Trunk Light on Dash Won’t Turn Off: Quick Fixes and Troubleshooting Tips

Have you ever found yourself frustrated by that pesky trunk light on your car’s dashboard that just won’t turn off, even after you’ve double-checked that your trunk is securely closed?

Don’t worry, you’re not alone! In this article, we will explore the possible causes behind this issue and provide you with some handy solutions to get that light to finally switch off.

Trunk Light on Dash Won't Turn Off

One of the potential culprits for the trunk light staying on is a faulty trunk switch. Responsible for triggering the light when the trunk is open or closed, it can cause the light to remain on if it becomes stuck or malfunctions. 

Another possible reason for the persistent trunk light is an issue with the wiring or bulb associated with it.

Damaged wiring or burned-out bulbs often confuse drivers by causing the light to stay illuminated. 

We will discuss all of these issues in the article.

Components of the Trunk Light System

Let’s take a closer look at the components of the trunk light system to better understand its functioning.

The trunk light indicator has a few key components including the latch, sensor, and wiring system.

The latch is responsible for holding the trunk closed, while the sensor detects the trunk’s position and sends a signal to the car’s onboard computer.

Lastly, the wiring system connects the sensor and dashboard light, enabling the trunk light indicator to function properly.

Causes of a Persistent Trunk Light

A persistent trunk light on your dashboard can be caused by several issues, such as:

Faulty latch or sensor

Dirt, debris, or wear and tear can cause the latch to malfunction, preventing the trunk from closing securely.

A broken or faulty sensor might cause the trunk light to remain on too. If you find that the latch is broken, you can easily replace it by purchasing one online or from your car’s authorized dealerships.

It’s advised to get these parts thoroughly inspected if you suspect a problem.

Wiring issues

Worn or damaged wires leading to the trunk might cause the light to remain on persistently, even when the trunk is closed properly.

Check the wiring connected to your trunk latch, sensor, and dashboard light for any potential issues. 

Especially focus on the point where the wire connects to the sensor or the latch. Those are the points where it gets worn out most often.

Burnt or faulty light bulb

In some cases, the trunk light itself may be the root of the problem.

A burnt or damaged light bulb might become dim and cause the warning light to remain on all the time.

Simply replacing the trunk light bulb as needed should solve the issue.

Car Electrical Issues

Problems with the body control module, which controls the lighting and electrical systems in your car, can trigger the trunk light indicator too.

This is a complex issue that calls for professional diagnosis and repair.

Troubleshooting the Trunk Light Issue

Door and Latch Inspection

Start by inspecting the trunk latch for any damage or debris that may be keeping it from functioning properly. Make sure that the doors are fully closed, and if necessary, clean the latch and apply some lubricant.

Wiring and Electrical Examination

Inspect the wiring for any signs of wear or damage. Look closely for any malfunctions in the wires and connections and look for blown fuses.

Check the Brake Light Sensor

Check out if the brake light sensor is working correctly by examining the dashboard lights and the light sensor for any faults.

If needed, consult a service center for professional assistance.

DIY Solutions For Trunk Light Issues

Dirty Latch Mechanism

As mentioned earlier, a worn-out or dirty latch mechanism is one of the most common causes behind the trunk light staying on even when the trunk is closed.

Try cleaning the latch with a brush or cloth to remove any debris, but you may need to replace the latch altogether if the issue persists.

You can also use a cleaning agent such as WD 40 on the latch to clean it up quite quickly.

Replacing a burnt-out light bulb

If a burnt-out light bulb in your trunk light is the culprit, all you need to do is replace the bulb following the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.

To replace the bulb, follow these steps:

Removing the old trunk light bulb

  1. Disconnect the battery: Use a wrench to disconnect the clamp holding the negative battery cable to the negative terminal.
  2. Locate the trunk light bulb: Open the trunk to access the bulb, which can be found on the underside of the trunk door or on the roof of the cargo area. Use a flashlight if needed.
  3. Remove the trunk light bulb housing: Gently pry open the housing along each side using a flathead screwdriver or your fingernail. Be careful not to break the plastic tabs.
  4. Remove the old light bulb: Using gloves, pull the light bulb out of the socket, ensuring not to squeeze too hard and break it.

Installing the new trunk light bulb

  1. Reinstall the light bulb and housing: Insert the base of the new light bulb into the socket of the housing. There are two types of bulbs, and both can be installed in either direction.
  2. Reconnect the battery and test the new bulb: Attach the negative battery terminal back onto the battery and tighten it. Verify that the light illuminates by checking it around the vehicle.

Finally, close the trunk, clean up the tools, and the process is complete. 

Remember to only use the recommended bulb type to avoid any compatibility problems or other issues.

Misaligned Switch

You may try to fix a misaligned or loosened switch by adjusting it.

Locate the switch near the trunk latch and check if it’s in the correct position.

Next, make sure it’s properly fastened by tightening any loose screws. 

When to Consult a Professional

If your DIY repairs don’t resolve the problem, it’s time to let a professional handle it.

Reach out to your dealership or a trusted mechanic who can diagnose the issue and perform any necessary adjustments, fixes, or replacements.

If the problem is related to your car’s wiring or electrical system, it’s best to let an experienced technician take care of it.

Regular maintenance at an authorized dealer or a trusted auto repair shop is imperative for your vehicle’s safety and to prevent potential issues.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule to keep your vehicle in top shape.

By doing so, you may avoid any trunk light problems and enjoy a safe and worry-free driving experience.


The usual suspect, when your trunk light sensor turns on, is that your trunk is open for some reason.

If you have checked the trunk thoroughly, it can be a problem related to either of these issues: faulty wiring, a dirty latch or sensor, or a worn-out bulb.

We have shared DIY methods to solve some of these problems. If they don’t work, it is best to reach out to a professional, especially if it is a wiring issue.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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