bright so I'm looking for a lower power one.
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