Subaru electrical advice needed

Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby dsldubn » Sat Nov 02, 2013 10:46 am

Hi folks,

I don't know if this is the appropriate place to ask, but I'm firing away to see what happens. There are a lot of subaru owners at the hills, maybe someone has had similar problems..

I'm chasing a problem with my wife's daily driver that is making me real close to covering the thing in gas and throwing a match.

Electrical issue...no tail light, parking lights, or dash lights. I've tried all the obvious things. Fuses are fine, bulbs are fine, etc. It appears that I have no power to fuse #5 at all, and i think that's the one that powers all of these lights. I checked the fuses under the hood as well, and they are all good. I've read through countless forums and many folks say to check the parking light switch at the top of the column. It does nothing, doesn't turn on any lights, and doesn't even seem to be any power running to it either. I've got the dash pulled apart, can't find any problems. Pulled the fuse box out, haven't seen any issues there...and the relay on the back that I believe is for the tails tests ok. I'm just out of patience, dont know what else to check. Seems like this is a semi common problem as I've seen plenty of threads, but they're littered with bad info or people saying to check fuses. Anyone ever experience with with a subaru? It's a 1999 impreza wagon.
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby sachilles » Sat Nov 02, 2013 2:43 pm

I've got a wiring schematic for a 99 if that helps. Paper only at the moment....had it on my computer that just crashed yesterday. If I can figure out where I got it, I'll send the link. Otherwise the paper will have to do for now.
Pretty sure Joey has my old wiring harness from my 99 impreza if he hasn't tossed it. I'd give him a call. He's had enough of the wiring harnesses out to know where the break might be.
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby Super1303 » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:22 pm

Check this out real accurate electrical schematics. $18.00 for a month sub. You'll see the other options.

Check to see if the tail/illumination relay (main fuse box) is commanded on when you turn on your head lights, KOEO. This will point you in one of two directions as far as diagnostic paths.
Very important to establish or you'll be chasing your tail. Hilight parts of the circuit and check it off when it's known good start from the battery.
1-relay 'control' circuit
2-the 'circuit' the relay controls

Both circuit failures, whatever it is, will give similar problems, little differences here and there, but Will give you your problem.
As far as TWI (total wires involved) it ain't that bad really.

http://www.eautorepair.net/app/YearsMak ... 4AodbA4AKQ

Cheers, Evan
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby STI NICK » Sun Nov 03, 2013 8:21 am

I haven't pulled a steering colum apart on one but usually when you turn the car off it kills the power to the lights. Could be a bad connection the there if the lights and fuses are good
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby dsldubn » Mon Nov 04, 2013 10:47 am

thanks to everyone for the info, much appreciated.

I now have some schematics, but still haven't found the issue. Had some other stuff to deal with, so had little time, but i'll be back on it tonight after my daughter goes to bed.

Just a little more info...headlights work fine, not sure if I mentioned thta before. They come on with the switch...just not the parking, marker, tail, or license plate lights.

Parking light switch on top of the column does nothing, and there is no power to it. I'm not sure which relay is the tail/illumination relay, but i'm assuming it's the one behind the in-car fuse box. None on the box under the hood seem to be labeled as such. I know that relay on the back of the in car fuse box is getting signal power as it does click when the switch is turned on, so it's at least getting signal to turn on power...have not yet determined if the power it's supposed to be switching is there or not, and where it comes from, but I'll check through the schematics tonight and see what I can find.

pretty soon all my rigs will be mechanical diesels, with 1 wire needed to run, and very simple wiring ;) much more enjoyable to work on
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby Super1303 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 1:15 pm

The head lights look to be on another circuit, so it would make sense for them to work.
Have you bypassed the relay? If you have located the correct relay and it's being energized when you turn on your head lamps I'd make sure you have power at this relay for sure.
One of the little tricks cars can also play is a high resistance failure. Yea sure your meter will detect proper voltage sometimes even enough to illuminate a test light but try to pull the amps thru that circuit to power a bunch of bulbs and the voltage will drop off. So you think the circuit is fine but it's faulty and your off on a wild goose chase.
So if you bypass the relay after you've determined proper voltage to the 'controlled' circuit. Check it again to see if that is the case.
Another thing, do your front clearance lights come on? I think there's a splice after fuse#5 (Red/Yellow) but you'll see that.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Subaru electrical advice needed

Postby dsldubn » Mon Nov 18, 2013 11:32 pm

well this one stumped me. no power to fuse box for that fuse...no power at the relay, just the control (bypassing doesn't help). Has to be a harness issue somewhere, but I ran out of time and cheated. Lame, but it has lights now anyway. If I get some more time I'll look further to see where heck the problem is, but for now it works. I just need to get this car through winter. Thanks for the advice.
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