Subaru Forester 1998 Door light
February 8, 2015 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Can you tell me which fuse to pull to kill the door ajar light on the dash of a Subaru Forester 1998?

We have a 1998 Subaru Forester which had some of its electrics shorted out by a tow guy who crossed the cables when jump starting our car a couple of years ago. One of the nagging things is that this has left the dash board door ajar light on permanently. If we leave the car without running it for a couple of days this drains the battery. The problem is not any of the door sensor switches as we've been through disconnecting all of those one at a time to test them. It's a short somewhere in the circuit.

I don't care about the door ajar light. I'm happy without the warning. I just can't find out which fuse to pull to kill the circuit.

Anyone know?
posted by merocet to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total)
Don't know Foresters but from quixotic experience it's probably a fuse with several lights and meters that you will want to remain functional. Consider a small piece of black tape.
posted by sammyo at 8:29 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

If the problem you're trying to solve is the killing-the-battery issue, you probably will want to figure out how to pull that indicator bulb out.
posted by BillMcMurdo at 9:32 AM on February 8, 2015

Best answer: had some of its electrics shorted out by a tow guy who crossed the cables when jump starting our car a couple of years ago

That's not going to do any damage at all to anything dumb like lights and switches. It has done damage to your dashboard. Therefore, your dashboard is not being run by anything dumb; it's being run by some little prima donna of a microprocessor that cracked the sads when big electrical spikes turned up on its power supply. I suspect it's that processor itself, rather than a LED on the dashboard it happens to be driving, that's now eating far more standby juice than it should.

You might want to see if a forum with a bit more domain knowledge could get you useful answers.
posted by flabdablet at 10:49 AM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As flabdablet pointed out, the dash light is more likely a symptom, not the real problem. So even if you removed the bulb, you are still likely to have a battery drain issue. You could try just pulling the bulb, its easy, and it doesn't hurt to try that first.

Those dash bulbs are typically 0.1 to 0.3 amps. Your car battery is typically capable of 150 amp-hours, so if you do the arithmetic, you would find that that the battery should be able to light that bulb for 20 to 60 days. Of course you might not be able to start your car before the battery is completely dead, but just a couple of days seems unlikely. So there is probably more than just that one bulb draining your battery.
posted by JackFlash at 12:10 PM on February 8, 2015

Trickle charger? Mightn't work if you park on the street though ...
posted by GeeEmm at 2:12 PM on February 8, 2015

Best answer: My dad has this car. It's had similar problems. Your security system computer is likely boned.

They're cheap and old enough now that you can probably pick up that part at a junk yard for peanuts.
posted by emptythought at 5:53 PM on February 8, 2015 [1 favorite]

To be clear the reason i think it's that computer is that these cars have a little "feature" in that computer which keeps the dome light on for like 20 seconds after you shut the car off, then slowly fades it out. That door light stays on the whole time. If that part is screwed up, the door ajar light just stays on... forever. This isn't a relay based thing because it PWMs the light, or something. It's part of the computer unit.

Whole barrel of fun, there.
posted by emptythought at 5:55 PM on February 8, 2015

Response by poster: Yeah I think you're right about the security system processor. Just ordered a battery on/off switch so I can just easily disconnect the battery if I'm not driving it for a day or so. Thanks all.
posted by merocet at 6:07 PM on February 11, 2015

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