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Old 09-02-2009, 08:12 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 2008 Electrical Problem

I have a 2008 Outback w/28.8k miles on it. For the last 18 months, it has been parked in my garage while at home and within a parking garage at work. However, during the last 2 weeks, I have parked it outside as we are moving our winter gear into the garage and summer gear into the shed. It is straight stock with the exception of a Garmin Nuvi that was hard wired installed the 2nd day after the vehicle was purchased.

In the last two weeks, on 3 separate occasions, I've had what appears to be an electrical issue when I start the vehicle. Each time the radio and climate controls would blink on/off intermittenly in a random fashion for approximately two minutes.

The first time I turned off to the side of the road, turned the radio and climante controls off. Then turned them back on and had the same issue. Turned the entire car off, waited a minute and then everything was fine.

2nd and 3rd times, I continued driving, but turned the both controls off waited a minute or so and turned them back on and everything was fine.

As I begin to troubleshoot this issue, I'm wondering if anyone has ever had this happen?

I'm thinking it could be a rodent - we have chipmunks in NH and I have parked outside for the last 2 weeks - but that is a long shot.

The Garmin is working fine and the install was done by a professional and still appears to be solid (no frayed wires, wires are weaved in all over, etc.)

Any thoughts?
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Old 09-02-2009, 11:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 2008 Electrical Problem

Quote:
Originally posted by CFFuts
The first time I turned off to the side of the road, turned the radio and climante controls off. Then turned them back on and had the same issue. Turned the entire car off, waited a minute and then everything was fine.

2nd and 3rd times, I continued driving, but turned the both controls off waited a minute or so and turned them back on and everything was fine.
Welcome to the forums, CFFuts!

It may be a poor connection - if you let it cool for a minute it comes back fine, but if you turn them off and on right away, the problem is still there. I'd also check the fuses for the radio and climate controls, take them out and put new ones in. Does this happen with the volume way up, or with the fan on high speed? This may point to a poor electrical contact ... But there can be something else, so since the car is still under warranty, I would take it to the dealer and let them take a look. HTH ...
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Old 09-02-2009, 02:02 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've secured an appointment with my dealer next week. The initial diagnosis is the cooler weather may be contracting the holes the wires go through, just enough to impact the circuit. Intesting that I didn't have the problem last winter, but I'll post a report once it's resolved.
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Old 09-03-2009, 06:54 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by CFFuts
The initial diagnosis is the cooler weather may be contracting the holes the wires go through, just enough to impact the circuit.
IMHO, this sounds like 100% natural organic bull**** - how come this goes away when you turn the loads off for a minute or so? Do the holes warm back up and let the wires go .... If you think of it, no material on Earth would contract under a 20-30 degrees temperature variation ("colder weather" they said?) so much as to "impact" the circuit ... if it were like this, your entire Suby would shrink down into a Cooper Mini if exposed to minus 30 degrees ...come on ... I'd be very careful with this dealer so they won't make you pay to change the timing belt and flushing the power steering to fix this ... really.

If they're talking about a poor electrical connection that overheats because of the high current flowing through it, that's possible, but the story with the holes contracting from the weather is too much. Does it happen during cloudy days only? Was it a high tide when it happened the second time? Be prepared, they may be asking you such questions ...lol.

Keep you eyes and mind wide open and ask for a second opinion from another shop before putting big money into this. Did you check the fuses? Pull them out and put them back in - it takes 2 minutes.

HTH ... Good luck, my friend!
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Old 09-04-2009, 01:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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i've parked mine outside ever since i bought it about a year and a half ago. i would really doubt any rodents are causing the problems. usually rodents chew on stuff that sits around a lot and doesn't move, like RVs, boats, etc. cars that are driven almost daily are very rarely targeted.

that being said.... i have had it happen twice where a weird electrical event happened.

first time, the radio never started. it had no power at all. i had to turn off the car and restart it. then it worked fine. (only time thats happened. i don't remember if the a/c worked or not)

second time, i started the car and everything (literally everything) went dead for a split second, then came back and was fine. it was like the car hiccuped.

let us know that the dealer figures out.
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