Lights on the letters of the auto transmission shift lever? 05 OBXT LTD - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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Smile Lights on the letters of the auto transmission shift lever? 05 OBXT LTD

Hi everyone, I have a new-to-me 2005 OBXT 2.5 LTD with the 5EAT.

I just want to confirm whether or not the letters on the center console by the shift lever light up or not? I'm thinking of maybe adding a small red LED to shine down on that area and illuminate it a bit maybe if they don't...

Cheers,

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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 07:00 PM
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They should light up in red.

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 07:38 PM Thread Starter
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This is what mine looks like... everything lights up except the lights on the gear selector. So I guess I need to track it down.

I'm not getting many hits when I search for it, am I calling it by the right name? shift lever? gear selector lettering?

Cheers
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-29-2014, 09:02 PM
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by plain OM View Post
Thanks for the link, that was perfect!

So I tried a new bulb, no luck, so I went and got the multimeter. Bulb wasn't getting any voltage, checked the two connectors where the bulb gets it's power, neither had power. The wire gets deeper into the guts and I can't follow it anymore.

Does anyone happen to know where that bulb ultimately get's it's power? Eventually they all must meet up somewhere to be controlled by the dimmer dial that controls all the lighting intensity I imagine.

Cheers.
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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 11-30-2014, 09:01 PM
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The gear position indicator light is in the same circuit as the light for the other dashboard controls, such as the radio, hazard switch, and HVAC controls.

One side of the light will have battery voltage on it when the key is at ON and the headlight switch is turned to either of the two "ON" positions; the other (low) side goes to the illumination control module, as you noted. All the low sides of the control knob bulbs are tied together and there's one line back to the module.

Are all the other dash control lights working properly?

Does your car have seat heaters? If so, do the seat heater switches light up when the headlight switch is turned on? Same for the remote control mirror control.

If neither pin of the two pin connector to the gear lever position light has battery voltage when the key is at On and the headlight switch is turned on, check the fuses in the cabin fuse panel. There's one that powers the gear indicator light, the seat heater switches and the mirror control.

Edit: Looked at the photo -- the seat heater switches are lit up. So the fuse is good. Back to the beginning . . . If there isn't battery voltage on at least one of the two pins on the gear lever position light socket when the rest of the lights are on, then perhaps there's a break in the wire going back to the common power source.

Last edited by plain OM; 11-30-2014 at 09:13 PM. Reason: edit
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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 02:00 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, heated seat indicator lights work, all dash and console lights seem to work, dimmer works. I tried measuring the voltage with the key in the ACC/ON position, with and without the car started, with and without vehicle in gear, always no voltage, so likely a break in the wire then, or disconnected connector maybe. This is probably as deep into the rabbit hole as I'm willing to go... I'd rather not tear apart the dash and console tracking it down at this point, maybe if I have another excuse to go there, to change the cabin filter for example.

Maybe just grabbing power for the light from somewhere easily accessible... there is the 12V cigarette lighter and ashtray light right there that I never use...

Thanks for the help! Cheers
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 02:39 PM
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Get the power from the light on the seat heater switch.

2008 Tribeca got at 80k, now at 100k
2010 Legacy GT got at 60k, now at 72k
Sold 2005 XT new to 120k - learned to love the turbo
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 05:46 PM
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Yes that could work as a fix.

Had a closer look at the wiring diagrams, in particular, the diagram of the in-cabin bulkhead harness. The harness to the AT indicator bulb terminates at two pin connector B358. (It's not clear if B358 represents the bulb socket itself, or a connector that the wires from the socket connect to.) The two wires from from B358 appear to go into a collector harness and that into a major harness running across the dash. The major harness has a large, multi-wire connector (one of many all along) at the fuse panel (to the left of the steering column). That connector is B52. So it looks as if the wire at the light that should have battery voltage on it goes directly to the fuse panel. There doesn't appear to be any intervening connectors for that wire. It's not likely the wire would have broken inside the harness. Very strange . . .

Back to basics, just to be sure. How did you make the measurements at the light bulb socket? Was it between the two pins of the light bulb socket, or was it from each pin to a good ground, measured separately? (In all cases, again, the key has to be at ON -- not ACC -- and the headlight switch turned to one of the two ON positions.)

Can you tell where the two wires at the socket go? I realize they disappear at some point, but does it look as if they go into the collector harness (wrapped bundle of wires)? I ask because in this diagram from the linked thread, the socket itself appears to go to a connector just above the red arrow line. That might be connector B358, and it might be disconnected.

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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 12-01-2014, 06:50 PM
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I will add that on the tribeca, that bulb assembly often has issues. Not sure what is going on there, or if it's common with the XT, but it's all looks very similar (having had the XT).


2008 Tribeca got at 80k, now at 100k
2010 Legacy GT got at 60k, now at 72k
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