2003 Mazda Tribute, Door Ajar Light Stays On

This 2003 Mazda Tribute came in with the interior lights on and the door ajar light in the instrument cluster on. I started by checking the data the door positions. All door positions showed as being closed or “no” according to the data stream except for the hood. It showed being open or “yes”. I checked very carefully and found that there was not a hood ajar switch under the hood at all. Seems like false data. It happens.

The only thing that I could not get a data line for was the rear hatch glass. Maybe an engineer decided to call this the hood? Time to take something apart.

I started by removing the screws at the lower edge of the rear hatch assembly. Phillips headed screws.

Four screws altogether as seem below.

The rest of the panel is held in by spring clips that have to be popped loose. I did have to raise the glass up though in order to “unhook” the upper edge of the panel.

Below you can see the latch assembly for the rear glass.

With the rear glass up, I loosened the attaching bolts and slid the latch towards the glass. It took a couple of tries at adjusting the latch before I got it right. I wanted to make sure that glass would also seal when closed.

After checking the operation of the lights all was well. A couple of things of note were that the hood ajar data line never changed and that in testing I opened the rear glass and with a screws driver I closed the latching mechanism to simulate a fully closed glass condition and this did turn the lights off. It does take a minute or two for the lights to time out after closing the doors. Normal.

7 discussions on “2003 Mazda Tribute, Door Ajar Light Stays On”

  1. Sparkey,

    That sure did the trick for my 2002 Mazda Tribute. Same problem. I think my wife tries too hard to open the glass door before it’s unlocked because I always have this same problem when she uses the car. Anyways, thanks for the tip. Saved me about $100 + parts.

  2. I added some new lift struts to my 2002 Mazda Tribute rear hatch glass. After doing so the interior lights would not go off, and locks would not lock with the key fob.

    I used your technique demonstrated here and the problem was solved.

    I guess the new, fully charged struts altered the pressure needed for the hatch lock to fully engage. After adjusting the latch as you instructed everything worked correctly again.


    Robert H

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