1999 Legacy Outback: Speedometer/odometer work sporatically - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-14-2010, 10:32 PM Thread Starter
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1999 Legacy Outback: Speedometer/odometer work sporatically

1999 Legacy Outback:

My odometer/speedometer does not work all the time, actually, only about half the time.
The speedometer/odometer either doesn't work when I start driving, or it will just cut-out during driving.
The cruise control works fine and the check engine light does not come on when it shouldn't.
I have read somewhere about a Speedometer head unit, is that what is wrong?
I have had other electrical problems when I first bought this car (a total that I didn't know about)
About 2 years ago when I first bought the car, I would lose some of the lighting on occasion. That hasn't happened for over a year now though...but, my cigarette lighter does not have power now, and hasn't for over a year.
I noticed that the trim surrouinding the instrument cluster is lose, so I assume this has been worked on before...
My first lemon in over 30 of buying used cars for myself.

Also, the engine is starting to use coolant, so I'm assuming the heads/headgasket need work..will this care swap engines with a 2000 or newer?


1999 Legacy outback Limited 2.5
2010 Outback 2.5i w/CVT
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 05:50 PM
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There's a number of threads here about the speedometer/odometer failing, including two that are current in the "todays posts" listing:

Speedometer and Odometer stopped. How Screwed Am I?

99 Outback Speedo problem fix-or speedo removal

The electrical problems (lights, cigarette lighter) are probably not due to any "lemon" factor. The car is over 10 years old, and as the car was bought used, who knows what the previous owner or owners did. Like the speedo issue, there are threads here about lighting and failed cigarette lighters (sometimes because it was used for something it's not meant to power).

Loss of coolant could be HG, but it could also be due other reasons including leaks at hose clamps, faulty radiator cap, leaky water pump etc.

Look around the forum. Do a search on various keywords. You will find numerous posts about 1999 Subies with the same problems -- they come with time and mileage -- and are relatively easy to fix.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 03-15-2010, 11:20 PM
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The speedometer problem is very common in the 1999 Outbacks.

Most people replace the speedometer head, but it can be fixed if you a good with a soldering iron. The second thread that Plain OM listed is the one you want to look at.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-27-2010, 12:38 PM
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Speed Sensor ? maybe. Just a shot in the dark. Did you fix it?
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