Do my parking lights automatically turn off?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by DerekinaPrius, Dec 3, 2010.

  1. DerekinaPrius

    DerekinaPrius New Member

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    Hey all. So last night, I left my parking lights on in my car (accidentally). 14 hours later, I come to the vehicle and it starts up no problem. I'm assuming that the lights automatically turn off, but the manual only says that the headlights do. I tried to duplicate the situation and I did just once, but I couldn't get the car do it again. Is this a standard feature that I can rely on? Or was this some instance of divine intervention?
     
  2. Joe166

    Joe166 New Member

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    I don't think parking lights are supposed to turn off. That's why they call them parking lights. So you can leave them on when parked in an exposed situation. High end European cars used to have the ability to leave one side of your parking lights on so you could leave the streetside front and rear lights on if you were parked on one of those narrow alleys that pass for a street in much of Europe. You can certainly try by leaving them on and locking the car. If they are the same as the main lights they will go off in a minute or two.
     
  3. DerekinaPrius

    DerekinaPrius New Member

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    Would leaving my parking lights on for 14 hours drain my 12V battery?
     
  4. Cloud

    Cloud New Member

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    umm.. yes haha its more than enough
     
  5. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    Yes, possibly. From searching elsewhere, it sounds like the 12V battery has about a 35 amp-hour capacity. Multiply by 12 Volts, and the total stored energy is 420 watt-hours.
    The lights turned on with the parking lights (and their wattages, per the manual) are:
    Parking lights (5 W x2)
    Front side marker (5 W x2)
    License plate (5 W x2)
    Instrument panel lights (? W)
    Taillights (0.6 W x2)
    So that's 31.2+ watts. Multiply by 14 hours, and you have 436.8 watt-hours, plus the instrument panel, and assorted other power draws. I'd bet the battery, when new, has a larger capacity than the specification; that's pretty typical of batteries. So 14 hours would just about hit the limit; there's no clear winner here, though. If your battery is in excellent condition and the lights draw slightly less than 5W, for example, the battery might just have enough juice.
     
  6. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    I've noticed that my parking lights do turn off automatically when I leave them on in my 2013 Avalon Hybrid. This is a design flaw in my opinion. Sure, it helps keep my 12V battery from going dead. But I left them on because my landlord hadn't plowed the snow and I had to leave my car out on the highway at night for less than an hour. I didn't want anyone crashing into my car with it parked out there. Plus it's also the law here in Colorado that if you park on the side of the highway you're supposed to have your parking lights on. But alas, when I got back to my car the parking lights had automatically turned themselves off in less than an hour. I didn't test it again to see how long they actually stay on, but less than an hour is unacceptable.

    With me traveling a lot in snow and on the highway, I wouldn't mind getting a bigger, perhaps disconnectable second 12V battery and using that for any emergency to power my parking lights all night long if need be. What if I need to pull over and take a snooze, or if I get stuck in a snow drift and don't want the plow truck to not see my car? Well, now my only option is to leave the car running, which may not be what I want to do. After all, sleeping with the car running is not a good idea, especially in a snow drift that can block the exhaust fumes and route them underneath and into the car. Which is why I carry along spare blankets anyway, so I don't need to run the car all night long.
     
  7. fuzzy1

    fuzzy1 Senior Member

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    This is not a design defect, there are several other options to disable the headlights-auto-off feature. Did you test any of them for the park lights too?

    (1) After turning the ignition off, turn the light switch off, then back on to where you want it (Maybe open the driver door once before turning lights back on);
    or ...
    (2) Don't open the driver door, exit through the passenger door instead;
    or ...
    (3) Stay inside the car, don't open the driver door.

    If you must park alongside the road for a while, the emergency flashers will be more visible, run longer before battery depletion, and are never subject to the auto-off system.
     
    #7 fuzzy1, Mar 14, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2019
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  8. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Know who got a bigger sized battery for the prius and got a lot of flack for it? Raytheeagle. Any ways, that's a perfect reason to get a bigger battery so you don't have to worry about draining it down with parking lights, in fact that's a great idea.
     
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  9. Isaac Zachary

    Isaac Zachary Member

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    Thank you!

    I will have to try those suggestions. I would like the parking lights to come on and stay on when I want them too. Yes, in an emergency the flashers do make sense. But not everything is an emergency. If I pull over to sleep and a police sees me with flashers on he's going to wake me up to see if I'm ok. Parking lights mean I'm parked, no emergency. But I will try the other suggestions so see what I can do. And look in my manual.

    That, and for running a 12V cooler or even possibly a 12V heater of some sort.
     
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