Do I have an electrical problem?

Discussion in 'Gen 4 Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by em7145, Oct 2, 2022.

  1. em7145

    em7145 Junior Member

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    I just got out of my 2017 Prius (it’s dark out) and noticed that when I opened the door, the dome light didn’t come on. I thought that’s weird, maybe it got bumped and it’s in the off position. No, it didn’t get bumped, it was in the automatic on position but it wouldn’t turn on unless I kind of pushed on the center part of the button (not changing the position of the switch, just putting more pressure on it). I was like, “this is weird.”

    I got out of the car close the door clicked lock on the fob and the headlights didn’t go out. I was very sure that none of the doors or the hatch were slightly open but I double checked all of them and they weren’t but I also opened and closed each one just to be sure. Tried again, same thing.

    Why do I suddenly have two weird electrical problems? This feels like it will be super expensive. I moved to Seattle shortly before the pandemic and my Toyota Care maintenance deal only recently end and I don’t really want to go to the dealership but also don’t have a relationship with a good local mechanic.

    Has anyone had something similar?
     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    I'd look at the simple stuff first. Those door jamb pin switches can easily get a little oxidized and behave just as you described, not conducting well until you wiggle the pin a little bit. Taking the switch out and hitting the contacts with some contact cleaner will often solve that whole issue.

    And I believe the auto locking and the headlight timeout may rely in part on the door pin switch. So I would see what is and isn't better after attending to that, before spending too much energy on worry.
     
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  3. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    +1 to Chapman.

    Does the dome light work if you open any other door?

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
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  4. em7145

    em7145 Junior Member

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    That's an excellent question. I didn't not think to check but I will. The thing that makes me think it might not door related is that if I push up on the center of the light switch (that toggle switch on the roof) then the light goes on. So it seems like the physical switch inside the car is somehow loose. But I'll check the other doors.
     
  5. em7145

    em7145 Junior Member

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    Probably just good life advice in general!

    But for the car stuff, I tried that and on the driver's side door, when I pushed the pin in the first time, I thought I felt a slight catch or stick. I gave it a couple pushes, started the car, put it in drive (just for good measure?), then turned it off again. The dome light still did not come on when I opened the door however when I closed it and locked the doors, the headlights went out! So that's progress there.

    I went around to all the doors and pushed the pins, gave them all gentle wiggle, just for good measure. I did not get that slight "catch" feeling on any of the others so that might have been the issue with the headlights. I looked for a pin for the back hatch and couldn't find one but since the headlights are going off now, it seems like the dome light probably isn't related to a door issue. But I did try all of the doors the hatch but none of them triggered the dome light.

    Shortly after I got in the car, I tried the dome light switch again and I pushed up on it, fairly firmly, and it stayed on for a few seconds and then kind of flickered and went out (it will stay on with no issue in the "on" position but it's just not staying on when the door is open). Buuuut, this might be a clue, right now it is sunny and about 74°, the windows were up, had been up all day, and I didn't have the windshield sun shield in so it's was quite warm in the car. Last night it was cool, maybe about 60. When I got in the car just now, I rolled the windows and after trying a few different things for a few minutes, I tried to see if it would work again if I pushed a bit harder on the dome switch and it wouldn't. So it seems like something must be loose in that switch right? If it's warm and everything is a little bit expanded, it can kind of almost work but if it cools off at all, then it's back to not working. I have no idea what it's supposed to feel like (I don't ever use it, it's just always in the auto on position) but it does feel a little loose or jiggly.

    Sorry for the dissertation. Let me know if you have any ideas. I'm glad that at least the headline thing is sorted!

    EDIT: I just thought to try something else... the backseat also has a dome and I also have that set to auto-on. When I open the door, neither light comes on. When I push up on the front auto-on dome light switch, they both some come! That seems like something that's loose in the front switch then, right? (Pushing on the back one does nothing.)
     
    #5 em7145, Oct 2, 2022
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2022
  6. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Those dome light switches are not built to any more exacting standards than the door pin switches, and a quick disassembly and shot of contact cleaner can do wonders for them, too. You've reminded me that mine is getting a little flaky.
     
  7. em7145

    em7145 Junior Member

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    Is that pretty easy to do? I did some googling and I see some videos for changing the bulbs in the dome light but not for cleaning the contacts.
     
  8. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    Usually pretty self-explanatory when opened up for a look.
     
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