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Discussion Starter #1
As you know, there is an interior light near the rear hatch. This light has three positions. Always on, Always off, and Automatic. I can see why you would want it on Automatic as when you open the hatch you need light and when the hatch closes, the light should go off. I can see why you you would want it on OFF as some people may never use the hatch or they always drive in the day and never will need it. I cannot understand why there is an Always on position. Since there is no third row seat, there is zero possibility of having a passenger there. You may have a dog in the back but that does not make any sense either. The only thing the Always on position can do is drain your battery of you hit it by accident which from what I read is a common occurrence.

Any idea why Subaru would put a passenger style light in a non passenger area?
 

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19 Outback 2.5i Premium
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192 Posts
Simply for cost savings. Most of the dome lights are manufactured as "Always On/Always Off/Auto" and auto manufactures' buy them in bulk with savings. Just buying a subset of "Always off/Auto" isn't cost effective (buying less of them, and not getting bigger discount).
 

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2017 Outback Limited 2.5, Twilight Blue/Ivory, Eyesight. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2,238 Posts
Let me add a small rant about cargo area lights: why is the light so dim? Why not lights on each side up on the side pillars to fully light the cargo area?
 

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2019 Outback Premium 2.5
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44 Posts
Let me add a small rant about cargo area lights: why is the light so dim? Why not lights on each side up on the side pillars to fully light the cargo area?
ABSOLUTELY! I had to add LED lights in the cargo area because its a black hole, even in the daylight. Some of the things Subaru has done at times seems almost like their designers/engineers are clueless about how their cars are used in the real world. And don't even get me started on that piece of crap radio issue. I love my Outback, it's the most comfortable car I've owned...but some of their "ideas" make me wonder.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Premium
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1,168 Posts
Blame the bean counters. You think the designers and engineers don't want to build you the most awesome car theycan be proud of?
They do but the bean counters come along to slash and burn the design to save production costs and maximize profits. Engineering is always hamstrung by budget limitations and reductions.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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The reason the light can be always on is so that when your out camping and the young child sleeping back there needs to have a night light.

See now you know why...LOL

This thread brought back an old memory of when I was about 8 or 9 years old playing in the back of family friends new 1963 Ford Station wagon.
 

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2019 Outback Premium 2.5
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Blame the bean counters. You think the designers and engineers don't want to build you the most awesome car theycan be proud of?
They do but the bean counters come along to slash and burn the design to save production costs and maximize profits. Engineering is always hamstrung by budget limitations and reductions.
I understand but Subaru has long had a "human interface" issue where some of their ideas and designs don't translate into useability for the real world and it seems like it takes years for the "fix" to come through. This is our 5th or 6th Subaru and all of them had at least 1 major design flaw that should have been caught before it was approved for sale. For instance, the 2019 OB has that plastic panel along the lower doors that says "OUTBACK" on it....it also has a design flaw that shoots mud and dirty water onto the door sill. If it's wet roads long enough,the mud will eventually find it's way into the cabin. Its **** on your pants and shoes too. Why wasn't this found during testing?
487052
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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This is our 5th or 6th Subaru and all of them had at least 1 major design flaw that should have been caught before it was approved for sale.
There's the answer. People buy them and keep buying them again.
If Subaru fixed every little thing and made a perfect car it would be so expensive that they would price themselves right out of their market segment.
 

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2018 3.6r Touring, Black, modifications: 255-55-zr18 Continental DWS06
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My two German Shepherds get scared back there and turn the lights on.




Sent from my Pixel 2 XL using Tapatalk
 

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2019 Touring (Canadian Model) with Eyesight
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For instance, the 2019 OB has that plastic panel along the lower doors that says "OUTBACK" on it....it also has a design flaw that shoots mud and dirty water onto the door sill. If it's wet roads long enough,the mud will eventually find it's way into the cabin. Its **** on your pants and shoes too. Why wasn't this found during testing?
I'm not following this. The "Outback" word on the lower panel shoots mud under the door? In 2020 they moved the branding "Outback" to the back
 

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As long as we're ranting about the stupid cargo light - at least on my 2015, it seems deliberately designed to be accidentally switched to "always on" whenever you are taking something large out of the cargo area and it brushes against the switch. If they had flipped the switch around the other way, it would be accidentally switched off.

This has actually happened to me at least twice. Fortunately the car is smart enough to switch off interior lights after an hour or something to protect the battery so it's a fairly moot point.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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If the only cargo light switch positions were OFF and AUTO, I can guarantee you that there would be a thread on this forum whining about the lack of a manual ON position and claiming that the omission constitutes a serious "design flaw." :)
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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I cannot understand why there is an Always on position.
If you want you can defeat it by opening the light, identifying the "always on" switch contact, and covering only this contact with electrical tape.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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If you want you can defeat it by opening the light, identifying the "always on" switch contact, and covering only this contact with electrical tape.
I think I remember somebody posting that they stuck something on the switch with two-sided tape to block the switch from getting bumped to the on position accidentally, but that could still be removed if the manual light was needed. At the time I remember thinking I should do that but so far I haven't ever bumped the switch.
 

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I think I remember somebody posting that they stuck something on the switch with two-sided tape to block the switch from getting bumped to the on position accidentally, but that could still be removed if the manual light was needed. At the time I remember thinking I should do that but so far I haven't ever bumped the switch.
Done.

I had a strip of velcro tape handy so that was what I used. It keeps the switch from sliding to the on position but if I ever need to manually turn the light on it will be easily removed.
Sometimes solving a problem takes less time than reading about why it is a problem.
487166
 

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The reason the light can be always on is so that when your out camping and the young child sleeping back there needs to have a night light.

See now you know why...LOL

This thread brought back an old memory of when I was about 8 or 9 years old playing in the back of family friends new 1963 Ford Station wagon.
Yes! or you're in Montana, terrified of grizzlies, spend one night sleeping on the ground in front of the car with the key fob alarm in hand in a campground and all you saw was a porcupine so the next night you are sleeping in the back with the seats down. The light is handy then. 🤣
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Premium
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I cannot understand why there is an Always on position. Since there is no third row seat, there is zero possibility of having a passenger there.
That's a very bad assumption. While it's not a good idea, and not legal in many places, some people do put additional passengers back there. Whether they would ever have room to activate the switch is another issue... 🙄
 

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2017 2.5i Limited SSD Strut Brace
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I like the ALWAYS ON option. Yes, it can be a battery killer. But sometimes I want the light to stay on.

As for it being dim, I changed ours to LED so we have BRIGHT and not orange, so we can see what's in the cargo area.

Actually changed all of the overhead interior lights to LED. A nice change for all!

Now if I could find a 5500K DRL/Hibeam that works correctly as both. Baby steps...
 

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I like the ALWAYS ON option. Yes, it can be a battery killer. But sometimes I want the light to stay on.

As for it being dim, I changed ours to LED so we have BRIGHT and not orange, so we can see what's in the cargo area.

Actually changed all of the overhead interior lights to LED. A nice change for all!

Now if I could find a 5500K DRL/Hibeam that works correctly as both. Baby steps...
I like the idea of converting to LED interior lighting. Could you share where you got your bulbs? Is there a bulb number I can look up and research this? Thanks.

Also, my rear cargo dome light will not come on in any position. I checked the bulb and it is fine. Would this light be on a separate fuse? The front one comes on just fine. 2016 2.5i Premium. Thanks for any help with this. I keep a rechargeable LED light plugged into the rear power outlet.
 
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