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Dash lights turning on and off while car is off

My 2015 dodge journey died last night. I think how I know why. My dash lights are turning on and off while the car is OFF. I cant find anything online about what could be the cause. I’ve found a few things about what to do while the car in on but nothing about it happening the a car that’s off.

On some cars the lights stay on for like 30 seconds after the ignition is off. But if they are on all the time even when the light switch is fully off, something is wrong, that is NOT normal.

That happens sometimes due to somebody wiring some accessory to the nearest hot wire, which might be the dash lights wire. That’s fine unless there is another source of power to the device, and that feeds back up the dash lights wire.

The old Audi’s had this bug— if you held the high-beams flash switch, that would feed power back into the accessory circuit, even when the key was out. They considered that a “feature” not a “bug”, as it let you close the sunroof without the key.

Anyway, if someone has done some wiring lately, that’s probably the problem. Has someone added a security system, a radio, an amplifier, or something else electrical? That’s probably it.

If nothing has been messed with lately, then it’s likely that there is a short in the module that controls the lights. In the olden days the lights had a regular plain old switch, those very rarely failed. Today they use transistors to do the switching and they do sometimes fail, usually shorting out. They can be helped along toward shorting out if someone accidentally shorts out the cigar-lighter power outlet, with like a bad charger cord.

It can also be a faulty door latch switch inside the door…thinking the door has been opened. The days of pin switches in the door jamb have seemed to go the way of the Dodo Bird…the way its done these days is inside the door latch. That sensor could be on the verge of open/close and it fluctuates back n forth.

A good engine diag scanner will show you live data of these things…and even allow you to manipulate items on and off. Without this piece of equipment you are flying blind.

Heres a trick for ya… Open the drivers door (Most suspect door and switch btw)…use a phillips screwdriver sideways inside the door latch to simulate the door being closed onto its lock hasp…this will simulate a closed door while it is still open… IF you have no probs during this test…it shows the latch is not going onto the hasp far enough to fully trigger the switch inside the door.

ALL of this assumes you dont actually have door pins in the door jamb to indicate a closed door… Methinks unlikely on a 15’…but you never know these days…so see what system your vehicle uses to know the door was closed…no door pins…then its in that door latch on the door.

Fairly easy test

Fuse 130–15 amp, you could try pulling that fuse to see if it will stop instrument lamps. I realize, courtesy lamps will stay on for a bit after exit, I didn’t realize dash would stay on? I don’t know if link will highlight or not? Pulling the fuse may allow cluster to reset?

The problem might be caused by a faulty Totally Integrated Power Module.


Could be a bad ground connection somewhere inside the dashboard.