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headlights come on when car off, off when car on


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9 replies to this topic

#1 ruabean

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 02:44 PM

Have a weird problem '95 Subaru Impreza Outback. Have probably a bad ground somewhere because the radio turns itself off ansd on, when you hit the brakes it can turn off the heater fan and if the fan is off, the gear shift stays locked. I can deal with that, but in trying to fix that (battery drained) discovered that when you turn the car off the headlights come on and the switch won't turn them off.  if you turn the car off, the headlights come on and the switch stil won't turn them off.

 

Any ideas and if it's the headlight switch on hte steering column, how do you change it? Please help, can't drive the car at night.......



#2 nipper

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:28 PM

not the headlight switch as that just sends a signal to the controller that does all the work.

 

So in the words of Click and Clack, when was the accident?

 

Check your fusable links to make sure they havent corroded to the point that they are causing odd things to happen. Make sure none of your brake lights have shorted filaments.



#3 ruabean

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 03:50 PM

It all started when the front left mudflap (closest to the front of the car drivers side) started coming off, I couldn't get it off and it twisted itself (we had lots of snow) until it was parallel to the fender. Then, had to roll over the icy snow and it came off. Headlights were ok then, but the other problems started around then. Found the interlocker override and shifted the car.

 

So went to a gas station (with brake pedal turning off heater) he checked fuse in main box and said one A/C fuse didn't work. Took it out, checked it outside the fuse box, it worked. Put it back in and put it in tight, it worked. All the other stuff worked too (radio, brake pedal, heater, gear shift). Drove it home, all fine. Next day, battery was dead. Jumped it, drove around for a while, all ok. Car sat for couple of hours, went to do laundry, sat for couple of hours - battery stone cold dead. When we attached the cables again - the headlights came on, didn't think much of it. Then it started to smoke near the main fuse box, didn't do that the last time it was jumped. Shut it off, went back home to find wiring diagrams. I told my friend who helps me with this stuff about the fuses. So we went back to the car, pulled the two fuses for the A/C out of the main box, no smoking but the headlight thing started (or it started when the guy pushed in the fuse - it was daylight then I might not have noticed the headlights on). Turn the car to on, headlights go off, turn the car off, headlights come on, the switch has zero effect ineither condition. There is some corrosion at the wires under the main fuse box.....



#4 brus brother

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 06:55 PM

OK before carefully reading the storyline, my first thought was that a newbie had hit the virgin switch on top of the steering column...



#5 ruabean

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 07:33 PM

I don't knowwhat the vitgin switch is, bought hte car used, have no owner's manual. The battery is now dead again. Any ideas?



#6 brus brother

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 07:46 PM

There is a toggle switch atop the steering wheel column. Once virgins, some among us have inadvertently hit the switch while cleaning, reaching through the steering wheel to change the trip odometer etc..
It is also called the kill switch by Subaru techs since it kills many a battery when the driver doesn't realize that the (parking?) lights stay on, even when ignition is off, when the switch is in the on position and drains the battery. It is intended as a safety feature in some areas for double parking.

ParkingLight2.jpg

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Edited by brus brother, 25 February 2014 - 07:55 PM.


#7 ruabean

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 08:11 PM

Don't remember seeing parking lights on but I'll check to make sure the swwitch isn't pushed in. Thanks.



#8 Gloyale

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 09:29 PM

The main power and wiring bundle is up there under that drivers side fender.  It could be that the wiring harness was damaged and some wires that shouldn't touch shold be.

 

It's also possible someone installed fuses incorrectly or a relay incorrectly in the main fuse box........I can't think of any way to make a "fuse" that doesn't work, then "work" off the car....then put it back in and it works?  sounds fishy



#9 Cougar

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 10:30 PM

I think you nailed the issue in your last sentence of post 3 and it was what I was thinking of before I read the post. Corrosion under the main fuse panel. Water has gotten to it and caused connections to be bridged together that shouldn't be. Get to the bottom of the panel and clean it up. You may have to replace it if it is really in bad shape.



#10 Fairtax4me

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Posted 25 February 2014 - 11:30 PM

If you had smoke coming from the fuse panel there's a serious problem there.
Need to pull the fuse panel out and make sure the wiring and the connectors underneath it are Ok.
I would recommend replacing the fuse panel with a good used one that is corrosion free.
Unhook the battery until you have checked out the wiring under the fuse panel, or you may wake up in the middle in the night with the fire department in your driveway.




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