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1998 Subaru Legacy Outback: Parking lights

When I turn my engine off and remove the key from the ignition, my front and back parking lights remain on. So every time I turn off my car I have been disconnecting the negative post so the lights turn off. How do I resolve this?

I believe your model Outback has a switch on top of the steering console which was probably turned on by mistake and is still on. Subaru removed this troublesome switch after a couple of years. Look for it and turn it off. I would disable it if it’s easily turned on.

I have a 1998 Forester and have seen this before. If your car is anything like mine, there should be a switch on top of the steering column (between the steering wheel and instrument cluster) that operates the parking lights without the key. It’s easy to flick it without realizing you’ve done so while reaching for the odometer button. I hope your problem is that simple! Let me know what you find!


Have you waited to see how long they stay on? My car will do that for a couple minutes after removing the key.

Also, does the switch that selects between parking lights and headlights do anything while the engine is off and the key out? It could be a fault there, or with a relay.

The previous two responses are correct.
Look on the plastic covering the steering column, in the area just below the speedometer & tachometer.
You will see a toggle switch. Simply move the switch to the opposite position, and your parking lights will turn off normally.

Then, take out the Owner’s Manual and read essentially the same information that we have just given you. This will give you an indication of why you really do need to read that manual. If you don’t have an Owner’s Manual, you can buy one cheaply through e-bay.