Many crown victoria police interceptors have the "dark car" option enabled. When a door is opened, the domelight will not illuminate, but the overhead interior light will operate when the headlight switch is pushed in to turn on the domelight. At first, I thought the stealthy "dark car" option was a neat feature, but it quickly became an annoyance after a couple of weeks. If you're observant, you'll notice that the car does know when the drivers door is open because the key in ignition buzzer engages when keys are in ignition and drivers door is opened, and it also enages if the headlights are left on and the drivers door is opened.

To re-enable the domelights to turn on when a door is opened, seperate the blue male and female single wire connectors on the passengers side of the car under the glove box. Then disconnect the negative terminal from the car's battery, leave it disconnected for a couple minutes, and reconnect. The "dark car" option should now be disabled.

Note: A pair of pliers may be useful to seperate the connectors, they can be very stubborn and not want to pull apart from one another easily. If you get desperate, cutting the single black wire running out of the connector will work as well. Make sure to tape up the exposed ends if you choose this route.

Also note that it if the vehicle's battery is not disconnected after the dark mode connectors are seperated, the lcm will typically exit dark mode too. But it will take countless door open/close events until the domelight mysteriously springs to life. And even this will vary depending on which software version your lighting computer runs on.

It is also possible to refresh the lcm's keep alive memory by pulling fuses instead of disconnecting the battery, but the power distribution systems varies in crown vics depending on model year and the lcm is also fed off of a couple different circuits. So you'd have to pull more than one fuse, and which fuses to pull would also vary. Hence, the suggestion to disconnect the vehicles battery which effectively removes all the fuses in one quick step.

This article is only relevant to 1995 through 2004 crown victoria police interceptors, the connector in question is not present on earlier vehicles. 1994 and prior crown vics use a conventional parallel/series wiring setup for domelight illumination. 1995 and later use a lighting control module and the domelights can be disabled on the 2005 and earlier crownvics by grounding one of the LCM pins when it is not desirable for the courtesy lights to illuminate when a door is opened.

Note the 2005 crownvics still have a dark car connector, but it is located in a different location. Starting in the 2006 model year, the dark car option is enabled/disabled using the ford ids laptop and vcm to connect to your vehicle and electronically alter the module preferences inside the lcm. Unfortunetly, for most crown vic owners this will mean a trip to your local ford dealer's service department. However, if you are a large volume shop, regularly want to be able to toggle the dark car feature, and can justify spending a few thousand dollars, you can purchase a vcm and the ids software subscription from For some screenshots of a 2008 ford crown victoria police interceptor having  the domelights enabled with the ford ids scantool, click here.

Note: Instead of conventional pin switches on the door jamb, 1995 and later crown vics use a door ajar switch located inside the door on top of the latch mechanism. Is not uncommon for these switches to fail and short to ground, so domelight illuminates constantly and will not shut off. Also, some police departments cut the wire running to the drivers door ajar switch since this disables the key in ignition buzzer and parking light reminder buzzer. See the door latch article for further details on this topic.

A few crown vic owners have asked how to retrofit the dark car option onto their civilian models. Below are a few solutions:

Some crownvic owners have commented that their domelight still will not light up after disabling dark car mode. This is often because police agencies cut the drivers door ajar wire to silence the key in ignition lock buzzer. Common places to cut this wire would be at the electrical connector on the back of the lcm, behind the driver's kickpanel, and near the door latch inside the driver's door. If you turn the ignition key to the "ACC" position, open the driver's door, and don't hear a warning chime then you've likely got a cut wire somewhere. Also if you get the warning chime with the key in the ignition, but still no domelight after disabling darkcar mode, do not overlook the obvious problem of a burned out or missing bulb in the overhead domelight assembly itself.