2014 Subaru Forester - Dim lights

my dash lights are dim grey/white during the day–no matter what I do with the ‘adjust dash lights’ roller knob to the left of the steering wheel.
They are hard to see in the bright AZ daylight–Even the speedo. lights are dim–and difficult to see. However, everything turns up red/orange 60+mins before dusk-- Service manager has no clue, I’ve been on line looking for answers/suggestions–location of photo light sensor? because I think the almost non-existent dim lights are a safety problem, and I would like to have the red/orange all the time like my brother-in-law has on his 2014 Subaru Forester. Help, any suggestions would be appreciated.

Maybe your owner manual has the answer. If not, take it to the dealer and let them deal with it.

do you have a dash mat? My grandfather had a car that if the dashmat moved, it would cover the sensor triggering the nighttime lights

Look in your owners manual. It might tell you where the sensor is and you could cover it with some tape.

Maybe the dealer can also tell you the location of the sensor.


owners manual talks about ‘lumination module’ under the hood-- I’d like to find whatever triggers the night ? (red/orange) lights on the dash–My day dash lights are so dim, I have trouble seeing/reading them. Service manager says it’s my problem since I did not buy the navigational package . I am the original owner and the problem was there at the start–Nan

That was my first thought, so I removed the dash mat–did not make a difference. Nan

I’ve talked to the dealer/and service manager on 2 occasions–I say it’s a safety matter–they say it’s because I did not get the navigational package. I point out that the more visible night lighting (red/orange)–seems to automatically appear before dusk–and in daytime if dark overcast rain (admittedly rare here in AZ)–so there must be a photo light sensor somewhere on this car. They have been no help at all. Nan

Are you saying that the dash lights were like this when you bought the vehicle ?
What happens if you turn on the headlights during the day, do they work like you want them to?
You need to talk to someone else at the dealer because the lack of the Navigation package should not have any bearing on the dash lights.

Maybe you can pay a small fee and have the dealer set the module to where it thinks it is dark all the time.

Most sun load sensors are located center dash, right up near the windshield.




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I’m heading outside now to look. Nan

My 2015 Forester Premium doesn’t have this feature but the last photo looks the same as the blanks on the dash, one in the middle and another on the passenger side. This Feature is only offered on higher trim levels than mine. Under Vehicle settings there is some adjustment to this feature according to the owners manual.

Some of the dash sun sensors can bleach out after a while and cause the lighting to think that it’s darker than it really is.

I can’t speak for your particular model but the sun sensor on my Lincoln is adjustable.Of course, the engineers in their infinite wisdom made it so the top of the dash has to be removed to access it.
I don’t believe it’s adjustable on a Subaru but they’re cheap to purchase if needed.

I saw someone post with the same complaint. The suggestion made was to turn the auto headlights feature off and that seemed to restore the function of the dimmer control so they could adjust the dash light level during the day. When the headlamps go on during the day in auto mode, it disables the manual level control. However, once it detects it is nighttime, it allows use of the manual setting. Weird if it’s true but I’ve seen similar strange behavior designed into cars…