Why would the dome light in a 1997 Ford Ranger stay on after the doors are closed?

It IS a door switch. But a mechanic's computer might indicate right front door when, actually, in an XLT (2000) the suspect switch is in the left rear door. Two hours later, after pulling three doors apart, he discovered this, disabled the switch in five seonds, and now the problem is solved and I still have a dome light.

Either the control knob or the slide switch that controls the dash lights is turned or pushed ALL the way-U will feel a click when it's moved ALL the way.(possbility)

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Or a bad door switch.

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Actually a more likely scenario is that the door switch is simply sticking. Spray some non-film cleaner (carburator cleaner will do in a pinch)in there and it may very well resolve the problem.

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same problem as the Taurus and Sable Dome light problem. I just bought a 1998 Ford Taurus SE and right away I noticed the Dome light wasn't even coming on. The 2 map lights did work. I asked the previous owner about it, but he had no idea. Today I bought a new bulb and noticed that the light stays on forever, and the door ajar icon stays lit. I read through some of the responsed posted for the problem, so I tried the WD-40 idea and it fixed it in 30 seconds. What you need to do is spray light lubricant (WD-40) on the drivers door latch. This is right at the end of the door (where is swings away from the car). You'll see the latch looks like plastic. Give it a few sprays, then open and close the door several times. If it works, the light should go off in about 30 seconds, and the door ajar light will go out. What must be happening is that the door closes, but something is sticking, not allowing the switch in the door to close. Spraying on the lubricant loosens this up, and in my case fixed it right away. . Regards, Doug