Hidden feature: Battery kill switch ... - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 03:44 PM Thread Starter
Belfry
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Hidden feature: Battery kill switch ...

... a.k.a. map light 'On.'
File this under 'Do as I say, not as I do.'
Hopped out of the car last Sunday, lifting something heavy (can't remember what it was) off the passenger seat. Hand bumped the roof in the area of the map lights, sunglasses holder. I was in a hurry so I paid no further attention. Didn't use the car for two days.
Went out to car and pressed key fob to unlock. Nada. Tried again: same result. Thinking it might be the key fob battery (though the light on the fob was blinking), went back inside and got the second fob. Same result. Using the mechanical key (for the first time), got in and noticed: no dome/map lights, no dash lights, etc. Dead battery.
Long story short: That brief tap on the roof had toggled the map light switch from automatic on/off (centre setting) to 'On.' I hadn't noticed because the car has trained me to expect the map lights to be on when I exit. The 'On' setting overrides the auto off feature.



Luckily I was able to recharge the battery and the car appears to be working normally. Note: As soon as I reconnected the charged battery the alarm went off. I jumped in and started the car to silence it. Moral of the story: If you think you might have bumped the map light switch--check!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:18 PM
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Accidently did that, too, but noticed light on in the garage.

Can't believe they don't have a time-out on these, like our Jetta had.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 05:44 PM
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There's a setting in the infotainment center, I believe I have mine set to turn off interior lights at 10 or 15 minutes if left on. This way it won't kill the battery.


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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 09:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowincash View Post
There's a setting in the infotainment center, I believe I have mine set to turn off interior lights at 10 or 15 minutes if left on. This way it won't kill the battery.
I checked my owners manual, and for the US version (page 9-15), it says;

Illumination entry Refer to Illuminated Entry System on page 5-136:
The time required for
the interior lamp to
turn off automatically
can be changed
(prevents battery
depletion when a
door is open/ajar).

So I think the turn off time applies only to lights turned on when the door is open/ajar, not when lights are turned on via the overhead switch.
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-18-2017, 11:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tots View Post
I checked my owners manual, and for the US version (page 9-15), it says;

Illumination entry Refer to Illuminated Entry System on page 5-136:
The time required for
the interior lamp to
turn off automatically
can be changed
(prevents battery
depletion when a
door is open/ajar).

So I think the turn off time applies only to lights turned on when the door is open/ajar, not when lights are turned on via the overhead switch.
Ah ok that might be what that's for. I'll probably do a test tomorrow or something to see if the interior lights turn iff after a while if I leave it on.


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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:41 AM
sc489
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I've accidentally drained my battery in several cars over the years. I now switch off the main interior light switch and remove the trunk bulb to reduce the chances of the battery draining like this when leaving a door or the trunk ajar.
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 03:54 AM
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A good solution for this problem, is to replace the stock bulbs for LED's, they draw less power and it would take the LED's a lot more of time to drain the battery power in case you forget to switch them off...
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 10:46 AM
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My new 2015 with eight miles on the odometer could not be started after I bought it on the showroom floor. The sales manager was embarrassed when he told me that someone had left the map light on and killed the battery.

I bought it anyway, but too bad there isn't a timer on that circuit.


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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-19-2017, 04:16 PM Thread Starter
Belfry
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I posted this as a cautionary tale. It's not really a design flaw: I can imagine scenarios under which this function would be useful. For example, it rains a lot where I live. Therefore one is often rushing out to the car and closing the door quickly to avoid getting too wet. With the doors closed, the interior lights go out quite quickly, particularly after the car is started (I believe the timing of both situations: running/not running is adjustable). Generally, that's a good thing. But what if it's night time and you need to look for something in the car? That's when it's useful to be able to switch the interior lights on and leave them on until you find whatever you're looking for.
The issue is that the rocker-type switch used is too easy to bump unintentionally. My previous car had a small roller switch that clicked (audibly) into the On/Off/Door positions. It was virtually impossible to set accidentally.
I still love my 3, I'll just be very careful to check that switch if I get anywhere near it from now on.

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Last edited by Belfry; 03-19-2017 at 06:19 PM.
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