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Crappy 2004 Alero Radio Doesn't Turn Off When Iginition Off & Door Opened

I hate this damn car! Just bought it Monday and didn’t realize until the next day that the first of all, the dome light is not coming on when the driver’s door is opened AND, the stereo (factory - stock) stays on even when the key is removed from the ignition and the doors are opened. HELP!!! Anyone interested in buying a 2004 Oldsmobile Alero??? (If it’s all relevant, there is no keyless remote for this car unless I buy one so the factory alarm isn’t in use though I believe it is functional - probably has nothing to do with the problem though but who knows!!). :o)

Bought it Monday and hate it already? That doesn’t sound good.

The dome light bulb may be burned out. Is so a new bulb will fix it. Check the fuse, too. A burned out fuse may be keeping the light from coming on. The switch that controls the dome light may be set to “OFF,” in which case the light won’t come on. Check these simple things first.

If the light comes on when a door other than the driver’s door is opened, then the switch on the driver’s door jamb is probably bad.

Are you saying you can’t turn the radio off by any means? It’s on all the time?

The radio should turn off after ten minutes or so. Your problem (both the radio turn-off and the dome light) is that the driver’s door-open switch isn’t working. It could be stuck, defective, or disconnected. Get that switch fixed, and your radio and dome light troubles will go away.

There’s a reason used cars should be inspected before purchase…

Dome light does work when any door, except driver’s door, is opened so obviously the problem in not the dome light itself. The radio does not stay on all the time, just doesn’t turn off like it should when the key is out of the ignition and the door is opened. In other words, I walk away from the car and the stereo continues to play. I realize this is probably related to the door switch but I cannot locate any switch around my door. Can you point me to where exactly I should be looking?? Thanks so much.

I figured it was a switch/sensor related to the door - but I cannot find where the switch/sensor is. Can anyone clue me in? Thanks!

Check all around the door frame for a (likely) black rubber boot that you can push inward.

Once you find it, move the boot aside and try spraying electrical contact cleaner in the switch.

Let the cleaner soak for a minute and then push the switch by hand numerous times until the dome light goes on and off.

As was mentioned, the radio will turn off after ten minutes via the (computer controlled) battery saver timer.

As you already know, the radio should turn off when the door is opened as well.

Let us know how you make out.

Am I looking for a “boot” or a button? I’ve looked all around the door for a button, but there is none. I am guessing at this but do you mean inside the boot is where the switch is? I’m so frustrated because I called 2 different Pontiac dealers (since Olds is no more) and neither of them could give me answers as to where the sensor/switch is. Thanks for all your help by the way. :o)

I think that the switch is hidden inside the door latch, inside the door.

I apologize, I gave you wrong information as to the light switch.

After reading hundreds of post headings after doing an Alero search, I only found one similar question but it had no answer.

The poster said he couldn’t find a button either. Tardis may be right, in the latch somehow?

My son has a 2001 Alero but he’s out of town for awhile so I can’t ask him.

Try spraying some CRC Electrical Contact Cleaner (try Lowes) or WD40 into the door latch while working the door handle. This cured a similar problem on my wife’s 98 Windstar.

Ed B.

Okay, I’m going to try edb1961’s suggestion, however, I have tried using WD40 on the latch and opening and closing the door, but I didn’t use it while working the door handle. If that doesn’t work, looks like Pontiac’s going to make some money off me. At least I feel I’ve tried everything! Thanks everyone for your help. You’ve been great with all your suggestions, etc.

Okay, here’s an update -STILL NEED HELP!! The WD40 while working the door lock thing did nothing. I looked up the part for the door - the door lock actuator. It will fit front OR rear driver’s door which tells me the door open sensor is not within the actuator since the rear doors have an obvious “button” that tells the car when the door is opened or closed. So, I still need some ideas insofar as that issue goes.

Now I have a new issue, related or not, I of course do not know. I just found out this morning that I cannot listen to a radio station while the rear defroster is on - all the stations turn to snow until I turn the defroster off. However, the CD player is fine with the defroster on.

Wonder what I’m going to discover about this car tomorrow. You sure no one out there wants to buy a 2004 Alero? All this is NOT making me like this car any better. I wonder if it had some kind of water damage. Hmmmmm.

I would suspect an improperly installed (or reinstalled) radio. if the wiring was connected with the power on constantly (as opposed to being on only with the key on) would create this situation.

the mention of snow indicates a loose, or poorly grounded antenna. again, this could be due to someone fiddling with the radio. It is possible the previous owner had an aftermarket stereo installed, and when they sold it they ‘threw’ the old one back in.

the interior dome light could indeed be a burnt out bulb. try to eliminate the easy stuff first, before getting into the complicated stuff.

Forgot to mention that I also tried the procedure to reset the ignition. It was my understanding that the Security light should flash and turn off after 10 minutes or so. The Security light in my car stays on solid and goes out when I start the car. Are all these issues related somehow??? It’s driving me nuts (and I don’t have far to go!!!).

Cappy, did you read any of the posts? The bulb is not burned-out. The OP said it works (lights up) for any door but the driver. The radio is not constantly on. It’s just not turning off when the driver’s door opens (with the key off) like it is supposed to do. The failure is the driver’s door switch. It is the thing that is common to these two problems.

Thanks Cappy208 - but the dome light bulb is not burned out. The dome light functions as it should with all other doors, just not the driver’s door. It also functions correctly in that it comes out when I remove the key from the ignition. It just doesn’t turn on when I open the door such as wehn I am leaving for work in the pitch black morning. Anything other suggestions?

I think you are looking at the wrong part.

2004 OLDSMOBILE ALERO 2.2L 2198cc 134cid L4 FI (F) [L61] : Electrical-Switch & Relay : Door Lock Cylinder Switch Price Core Total Advice
ACDELCO Part # 25664288 More Info {replaces 31028276 #31028276}

$50.89	$0.00	$50.89	

Add to Cart

this is the lock actuator, and switch. the one you found seems to be just the actuator.

easy trigger… i have a little ADD okay…

just trying to help, but i don’t mind a little criticism either :slight_smile:

This car is going to teach me a lot! After all this gets figured out, I’m going to start my own forum!! Just kidding. Anyway, okay, so maybe it is the actuator/switch. But, now I found a wiring diagram and indicates the same wire (green/black) is for dome light and door trigger. Given the fact that the radio loses reception when the rear defroster is on, doesn’t it sound more like a wiring issue rather than the actual actuator? I’m trying to logically analyze this and I just don’t know that much about it to make an educated guess. I can do a lot of things for a “girl”, but troubleshooting and actually finding the problem with this car is turning out to be more of a challenge than I am prepared for. I just don’t want to spend a lot of money to rectify the problem. If it’s wiring, I can do that. I can pull the radio, etc. However, I’ve never had to repair parts inside the door and I’m not too confident in myself in that regard.

I wonder if there is a broken wire inside the door to frame rubber wire protector? (I forget what the correct name is)

You all know the place I’m talking about. It’s where the wiring gets continually bent from the drivers’ door being constantly open and closed.

Perhaps there is a short somewhere?