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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 05 OB and the rear liftgate lock will not work with the remote anymore. I bought a new latch unit and unhooked the conecctors and hooked it up to the new unit without the unit being installed. I wanted to see if the unit unlocked while using the remote. Nothing happened. All of the other door locks work fine except the hatch. Are there any ways to put a meter to the wiring and test? What about putting power to the original unit which is still installed to see if I have a wiring problem?

I would appreciate any ideas or suggestions. This is my wife's car and I need to get it fixed ASAP.

Thanks,
 

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not familiar with the 05 but

typically the door locks send a ground signal to the door lock solenoid which basically just reverses the position it's in [locked or unlocked]

you didn't say if you checked the fuses, from the wiring diagram i have, if the door locks work the hatch should work too but there are two fuses so check those first.

to check for voltage at the plug use a meter set on dc whatever is just above 12v [mine is 20] , ground the black probe and use the red to probe the switch, there should be voltage on whichever power wire you probe every other push [reversing polarity]

if theres no voltage you either have a bad wire [check where it enter the hatch], a bad fuse, or a defective relay [the part that sends the signal to the lock]

if the solenoid requires mounting to complete the ground circuit, just plugging it in without grounding it wouldn't work.

hope that helps some
 

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2013 XV Crosstrek
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OK, this might be a silly question, but maybe it's not the hatch lock itself?

If you have a locked Subaru, and hit the unlock twice, it should open all the doors, including the hatch. If you hit the hatch button, only the hatch should unlock. If you are trying the hatch button only, check the FOB..

Jay
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jay H said:
OK, this might be a silly question, but maybe it's not the hatch lock itself?

If you have a locked Subaru, and hit the unlock twice, it should open all the doors, including the hatch. If you hit the hatch button, only the hatch should unlock. If you are trying the hatch button only, check the FOB..

Jay
Jay,

Good suggestion, but that one I have already tried. It seems that even if I try to lock the car ( all of the doors and hatch) all of the doors will lock except the hatch. So basically the hatch can be opened at anytime. I hope that helps. I plan to put a meter on locking mechanism to check it and also the wiring in the outback.

Thanks for your help.
Rick
 

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that's why i prefaced my statemant with not being familiar with the 05 , i had a suspicion the newer cars had a separate button for the hatch [mine doesn't]. can't tell from the diagram i have that it's a split circuit.

still guessing its' between the door lock relay and the solenoid but always check for blown fuses first when troubleshooting electronic problems. i've seen strange things where they share relatively unrelated components on a fuse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have checked all of the fuses and they are good. Are there any modules or relays which I can check? I have service manual for 2000-2004 Outback but not 2005.
Thanks,
 

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work backward from the problem if you havn't already, you said you checked the fuses did you :

replace the actuator with the new one ? if that didn't work did you ->

check the plug for voltage ? if none -> check for damaged wiring ? wires can break inside the insulation, if it is in a stress position like where the door opens that's the most likely place. the only way to be sure is to test the wire for continuity

if the plug has no power and you can't find any breaks in the wiring i'm about out of suggestions. it has a control module but i don't know where it is, i imagine it's integrated into the security system. you can try to back trace any of the door lock wires, they will all lead to the same place or if you can find a dedicated fuse you can trace it from there.

double check all your checks, make sure you get a good ground and that your probe is touching the contact in the plug.

use the dealer parts guy to find the location of the module. tell them you might need a new one but you need to see the parts diagram to find the location so you can test it.
 

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In 2005+ (perhaps earlier as well), two wires connect the rear gate lock actuator to the Body Integrated Unit (BIU) –a light green wire with yellow stripe (LgY), and a white wire with black stripe (WB). [The BIU is a small computer that controls most of the electronic functions other than those for the engine and the transmission]. To lock the rear gate (all doors as well), battery voltage (12V) is applied to the LgY. To unlock, 12V is applied to the WB.

The three passenger side doors all use the same two BIU output connections. The rear gate actuator LgY wire is common with the passenger doors for locking, but the WB for unlocking is not. It connects to a different terminal on the BIU. This is to allow the rear gate button on the remote to unlock the rear gate independently of the doors.

The power for the actuators comes from the BIU. Power to the BIU is common for all the actuators so if one actuator works there shouldn’t be a power supply problem.

As it is relatively easy to get to the rear gate actuator, check the voltages at the
connector when either pressing the rear gate “unlock” button, or the all-doors lock button on the remote as ETC suggested earlier.

Tracing the rear gate actuator wiring backwards, the two-pin connector at the actuator is connected to an eight-pin connector (D34-R38) located in the right rear “D” pillar. This then is part of the wiring harness system all the way to the instrument panel area and from there to the BIU (the LgY connects to pin A7 of the BIU, and the WB connects to BIU pin A22).

The question is which of the two wires to the actuator is not working properly. Both have to be connected back to the BIU. By measuring from each of the terminals to a good ground (very important), as ETC suggested, you should find 12V on the LgY when the LOCK button on the remote is pressed, and 12V on the WB when the rear gate “UNLOCK” button is pressed.

If either of these is bad, I would suggest finding the D34 connector in the right rear pillar and checking the continuity between the rear gate actuator connector and the pillar connector. After the pillar connector, the LgY wire hard-wired to the LgY wire that goes to the two rear side doors, so if the doors work there’s less likelihood of a problem in the LgY circuit up front. However, wiring from the right rear pillar to the rear gate flexes every time the rear gate is opened and this could cause a wire inside to break.

If the problem is with the WB side (no 12V when the trunk unlock button is pressed), then again check continuity between the WB wire at the actuator and the pillar connector. If the continuity is good, check the voltage at the WB wire at the pillar connector on the opposite side (going toward the front of the car). If there is no voltage when the UNLOCK button is pressed, then the problem is either in the WB wiring back to the BIU, or in the BIU itself. (I can provide more on this if necessary.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for this good information. This was what I was looking for. I will give this a try and post what I find once I get home.
Rick
 

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montanablue said:
Thanks for this good information. This was what I was looking for. I will give this a try and post what I find once I get home.
Rick
Montanablue,

Just wondering what you found out. Just had the same thing happen to my 06 OBW.

Regards,

Martin
 

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I wrote this in a post above:

However, wiring from the right rear pillar to the rear gate flexes every time the rear gate is opened and this could cause a wire inside to break.
Little did I know then what would soon transpire.

There is a problem that first appeared after this thread was started, and which could have been the problem then, and could be yours.

Basically, it is a broken wire going to the rear hatch locking mechanism. The wires for the rear "high" brake light, license plate lights, back-up lights, rear wiper and rear gate lock all go from the car body to the rear gate through the corregated (accordian-like) rubber tube at the upper right of the rear gate opening. I can now recall several instances here of the wires in the area where the tube flexes having broken. In one case a broken wire connected to the clearance and tail light system (the wire going to the license) broke and grounded, regularly blowing the clearance light fuse. In the other case, the rear wiper wouldn't go to the park position, and again it was a broken wire. The rear gate lock actuator uses two wires that go through the flex joint.

Here's one of the threads:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/showthread.php?threadid=19618
 

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good info, just what I needed, easy fix for now. All the wires had broken casing, only two (hatch lock and wiper delay) were broken completely. Now for another 5 years???
 

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mudi911s

Interesting. What year/model is your OB? How did you repair the broken wires? Did you do anything else to help prevent the others from breaking as well? Any ideas/hints you can post here will then help others with the same problem in future.
 

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Hi, This is a One Owner 2005 2.5i outback with 93,000 miles on it.

I started experiencing the problem with the intermitent wiper first. It would just park wherever it pleased after each sweep. I then started having problems with the rear hatch lock. Thought that the latch was bad, so I took the panel off, made sure I could lock it from the inside. It locked fine with the latch bar, but it wouldn't unlock with the remote.

I had a few days before we left for Denver where the car would be parked on the street near Washington Park for 10 days, so I did a google search and found this thread and dug into it one night. The accordion tube comes out pretty easy, but to get enough length on the wires I ended up pulling out the trim around and above the hatch.

For the broken wires I used crimp connectors and a about 2 inches of comparable wire to put them back together. I didn't have time to work the other wires other than electrictal tape wrapping around each one individually. Not a perfectn solution, but it should last a few more years.
 

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2008 Outback Hatch locking problem

Plain OM, Thanks for your follow-up to my message.
Our problem is the hatch will not lock with either key fob or door switch. All four doors will lock, but the passenger door will not unlock with fob, but it will unlock with the door switch. I recently put new batteries in both key fobs.
I have followed your excellent post dated 04-15-2008, removed the inner hatch panel and tested the connector at the lock actuator.
I have power at the (WB) wire 'unlock' but no power at the (LgY) wire 'lock' when pressing the fob or the door switch. I did a visual check of the wiring at the r/h 'D' pillar under the flexible cover but could not see any problems there.
Your next suggested was to check the (LgY) connection at pin A7 on the BIU.
This is where I'm lost where is the BIU and how do I test it? Please let me know if I'm on the right track.
Many thanks for your help. -Bill:
 

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Hi Bill:

After the 04-15-2008 post a number of new reports appeared about problems with electrical functions in the rear hatch, involving the wiper, the back-up lights, tail lights, and yes, the lock. So there was a pattern, and for the most part it was traced to broken wires in the flexible boot between the car body and the hatch. That pretty much superseded the need to get to the BIU. (Most of the wires go through the flexible boot on the right side. A few go through the boot on the left, but this does not include the wires for the lock.)

In the case of the hatch lock, as noted, two wires are involved, the WB and the LgY. Both have to be intact for the latch to lock and unlock, but the power that is used to run the actuator is on one or the other at any one time, depending on which direction it's to run.

In your case you apparently have the power on the WB, but not the LgY. That suggests that the LgY wire could very well be broken.

This thread (http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...wiper-does-not-return-park-home-position.html) has pictures of the broken wires, as does post #12 above and the link in post #11 above.

Here's another with the same problem as yours: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/80-electrical-electronics/26165-rear-hatch-does-not-lock.html. It also has a description of how the wires could be repaired (post #14.)

Sometimes the wires aren't broken at the end of the flexible boot where they can be easily seen with the boot pulled out of the car body; instead, they're broken part way up in the wrapped bundle of wires that goes through the boot. This was discovered after one member pulled at each of the wires from one end and several came out.

So the focus here would be the LgY wire. However, I wouldn't be surprised if there's more. In most of the cases I can recall, one broken wire was enough to get the attention (due to the malfunctioning wiper, lock, or lights), but more than one wire was actually found to be broken, or on the verge of breaking.

Have you checked to see if any other electrical functions in the hatch are not working? (back-up lights, license plate lights, wiper (does it park properly), rear defogger, and high brake light.)

Incidentally, in your post a passenger door is mentioned. Is this a second problem?
 

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Plain OM, You are right on ..... I have a broken Lgy wire under the boot, there is another wire which looks ready to go any time, so I will do the repairs to-morrow, I needed to cut open the boot in order to get at the broken wire, also will double check all the other functions as you suggest.
Thank goodness we have found it, we are driving to Florida next week and I certainly didn't want to go with a car I couldn't lock-up.
Attached a couple of pictures of the broken wire, and the lock actuator.
Many many thanks for your help. - Bill::)
 

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Bill;

Great pictures. Certainly complements the usual "there's broken wires in the flexible boot". The pictures are indeed like a thousand words and there's no denying the breaks.

Just a note: make sure that the boot is fully sealed. If not, then water can get in and that would end up above the headliner and drip down into the car. Here's a case that started out with broken wires, and recently ended up with a leak: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...8841-water-leaking-08-outback-no-sunroof.html

Enjoy the sun!
 

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Plain OM,

To continue; attached are some pictures of my fix to the broken LgY wire.
Pic.#1 I spliced in and soldered about 0.75 in. of similar gauge wire and applied some heat shrink, on two other wires the plastic insulation was cracked (the initial failure) but the wire was not broken, I wrapped these with electrical tape.
Pic.#2 Note how the factory electrical tape does not cover the wire harness under the boot around the critical area of the bend? ...... just where everyone seems to be having wire failures?? The harness under the boot at this location moves through about 85 deg. (measured) every time the hatch is opened and closed, therefore in my opinion the initial failure is the very thin plastic wire insulation causing a stress point, resulting in individual wire fatigue failures.
Pic.#3 I have wrapped the harness with tape to hopefully hold all the wires together making the harness much stiffer around the bend and reducing the bending action on individual wires.
As you suggest I will seal up the boot to avoid water getting in.
I would be very interested to know why Subaru omitted the electrical tape around this critical area which I think is the cause of our problems?
Thanks again for your help. - Bill:
 

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That's really great. You have the cause-effect sequence correct. (I never measured the angle of the bend, but it was quite apparent that the bending was always in that one same area and that's not good. That seems to usually result in the insulation cracking first; once it does, any bending is further concentrated on the cracked spot, so the wires underneath eventually break as well.)

I would imagine that if the whole bundle is taped, then it would be very stiff. As the hatch moves up and down, the wires must do so as well. If the part inside the boot is stiff, that might lead to problems beyond the ends of the flexible boot, either in the hatch or at the "D" pillar.

In an earlier thread on this problem, I noted that the orientation of the boot (and the wires inside) is different in the 2005-9 models. In earlier, and now 2010+, years the boot is more transverse; i.e., it runs from the car body sideways to the hatch. The difference is that the boot, and wires inside, twist rather than bend as the hatch is moving. To get an idea of what I mean, look at the flexible boots that are between the side doors and the body. They are, relatively, vertical. When a door is opened, the boot and wires don't bend; instead they turn, or twist. The twisting motion is far less stressful on the wires and especially the insulation, so the incidence of wire breaks is far, far lower (if at all).

I believe the 2005-9 designers set the boot more in-line with the car to reduce the length of wire needed to go from the connectors at the "D" pillar to the connecting points in the hatch. In any one car it's probably not a lot, but over 10,000s the cost effect can be significant. And yet we're still paying for it.

Let us know how it works out . . .
 
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