Jeep Wrangler Dome Light Mod

If you’re the owner of a Jeep Wrangler, you may have experienced some frustration with the interior dome light. For those not in the know, removing the doors on a warm day or for a bit of fun can lead to a dead battery. This happens because the Wrangler’s light stays on unless the fuse or light are removed, or a custom shutoff switch is added — at the expense of troublesome wiring. You could say it’s a Jeep Thing. [Tim Nummy] offers a solution with minimal modifications.

First off, pop the switch out of the door and set it aside. As a replacement, [Tim Nummy] has managed to salvage a door light switch from an old Mercedes. In addition to the same momentary-off function as the Wrangler’s stock switch, the button on the new one can be pulled out and locked for a secondary off position. Many machines and appliances use this same type of switch in their safety interlocks as a service position. [Tim] didn’t want to cut apart the wiring in the Wrangler in case something goes awry down the line, so for now he has filed down some spade terminals to slot into the Mercedes plug. He’s also 3D printed a nut to nicely secure the new switch in place. Check out his how-to video after the break!

There you have it! The new switch works with no further modifications required! Best of all, the switch resumes normal operation when the doors are replaced.

There are a few other ways to hack your Jeep for ease of use — before you drive it to destruction.

42 thoughts on “Jeep Wrangler Dome Light Mod

      1. The biodegradable aspect of PLA is greatly overestimated. Unless you’re putting it in a compost heap for a year, PLA isn’t going to degrade to any noticeable effect.

        And at any rate, ABS has really falen out of fashion for a number of reasons anymore. If you want something with better temperature resilience than PLA, PETG is the go-to material now.

        1. I made a 3d printed PLA mount for my motorcycle to hold my lunchbox (yeah yeah yeah… ) and it’s been out in the weather for 5 years now. Sleet, rain, sun, hotter than hell, below freezing. Still fine. Still wouldn’t want to use it for something that could mean an accident. But at worst is I literally lose my lunch.

    1. If anyone is thinking of doing the same – a bunch of volvos have a similar feature. Push the door switch in and twist the head gently clockwise. When you close the door, it pushes it in a little bit more, unwinds, and operates as normal. Volvo even put a heavy-duty sealing boot over the switch, which I imagine Jeep owners would appreciate.

      I don’t know what models beyond the 900 series in the mid 90’s, but I’d be shocked if it was a narrow range. Walk into any junkyard, push the switch in, see if it turns and stays in. If it does, you have yourself a winner. Might only be the front doors or driver’s side doors.

  1. It’s kind of weird that they’d make such a huge design omission; if you’ve got doors that can come off, surely you would consider that there should be a way to keep the dome light from being stuck on.

    Actually, now that I think of it, every car I’ve owned (which have all had the doors firmly welded in place, mind you…) have had a switch on the dome light to disable it even if the doors were opened. Is that not even available as an option on the Wrangler?

    1. Yeah I was just thinking without the knowledge of the Wrangler, doesn’t it have a auto/on/off dome light switch like every car I’ve ever owned??

      Also, replacing the small dome light filament bulb for a comparable LED will probably let you keep the light on 24/7 without really draining your battery unless you don’t use the Jeep for a month. You know, like 0.5W max vs probably 13W.

    2. 02 Wrangler owner here. The owner’s manual is explicit about which fuse (#4) to pull when you take the doors off. Since Fiat took them over it wouldn’t surprise me if they omitted it as well as half the turn signals and a piston or two.

      1. Wow. That’s pretty stupid, when dome lights in cars have had manual switches for decades. Just a 3-way switch by the light itself, on / off / automatic door-switch operation.

        It’s a nicer option even than the one here, I think, because you can control it however you like, according to the situation. You might want the light on while the door’s shut, if you’re parked up and trying to read a map or make a cup of tea. You also don’t have to dick about in the door mechanism when you’re sat in the back.

        This problem was solved at least 30 years ago. Removing the fuse!?!?

    1. Jeeps warning stickers and manual specifically state that the doors and roof are for protection from the elements and to not rely on them to contain the occupants or provide protection. I’ll stick with my doorless Wrangler over someone named Daewoo…

      1. In 2010 I paid about $800 for my ’99 Lanos and it serves me to this day without any major issues. Jeeps, BMWs and other expensive cars – once they break you’ll cry when mechanic gives you the bill.

      2. Not to mention the cost of trying to source repair parts for a 15-year-old exotic short-run pacific rim vehicle like the Lanos vs. something like Jeep and BMW where there are third-party aftermarket parts and even still factory-original OEM parts.

  2. Jeep’s answer is that you can pull the fuse, that is what it says in the manual. Myself i stuff come connectors in the fuse socket, added an inline fuse holder and wired up a switch that hides under the drive dash next to the obd-ii connector.

  3. I just wired a push-on/push-off switch into the circuit and located it in an empty auxiliary switch panel on the lower part of the center dash. simple, easy, clean and cheap. Won’t be affected by the weather unless the Jeep goes swimming deep enough to fry the stereo.

  4. My 2015 Wrangler Sport doesn’t have the switch or this problem…. Original owner of 3 yrs now and has never been in the shop for anything. Mine sees as much off-road as pavement. It’s been a good one.

  5. The switches available on various sites do not present a “troublesome wiring” challenge….mine just slides into the fuse panel behind the fuse. Took almost 5 minutes to install…BUT…this is still a great idea!

  6. At first I thought, what a silly way, just install a switch close to the bulb (although I was very much surprised that there wasn’t any from the factory.
    But after watching the video, it became clear that this method, using this special king of switch, is actually very elegant.

    As mentioned by “polobunny”, replacing the lightbulb with an LED is also a nice suggestion.

    at 1:15 in the video it is shown how easy you can remove the switch from the car chassis. Then the cable is dangling outside the hole it came from… what isn’t shown is that (with my luck) the moment the switch is disconnected from the cable, the cable will (if not secured) shoot back in and you’ll be busy for an hour retrieving that now unreachable cable end… But then at 7:10 in the video it became clear that it isn’t a problem at all as he reaches from the other side of the hole to insert the switch.

    Nice hack.

  7. The instrument panel dome light switch on the vehicles I ever owned or operated, only allows one to turn on the dome light when the doors are closed, not turn off the dome light if the doors are open or removed. For that reason I don’t understand the comments that suggest the decades old wiring and switch is a solution. A resourceful modification, but if I changed the door configuration enough to make pulling the fuse a chore, I’d wire a wire in a secondary switch, or a relay that would energize the dome light circuit only when the ignition switch is on or in the aux. position.

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