When To Use Your Parking Lights

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Mar 3, 2013
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I guess I just don’t see the point of this thread.

Parking lights are for parking. So that a stationary car is visible to traffic.

If it’s daylight, then you can see my car at Starbucks, parking lights are too dim to help.

If it’s dusk, or dark, then my headlights are on, and so are my parking lights.

And you can see my car.

Under what circumstance would parking lights be needed at the drive through?
I think the point is to turn off your **** headlights when waiting in a line where lights will be blasting others...my gripe is the line to pick up my daughter from dance...idiots with their lights on, and especially the ones parked perpendicular in the other area, lights clearly shining right into our car. Be considerate of others, people. Happy Memorial Day.
 
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If you have an older model Subaru, you may not know where the parking light switch is.

To add to my post. The parking light switch is on top of the steering column.

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Little too preachy/cranky for my taste.

Drive through? Na, I'm not parked and that is such a minor annoyance. I can certainly relate to the pickup up from dance comment. That is typically an adventure with lots of chaos. Don't see that kind of chaos at a drive thu. Just me, but we often skip the drive thru as the lines are often longer than if you actually got out of the car and walked in to place an order.

Usually in a road situation, if I need my parking lights I'll have my headlights on as well.
 

Astro14

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I think the point is to turn off your **** headlights when waiting in a line where lights will be blasting others...my gripe is the line to pick up my daughter from dance...idiots with their lights on, and especially the ones parked perpendicular in the other area, lights clearly shining right into our car. Be considerate of others, people. Happy Memorial Day.
I think the point is to turn off your **** headlights when waiting in a line where lights will be blasting others...my gripe is the line to pick up my daughter from dance...idiots with their lights on, and especially the ones parked perpendicular in the other area, lights clearly shining right into our car. Be considerate of others, people. Happy Memorial Day.
If that was his point (and he didn’t actually make that point) why didn’t he title it, “turn off your headlights so you don’t blind others”?
 
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I used to use them at twilight or sunrise, until I learned that the law really has no rules on them. Ohio has the “lights on when using wipers” law, and I actually heard a coworker’s wife got a ticket for not using them, shortly after the law was enacted. There’s no limit to small town PD greed…
 
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My BMW had an interesting feature. You could turn on the parking lights on one side only, the driver's side of course. That way you could save battery power if you parked on the side of the road for an extended period with the parking lights on. I could see this being especially useful in Europe where parking space is often very limited and your parked car might extend into the roadway a little.

But I have to admit it kind of freaked me out the first time I accidentally turned it on and then couldn't figure out why one "tail-light" was lit.
 
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I have my DRLs disabled on my car due to having aftermarket LED highbeams (the DRLs flicker with LEDs installed, don’t won’t to annoy other drivers by leaving them on) so I use my parking lights instead. The place I use parking lights the most is in tunnels, since they have their own lighting but you still need your tail lamps illuminated for safety.
 
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My BMW had an interesting feature. You could turn on the parking lights on one side only, the driver's side of course. That way you could save battery power if you parked on the side of the road for an extended period with the parking lights on. I could see this being especially useful in Europe where parking space is often very limited and your parked car might extend into the roadway a little.

But I have to admit it kind of freaked me out the first time I accidentally turned it on and then couldn't figure out why one "tail-light" was lit.
This would be even better in modern times with LEDs. I'm trying to imagine a typical European driving 5 miles around their cute little town and completely charging the battery after 12 hours of burning two bulbs.
 

Astro14

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My BMW had an interesting feature. You could turn on the parking lights on one side only, the driver's side of course. That way you could save battery power if you parked on the side of the road for an extended period with the parking lights on. I could see this being especially useful in Europe where parking space is often very limited and your parked car might extend into the roadway a little.

But I have to admit it kind of freaked me out the first time I accidentally turned it on and then couldn't figure out why one "tail-light" was lit.
Mercedes has exactly the same feature.

In Germany if you park on the side of the street, at night, you are expected to turn your parking lights on, on the side on which you are visible to traffic.

They are, in fact, parking lights.
 
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99% of people don't even know what the parking lights are for.

Absolutely! And the drive thru wasn't a thing when park lights were first used.

My BMW had an interesting feature. You could turn on the parking lights on one side only, the driver's side of course. That way you could save battery power if you parked on the side of the road for an extended period with the parking lights on. I could see this being especially useful in Europe where parking space is often very limited and your parked car might extend into the roadway a little.

But I have to admit it kind of freaked me out the first time I accidentally turned it on and then couldn't figure out why one "tail-light" was lit.

Mercedes also has this feature. where you can turn on the park lights, on only one side or the other. I believe this feature is mandatory in most European countries, but not all European cars include this feature in their cars sold in North America.

I've used this feature on occasion, but with a little trepidation, as I worry that those ignorant of the feature may think something is wrong with my lights and find me to tell me.

Europeans take park light much more seriously than we do here in North America.
 
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True parking lights don't waste extra energy by lighting up the interior buttons and gauges -- ie European parking lights

What we call parking lights is what European refer to as "city lights", where with enough ambient lighting from street lights in the city, one can drive with the markers on with the dash illuminated.

On VW's it's activated on the turn signal switch. It's the "P with the lines next to it" When the car if off, push up or down to activate the parking light.
SDMJCNZW-99646856.jpg


Benz, iirc, is on the headlight switch, keep turning the switch counter clockwise past off. I forget where BMW puts it.
 
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I learned something new from this regarding the European regulations on parking lights. So if a car is parked on the street overnight the lights stay on? How does that affect the battery?

In my lifetime the biggest use of parking lights was way back when we would park on the local cruise strip. That was the thing to do.
 
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When I was a kid, we had relatives in Riverside IL, and in those days the village required that anyone parked on the street after it got dark had to leave their parking lights on. Who knows, maybe they still do. Anyway, it was not unusual to go there for Thanksgiving or something and then have to jump-start the car afterward. Fun.
 
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