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· Registered
2023 Forester Sport
26 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
I think I know the answer to this, but is there a button that will turn on all of the interior lights from the driver position? Most vehicles I've owned have a switch on the dash brightness control where you can turn all of them on to see inside the cockpit, but I haven't stumbled on one in the Forester. I've pushed all the buttons and tried googling but found nothing.. is this a design oversight or do people just not use that functionality? Don't people ever need to look in the back seat? Guess I could open the driver door or carry a flashlight, but a button would be a bit more convenient.

· Administrator
2016 & 2018 2.5i Premium CVT
21,962 Posts
I haven’t seen a wiring diagram for your model year, but based on Subaru’s longtime practice, I would expect that your door switches and associated lights are wired as follows:
  • One wire runs down inside the frame of each door.
  • It connects to the switch in the frame.
  • When the door is open, that switch connects the wire to ground via the switch’s mounting framework. No separate wire to ground.
  • This turns on the interior light(s) which are of concern to this question.
  • All this can be verified by inspection.
Here’s what I would suggest:
  • Drill an inconspicuous hole in the door frame as low as possible, facing in to the cabin.
  • Ensure that the hole has no sharp edges, or line it with some sort of protective layer.
  • Detach the door switch from the frame and pull it out a bit, being careful not to disturb its connection.
  • Snake a wire through the new hole, up inside the frame, and out the switch’s hole. Long skinny pliers and a skinny grabber tool might be useful for this.
  • Connect the new wire to the existing wire at the switch, being super careful not to let the existing wire escape back into the frame by itself.
  • Remount the switch and close the door.
  • Test things by touching the new wire to a convenient ground point.
Now, inconspicuously run the new wire to a location for the new switch to ground. That might be somewhere on or below the dash, or perhaps in a tiny box right near the wire’s exit from the door frame, easily reachable from the driver’s seat.

Appropriate choice for that switch could be a pushbutton with an On/Off cycle like on a lamp, or an easy to manipulate toggle.

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