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Old 02-08-2013, 05:24 PM   #1
Smurftastic
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Member#: 243697
Join Date: Apr 2010
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Virginia
Vehicle:
02 Stg2+ WRX
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Default Headlights randomly remaining on and dim when ignition off and headlights turned off

First off, this is in no way associated with the street lights staying on because of the column switch.

Secondly, this COULD be related to a headlight relay being out. One will arrive tomorrow and we will see if it fixes the problem.

Thirdly
, DRLs have been disabled for years (unplugged DRLs in the bay)

The ISSUE: Headlights are randomly staying ON and dim when the ignition is off and the headlights are also switched to off. This happened twice today for the first time ever during approximately six start ups. No other lights are on when this happens - no street lights, and no tail lights.

The second time this occurred, it happened with a buzzing noise from underneath the passenger side. I have never heard this before.

The short-term solution is turning the key back to the ignition-on position and then removing keys. A little perplexed by this but knowledgeable it could be associated with one of the headlight relays being out. Any ideas are welcome, but I will report back regardless after I put the new relay in.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:22 PM   #2
satrya
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Location: Fremont, CA USA
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797

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Does it happen on both headlights or just one side?

Relay is certainly possible. Could also be intermittent short, say a slightly worn wire insulation that provides a replacement for the switched ground function.
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:24 PM   #3
frederik
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Chapter/Region: E. Canada
Location: St-Georges, QC, Canada
Vehicle:
2003 WRX Sedan
WRB - Cobb Stg 2

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I have a custom wiring relay harness for my headlights and there was water infiltration because I had taped the relays with their base using electrical tape, it acted as a water retainer and the relay would either stick ON or buzz.

In my case water was shorting out the relay terminals, probably enough to send some of the 12v feed to the relay coil thus autoactivating even if I had the ignition and all switches off. It eventually killed the relay (buzzing is not so good on a relay).

Is all your headlight wiring stock?
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:04 AM   #4
Smurftastic
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That is definitely a possibility Satrya.. could be time to start tracing wires.

The wiring harness for the headlights is stock, but it's possible water could be associated, we did just have a rainstorm the same day this occurred. Will replace both headlight relays today and report back afterwards...
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
Cougar4
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Winestone

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This problem is a little out of the norm. In order for the head lights to turn on normally power passes through a relay for each side that is controlled by the light switch. The switch provides a ground to turn on the head light relays and also provides a ground return for the lights. I suggest you start the hunt for the trouble by checking the fuse panel under the hood. Check for corrosion on the bottom side of it. Somehow power is getting bridged to the lights and the fuse panel seems the most likely suspect to me. You could also try to find the source of the power by pulling fuses in that panel and see when the lights go out.

I doubt the relays are causing the trouble but to verify that just pulling them out will prove it. If the lights remain on that will prove the power is being bridged from another power source.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:22 PM   #6
Smurftastic
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Good call on that troubleshooting method. Relays didn't arrive today, damn. But I can still troubleshoot later on
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