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View Full Version : How long can you leave your parking lights on?


alee
01-12-2003, 07:37 PM
If I turn on my parking lights on one side of my car to illuminate it while parked on a tight street, what's the practical amount of time I can leave my car like that without killing the battery?

visor
01-12-2003, 07:42 PM
i dunno... why don't you try it and report back to us? :D

but seriously... if you can find the amp-hour rating on our battery, you can take that and divide by 2.5 amp (= 30watts / 12volts) to get the hours.

ObD
01-12-2003, 07:42 PM
I actually did this once by accident at work during the first few weeks I owned the car. As I got out of the car, I must have hit the turn signal lever. Standing lamps were on for 9 hours or so. No problems, started like a champ. :D Funny thing is a co-worker noticed the front indicator on, but discounted it as illumination from the sun. :dunno:

This was late spring and not winter so YMMV.

visor
01-12-2003, 08:02 PM
Just found out the battery is rated at 80 amp-hours. Therefore, you can leave it on for 32 hours! :yikes:

alee
01-12-2003, 08:12 PM
Originally posted by visor
Just found out the battery is rated at 80 amp-hours. Therefore, you can leave it on for 32 hours! :yikes:
So basically overnight is ok. :D Any longer and I think I'd be parking in a real garage anyway. :thumbup:

duke330ci
01-12-2003, 08:24 PM
what are parking light for anyway? haven't ever been able to figure out a use for them. some say that you turn them on when parking to illuminate the cars / space to the side of you, but it doesn't seem like they are bright enough to help much.

some say (in this thread) to leave them on for short periods of time to make your car more visible in tight street. this is the first i've heard of this, but it makes sense.

little<><
01-12-2003, 08:31 PM
I know in some parts of Europe, it is illegal to park on the street without the use of the parking lights (at night). Over here in NA, I would expect more "you left your lights on" comments from well meaning people.

alee
01-12-2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by duke330ci
what are parking light for anyway? haven't ever been able to figure out a use for them. some say that you turn them on when parking to illuminate the cars / space to the side of you, but it doesn't seem like they are bright enough to help much.
Uh... you use them for... parking. :D

Typically I use them in 2 scenarios:

1. I'm waiting for someone and I'm double parked on a narrow street. It illuminates all 4 corners of my car so people know I'm there. Headlights not really needed and hazards can get annoying.

2. If I'm parked on a narrow street where I may be one of only 2 or 3 cars on the street, I turn off the car, and put the turn signal in the direction of the center of the road. On most European cars, it will turn on the parking lights on only 1 side of the car, making your car more visible.

#2 is more of a European thing where the roads are often extremely narrow. Improving your car's visibility is important, and depending on where you park your car in Europe, it may be the law.

I haven't done this myself for more than short parking periods where I think my car would be made more visible with the lights, but it sounds like it's pretty safe to do for extended parking periods.

SONET
01-12-2003, 10:38 PM
What I don't understand is that when you use the turn signal trick, it doesn't turn on the side marker. I can see where they would do that to conserve battery life, but it seems like it would really help people see your car in certain situations.

I have used mine a couple times when parked... it really helped me sleep at night. :thumbup:

--SONET

Raffi
01-12-2003, 11:18 PM
Alee, you should be OK leaving them on at least overnight, since that is the whole purpose of those lights - to make the car more visible when parked in a dark area overnight.:D

richard
01-13-2003, 04:45 AM
Am I missing something? I thought when you activate your parking lights when exiting, they automatically turn off. In fact, I thought I read somewhere that if you forget to turn any light off they will automatically shut off after 15 minutes or so?

SONET
01-13-2003, 09:32 AM
Richard: Try shutting your car off, then flipping your turn signal to one side or the other. Those lights won't turn off after 14 minutes, whereas most (all?) other lights will (can't say I've tested them all so I don't know which heh).

--SONET

The HACK
01-13-2003, 11:51 AM
Left my wife's car at the airport parking with the "parking" lights on...Over about 3 days we came back finding the battery completely drained.

WAM
01-13-2003, 12:09 PM
I can confirm that single side parking lights left on overnight, about 12 hours or so, did not drain the battery. Car started fine.

However, I am not sure if that would be the case in the US snow belt areas.