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Hi could someone please enlighten me as to how the red door lights work. I.e are they supposed to light up when the door is opened? Is it only when the lights are on or always regardless of lights. And also what could be the reason they both don’t work?. I have changed the bulbs so it’s not that. One did come on while I already had the door open but went off after a few seconds. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

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Thanks Dan, ive checked the wiring and fuses etc and cant find any issues, its a weird one. im not really sure how to check the switch but it looks ok and the wiring is still intact......strange theyre both not working.....


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Dont know if its any help but IIRC, you open one door and all 3 lights come on - both door lights and the interior light. So they must be all on the same loop. (wiring diagrams out in the garage atm) DO you have one of these - in the workshop manual.

I would check the interior bulb  - does it light on opening the doors?

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them." Albert Einstein

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On our Stevens car, the door lights (both sides) come on when the doors are opened, even if the overhead light is in the OFF position.


They turn off after a delay (again, whether the center light is on or switched off).


If your G car has the yellow light delay module, it might be wanky.  <--- technical term

Attached is a locator diagram from an '86 DOM service manual...indeed, it shows a module.


PS: Again on our Stevens car, the yellow delay module was a bit eccentric, wouldn't turn on the door lights.  Replaced the door bulbs with LEDs and it worked after that..except if the overhead (incandescent) lamp was OFF, the LEDs would glow very dimly FOREVER. 😵 :scared:  Never affected the battery tho'.


Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Very strange Brett for both door pin switches to go, but to check either use a multi meter to continuety test it or a little test rig using a 12v battery, some wire and a bulb.

When the switch is pushed in i.e the current will not pass through the switch, when it is open the current travels, it is just a simple on/off switch.

Pain in the backside crawling under the dash, but you can always try and chase the wires back from the doors to see what is going on also  :)


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It appears the door switches just ground the delay, which has power coming from two locations.

Also, once it's working, Inoticed on  my '85 turbo that the light delay unit (yellow, behind the glovebox) would not turn off at all with normal LEDs in the doors and interior light fixture. I found ones that drew more current and the delay unit started to work properly. It needs a load.



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  • 1 year later...

New lamps installed, great they work. Closed door won’t shut off?

Explains why removed, found yellow lamp delay by Pektron, opened it and looks fine?

Replaced and want to know if;

1) can you test them?

2) exist anywhere on earth to buy?

else will try to find Lucas alternative 33388,

Thank you  


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Do the lights shut off within 30 seconds when you manually actuate the door button, on the side of the dash?


If so, perhaps some refurb of the door cards was done and they neglected to reinstall the little black 'actuator buttons' that push the switches. (A local owner found that, on a newly-purchased Esprit.)

You can use these temporarily

Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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If I put a bulb in the holder and close the door it just stays on, no matter how long I wait.

If I put the ceiling light on in farthest up and farthest down “on” position and then push in the door jam the button and wait, both stay on. So I don’t drain the battery I have to leave ceiling light in the middle “off” position and doors bulbs out.

Ive no idea what my ceiling lamp positions are supposed to be and if correct and seems the door jam button isn’t shutting the current off, ,so  perhaps this is the fault?

thanks for suggestion, I’ll keep tinkering till it’s fixed.

Edited by StonerUK
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Perhaps troubleshooting with a meter (the door jam switch) will determine if it is working. We had one fail, fortunately the USA Stevens cars have TWO switches on the driver's side. The other was for the seat belt buzzer. I believe I removed the bad one and refurbished it.

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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Ha1  Amazingly, I found an old writeup from many years ago. (2006) I can't find pictures, perhaps because MS Word changed since then.


Tech Stuff: Restoring Esprit Courtesy Light Switches


For years, our Esprit has suffered from an intermittent courtesy lamp.  Sometimes it would work, sometimes not.


I knew the problem was in the door-actuated switch on the driver's side. A few years previous the lamp had become intermittent, so I swapped the door and seatbelt-buzzer switches and all was well, at least for a few years.


It was time to take action and fix the switches. I could have bought new ones from one of the usual Lotus parts suppliers for $---- but it's always more satisfying to fix it yourself! Less costly too.


Repair only took a half-hour.  Here's how it was done:


Tools Needed:

2 small screwdrivers

Dremel or small Flat File

Fine sandpaper or Emery cloth

Two small sheetmetal screws

Conductive grease






Small round file


First thing is to remove the switch from the dashboard. Its locking collar holds it in. If you don't have the special Lucas collar removal tool, two small screwdrivers will engage the slots and allow you to loosen the collar.  Don't slip or you will damage the leather.


On the driver's side, the upper switch operates the seat belt buzzer. It has black connectors on the back of the switch. The lower switch, with white connectors, operates the courtesy lamps. Remove the locking collar and push the switch into the dash. It will then fall underneath where you can disconnect it. Don't worry about shorting the connectors, it's low voltage…the circuit load is the lamp, so you can't blow a fuse.


If you want, check the resistance of the switch with your multimeter, set on the lowest OHM scale. You will probably have some resistance with the switch extended…that's why it isn't working. If you hold the black switch plunger in, you will get infinite resistance.


When you get the switch into your hand, you will see that it is held together with two small copper rivets. I used my Dremel to grind these off from the plunger side. You could also file the ends of the rivets off but that would take longer. Once the rivets are ground off, carefully pry the chrome threaded barrel and the flat insulator off the black plastic switch body. The black plunger is spring-loaded so don't lose any parts!



Next, gently remove the plunger. The contacts on the other side should pull into the switch body. Once you get the side contacts out a ways, you will see the cross-contact bar. In fact, it may fall out of the plunger. See the pictures if it all falls apart.


Once the plunger and cross-bar are removed, pull out the side contacts. You will see a small burnt spot in the cross-contact.  Sand both ends so that the burned area is removed. Then, sand the corresponding inside area of the slotted contacts. These will be burned also (the pictures show where the two touch). Finally, apply a THIN coat of conductive grease to the contact areas. (This is available in the electrical section of Home Centers like Lowes…it is used to make good connections in outlets that use aluminum wires.)


Now reassemble the switch. You will be using the small sheetmetal screws instead of rivets…you may want to test-fit them into the switch body to be sure they hold OK.  I had to use a round file because mine were a wee bit large, and you don't want to force the screws in and cause the plastic to crack. I also had to drill out the holes in the metal barrel a bit because my sheetmetal screws were larger than the holes.


Put the side contacts in first, they fit into grooves in the black switch body. Then insert the cross-contact into the outer side of the plunger. The fiber washer goes next, then the flat insulator, and then the metal threaded barrel. Use the sheetmetal screws to hold it together.


If you want, test the resistance with the multimeter again. You will find that the resistance between contacts is now zero! And infinite if the black plunger is pressed.


All that remains is to reinstall the switch into the dash. Hook up the white connectors to the switch. Leave off the bottom nut from the barrel…the screw-heads will perform that function. (its purpose was to adjust the actuation point of the switch.) Tighten the collar with the two small screwdrivers, again being careful not to slip and damage the leather. If the switch turns while you tighten the collar, a paper clip into the barrel's channel will stop it from turning.


Close the door, the light should go out after thirty seconds.  You are done, hopefully for many years. The conductive grease will prevent arcing, and the contacts will not burn.



Found some pictures. Here's one or two. PM me if you want more, but is basically remove, disassemble, reassemble.



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Atwell Haines

'88 Esprit

Succasunna, NJ USA

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Right, time to update on my ‘story’ come adventure so far!

Believe it or not I managed to lay in the drivers footwell with the seat in place and crank my neck around the steering column to see how the door/courtesy lamp plunger switch looked, nothing out of place (apart from spinal column).  

Carefully taped string to front of plunger and unscrewed collar from body. Pushed switch through dash hole and lowered from underneath and removed from string (used  to guide back into position after testing). Connected the switch to simple lamp circuit, to determine any need to dismantle and repair as above. Pleased to say it  passed this function test, sorry to say is not the switches fault?

Reading the wiring diagram sht12, informs as mentioned earlier, is connected to the courtesy lamp via the delay unit. . I’m no electrical alchemist but looks like the switch is wired as an earth return back to the relay unit, ( door open maintains circuit to the relay and interior lamp, door closed circuit broken and door lamp goes out) I think?

what I don’t get is with the switch and relay unit removed (individually not the same time), the door and courtesy lamps still stay on ( courtesy lamp in down position on the rocker)?

Next episode will be titled, ‘door card off’ to checked what’s underneath and how the lamps earth is being supplied to stay on all the time?

Ahh, great days.




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Door card removed.

Wiring in place to the scheme.

Window winder motor mechanism looked good and functioning properly, a bonus “look see”.

So decided to replace delay unit with new after all just in case which did not cure, bummer!

Car has a retro iPod spliced into the Auxiliary unit alongside delay unit.

My next thing to check, perhaps shorting the system some how?

This is a pain!

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  • 4 weeks later...

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