Hatch open indicator light stays on

Hoping for help w/ this problem. Recently the hatch on our 98 Toyota 4Runner wouldn’t “click” closed- my husband had to secure it w/ a rope for the ride home. Took it to the dealer the next day where they “degunked” it. Now it latches, but the open door/hatch indicator dash light is constantly on - the repair tech said he didn’t know why or what to do about it! My concern is that the battery is being drained. Any ideas for either actually fixing it or at least deactivating the light? Thanks very much.

When that light is on, are the interior lights also on? Has it actually run the battery down? Most newer cars shut EVERYTHING down after a period of sitting with the key turned off. I don’t know for sure about 4Runners. You could pull the fuse for the interior lights if it doesn’t turn off after 45 minutes or so.

I don’t know where the door light switch is located. If it’s within the latch itself like many Fords (which I’m much more familiar with) you may be able to fix it by spraying some contact cleaner into the latch. CRC makes a product for that purpose. You’ll find it at any parts store.

If you mean the dashboard light indicating that the rear hatch is open, don’t worry. The warning lamp only comes on when the car is running, and the draw will not deplete your battery.
Unless somehow this lamp is lit when the car is off, it’s not a big deal. Your battery will not be drained.

The ‘Degunking’ could have damaged the contacts within the switch, or the plastic that holds them together. The correct course of action would have just been to spray lube it, working good lube into the lock to free it up. Some degreasers, like carb cleaner and brake cleaner, will damage and/or melt plastics often used in switches.

Thank you for responding - and giving us something to go on. To answer your excellent questions: No, only the “hatch open” indicator light is on - none of the other interior lights. And it is now on ALL the time - engine on or off, key in or out. I should clarify that this is the same light that illuminates when any door is not closed - driver, passenger, and back hatch. Opening and closing the other doors doesn’t cause the light to turn off either. However, this situation only emerged when the back hatch was “degunked”. I will certainly ask what they used! Nor does this model have the slow extinguish feature that newer cars have. This is an old 4Runner - but a real champ - and we want to keep it going. Thanks again - I may be back!

Thank you for your response - I realize that my original post didn’t make it clear that the light is on ALL the time - even when the engine is completely off and the key is out. So it sounds from your answer that this is a big deal, and will drain the battery. I can’t believe that they let it go w/ the light on - and I certainly will be calling them back.