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Map/courtesy light stays on

1997 Monte Carlo w/65k miles:

The car needed jump starts twice in two months because one of the map lights stayed on and drained the battery (which is only 3 years old). This problem started in 2006, and about once a year the car would need a jump start because of this problem.

Also, it appears that something is draining the battery. When the car is not driven for 2-3 days, it hesitates to start (after 2-3 days of not driving it). Also, all the jump starts were needed when the car was not driven for 2-3 days (and a map light was on).

We suspect a sensor controlling the map lights/courtesy lights may be going bad. Our mechanic suggested taking the bulb out or replacing the switch that turns the light on/off.

We will appreciate if you would shed some light.



Pull the fuse that controls power to the map lights first and see if the battery still drains.

Caution: you can safely do this UNLESS the fuse pulled also controls another component related to safe operation of the vehicle.

Is it just one light that is staying on? Do you see it light up? Does the lamp have a mechanical switch, or is it electronic?

“…Pull the fuse that controls power to the map lights first…”.

Hi Raodrunner: Sounds like a good idea. I’ll try that. Thanks.

Hi Oblivion:

  1. Last time it happened, just one map light lit up when we jump started the car. However, the mirror assembly itself was not warm to the touch unlike other times when the battery got drained.
  2. The map lights can be turned on/off manually. However, the remote controller (keyless entry) overrides these settings. For example, when the remote button is pressed to lock/unlock the car doors/trunk, these courtesy lamps come on (even though the switches are turned off manually) and they stay on for a few seconds.

Is this the light in the sun visor? map light? Hmm where is that? if its the lighted mirror in the visor I have replaced many, you can just unplug them (tie a string to the wire so it does not get lost under the head liner.)

Map light/reading light: In Monte Carlo, there are two lights on the underside of the rearview mirror. As far as I can tell, they are integral parts of the rearview mirror assembly.