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Old 08-09-2017, 10:41 PM   #1
Kiltym
 
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Default Rear compartment light

Our light in the very back area of the van is not working.

Does anyone know if this is fused to the Westy fuse bank, or the Sprinter fuse bank? I can't seem to find a fuse for it in the manuals (but perhaps I missed it).

I realize it is a 3-position switch, on, off, on with door open. None work.

The bulb is fine.

I unplugged the connector that goes to the switch/lamp, and there are two wires. I am a bit confused however, but likely as I am not 100% familiar with grounding in a car.

I would logically think three wires, negative, positive, and positive from door switch. But only two are there, and there is no voltage across the wires. Not sure if there should, but I would assume so.

So is the lamp/switch grounded some other way, and the two wires are both positive? I understand DC wiring, but from a boat. Where all the grounds had to go back to the battery, as opposed to things being grounded to the chassis. But there is no chassis where this lamp is mounted, just wood.....

Probably missing something simply here.

Any ideas of how to diagnose would be great. Thanks, as always!
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

On ours (#121) that light is part of the "Westy" electrical system, not the van's, even though it uses the van door switch. It only lights when the main red switch is in the on position.

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Old 08-22-2017, 07:39 AM   #3
OldWest
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Try searching dome courtesy lights for automobiles.

I'd have to read and spend some time to understand how they work (can't quite figure it out), but apparently some of these dome courtesy lights (off, on, and on when door is open) are wired so the NEG wire is opened and closed by door switch.

The POS wire is opened and closed by the always off and always on portion of the switch, but is always on for the door switch.

Can't figure out how the NEG wire is closed for the always on position (some lights are apparently grounded by the light fixture body but this Westy light isn screwed into the plywood wall).

Well, when you figure it all out, please post.
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Old 08-22-2017, 03:49 PM   #4
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Thanks all for the info.

In my quick search online, a light like this should have 3 wires. Pos, Neg, and Door Neg (basically creates ground when door is open).

Can someone quickly check the wiring going into their rear light and confirm they have 2 or 3 wires before I dig further. Thanks for the help!
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Old 08-25-2017, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Westfalia Motorhome Supplement manual (paper), page 2.5:

--------

Interior Lamp in the Rear Accessible Storage Room

1. Permanently on

2. Off

3. Interior lamp is switched on/off by the rear door contact switches

------------

A. My Light

On mine, I can turn light on (1) and off (2). But, in position 3 , the light does NOT turn on when rears doors are open. I don't remember if it worked in position 3 as I always have turned off.

Position 1 is pushing wheel switch upwards (light turns on) and position 3 is pushing wheel switch downward (light is off even though doors are open).

B. Alternative Expanations

If there are only two settings:

1. Permanently On and Off

2. Door Switch Controlled and Off (no Permanently On position)

There is the possibility that these positions are reversed and the permanently on position does not exist (would never need a permanently on unless to give light to any mice as if doors are closed, why would one want light to be on?).

To check permanently on position versus doors open, would need to push the door switches in while driver rear door is closed and passenger rear door is open..Then, if light remains on (peekaboo) when passenger door switch is closed, then that is the permanently on position.

Or, maybe the driver rear door is the sole switch to trigger the light.

C. Number of Wires

I can feel two (2) wires spiral taped together behind the light.

D. Alternative Wiring

In order to see if light is on, at least one rear door must be open (or could rig up a remote camera. So would a two-wire system work for the three positions if the door switch is always ON when door is open?

Have to test each light position with with one and both doors open, and all door switches open and closed.

Last edited by OldWest; 08-25-2017 at 07:55 PM. Reason: Add re passenger door switch testing, add comments
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Old 08-25-2017, 08:37 PM   #6
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Thanks for checking the # of wires. Good to know you only have 2 also. I am pretty sure that means it will only one of the "on" positions will work.

If you disconnect the plug, the middle one (I think it is red/white) is ground.

The other wire, brown/white, I assume should be +, but for me, has no power on it, hence, no light :).

So, either the wire is disconnected somewhere, or if there is no "permanent on" and is wired to door sensor, the door sensor is bad.

Other thing on our Westy is the 2 interior lights controlled with the switch at the sliding door, do not work with the door switch. They only turn on, or off, and third position they stay off.

I assume that switch is wired to the sliding door, and the back light is wired to the back door(s), but maybe there is some central "door sensor" that is not working properly.

Last edited by Kiltym; 08-25-2017 at 08:39 PM.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:06 PM   #7
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

My sliding door rocker switch works in all three positions: (front: door opens and the two rear air conditioner.cabinet lights go on; middle is off: and rear rocker switch turn both lights on).

Does your central locking switch work? Top triangle and bottom triangle lights STEADY on when everything is locked. Bottom red light blinks if any door is ajar when everything is locked (except driver door)--usually an issue with dirty contacts on sliding door.
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Old 08-25-2017, 09:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Update:

I got the sliding door sensor work now. Just needed some cleaning. So unrelated.

Also, my multi-meter was playing games with me a bit. I checked the wires again at the rear light, the middle/red wire is positive, and there is 12V on it. I pulled the Westy fuse bank and every wire there is red/something. Which makes sense. So all the red should be +.

When I check for resistance between the brown/white wire and the chassis, or other ground from the license plate lights, I get no connection. So for some reason the ground to the light is not good. Which is better then the + as I can probably splice the wire somewhere and get it working. First will see if I can find our why the ground is bad though.
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Old 08-25-2017, 10:41 PM   #9
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

According to the wiring diagram (found it finally), that light should be a 3-way light, with three wires going to it. So somewhere along the line it seems Westfalia changed it to only two wires (at least on 2 vans).

There should be a wire to a door switch (right door I am guessing, however I do not see a door switch on the rear doors). I see metal plates for power locking, so perhaps it piggy backs off those, but no separate switch like on the side and front doors.

There should be a wire to ground to the right D-pillar, same ground as for the door switch. Find it strange it would ground across the van however and not on the left D-pillar but since there was a wire from the door switch needing to come over, I guess they ran the two wires from the right side of the van.

There should be a wire to the Westy fuse panel.

Both wires I see go forward into the abyss, so I don't think anything is connected to the door switch (assuming there is one), and the ground (on mine), seems to have an issue. The wire is brown/white and I cannot locate any similar colored wires. Must be up behind the kitchen cabinet where I can't seem to get to. It certainly does not seem to go up and over to the right side of the van, it just goes forward along the driver side.

Are there ground points on the driver side I can gain access to? I see one near the batter charger, but those wires are all solid brown, so there must be another ground point somewhere....?
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Old 08-26-2017, 02:42 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rear compartment light

Not OEM.

My wife bought these. They've been very handy and intuitive with the switch design. The batteries last fine, maybe too fine because they may corrode over the years if not renewed.

LED light.jpg

https://www.amazon.com/VIBELITE-Batt.../dp/B01M7TZNR7

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