Your Honda Element’s door ajar message can help you get a door all the way closed when you otherwise wouldn’t notice when it was open. Over the life of the vehicle, it is possible for the door ajar warning to stay on even when the doors are, in fact, not ajar. The door ajar warning staying on is usually caused by a bad door jamb switch.
Door Ajar Symptoms: Honda Element
Here are the most common symptoms when the door jamb switch has failed, or the door ajar warning stays on.
- Dome light on– If your Element thinks that the door is ajar, it’ll leave the dome light on. This can create some visibility issues at night. Most vehicles have some sort of switch that can deactivate the dome light.
- Dead battery– Some makes and models will automatically turn the dome light off after a certain period of time with no key in the ignition. Some don’t. If it stays on all night, that may be enough to drain some battery. Be aware of this. If you don’t have a dome light cut off button, you may wish to disconnect the bulb or battery overnight, or at least verify that the dome light turns off after 20 or so minutes.
- Wind Howl– If you are hearing a windy noise while driving that used to not be there, that’s an indication that some form of structural issue is causing the door ajar switch from being deactivated. This can happen often after an accident.
Door Ajar Light Causes: Honda Element
Usually, the door ajar light is going to be caused by a bad door jamb switch. Most of the time, they are pretty easy to find. Typically, it’ll look something like the switch pictured below. It’s usually one or two bolts to replace, and they’re cheap.
If the vehicle has recently been in an accident (like a bad one), the door jamb switch may no longer be making proper contact with the door. If that is the case it’s just going to be part of the larger amount of body work that is needed to get your car safely back on the road.
Is Driving With the Door Ajar Warning Safe?
It is safe to drive with the door ajar warning on, as long as you’ve made sure that all of the doors are securely shut. Your Element thinking that the door is ajar can keep the power locks from working. If that is the case, make sure that you manually lock the doors when you feel the need.
The biggest concern regarding your safety with the door ajar light on is the dome light. It’s not a big deal to have it on during the day time, but at night it can decrease your visibility, which is not safe. Most vehicles have a manual override button for the dome light, which turns off all the lights in the vehicle at all times.
If your Element doesn’t have this switch, we recommend removing the bulb(s) over driving with them on overnight. Even if you feel like you can see fine, most people eventually get a headache from driving this way.
Conclusion: Element Door Ajar Stays On
Replacing a door jamb switch is a very simple repair. It typically fixes this problem. You’ll need to figure out what switch has gone bad. It’s best to start by pushing down on all of them and seeing if one is stuck or feels different.
Usually the driver’s door wears out first since it gets the most action. Good luck fixing your Element. If there is anything that you could add, please feel free to leave a comment below.