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Illuminated entry - troubleshooting

By Stephan Knappe

Question mark

Problem: System description
The illuminated entry function turns on the interior lights when one of the front outer door handles is pulled or the interior lamp button on the remote entry transmitter (if so equipped) is used. The interior lights will then stay on for 20 seconds or the ignition switch is turned to on.
The function is controlled by the RAPIE*-module in the trunk, for location see "component location" drawing below. The door handle switches / remote entry apply ground to pin A7 (gray wire) of the RAPIE-module connector.

Failure conditions
It seems that most problems are caused by faulty door handle switches.
If defective, these establish a permanent ground connection. They are available separateley.
Early RAPIE modules react on this condition in a way that they cycle on and off all the time, which leads to an empty battery. Later versions (and all bought now) just shut off thus avoiding the battery drain.

If you are not willing to investigate further, just cut the grey wire at pin A7 at the RAPIE-module connector and the whole illuminated entry function is inoperable. (Alternative: Remove the respective wire from the connector and tape it back to the harness).
The interior lights will still come on with doors opened, but no light operation with door handles and remote. The interior light delay function will also be disabled.

If you want to diagnose properly, proceed as follows:
Remove multiple connector from RAPIE module. Connect ohmmeter to pin A7 of connector and ground. If everything's correct, reading should be 1 (open circuit). Pull each front door handle, one at a time, and observe ohmmeter. With door handle pulled the reading should be close to zero (closed circuit). Operating the remote light button should also indicate close to zero on the ohmmeter.
Most likely you will find that the reading is close to zero with all door handles at rest and remote untouched.
Now it's time to find out which door handle switch is defective.
Start with one door, it doesn't matter which one -- according to Murphy it will be the wrong one anyway
Remove door panel. On the lower rear edge of the door body, you will see a multiple connector with four cavities. Disconnect this connector.
Locate gray and black/white wire running to the door handle switch from this connector. Connect ohmmeter to these wires. Reading should be 1 (open) with door handle at rest, close to zero with door handle pulled.
Connect the ohmmeter to the other side of the connector (which runs into the main door wiring harness and then into the car) in the same manner. Operate the outer front door handle on the opposite side and watch ohmmeter as before.
Now you know which door handle switch is defective (perhaps both) and you may either disconnect the defective one (i.e. if it's the passenger side) or replace it. The outer door handle will have to be removed to replace the switch.
When done, reconnect the A7 pin / wire to the RAPIE module and reinstall connector.
*RAPIE = Retained Accessory Power / Illuminated Entry

Disclaimer: All procedures and descriptions given by best knowledge and verified on my 1992 Eldorado TC. Should be similar for 1992 Seville. If you have a different year, the system might vary in wire colours or arrangement. I can not be held responsible for any errors I might have made, though I certainly tried to avoid them. Prior to all electrical work you should disconnect the battery negative cable.
RAPIE image1
RAPIE image2

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