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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Door light switch and fuse panel

I am wanting to install some lights under the dash so that the floor is illuminated when the doors are opened. I have done this in the past and found the easiest way is to wire them into the light switch in the door (usually a button that is released when the door opens, turning on the interior lights). The only problem is, I can't seem to find such a switch on the Caliber. On my previous cars it was either on the front of the door frame near the hinges or the lower back of the door frame (as it is on my Nissan). The Caliber doesn't appear to have any such button anywhere on the door frame. There are rubber knobs, but no buttons that I can find. Does anyone know where the door light switch is?

Since I couldn't find a door light switch, my first thought was to wire it into the back of the fuse panel. In all of my previous cars, the fuse panel was on the driver's side under the dash, usually behind a small door, or removable panel. A cursory search under around the driver's side lower dash didn't reveal any such place for a fuse panel. I will check the owner's maual when I get home (I left the manual on my desk at home last night) to see if it shows the fuse panel location, but I was just wondering if it's not in the usual place and where it might be.

Edited for spelling. "Panel" only has one N, not two.
 

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The fuse box is under the hood, driver's side. Picture here, its the right-most box, with the little curve in it:



I am guessing that the door switches are actually inside the door now or at the latch. The rear hatch will be the same- no switch, rather a "door ajar" or "liftgate ajar" micro switch which is at the latch.

Here is a pic from the PT service manual for the rear hatch switch, perhaps the Caliber is the same...

Note- it is possible to install your own- I have installed an alarm on the old truck I had with its own "door open" switches. Its a pain, but is a solution.

Other than that, you would almost need to find the wire at the light- at the fuse box will only be the hot wire that still goes to the switch, or, BCM.


 

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Old_Dude said:
I was thinking of adding lights, too. I'd be interisted in hearing about your experience in wiring them in.
Ditto!!! Floor lighting could come in handy for the times when you drop something but when you lean over you block the light from the dome lamps. Plus it would look cool!
 

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DodgeGirlKathy said:
Ditto!!! Floor lighting could come in handy for the times when you drop something but when you lean over you block the light from the dome lamps. Plus it would look cool!
Especially if you could get it to match the color of the cup holder lights.
 

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Old_Dude said:
Especially if you could get it to match the color of the cup holder lights.
Oh but of course!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I haven't puchased the lights yet, but will soon. With a blue car and blue accents inside (floor mats, seat covers, etc) I was thinking of going with a light blue neon light for the floor lights. Of course, I haven't fully decided yet, I may go with white lights instead. I don't want to go with something too "rice" like green, red, or something with too much blue. I want functional that looks nice.

I'm also considering one for the cargo area so that I can see what I'm reaching for with the toneau cover extended.

I will definitely post a "play by play" with pictures once I get lights installed.
 

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Michael K. said:
...With a blue car and blue accents inside (floor mats, seat covers, etc) I was thinking of going with a light blue neon light for the floor lights.
;)

 

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On my 2003 Dodge Ram Truck, I wired some lights under the dash to a wire in the center console bezel that lights the air conditioning controls when the headlights are on. It was easy to find. The added feature is that the lights will also dim with the dash lights.

I will look through the manual and see what wire does that in the Caliber.

Later

Mike
 

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After looking at the Service Manual, It apears that there is an Orange wire with a Grey Stripe that powers the cup holder lights and the center Bezel Air Conditioning controls light. This wire should be connected to the air conditioning controls and be very accessible by removing the center bezel.

I would check this on mine, but it is in the dealer for the paint and interior protection and I won't get it back til tomorrow afternoon.

If someone has a test light, they could check this wire and see if it is the correct one and if it dims with the instrument panel dimmer.

I would rather have the lights connected to this since it will light all the time as long as the headlights are on. It keeps you from having to open a door to turn them on, and it will also allow you to dim them with the instrument panel lights.



The only recommendation I have is to use Lights with LED's since they are very low power. I used 2 Light bars with about 10 LED's in each and placed 1 on each side just behind the dash to shine down on the floor on the drivers side and passenger side of my Truck.

If nobody can test this, I will test it tomorrow afternoon when I get my Caliber back.

Use these Self Stripping Wire Splices to splice the wires. Do Not Cut them.





These are similar to what I installed in my truck. Be sure to check your local codes for interior lights.


Later

Mike
 

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I would not want them on all the time, besides, if I need to turn on the interior lights, I just use the switch on the stalk, you don't need to open the door.
 

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FtK Shadow said:
The only recommendation I have is to use Lights with LED's since they are very low power. I used 2 Light bars with about 10 LED's in each and placed 1 on each side just behind the dash to shine down on the floor on the drivers side and passenger side of my Truck.
Mike- thanks for the service manual notes- that will come in handy.

You mentioned (maybe my assumption) that you have the LED bar powered to the dimmer switch in the truck. LEDs require 0.7-1.4V in order to turn on. Is there a point in your dimmer where the LEDs turn right off? (that is, does the dimmer ever reduce the voltage to below 2V or so that the LED bar goes bye-bye?)

Maybe the best of both worlds, is a 2 pole/3 position switch- position 1, ONwith the dash, postion 2, ON or ON with door, positon 3, OFF.
 

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Hey Sean,

I was worried about the same thing that if you dimmed the LED's they would either be on or just off, without dimming. They dim perfectly. I don't know if it is because of the type of LED bar or what. They actually work exactly like the instrument panel lights and dim and go out when they do. I normally keep them on high though. I got the LED Bars in Blue and got them at Target for about $9.00 each. They are mainly for looks that is why I have them going on when the headlights are on and they are just tie wrapped up under the dash and pointing down on the floor and pedals..

The light bars had a 12v cigarette lighter plug originally, that I just cut off and wired directly. They even have a switch so they will flash with the music in the car, but that is too cheesy for me.

I will get my car back today, and I have a couple extra of these light bars that I will install and check out and post pictures of where I connect them, and also how they look.

I am leaving now to get my car back from the dealer, but when I get back, I will find where the best place would be to connect to and have them turn on with the doors also. There has to be a wire running up the A-Pillar to the overhead lights that would be easy to find and connect to under the dash.

Later

Mike
 

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Just got back with my Caliber from the dealer. But it is 110 degrees outside right now so I will either do this and post pics tonight or early in the morning. I actually have an extra set of the LED bars I bought from Target that I never used so I will install those.

Here is a picture of the passenger side LED Bar on my truck......
These make a nice blue glow on the floor without being bothersome.



Later

Mike
 

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Old_Dude said:
I would not want them on all the time, besides, if I need to turn on the interior lights, I just use the switch on the stalk, you don't need to open the door.
Yea, in that case, you would want to find the wire to the dome light that runs up the Driver Side A-Pillar. I have mine for looks more than extra light, but it does help for both.

I will look in the Service Manual for the exact wire for the overhead dome lights and post that also.

UPDATE!!!!!!!

Here is the print that shows the Dome Light Wire. It appears to be a Yellow wire with White Stripe. Should find this going into the Drivers side A-Pillar going up to the dome light. Make sure and use a test light to verify this since there is also constant power to the light so you can press the button and turn the dome light on for reading.



Later

Mike
 

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Ok,

Just finished installing the Led Light bars under the Drivers Dash and under the passengers dash.

It took about 1 hour to complete this including mounting the LED Bars.

Here are the instructions just in case anyone wants to do this same thing. These are wired to the instrument panel lighting so they will come on when you have your headlights on, and will dim with the instrument panel lights.

Step 1. Mount your light bars.

Step 2. Make sure the parking brake is on tight and turn on the key and put the car in drive and pull up on the shifter knob, it will just slide off.

Step 3. Using a putty knife or something thin pull up on the shifter bezel while using the putty knife to push in the clips.

Step 4. Using the same technique, remove the center Console bezel. There are no screws, just pull up while pushing the clips holding it on. Be careful not to scratch the dash.

Step 5. Behind the air conditioning controls, you will see a small plug on the passengers side. This plug will just pop out by pressing the clip. Remove the plug

Step 6. Using the above mentioned splice, wire the hot wire from your LED bars to the Orange wire with a Grey Strip then plug it back in.

Step 7. Find a good ground and wire the other side to that ground.

Put everything back together

Here is the correct wiring diagram for the connection.






I will take some pictures of the bars in a little bit.

Later

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Were those instructions for having the lights on with the ignition, with the headlights, or with just the dome lights? I want mine to come on with the dome lights so that the floor is illuminated when I get into the car (door open) and/or when I have the interior lights on.
 

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Sorry Michael,

Those will come on with the Dash lights like the cup holder lights. In order to make them come on with the Overhead lights you need to find the Wire to the dome lights. The best place will probably be under the dash where they go up the A Pillar. Like my other post says, It appears to be the Yellow wire with a White Stripe. Make sure and use a test light to verify the correct light.

Good Luck

Mike
 
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