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I've owned a 2002 outback for 5 years now, I'm well aware of the steering column parking light switch, I've recently had a front windshield replaced and had an inspection done for a new sticker. All of a sudden I have to manually turn on and off my parking lights using the steering column switch. Never had to do this before, the parking lights will not turn on when I turn car on.
 

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Have you checked all fuses?
Also look for any ground wires that may be damaged, corroded or disconnected. They typically look like a copper-braided type of strap, if they are corroded, they may be green in color from the corroded copper.

Look for any wires that may have become disconnected while the windshield was replaced. It may be due to the windshield replacement, or it may just be coincidence that the driving lights stopped working around the time of WS replacement! Also, check all bulbs. You could possibly have two driving light filaments which happen to be out.

There may also be a relay of some sort that has failed. I believe they are typically in the fuse box. If so, you may have more than one relay and if they are identical, you may be able to swap any relay that may be bad with another one that is still good (that does something else), just to troubleshoot the problem.
 

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ok, so you turn them on with the switch on the turn signal stalk.

what happens when you turn the car off?

do the head lights come on automatically?
 

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If your parking brake is up a notch or two, I believe the driving lights go off. If you want to drive with the parking lights all off, you pull your parking brake handle up one click, as long as the other headlamp switches are off, the car should be all dark. Don't drive with the parking brake on if the adjustment is tight and you happen to be putting pressure on the parking brake pads, you will fry the rear discs (which also contain drums for the parking brakes, that is if it is like my '05).:17:
 

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Are the parking lights supposed to come on when the engine is started, but the headlight switch is in the OFF position?

On my Canadian 2007, all the external clearance and tail lights, as well as the low beam headlights do go on automatically when the engine is running and the parking brake is released -- it's part of the Daylight Running Light system. However, some time ago, this was discussed here, and it turned out it was unique to Canadian-market Subarus, and only later models. U.S. models, apparently, only had the headlights come on for DRL.

According to the 2002 SOA wiring diagram, the headlights should come on for the DRL function, but there's no clear DRL-related connection to the parking lights (i.e. the clearance and tail lights -- the same ones that would be turned on using the Parking Light switch on top of the steering column).

Is there something here I'm not aware of? Or could it be a question of different terminology?
 

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I think on our '05, unless the headlamp switch is actually on, the front daytime headlamps are on, the plate light on back and the two corner rear lights are all off.

I know this as I had to (just recently, actually) remind my wife as she was driving away in the dark - that her headlamps were off - all her rear-lighting was totally dark.

I see that as a safety concern. A lot of people may think their headlights are on, when they can see ahead in the dark, when only the DTR lights are on! I realize the instrument panel looks different both ways, however some people may not notice the instrument panel difference.

Sometimes they add so many different things to cars, it takes some people quite a long time to realize that they may have been doing it all wrong all along!

If they kept the cars simple, and all the same, there would be less problems.
 

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just turn the lights on at the stalk and never touch it again. they go off automatically.

parking lights do not come on with the DRL. only with the actual headlights or the parking light switch on the column.
 

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I'm pretty sure the OP is under the incorrect impression that the parking lights were on when only the headlights in DRL mode were. My car of the exact same year NEVER turns on the parking lights without the switch atop the steering column (the 'virgin' switch) or the stalk switch turned on. Many a time I've seen people with DRLs only on going down the road, and this basically tells one of two things: 1. they never look at their speedo and other gauges (or they would notice they were rather DARK); or 2. they have adjusted the always on dash illumination (in some cars) high enough to see even when its dark, probably not realizing they weren't bright enough because the lights aren't on.
 

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I'm pretty sure the OP is under the incorrect impression that the parking lights were on when only the headlights in DRL mode were. My car of the exact same year NEVER turns on the parking lights without the switch atop the steering column (the 'virgin' switch) or the stalk switch turned on.
Euchre: Thanks for the confirmation. So either the OP was mistaken, or, there is something that changed, but it's not clear what it is. Perhaps the DRL headlights ("headlights in DRL mode") are no longer coming on, and the only way to turn on the headlights is with the stalk switch. But the OP will have to get back with some more information.
 
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