Who left the lights on?



Why do some car manufacturers persist in not interlocking the lights with the ignition switch? Why would anyone want to leave the lights on when the ignition is off?

I’ve had to jump start my new Honda Fit three times already because I left the lights on. Yes, the car does have a cute little chime alarm, but I’m half-way out the door as I pull the key out and I don’t hear it.

Toyota, for one manufacturer, has figured this problem out; as yet, Honda has not.



possibly (around the fourth or fifth jump) you WILL remember to shut off the light switch.

BUT, in case you forget, there is a chime, ding, noise to remind you. oops, i forgot, you already mentioned that.

this reminds me of the complaints about the gas tank (low) alarm. how many times does it take to remind you that you ARE going to be out of gas??? (once is too many times)


your original question is the answer.

WHY would anyone want to leave the lights on when ignition is off?

no one does!!! some cars have an auto delay to give you 30 or 40 seconds to get in (garage, door etc) before the light shuts off. BUT… your post reinforces my belief that no matter how many fail safe devices we have, the open eye, ear and patience are infinitely more capable than a machine.


Don’t take this the wrong way but perhaps simply being in a hurry is to blame, not the already well designed Honda which at least tries to remind you that the lights are on. Remember it’s only as good as the driver.


So, you’re telling us you’re a slow learner. OK.

Buy a Subaru. You’ll love the “everything off” feature when you turn the key off. When I turn off the ignition of my Legacy, EVERYTHING goes off. I’m getting spoiled.

I think Honda still assumes some of their customers are paying attention. I say this as an Acura owner.


I can think of plenty of times where I needed to illuminate something and didn’t want to start the car. Like everyone else was saying, you don’t get a dinger when you open the door without the car being on?


Well I have had a few times I wanted to leave my lights on with the ignition off. Like putting up a tent when camping, or fixing something when the power was off. Not often, but on occasion.

OK Twice I left my head lights on and needed a jump, but that was back in the 60’s (1965 Sunbeam Imp) and 70’s (1970 VW Beetle). Neither had any kind of warning like today’s cars do. I have not had a problem with any car I have had since that they all had the sonic warning.


My 2002 Sienna turns all lights off, after a certain time depending upon which light it is. It does make me feel like a fool to have a fool-proof system, but some years ago, I did need an expensive jump on a Caravan after leaving interior lights on overnight at a motel on a trip.


On arrival at your destination, don’t just yank the key and run. Get into the habit of checking things. It’s the manufacturer’s responsibility to design a car that works well. Idiot proofing is the idiot’s responsibility. Are you going the blame Honda if the car rolls down a hill because you forgot to set the parking brake or gets rain soaked inside because you forgot to roll up the windows?


How in the world did anyone survive before headlight dingers and interlocks.

This is not really a car problem at all, but it would be a simple enough matter to wire in a relay as a lighting cutout if desired.


We knew a guy who used to come to a stop, throw it in park, and get out all in one motion. We laughed when we thought that some day he would open the door, step on the gas and throw it in reverse while he was stepping out…


Relearn your habits. Turn the lights off even during day even if off before removing the key from ignition vs remembering they are on and turning them off.

At least you have a chime, my old Civic (first/last Honda I will own) did not have a chime and lights remained on.

I do love my Subaru’s which shut the lights off with ignition.


Call me old fashion but I see little need for a car that shuts everything off. My wife’s KIA is that way and it drives me crazy. When I park my car I turn off the radio (hate to have it power up when I turn the key on), turn off the lights, turn off the wipers if they were on (drives me nuts when I see a car in a parking lot with the wipers stopped mid windshield), roll up the windows, turn the engine off and remove the keys. In 22 years of driving I left my lights on one time and locked me keys in the trunk once.


I’m surprized the Fit doesn’t have the interlock. Or at least a time delay relay like some do. On my old buggys I used to paint a large potion of the rotating part of the switch bright orange with model car paint such that it was obvious when the lights were on. I found it really did help. I’d start getting out of the car and the bright orange would catch my eye.

Personally I’d like to see a different interlock…I’d liek to see the lights on whenever the key is in the “run” position. I suspect it would prevent accidents. And bulbs are dirt cheap.


I agree, you are supposed to be aware of your car and its condition. Look at it as you get out and before you get in. It is best practice, in fact, to walk around your vehicle and look at it before you get in and drive away. (Kicking the tires is not really effective with modern tire designs, but it was when my father was a child.)