Interior light

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C0nn0r91
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Interior light

#1 Post by C0nn0r91 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:08 pm

Hi all,

I have a strange problem with the interior light and ignition barrel surround light.

With the engine running, opening the door brings on both lights as you'd expect. Closing turns it off.

With the engine not running the ignition barrel light and interior light stay on with the doors shut. And are on with the doors open.

Sometimes it stays off no matter the state of the doors until the engine is running so I'm wondering what the problem might be?

There was a piranha alarm system fitted from new and it has been spliced into various connector on the fuse box in the drivers footwell. May be related.

Thanks,
Connor.

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1234dist
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Re: Interior light

#2 Post by 1234dist » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:19 pm

clean or replace your door switches
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Re: Interior light

#3 Post by Johnny 216GSi » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:31 pm

C0nn0r91 wrote:
Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:08 pm
Hi all,

I have a strange problem with the interior light and ignition barrel surround light.

With the engine running, opening the door brings on both lights as you'd expect. Closing turns it off.

With the engine not running the ignition barrel light and interior light stay on with the doors shut. And are on with the doors open.

Sometimes it stays off no matter the state of the doors until the engine is running so I'm wondering what the problem might be?

There was a piranha alarm system fitted from new and it has been spliced into various connector on the fuse box in the drivers footwell. May be related.

Thanks,
Connor.
I think this is a common problem. My car does odd things with the interior light fade and key barrel illumination. I remember distinctly that it all made sense when I bought the car many, many years ago - unlocking and entering the car, the interior light and key barrel would stay on after I shut the door, so I could see to insert the key and get myself sorted. As soon as I turned the key to the second position, the interior light would fade down and then I'd start the car. Exiting the car would see the light come on as I opened the door, but it would fade automatically and quite quickly when I shut the door and locked the car.

Recently (and for the last few years in fact) I've seen some odd behaviour with the interior light fading quickly on entry, and holding on too long when exiting - to the point where I stand outside the vehicle and wait for it to go off - otherwise there's a chance it could flatten the battery. It's like the control logic and state of the doors being locked/unlocked is out of sync.

I've got to get round to it - but I'd check the door switches on the body (as I've just seen Dist recommended) with a multimeter to see if moving the switch makes and breaks the connection between the pins on the back. Possibly replace the driver's one at least if this isn't the case. I haven't taken mine out yet, but I assume they're spade connectors on the back? Sometimes just the contacts and spades become oxidised and just need a clean with a wire brush and to be pushed back together tightly. You can also buy switch contact cleaner in a spray - they usually come with a straw applicator. If you can see any holes in the switch where you could squirt some so the liquid gets inside, this might fix a non-functioning switch when the contacts inside have oxidised. You need to work the switch a few dozen times to have the cleaner take effect. I believe the light fading and other vehicle functions are controlled by the MFU (multi-function unit) which is plugged onto the back of the fuse board in the car. These are expensive to buy new from the likes of Rimmer and other Rover parts stockists, but the right price on Ebay. Last time I looked, the MFU for the standard car was being sold NEW at a discount by at least two outlets for something like £10 (plus or minus a few pounds) and I bought one. I've yet to swap it over to see if it fixes the problem.

You used the correct term when you said your Piranha alarm was "spliced" into the wiring. Spliced being the operative word. These alarm systems take a connection to the wiring, they don't sit in between the wiring and re-make the circuit (unless you're talking about an immobiliser, in which case you actually break critical wiring like the fuel pump and start motor positives, and the connection is made by relays inside the immobiliser box). As such, alarm removal is often just cutting the alarm wires - the original Rover loom is undisturbed and everything remains connected as it should. An alarm is likely to take a live, ground, switched live, and a door (or other) entry switched live to trigger. If removing the alarm had really broken a Rover loom ground, live, or switched live, you'd be in much more trouble as the car wouldn't start or run I expect, or you'd find a whole load of electrical equipment not working. It is possible there's been some damage to a door switch or other alarm trigger wire on the Rover loom, but I'm just trying to thing what that would look like - a wire is either broken or connected - it would be rare for a cable to be cut or joined in such a way that it is providing a flaky connection that works sometimes, and doesn't others. It is possible. I can think of twisted together copper wire on the speakers I retro-fitted. I could see the had been very well twisted together and insulated, yet the sound was dropping out on one of the door speakers - so I just soldered the joints and this fixed the problem. If a door switch wire was really damaged and giving an intermittent connection, the clue on any Rover-alarmed car would be that the alarm would be going off all by itself.
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Re: Interior light

#4 Post by crepello » Tue Feb 19, 2019 8:32 pm

The interior light delay is indeed controlled by the MFU. When the bargains were around, I bought one as a drop-in upgrade for my poverty spec non-delay original.
The door switches are very basic, and the contact is not enclosed. There's a single spade, the return is grounded via the bodyshell.

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Re: Interior light

#5 Post by ROVER-25X » Tue Feb 19, 2019 11:15 pm

Yeah they are easy to strip down and clean up, just remember to add a bit of fresh grease once rebuilt.
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Re: Interior light

#6 Post by C0nn0r91 » Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:33 am

Thanks for the replies,

I'll have a look at the door switches etc but the fact they work as intended with the engine running would suggest they're making and breaking fine.

It's only when the engine isn't running is where I'm having problems.

Thanks,
Connor.

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Re: Interior light

#7 Post by crepello » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:00 pm

C0nn0r91 wrote:
Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:33 am
It's only when the engine isn't running is where I'm having problems.
May be worth checking your battery voltage with/without engine running?
Is it the same with key in ignition position but engine stopped?

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Re: Interior light

#8 Post by Paul_1978_yorks » Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:07 pm

Could it be something as simple as a bad earth?

Viz-a-viz check the earth connections. There’s one on the bonnet slam panel. Can’t remember if there are any others.
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Re: Interior light

#9 Post by C0nn0r91 » Sat Feb 23, 2019 3:41 pm

Fixed the problem, it was the interior light multi function unit. Part number YWC10003.

Replaced for a new item and all is well.

Thanks,
Connor.

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Re: Interior light

#10 Post by ROVER-25X » Sat Feb 23, 2019 6:31 pm

Could that have been damaged due to a bad earth though ?

Might be worth investigating. :wink3
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Re: Interior light

#11 Post by crepello » Sat Feb 23, 2019 10:14 pm

Dry joint in the MFU?
Would be worth knowing for when new ones become nla.

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Re: Interior light

#12 Post by Cromp85 » Sun Feb 24, 2019 12:41 am

Has anyone fitted or tried a mk3 200 MFU? I would have thought any of the post 95 coupes and cabbies would have had the same part as they have the mk3 dash board.
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Re: Interior light

#13 Post by C0nn0r91 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 2:21 am

I imagine it was due to the piranha alarm system / immobiliser.

When I press the lock / unlock button on the key fob the interior light flashes once

Also with the failed MFU, only one side of the indicators flashed when the immobiliser was armed / disarmed. So I guess abnormal wear and tear due to the immobiliser.

Thanks,
Connor.

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