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parking light disable


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33 replies to this topic

#1 pamike

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 04:37 PM

the front marker lights and tail lights stay on all the time when the car is running. this is a 96 legacy ls. how do i disable this? and i've always wondered why they put a parking light position on the headlight switch if it doesn't do anything? the dash lights also stay on all the time, even when the key is in the accessory position. is this normal?

#2 Turbone

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 05:55 PM

You should have a switch on the steering column. It turns the parking lights on/off whether the ign is on or not.

Btw, this is the #1 question of new Subaru owners :-p

#3 Suzam

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:09 PM

It may not be the steering column switch. pamike says they are on when running and I also believe that the dash light don't go on with the switch either.
I am assuming by the post that they do go off when the key is removed from the ignition switch?

#4 pamike

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:10 PM

yea i allready know about that switch. but when i turn the key on or run the car the parking lights are always on. almost like daytime running lights but with only the parking lights and not the headlights. is their a way to disable this? i have a 02 wrx and i disabled the DRL's by unplugging a connecter under the dash by the glovebox. is this also possable with my 96 legacy?

#5 johnceggleston

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 07:29 PM

yea i allready know about that switch. but when i turn the key on or run the car the parking lights are always on. almost like daytime running lights but with only the parking lights and not the headlights. is their a way to disable this? i have a 02 wrx and i disabled the DRL's by unplugging a connecter under the dash by the glovebox. is this also possable with my 96 legacy?


if you have a 96 legacy and the parking lights come on every time you start the car there are only 2 possibilities.
1. the light switch on the steering column is set to parking lights, not head lights or off. double check that.
2. you have a wiring problem. this is not standard and should not be this way.

#6 pamike

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 08:19 PM

i keep headlight switch off but in either off or parking light position makes no difference. it's always done this. we've owned the car for a few years now.

the instrument cluster lights also come on when the key is in the accessory position. like when i'm listening to the radio. i never thoughts this was normal and i've never seen this on any car ever.

it also has a problem with draining the battery that started about a year ago. if we let the car set for more than a day or 2 the battery is completly dead. i don't know if its related or not. we've had it to the garage and the only thing that was found was the keyless entry was putting a big draw on the battery but it still goes dead after all the fuses were pulled for it

Edited by pamike, 31 October 2010 - 08:25 PM.


#7 nipper

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Posted 31 October 2010 - 09:10 PM

As long as the lights go off with the car don't worry about it.

The voltage issue can be a short in the altenator or a tired battery.

#8 pamike

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 05:33 AM

i'm sure it's not the batt. or alt. it has a new interstate battery and i've completly disconnected the alt. with the batt still connected and it still drained it. lately i've just been sure to start it often to keep the batt charged

#9 johnceggleston

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 05:51 AM

i don't know about the battery.

do the parking lights come on when you flip the virgin switch?

almost sounds like someone wired up their own version of DRLs, day light running lights. i'd look for spliced wires or electrical tape going to the lights or in the steering column.

or a bad switch in the column, maybe.

still just a guess.

Edited by johnceggleston, 01 November 2010 - 05:53 AM.


#10 MilesFox

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 07:59 AM

aftermarket radio?

i have has bad wiring from such that the marker lites would come on with the brake. this was a problem with the rats nest that used to be the radio

#11 nipper

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 08:31 AM

Have you pulled all the fuses (every single one) and done a voltage drain test yet?

This sounds like it should be a easy thing to narrow down if the battery is dying every 2 days.

#12 pamike

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Posted 01 November 2010 - 03:45 PM

Have you pulled all the fuses (every single one) and done a voltage drain test yet?

This sounds like it should be a easy thing to narrow down if the battery is dying every 2 days.


i have pulled the under dash fuses and iirc i think i pulled the under hood fuses also. the only thing i found to have a big draw was the keyless entry which had a couple fuses under the dash, but not in the fuse box. i pulled them and the draw went way down. the garage i took it to found the same thing. they said the only thing they could find was a draw from the keyless entry system.
what is an acceptable amount of voltage drain?

#13 Ricearu

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 05:38 PM

you sure you checked the switch on the TOP of the column? not the headlight switch, the rocker on the column

#14 pamike

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 08:24 PM

you sure you checked the switch on the TOP of the column? not the headlight switch, the rocker on the column


yes i'm familiar with that switch. my lights turn off and on with the key. when my key is on i can't turn off the lights. the switch on top of the column will allow the parking lights to be on even with the key off.

#15 nipper

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Posted 02 November 2010 - 10:56 PM

WHen the car is off, reomve a parking light bulb and see if there is any voltage there with the car off.

#16 pamike

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 03:58 PM

WHen the car is off, reomve a parking light bulb and see if there is any voltage there with the car off.


ok i can try that

#17 nipper

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 04:06 PM

ok i can try that


This is going to be a pain in the rump roast, but check the brake lights too. There is also a relay that may be bad. There may be a cross feed someplace. This is really a longshot.

Other things to check are dome lights that arent quite off. The amount of accepted usage with the car off is in the millivolt range. Start at the battery connection, voltmeter goes between the battery and the cable.

Has the battery been load tested. It is possible to get a bad battery, as i have. I have also seen alts fail relativly quickly as most rebuilds except OE are crap (been there personally).

You can test your alt yourself. With everything on get the engine up to 1800 rpm. with a voltmeter go pos to neg. The reading should be 13.5 or better.

#18 pamike

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 06:21 PM

This is going to be a pain in the rump roast, but check the brake lights too. There is also a relay that may be bad. There may be a cross feed someplace. This is really a longshot.

Other things to check are dome lights that arent quite off. The amount of accepted usage with the car off is in the millivolt range. Start at the battery connection, voltmeter goes between the battery and the cable.

Has the battery been load tested. It is possible to get a bad battery, as i have. I have also seen alts fail relativly quickly as most rebuilds except OE are crap (been there personally).

You can test your alt yourself. With everything on get the engine up to 1800 rpm. with a voltmeter go pos to neg. The reading should be 13.5 or better.


i think their is a fuse for the dome lights. iirc i pulled that fuse one time and it still went dead. i know it's not the battery because we went through 2 advance auto batterys before buying an interstate. which is what is in the car now, it's been their for 3 or 4 months now. i've checked the alt output and i thing it was around 14v.
if i get a chance tomorrow after work i'll try testing for voltage at the parking bulb. and i'll get a reading of how much the car is drawing when everything is off.

#19 Fuzpile

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:15 PM

The earlier response about the radio has a lot more possibilities. Sometimes it seems instead of just a small tie to the origional connector, somebody decides to go all the way back to the f box and get one end of a relay or fuse. Maybe the wire bridged across another point.

#20 nipper

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:34 PM

The earlier response about the radio has a lot more possibilities. Sometimes it seems instead of just a small tie to the origional connector, somebody decides to go all the way back to the f box and get one end of a relay or fuse. Maybe the wire bridged across another point.



Thats a common spot for mistakes. Check how they wired it in. If they butchered it at the plug, undo all thier work, tape up all the ends and see what happens.

#21 Scoobywagon

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:36 PM

The lighting problem is almost certainly either a bad switch or some kind of problem with the clock spring in the column. As far as draining batteries goes...well...there's really only one way to test that.

Put a multi-meter between the negative terminal on the battery and the negative battery cable. Put the meter in current mode. Make a note of how many amps the car pulls with NOTHING on. Acceptable current draw is somewhere around 30 milliamps. Begin unplugging fuses one by one until the excessive current draw goes away. That will tell you which circuit is drawing that current. From there its just a matter of tracking that circuit down and finding the broken bit.

#22 nipper

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Posted 03 November 2010 - 08:38 PM

The lighting problem is almost certainly either a bad switch or some kind of problem with the clock spring in the column. As far as draining batteries goes...well...there's really only one way to test that.

Put a multi-meter between the negative terminal on the battery and the negative battery cable. Put the meter in current mode. Make a note of how many amps the car pulls with NOTHING on. Acceptable current draw is somewhere around 30 milliamps. Begin unplugging fuses one by one until the excessive current draw goes away. That will tell you which circuit is drawing that current. From there its just a matter of tracking that circuit down and finding the broken bit.


ah my bad, i meant milliamps. Sorry fighting a sinus infection here.

#23 pamike

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:43 AM

i have not pulled the radio yet but i have pulled the fuse in the fuse panel for the radio and it still went dead. i did that for a while, pulled a fuse and left the car set to see if it went dead.
i will try to get a amp reading at the battery after work.

#24 nipper

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 07:31 AM

Pulling the fuse/fuses (more then one) will not help if they botched up the wiring. There is a fuse for the radio and a fuse for the clock/memory

#25 pamike

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Posted 04 November 2010 - 05:25 PM

i didn't get a chance to check it tonight. it was pouring down rain.




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