Technically, a car doesn’t need interior lights. It will move regardless of whether these lights are functional or not. But that isn’t an excuse to ignore dead interior lights.
You need interior lights to fasten your seat belt, read a map, safely enter or exit the car, and more. It would be a mistake to treat them as useless accessories. The following can stop a Nissan Altima’s interior lights from working:
1). The Fuse Blew
Start with the fuse box. The electronics in your car use fuses to defend against surges and spikes. The fuse has to blow to do its work. Unfortunately, this will deprive the electronic components of power. That includes the interior lights.
Use the manual to find the fuse box. Use the diagram on the cover to identify the correct fuse. Does it look okay? What if you can’t find the interior light fuse? Nissans have multiple fuse boxes.
2). You Turned The Interior Lights Off
Are you sure the interior lights are on? You can turn these lights off manually. Maybe deactivating another light in and around the car also killed the dome lights. Read the manual. What do the instructions say?
Are there different ways to turn the lights on and off? You can also experiment with the controls. Push the various switches and buttons, and see what happens.
3). You Have A Short To Ground
This is where large volumes of current flow through the circuit because of excess contact between the lighting system’s wiring and the car’s chassis. Check the components on a swivel, such as the connection point between the doors and the vehicle.
Besides creating a short to ground, Your-Mechanic warns that such situations can damage the wiring, not to mention blowing the fuse. Damaged wires will lead to arcing.
4). The Wiring Is Damaged
You can’t rule out damaged wiring, especially where shorting incidents are concerned. Unfortunately, a car’s electrical system uses a complex web of wires. Finding the wires at fault won’t be easy.
If the wires directly attached to the light seem okay, you should expand your search. Find a local technician with a comprehensive understanding of the Nissan Altima’s electrical system. You are better off consulting the dealership that sold you the car. But if that isn’t an option, any experienced mechanic will do.
5). The Switch is Dead
Functional interior lights should turn on and off when you open and close the door. If they’ve refused to respond, remove the switch and test the terminals for continuity using a multimeter. You can access the terminals after unbolting the switch with a screwdriver.
6). The Timer Module Has Failed
Does the car have a timer module? The interior lights in a vehicle with a timer module will stay on for a few minutes after you close the door. You need a skilled technician to inspect this component for faults.
7). The Bulb Has Burnt Out
Bulbs burn out. Most people know this. However, they don’t expect a car’s interior light bulb to burn out, which is why it doesn’t occur to them to test the bulb when the dome lights stop working.
Remove the cover with a screwdriver and test the bulb. Sometimes, simply applying pressure or twisting the bulb is enough to solve the problem, especially if the connection between the bulb and its socket has deteriorated.
In other cases, you must connect a test light between the ground and socket terminals to determine whether or not the bulb is dead. What if you can’t find a test light? Life Wire suggests inserting another bulb in the socket.
If the second bulb works, the first bulb is the problem. What if you don’t have access to a second bulb? Cars have multiple bulbs. Inspect them to determine whether they can fit in the interior light socket.
8). The Body Control Module Is Defective
The BCM controls the interior lights. Check the BCM’s fuse. If it looks fine, some Nissans have a factory defect associated with the BCM. It burns the circuit. Inspect the body control module for defects.
9). The Battery Is Dying
A dead battery will prevent the car from starting. A dying battery will affect the functionality of one or more electronics. The lights will gradually dim until they stop working. Eventually, other electronics will follow suit.
How To Fix Nissan Altima Interior Light That Is Not Working?
- Start with the obvious. Check the battery. A multimeter test will determine whether or not you should replace it. But you shouldn’t take drastic steps without first cleaning corroded terminals and making sure the terminals and cables have a firm connection.
- Replace a burned-out bulb. These items are inexpensive and easy to find. Use the correct voltage and wattage.
- Make sure you know how to turn on the interior lights. Use the correct combination of buttons and switches. Keep an eye out for dimmer switches. For all you know, the light works, but you lowered the brightness to the lowest setting. Some dome lights don’t have an ‘On/Off’ switch. You can only increase or decrease the brightness.
- If the light or dimmer switch doesn’t work, replace it.
- Find the fuse box and locate the bad fuse. Replace it. If the new fuse blows, search for wires exposed to metallic surfaces and components. Resolving the short to ground will prevent the next fuse you install from blowing.
- Replace damaged wires.
- Replace a defective timer module.
- Find and tighten loose connections. That includes the connection between the bulb and its socket.
- Repair a defective BCM.
When all else fails, talk to a mechanic. You need them to troubleshoot the electrical system. The fault may lie elsewhere, not necessarily behind the interior light switch and its bulb. A mechanic can use other troubling symptoms to track down the primary cause.