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Manual Headlight Switch

Ensure headlights are off when you leave the car
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Underneath the steering column, a switch. This can only be flipped on with heavy physical exertion.

When it is off, any time there is no key in the ignition, all power is off on the vehicle.

But if you absolutely need to turn the lights on, and leave them on, for hours, you can with a great deal of effort flip the switch and allow that alternative mode.

Any time this switch is on a superbright LED blinks on your dashboard.

No effort is required to flip the switch in the other direction to turn it off.

mylodon, Nov 11 2007


       All power is off? I can imagine the teenagers parking with the stereo on might not be so happy about this.
derefr, Nov 11 2007

       derefr, you say that as if stopping teenagers making a noise with their daddy's car is a bad thing.   

       I like the 'heavy physical exertion' part [+].
vincevincevince, Nov 11 2007

       Not so much a cut-off switch as an 'oi, cut it out' switch.   

       I have a mental image of the kind of switch used to animate Frankenstein*. There should be lightning when the switch is heaved and perhaps a hand-dryer should operate.   

       *'s monster
marklar, Nov 11 2007

       [derefr] If the teenagers want to listen to the radio, they just leave the key in the ignition, or take the key out and flip the switch. Most radios don't operate unless the key is in the ignition anyways -- the only thing that remains on is the cabin light (temporarily) and the parking lights.
mylodon, Nov 11 2007

       When I was a teenager, an integrated sound system was a new innovation of which I failed to see the point then and still do. Most cars came with no radio or a dealer-installed radio. If you had a healthy distrust of dealers' taste in sound equipment and/or wiring expertise you would buy your own and install it yourself. That was just about the only way to keep them from wiring the left/right channels front/rear, so the balance works as a fader and your stereo effect is messed up.   

       I always wired mine to the battery-live circuit. The battery side of the emergency flasher fuse was a good point to use, with an in-line fuse to the radio. That way the radio was always available, and no overheating the ignition coil when the engine was off.   

       As regards the headlight switch, my first car was a Fiat, and I've since realised that the Italians have a simple and sane way of doing headlight switches. Perhaps they consider themselves uniquely absent-minded among the nations, I don't know. The traditional headlight switch on Italian cars is a three-position rocker. 'Off' is in the middle. One side operates the parking lights on the battery-live circuit, and the other operates the full headlights and parking lights on the ignition-live circuit. You don't switch through parking lights to get to headlights, and the headlights (ign.-live) aren't merely added to the parking lights (bat.-live). That means the headlights turn off, completely, when the ignition is turned off. The only problem with forgetting to turn the lights off is driving around with your lights on the next morning, like some kind of sniffing, self-righteous Volvo owner.
Ned_Ludd, Nov 12 2007

       Since the 70's, Canadian Tire (and I assume NAPA etc) sell a siren to warn you when your lights are left on, when the ignition is off.   

       I had one on my 89 CRX Si.
fancypants, Nov 12 2007

       marklar, that kind of switch is called a "knife switch". I like those too.
jutta, Nov 13 2007

       This is redundant. I have never seen a new car without an acoustic warning when you leave the lights on.
kinemojo, Nov 13 2007

       But new cars have accoustic warnings for everything, and the acoustic warnings waste battery life too.   

       At 29, I'm just old enough to remember the days when cars were designed to be worked on, and you could let someone out from the rear passenge side door while the engine was running without a thousand sirens screeching in your ear.
ye_river_xiv, Nov 13 2007

       [kinemojo] not all of us have new cars, or will have new cars, or indeed will tolerate anything designed after 1975 on our property.
Ned_Ludd, Nov 14 2007

       [kinemojo] So you are saying, even if you shut the door, if the lights are still on it keeps on making soft little chiming sounds?   

       I've never heard a car make acoustical warnings with the doors shut.   

       [Nedd_Ludd] is right. * I certainly don't own any cars that are capable of powering half the internal electronics anyways, much less making beeping noises. But I sure can leave my lights on.   

       * I think my 1995 golf was designed in 1975
mylodon, Nov 14 2007

       I've got a 1995 Golf that was designed before 1974. What part of the world are you in, [mylodon]?
Ned_Ludd, Nov 14 2007

       Sorry, this is somewhat belated. I'm currently in an antipodean region, but the VW was an early model MK3, that reminded me of an MK1 I used to own.   

       I have driven a brand-spanking new MK1 in Cape Town though. It's good to know that you can relive your youth if only you travel far enough.
mylodon, Dec 11 2007


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