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Infernal Parking Light Switch


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34 replies to this topic

#26 Mountaindave

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 11:09 PM

Mountaindave,welcome to the site from a fellow Kalispellian,as Smitty said that makes 3 of us,we must be growing up.


Thanks guys. I know we're a small town, but with the number of Subarus running around here I'd have thought we would need our own forum.

I'm not a cut-the-wires kind of guy, but I suppose I could just disconnect one if I had a repair manual, which I don't (only owned the car for a couple of weeks), with a wiring schematic.

I like the "turn the key one click" idea, almost sounds like it was designed by a German engineer. I also like the illuminated switch idea, an LED wouldn't draw hardly any current at all. I just wish the switch were somewheres else. Perhaps I should just design an illuminated aftermarket switch for $1.29 and make millions! :brow:

Dave

#27 1 Lucky Texan

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:24 AM

Much better than clipping the wires would be to use it for another purpose, forcing an AT vehicle from AWD to 4WD or 2WD, maybe a winch, xtra 'driving' lights, etc.

Or, the next time it happens to someone you encounter - make a lowball offer to buy the car with the electrical problem as is!


Carl

#28 nipper

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:31 AM

Its possible that the location is mandated by european regulations. It would be real easy to wire in a LED and mount it on the column.


nipper

#29 bgambino

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 07:54 AM

My father and I both have 2003 Outbacks with the infernal parking light switch mounted on the steering column where the hazard light should go. I've yet to drain my battery, but we both have occasionally found our parking lights have inadvertently been turned on - usually after resetting the milage or wiping the dashboard clean or something. In all my life I have NEVER had the need to leave JUST my parking lights on when the key is NOT in the ignition. It's almost as if Subaru made an agreement with AAA: "Hey, if you give us a kickback from every dead-battery call from a Subaru owner, we'll replace the hazard light on the steering column with a DIFFERENT switch that simply leaves the lights on even when the car is turned off!" I have grew up with Subarus and love Subarus but this has got to be the DUMBEST feature I have ever seen on a car.:mad:

Does anyone have a simple remedy to disable this switch permanently?

Any help is appreciated,

Dave


Been driving sub's since 11/79...love them...had a dead battery from that switch just one time. Fact is, the switch is in a bad spot and/or of the wrong design (for the average schmo). Most subby owners are not car enthusiasts...they get in and turn the key....many never even read the owners manual thru (not just subby owners)
It's poorly designed evident by the coined phrase "battery kill switch".....but **it happens. Although subaru should have made a change long ago when it was realized. of course, they should have made good on all the failed head gaskets as well....while I love them, the company has a black mark in my book on that score

#30 Olnick

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 12:03 PM

Been driving sub's since 11/79...love them...had a dead battery from that switch just one time. Fact is, the switch is in a bad spot and/or of the wrong design (for the average schmo). Most subby owners are not car enthusiasts...they get in and turn the key....many never even read the owners manual thru (not just subby owners)
It's poorly designed evident by the coined phrase "battery kill switch".....but **it happens. Although subaru should have made a change long ago when it was realized. of course, they should have made good on all the failed head gaskets as well....while I love them, the company has a black mark in my book on that score



Very nicely summed up, bgambino. I agree with your thinking 100%.

And welcome aboard, Mountaindave. Sorry about the rudeness you encountered right off the bat. It would be nice if some posters improved their manners and learned to practice a little civility.

But overall you'll find USMB to be a wealth of knowledge with extremely pleasant, helpful people who go out of their way to lend a hand.

Aloha.

#31 cookie

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 08:09 PM

I've only bumped that one once and it was easy enough to find since I knew where I'd cleaned.
The one that has gotten me a few times is my Forester fog light switch. If I bump it with my knee I think I drive around like the senile old guy I am for a month or so with the fogs on.

#32 Takami826

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 10:54 AM

That switch has wreaked havoc for me, but only when I've allowed someone to clean my car. Twice now the same twit did me the favour of tidying up my car and such and hit that stupid switch and didn't think anything of it. Sadly, I was out of town both times and didn't know he'd done that, so therefore didn't know to check the car. After sitting for a week, I jumped in at 5am to head off to work and nothing. Dead. Twice. Great surprise. :mad:

I have since warned him I will smash his xB if he tries to surprise me again and doesn't leave the switch alone or at least be mindful of it.

For me, personally, as a long-time Subaru driver, I find that switch menacing, but know just to leave it be. The electrical gremlins cause me more grief than that switch.

#33 mtsmiths

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 11:02 AM

I think that EVERYONE is entirely missing the point of the switch. It's primary purpose is to provide the members of this board (and others like it) entertainment and great glee when we encounter the deflowering of yet ANOTHER 'SUbaru Virgin'! :lol:

#34 mwatt

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Posted 11 December 2006 - 03:20 PM

No, I'm just sick and tired of people complaining about the way their car is. I mean, like come on, it came from the factory that way - deal with it. Subarus have had that switch for years - since way before your 03 Outback.

And it really is designed for the EDM market - the only basic difference is the headlight and sidemarker design and possibly speedo, but that's it. The car is pretty much the same, just changed a little bit to meet European spec. And since European spec is usually tougher then US spec, it makes no sense to make extra parts just to meet lower US spec.


One of the other reasons Subaru provides a separate parking lamp switch is FMVSS #108, which became law in 1968. That safety standard states "vehicle exterior lighting must

provide adequate illumination of the roadway, and enhance the conspicuity of motor vehicles on the public roads so that their presence is perceived and their signals understood, both in daylight and in darkness or other conditions of reduced visibility."

If you read deeper through the government-speak, it also specifies " with vehicle ignition on or off " and "while vehicle is in operation or when parked"
Most people probably never give this a thought, because the headlamps and parking lamps on most vehicles operate with the ignition "off".

#35 Mountaindave

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 01:54 AM

One of the other reasons Subaru provides a separate parking lamp switch is FMVSS #108, which became law in 1968... Most people probably never give this a thought, because the headlamps and parking lamps on most vehicles operate with the ignition "off".


This is something I of course didn't pause to think about in the haste of my original post. I do feel better, however, knowing that Subaru is simply adhering to a law, albeit in a strange fashion.

I guess the reason I posed the question in the first place is because I DID notice the number and frequency of "Why are my parking lights on?" posts and figured someone would have found a work-around by now (other than me growing a brain cell or two). Perhaps we all just can't get enough of Subie-virgins. And just for the record, my father had to tell me what to do when it happened to me... after he killed his own battery. :D

BTW, Marinarius, no harm done, I'll still read your posts. ;)




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