2002 Ford Super Duty F-350 SRW dome lights drain the battery

The 2 interior dome lights and the cargo light keep coming on for a short period with no doors open. This keeps draining the batteries. Ford of North Scottsdale has had the truck for 2 months saying it is to interment to solve. Please HELP

It has been there for 2 months ? Good Grief ! I would have just removed the bulbs on this 19 year old vehicle and bought a couple of flashlights . If you can do with out for 2 months then why do you even have it ?

This truck is excellent condition and I would like to keep it that way.

My Mazda B2300 (Ford Ranger)has a similar problem. I took the bulb out years ago. If you want to solve it, go to YouTube and look for the answer. I believe it is due to a magnet assembly in the door lock.

It sounds like one of the switches on the doors is bad/shorted. If the switches are visible, test them while the respective door is open and see if the lights fail to go out. Failing that, it could be the magnet problem @oldnotdeadyet mentioned. Worst case it could be the body control module but let’s not go there just yet. In any event, there’s no need to go back to the dealer, they can’t solve the problem anyway.

I do wonder what the charges will be for taking 2 months to not fix the problem.

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You and me both!

Thank you, I think I’m going to try one recommend by Car Talk

Unless this has already been done, I would replace all the “door ajar” switches and see if this corrects the issue.


I have a 2000 Ranger with that problem and I gave up tracking down the cause of intermittent battery discharge and ordered a master relay to eliminate all possible causes and while waiting for the relay and all necessary accessory parts I got in the habit of removing the fuse that powers the generic(GEM) body module every time I got out of the truck. After a few weeks waiting it had become such a simple habit to pull that fuse that I have quit obsessing over installing that bypass relay.

As for those door switches, they are the most common cause of your problem as stated above and they operate through the GEM module but as always ‘intermittent’ problems can become nightmares to isolate and correct as has been noted here so many times. As a “professional” I would likely not give a customer a bill that advised him to remove a fuse but for anonymous posters here I’ll throw it out. Take it or leave it.

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Thanks for the tip.

Thank you, I’m going to take all the tips from this when I take the truck to another mechanic.

Perhaps interment is the best solution.
If the Ford dealership says that burying it is the best solution, who am I to disagree?

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Me too. :laughing: FWIW, I used to fix computers and if I couldn’t find the fault I simply didn’t charge anything and I certainly never kept one for two months. OTOH, several years ago my wife’s Jeep needed major engine work and our regular mechanic farmed it out to a guy who’d been laid off from Chrysler and opened his own shop. She ended up driving a rental for several weeks.

Isn’t there a switch that can turn the dome light off. If there is, then you can turn them on as needed. Look in your owners manual. Every Chrysler procuct I ever owned had such a switch. I don’t know about other makes.

Dunno about Chrysler products but for a long time there was no such switch on any US made car I drove. You could turn the dome light on but you couldn’t keep it from turning on. It’s possible there’s such a switch on the OP’s truck but I wouldn’t bet on it.

I got spoiled having a dome light defeat switch in my 1977 Corolla and when I replaced it with a 1984 Pontiac I missed it. I drilled a hole in the dome light housing, enlarged it with a reamer, and wired a switch. That way I could press a button and defeat the dome light.

On Chrysler products it wass uaually whatever dimmed the dash lights. On earlier models you rotated the headlight switch all the way to the left to turn them off and all the way right to turn them on. That overrode the switch in the door jambs or on the dome4 light itself. Later models esp. Vans had a slide function. A lot of owners were surprised to learn they had that function.

My gut feeling is there is a problem with the door handle. There are several switches (very tiny, delicate ones) that are part of each handle assembly and those are prone to problems over time. Replacing the door handle is the usual fix although the failure can be either an open or closed circuit.
Assuming a keyless entry, a fault with the keyless entry module is also a potential fault as that is also tied into the dome lighting. I tend t think of this as less likely.

Generally the best way to sort these things out is with a Helm electrical manual which is what Ford dealers should have and should be using. They clear up the electrical murkiness quite a bit; assuming the end user can actually read a current flow chart.
Two months with no results is ridiculous. The operative phrase is fish or cut bait.

I’m going to assume that’s fairly recent. It certainly didn’t work that way on my old Dodge. Turning counterclockwise turned on the dome light but turning clockwise just dimmed the instrument panel lighting.

If you kept turning after the panel lights went dark you should have felt a click and your dome light should not go on if you opened the door. My family has had at least 20 Chrysler products ranging from a pair of 52 Plymouths to a 2004 PT Cruiser. That got totaled at the end of 2011 and I got a 2012 Camry which I still have. On a few of the earlier ones all then control was on the dome light with a 3 way switch. Dome light on, automatic when doors open and dome light off.