Stinking dome light... - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 10:08 AM Thread Starter
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Stinking dome light...

dome light went out in the wife's 06 OB. i replaced the bulb, but it still won't come on. anybody else have this issue? what could it be? thanks!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-28-2011, 04:35 PM
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A few initial possibilities:

The new bulb is defective (wouldn't be the first time);
The new bulb isn't making good contact with the end holder(s);
The dome light switch is set to the Off position instead of On or Door;
The fuse is blown.

If you have another bulb, try it, and make sure the holders are tight against the bulb.

If you have a multimeter, with the switch set to On, check for 12 V or so between the two contacts. If it's there, then the bulb is bad. If it's not, check the fuse.

Also, see if the map lights work -- they're on the same fuse.

The fuse is in the main fuse panel in the engine compartment.

Let us know what you find.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 01:00 AM Thread Starter
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the map lights definitely work. they are the ones up by the rear view mirror correct? i'll have to bust out the meter i guess. thanks!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2011, 08:58 AM
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Yes -- two map lights each with it's own switch, and work even when the ignition key is out. If the map lights work, then it's not the fuse; the problem is more likely at the dome light itself -- bulb, bulb connection, or perhaps the switch.

Let us know what you find with the meter.
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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getting power to the bulb, it just isn't turning on. i guess the new bulb i bought was bad. i bought an LED bulb as a replacement thinking it would last longer and not draw as much current. do you think that possibly there isn't enough resistance for the LED bulb to work? i'm going to try a conventional bulb next.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-30-2011, 08:43 PM
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If the LED bulb was designed to be used as a direct replacement of the original incandescent bulb, then the resistance in the rest of the circuit shouldn't be a factor, especially when the dome light switch is set to the ON position.

Good chance the LED unit is defective. Try a conventional bulb to confirm.

Let us know what you find.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 05:33 AM
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Does the 2006 have a circuit that fades the dome light on/off when you unlock/lock the car? If it does, that could foil (or be foiled by) a fixed-voltage LED bulb.

Also a very cheap LED bulb might, like LEDs themselves, be polarized. It would only work in one orientation in the socket. Plugging it in backwards could fry it.

Ceejus, where did you get your LED bulb?
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 09:29 AM
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driveby:

Good points.

Yes it does have the fade-out, but that is not a factor when the dome light switch is set to manual "On". I presume the light doesn't work in any position of the switch, but looking back, this isn't clear.

2006 Subaru Outback Wagon LEDs shows various LED replacements for the dome light which, based on the festoon design, could be physically installed backwards. But I don't see anything on the website relating to installation and polarity. Perhaps there's a marking on it, or it could have circuitry that can accommodate either polarity.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 12:36 PM
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Thanks PO.

If the dome light can fade, that light is controlled by a computer. IIRC Subaru calls it the Body Integrated Unit (BIU).

One possibility is that the BIU sees an LED lamp as a broken bulb, since LEDs look very different (electrically) from incandescent bulbs.

A simple test would be to connect the LED lamp directly to a 12V source (like, your battery terminals) and see if it lights up. If it does, the problem is the BIU. If it doesn't, the problem is the lamp.


-Jeff
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 11-07-2011, 06:49 PM
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Quote:
A simple test would be to connect the LED lamp directly to a 12V source . . .
I believe the OP confirmed there's 12 V across the terminals, so that condition is already met.

There's always-on 12 V to one side of the bulb. The other side of the bulb goes to the switch. The switch connects that side of the bulb to 1) the BIU; 2) nowhere (always Off); and 3) ground (bulb always on). If the light doesn't work when the switch is in the ON position (the Owners Manual indicates which of the three positions), then it has nothing to do with the BIU fader system. Either the polarity is wrong (if the bulb is sensitive) or the bulb is bad.

Also, bulbs sold as dome lights for a specific car, such as the superbrightled.com link I provided earlier, should be plug-and-play and should work with the car's existing power system. In this regard, superbrightleds.com does indicate that these bulbs will work with fader controls. But we don't know if that is what the OP has.
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