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The Modfather
2019 Impreza 5dr Sport - Manual
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A very common mistake with new Subaru owners is they accidently hit a switch that is on the top of the steering column w/o realizing it. The switch is not the hazards, it's for the parking lights. Flick the switch forward and the parking lights will go off.

The next question will be "Why the heck is there a separate switch for that anyway?" The answer is Subaru's can't leave any lights on by mistake, they go off with the key so we don't run the battery down. I kind of like that myself. If you are parked somewhere, it's dark and there is chance the car could be hit, you can turn on only the parking lights and be visible. The only way to do this is otherwise is with the ignition key turned on.

Yes the function of the switch is explained in the owners manual. You probably feel silly and other Subaru owners will make fun of you for doing this. The fact of the matter is they probably did it at one time or another and had the same problem. They will never admit it though. It is very very common.

Peaty

PS: I've never done this myself however :icon_rolleyes:
 

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Out of curiousity, has any member come up with a creative use for that switch? Just wondering if someone could use it for extra driving lights or some other use.
 

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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
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I'm currently driving a VW Golf (don't worry, it's a rental! and it will hopefully be replaced by a brand new MY 06 FXT very soon). If I turn the indicator stalk right, the parking lights in the right side of the car will stay on after the key is removed, and vice-versa.

I think that's a neater way of solving what Subaru is trying to do with that switch. Of course, you can't have parking lights in both sides of the car at once with this feature.
 

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integrale said:
I'm currently driving a VW Golf (don't worry, it's a rental! and it will hopefully be replaced by a brand new MY 06 FXT very soon). If I turn the indicator stalk right, the parking lights in the right side of the car will stay on after the key is removed, and vice-versa.

I think that's a neater way of solving what Subaru is trying to do with that switch. Of course, you can't have parking lights in both sides of the car at once with this feature.
That's a longtime feature on some European cars. Allows one to minimize battery drain while complying with laws in various countries (pre-EU perhaps?) requiring use of parking lights when parked in places with no streetlights.

Cars I encountered that had this feature also had a switch to turn on the lights on both sides. This was how you had to be while driving in a French city--parking lights only.

My recollections date back to the mid-60s. Times might have changed by now!
 

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bbottomley said:
That's a longtime feature on some European cars.
Yep - my wife's car (European Ford Galaxy) has the same features.

My integrale didn't have - but then, it's Italian :wink:
 

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A story told by American soldiers who were stationed in Turkey is that the locals only turn on their headlights when they think there might be something up ahead. Saves wear on the lights and drain on the battery!
 
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Also BEWARE Of Car Wash People

Peaty said:
A very common mistake with new Subaru owners is they accidently hit a switch that is on the top of the steering column w/o realizing it. The switch is not the hazards, it's for the parking lights. Flick the switch forward and the parking lights will go off.
PS: I've never done this myself however :roll:
It's ALSO a common mistake by CAR WASH PEOPLE. They rub over the swtich on the top of the steering column with their rags and don't even notice that they're doing it. And so I drove my '91 Loyale around for a week or so, pulling the fuse every night because I had never used the switch and didn't remember it. I felt MUCH better when I took it to the dealer and the service personnel missed it too. I noticed the identical function switch in the (10+ years newer) loaner car they gave me and a Light Went On In My Head. :) A quick call to the dealer and that was the end of that story.
 
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Mystery switch

It happened to me a couple of days ago which was Day 10 as a Forester owner. I was wiping down the dash with a cloth then joined a crowd of neighbours across the street, someone commented my lights were on. After a short chat I returned to my new Sub and proceeded to get more and more worked up as minutes went by and still couldn't turn the lights off. The snickers from across the street became louder and more numerous. You know only 2 guys believed me when I told them there was a separate hard to spot switch on the column. I was a little bummed out by the experience.
 

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It looks like Mart59 survived the initiation. Now he (she?) is a full member here. Welcome!
 
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Thank you

Thanks so much for the welcome. I hope I don't have any more goofy tales to tell.
 

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we typically get at least 3 calls a week with a battery drain and have to explain the switch and that is usually the cause.
 
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You know, before this thread I never knew what that parking light was actuially for.

A street without streelights? Never occured to me. I guess that's what I get for living in big cities all my life.
 

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This whole problem wouldn't exist if Subaru did their lights in the conventional way, where they stay on if switched on even with the ignition off but it sounds a beep if the door is opened. A couple of weeks ago someone told me I had left my lights on because of that switch. That never happened with my previous car with its conventional system.
 

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I think Audi's and a few others have that area on the column too but the audi cars do not have the actual button..the US market cars just have a blank plate in the place of where the button would be. i wonder why SOA didnt follow this and just remove that button and put a blank there. my mom's 1990 Legacy (her first subaru) had this button. just had to be extra careful when cleaning it that it was not accidently turned on.
 

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The salesman at the dealership I purchased my car (Heuberger Motors in Colorado Springs) from told me about that switch after the paperwork was signed and he was going over the finer points of the car before handing the keys over to me. Yesterday I was glad that he had, as I accidentally flipped it on my way to work, I guess getting a smudge off of the tach, and would have been rather dissatisfied with my new purchase had I not known.
 

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Ha! After a long day of dealing with my g-friends broken jeep, I thought "Now my cars broken". So I drove all the way to work to use the forum (we no have interweb at home). Thanks guys, my next Q was going to be, can I rig a switch to the light fuse until I get the car to the dealership!
 
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