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Well it could always be a wiring problem, but you were right in thinking it was the headlight switch. Each circuit is different and only joins up in the headlight switch. Each circuit has a fuse sending power to the switch. So I would want to know if you have power in and out of the headlight switch on each circuit.
Theres a sensor in the middle of the dash by the front windshield that detects sunlight and triggers the automatic headlights. The main headlights and daytime running lights might be on a different circuit, in which case they daytime running lamps would turn off at night and the main headlights would turn on, indicating the main headlights arent working and the daytime running lamps are working as intended.
I would check all the fuses related to headlights, check the bulbs and check the switch, then last the light sensor on the dash.
These are all different circuits. The brake lights are on a 10amp fuse - the headlights are on a 50amp fuse - and the parking and dash lights are on a 20amp fuse. Do you have power going into the headlight switch and the brake light switch ?
The running lights and dash lights are on the same circuit.The brake lights and turn signals are on their own circuit.You need to use a 12v test light to see where the circuit is broken,starting at the fuse,then the headlight switch,then the dash harness.(If the headlights work,you at least know the headlight switch is getting power).
This is a problewm I have been researching. On the 91 Loyale
there are two headlight relays. The relay for the left headlight
also controls the instrument lights and the running lights. If
the right relay is working and the left is not, the left headlight will
be dim because of a back electrical path through the high beam
indicator light on the dash, but the instrument and running lights will
be out. I have been trying to find out where Subaru put these
relays, but three Subaru service departments have been no help.
One dealer's service department told me to remove the large bezel
around the instrument panel. I did and the relays weren't
there. Lots of luck.
By the info that you gave, I would have to say (guess) that it would be your wifes headlight switch. Because it is possible for the headlights to still work when the switch goes. The headlights, taillights, dash lights, dome light, and dimmer all work off the headlight switch and only part of the switch can go and the other part still be good and functioning. Hope this helps or at least, head you in the right direction to solve the issue. Best wishes.
Dash lights are fed through the headlight switch. If the headlights
work, then you could have a bad switch. Before you go replacing the
switch, get a wiring manual for the car and see if you are getting 12v
at the wire that supplies the dash lights. I forgot the color of it.