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Hyundai Sonata Interior Lighting

eagle2aeagle2a Posts: 97
edited April 2014 in Hyundai
If I have any complaints regarding my Sonata it is the interior light switches. I have a sun roof and this puts my ceiling light switch to far to the rear to reach, and the lights switches over the center column are not lighted and I can not find the D** things when it is dark. Other than that, I am very happy with my 06 Sonata.

What are others doing with there light sw. at night?


  • I am not sure why, but Hyundai seems to have interior lighting issues. When my father in-law got his 2008 Sante Fe I insisted that the front light was broken since it didn't come on when you opened the door. It pitch black getting into the car... but after talking to other owners and the dealer... that is how it's designed. You only get the rear dome light and for some reason they mount it nearly in the trunk. What would be the sin in turning on the from light too? My sonata is the same way but the light isn't quite so far back.

    Also how about turning the dome light on when you turn off the ignition? I have had my sontata for almost 2 months now and still am surprised that it doesn't come on till you open the door.
  • Dave, thanks for your response!

    I agree with your assessment of the Sonata interior lights.

    What drives me up the wall is the fact that Hyundai did not use some method to light up the over the dash interior lights. I can not see in the dark. And it is dangerous driving at night to take your eyes of the road and fumble around trying find the over the dash light sw, And my center ceiling light is unreachable in my sun roof car. They should have done a better job.

    It is puzzling when you understand what a great job they did with so many of the different systems and then to not take care of such an important item that should be simple to fix!

    It really makes you wonder. And this problem has been around for some time now.

    Other than this small gripe I really like my I4 Auto 06 Sonata. Good millage, decent power, comfort and room. Great car!!

    Hyundai.....fix the interior lights!!!
  • When my father in-law got his 2008 Sante Fe I insisted that the front light was broken since it didn't come on when you opened the door

    That doesn't sound right. I have a 2008 SF Ltd with sunroof and both the roof light behind the sunroof and the map lights come on when I open any door. Here is the info direct from the owner's manual:

    The light comes on when any door is
    opened regardless of the ignition switch
    If a door is opened with the ignition switch
    in the ACC or LOCK position, the light stays
    on for about 20 minutes. However, if a door
    is opened with the ignition switch in the ON
    position, the light stays on continuously.
    When doors are unlocked by the transmitter,
    the light comes on for approximately 30
    seconds as long as any door is not open.
    The light goes out gradually after approximately
    30 seconds if the door is closed.
    However, if the ignition switch is ON or all
    doors are locked, the light will turn off
    • : Push in the map light switch to turn
    the light on or off. This light produces
    a spot beam for convenient
    use as a map light at night or as a
    personal light for the driver and
    the passenger
    The interior courtesy light has two buttons.
    The two buttons are:
    o DOOR
    The courtesy light turns on when a door is
    opened or when a door is unlocked by the
    transmitter (if installed). The interior light
    goes out slowly after 30 seconds after the
    door is closed. However if the ignition
    switch is ON or all vehicle doors are locked
    when the door is closed, interior light will
    turn off even within 30 seconds
    o ON
    In the "ON" position, the light stays on at all

    My wife has an 09 Sonata Ltd and the interior lights work the same as my SF. Double-check the manual and make sure the "door" button is pressed on the roof light.
  • Tenpin: I appreciate all the information you have researched and posted on this thread.

    However it does not address my complaint regarding the placement of the center ceiling light. (I must lower my seat back to an unsafe position to be able to reach the switch while driving)

    And the over the dash lights are not illuminated so I must fumble around trying to turn them on in the dark, not good while driving at night.

    My center ceiling light works just as you posted. However my over the dash lights do not come on with the ceiling light when the door is opened.(not really important to me)

    To at least have some light available while driving, all the company would have to do is make the over dash light sw illuminate just as the other sw in the auto are when the head lights are on. Also putting a sw on the dash allowing illumination of the center light would be good.

    Again, I appreciate your post, thank you.
  • I must admit I am confused by at least two issues. #1 by "over the dash lights" do you refer to the map lights? Those are the ones that are designed to temporarily shine a more or less focused beam on printed material such as map reading (if there still is someone who doesn't have a GPS system). The one on the driver side is oriented toward the driver and the one on the passenger side is directed at the passenger. Either one is designed NOT to disturb either driver or passenger depending which is used. They are not designed to be used constantly which brings up my second question....why do you need an external light to be lit while driving at night? I personally consider the map light to be a source of irritation only to be used sparingly because it hampers my night vision. This is probably why Hyundai and other manufacturers don't wire it to be a "constant on" item.
    Rereading your post I see one other item I will address. We own a 2006 Honda Civic and there IS a way to allow both the ceiling (or roof) light and the map lights to function when the door is opened then they go out together in "fadeout" fashion. The car was in the shop recently and the service techs must have disabled this function for some reason because when we got the car back I immediately noted how dark the interior was (we also have a sunroof which places the roof light to the rear of the car) so I re-read the owners manual and sure enough there is a way to have both the roof and map lights come on when the door is opened. I did that and now all come on. I'd guess Hyundai has some provision for that as well.
  • As per your confusion targettuning, yes I am referring to the map lights. And like you, I would not want them on all the time as this would make driving at night most difficult. I only need one of them if I am trying to see something momentarily while driving at night.

    I think I have found a possible answer to my problem. I carry a small high intensity flash light in my glove box. I will put this flash light in the small compartment just under the radio (so I can reach it easier) and us it for those times I need some momentary light.

    Thanks to everyone for your input.
  • Pull down the sun visor open the vanity mirroe and viola let there be light !!!!!!!
  • Great idea Imaxick! Thank you.

    Sometimes the simplest ideas escape us!!
  • i360i360 Posts: 74
    Not to side track but Hyundai originally made the Santa Fe this way, but they have since come out with a fix for it. You can get this done at the dealership for free in most cases. The newer Santa Fes already have this fix in place. The map lights, when fixed, both come on when the door is opened and using the button.

    To me, 2009 Sonata owner, its not a big deal and easy for me to reach both lights while driving. Although I don't tend to use the rear light often, but have used the map lights once or twice. You just need to consider the traffic or surrounding area for a few seconds before reaching up for the light.
  • I just feel that the sante fe lighting is useless and my sonata's could be a lot better
    every other car i ever had you could see inside when you opened the door at night. the sonata is poor at best. i have had map light before as well as a dome light in between them...

    i just think that hyindai needs to pay a little more attention to interior lighting.
  • Just as a side note regarding the Sonata's interior lighting choices.

    As an older car guy, I remember when almost all cars had an interior light sw between the two doors about 3/4's up the side post between the front and rear doors. Easy to reach from the outside of the car. Up was on, down was off.

    My old 87 Chevy 1/2 ton PU has a head light sw on the dash that pulls out to turn the headlights on, you can rotate it to adjust the dash lights and by turning this pull sw all the way to the right, turn on the over head lights. Nice and easy. Almost all cars at one time worked like this. It made the learning curve of adjusting to a different auto easy.

    Not all the new stuff today is perfect!
This discussion has been closed.