Mechanically activated 2nd-row dome lights never turn off - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
Highlander 2nd Generation (2008-2013) Forum dedicated to the discussion of 2nd generation Toyota Highlanders.

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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Mechanically activated 2nd-row dome lights never turn off

Hello. I've searched the forum to see whether this question has been answered, and I see a lot of related threads, but none seem to help me understand my issue, exactly. I have a 2011 HH, base.

The 2nd-row dome lights come on when doors are opened (I think following the setting on the front dome light pod). If all doors are shut (e.g., nighttime, on a trip) and passengers turn on the lights by clicking the lens, they do not go off automatically when the car is off and doors are all locked.

Many, many times now our battery has drained overnight because the lights weren't actively, mechanically turned off (only obvious when you're in the car with the doors shut) before leaving the car. This is with both front and rear lights set to "door" activation. The 2nd-row lights have no such switch. If no one clicks on the the 2nd-row lights, they behave as expected (turn off after short period or immediately when double-locking the car with a remote).

Come to think of it, I don't really know whether the front (driver and passenger) lights might stay on indefinitely after being clicked on, because we never leave them on.

Is this just a stupid design flaw or is something possibly wrong? Anyone ever come up with a remedy that automatically turns off all lights, no matter what their mechanical setting is?

Thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 12:30 AM
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Check your owner's manual and/or check a electrical wiring diagram if you want to learn how the Auto-Off feature works or if it is included.

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 01:31 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Vangm25 View Post
Check your owner's manual and/or check a electrical wiring diagram if you want to learn how the Auto-Off feature works or if it is included.
Thanks

1) (Center interior Lights) On/off
The illuminated entry system is
activated even if the light is
turned off when the personal/inte-
rior light main switch is in door
position.

2) To prevent 12-volt battery discharge
If the lights remain on when the door is not fully closed and the personal/inte-
rior light main switch is in the door position, the lights will go off automatically
after 20 minutes.

3) Customization -> Illumination
Operation after the
“POWER” switch or the
engine switch is turned
OFF
On (default) Off (custom)

Nothing here entirely answers my question, but at best, it looks like maybe I could go to the dealer and inquire about having all lights turn off as soon as I turn the car off.

Not ideal, if I'm even understanding this correctly, because then I'd have none of the convenience of seeing things for a minute before lights shut themselves off.

In any case, I'm still not sure whether I have a malfunction or if this is "normal" behavior, which is what I'm trying to ask.

I'm not going to delve into a wiring diagram, as I'm sure I won't even understand it.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 03:51 AM
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If I remember correctly the operates as a map light using the buttons. I think in that operation it doesn't go auto off like the dome light function. Perhaps you could disable the map light switches, install led bulbs so they use less power or just make sure whoever turns them on also turns them off.
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Last edited by soulsurvives; 07-12-2019 at 03:59 AM.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 07:30 AM
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Just turn them off with another click before you shut the car off. I can't drive with interior lights on at night.

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post #6 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 07:40 AM
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Mechanically activated 2nd-row dome lights never turn off

It’s normal for them to stay on when you manually turn them on. It would be annoying if they went off on you when trying to read something after you’ve purposely told the car to leave them on.


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post #7 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 08:53 AM Thread Starter
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It’s normal for them to stay on when you manually turn them on. It would be annoying if they went off on you when trying to read something after you’ve purposely told the car to leave them on.
Thank you everyone for your answers. Here's what I understand

1. This is "normal"
2. If you have kids, those lights will be turned on and not turned off, and you won't know that after the fact unless you sit in the car, close the doors, and wait for other lights to go off.

I am leaning toward suggestions to use LEDs as a hedge against this problem, although last car I used them in (an older Sienna), they worked pretty poorly.

I have to say, if I was designing a lighting system, any light that could be engaged manually during driving would still automatically get shut off after a period when the car was off. Heck, given all the tech built into these cars, there could even be a sensor to detect that the car was empty of people.

The low-tech way of making this less of an issue would be to use simple switches for manually controlling lights, rather than a push on the lens. If I get out of the car at night and want to see if the lights are "turned on" I have to get in, close the door, and wait for other lights to go off. Only then do I know whether I'm actually turning off one of those dome lights by pushing on the lens.

This "design" is a recipe for killing your battery.fairly quickly and, in our case, frequently. I bet anyone else who has young kids has had the same issue.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 11:29 AM
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Change those culprits to LED bulbs and the current draw will drop considerably!!

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3.5L Engine, 19 " Wheels
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 03:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh68 View Post
Thank you everyone for your answers. Here's what I understand

1. This is "normal"
2. If you have kids, those lights will be turned on and not turned off, and you won't know that after the fact unless you sit in the car, close the doors, and wait for other lights to go off.

I am leaning toward suggestions to use LEDs as a hedge against this problem, although last car I used them in (an older Sienna), they worked pretty poorly.

I have to say, if I was designing a lighting system, any light that could be engaged manually during driving would still automatically get shut off after a period when the car was off. Heck, given all the tech built into these cars, there could even be a sensor to detect that the car was empty of people.

The low-tech way of making this less of an issue would be to use simple switches for manually controlling lights, rather than a push on the lens. If I get out of the car at night and want to see if the lights are "turned on" I have to get in, close the door, and wait for other lights to go off. Only then do I know whether I'm actually turning off one of those dome lights by pushing on the lens.

This "design" is a recipe for killing your battery.fairly quickly and, in our case, frequently. I bet anyone else who has young kids has had the same issue.
I instructed my girls from the beginning that I do a lot of driving for my job and anything they bring in, they take out...food, garbage, toys, etc...Leave things the way they are. If they left a light on and it caused me to have to jump start my car, no more dome light, use a flashlight.


You also have to remember your highlander is like 9 years old...


First world problems...

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post #10 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 04:14 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scoutyjones2 View Post
I instructed my girls from the beginning that I do a lot of driving for my job and anything they bring in, they take out...food, garbage, toys, etc...Leave things the way they are. If they left a light on and it caused me to have to jump start my car, no more dome light, use a flashlight.

Ha!


Quote:
You also have to remember your highlander is like 9 years old...
Still a dumb design decision, even for 9 years ago.


Quote:
First world problems...
I think that probably applies to most of the discussions in this entire forum.
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post #11 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 04:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tripplec View Post
Change those culprits to LED bulbs and the current draw will drop considerably!!

Any particular brand recommendations welcome. I've been looking at others in the forum.
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post #12 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh68 View Post
Any particular brand recommendations welcome. I've been looking at others in the forum.
These are what I use.

Yorkim 194 LED Bulbs Xenon White...
Amazon Amazon
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post #13 of 18 Old 07-12-2019, 07:20 PM
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I have replaced them in a number of vehicles and WARM WHITE is the best illumination. EBay has tons and Amazon USA may have as well what will fit. It'll take time to find the right ones. But they're out there. Some newer vehicle they don't work because the polarity is reversed feeding the bulbs. But on you're it way too old for that tech to be in use.

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post #14 of 18 Old 07-13-2019, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone for the bulb tips.
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post #15 of 18 Old 07-13-2019, 06:25 AM
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Where I got most of my interior LEDs.
https://www.superbrightleds.com/

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