Hello and welcome to JustAnswer!
This is most likely the reason that the battery originally died.
The park lamps and headlamps are controlled by separate relays, the headlamp actuator being controlled by yet another relay which is powered by the headlamp relay. Since both the park lamp and headlamp relays are obviously being turned on, this tells us that either there is a short on the control circuits between the headlamp switch and the relays (possible but unlikely) or the headlamp switch has simply failed and is turning both relays on. It's very likely that the problem is the switch itself. I would recommend unplugging the headlamp switch, if the lights go off then replace the switch.
Is THIS the switch you're referring-to?
So, if it turns out the switch IS the problem, I'm looking at a $325 replacement part PLUS the labor for removing and replacing the steering wheel and air bag, correct?Dave
OK, since it's now pouring rain outside, I'll wait til tomorrow to see if I can figure out how to unplug the switch. When I unscrewed the two halves of the bezel earlier today, the switch didn't look to be readily "unplugable"...
OK, thanks. So it took Mazda how many years thereafter to figure out that maybe a "combo switch that required pulling off the steering wheel and cost $350 wasn't such a great idea: Later models are probably a 30-minute job with a $35 switch!
You've been a GREAT help! If I can, I'd like to hold off on rating all this until I know this has solved the problem...Thank you!!
I asked this of you last week but received no reply. Which of the five plugs on the assembly do I need to disconnect to check if it's the headlight switch: ALL of them?
OK, thanks. I assume you understand my question. Simply, the part shown at the link you sent shows a "combo switch" with turn signal, lights, windshield wiper, etc. all combined into one expensive assembly. The assembly has, I believe, five separate snap-together plugs. Will I be able to tell which one is the headlight plufg pr do I need to undo all five plugs? Thank you.
Wow! That's quite the connector! I'll give it a try and hope, after taking apart the steering column "clamshell," it gives me enough room to pull that connector apart.... Thanks again!