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Okay I'm new here I've got some?'s I bought this vehicle in November runs fine other than my running lights won't work. I've replaced all the bulbs checked every fuse and relay. I've taken it to 3 shops and no one knows what it is.. so I'm at a loss. Does anyone know what could possibly be wrong have anyone had this issue on their 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon with the 2.5 l motor. Please feel free to give me help it's our only vehicle currently and we can't drive it at night.
 

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Okay I'm new here I've got some?'s I bought this vehicle in November runs fine other than my running lights won't work. I've replaced all the bulbs checked every fuse and relay. I've taken it to 3 shops and no one knows what it is.. so I'm at a loss. Does anyone know what could possibly be wrong have anyone had this issue on their 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon with the 2.5 l motor. Please feel free to give me help it's our only vehicle currently and we can't drive it at night.
When the ignition and headlight switches are On, does the lighting for the interior dashboard area switches and controls work? These would include the fog light switch, hazard (4-way flasher) switch, cruise control main switch, radio illumination, seat heater switches, AT (gear) select lever, and instrument panel (gauges etc) back lighting. (Each has a bulb to light the switch so that it can be seen at night.)

There should be a rocker-type switch on the top of the steering column, between the steering wheel and the instrument panel. It's used to turn on the parking lights when the car is parked and the ignition is off (.e.g., key out). Check to see if the exterior parking lights work when this switch is turned On? When it's On, there's a red area of the switch that shows; it's hidden when the switch is Off. Checking the function of the switch can help narrow down the area of the fault. When the switch is Off, power for the external parking/running lights goes through a pair of contacts in the switch. There's been cases where the "off" contacts or a wire to the switch have failed, causing the parking lights not to work when the headlight switch is used to turn them on, but they might work when this special Parking Lights switch is used to turn them on.
 

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I assume you're talking about exterior marker lights, parking lights, etc. Does interior illumination work okay? Headlights work? Brake lights?

First, verify that you've checked the fuses with an ohmmeter, not just visually.

There could be a wiring harness issue that'll take a factory wiring diagram and some time with a volt-ohm meter to diagnose.

Are you aware of the parking light switch on top of the steering column? I wonder if that switch failed, if you'd get the same symptoms. Something to look into.

If interior lights aren't working, look at the headlight switch on the steering column too.

Last thing I'd do would be to replace the illumination control module if I could salvage one from a junk yard (over $100 new).
 

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I would second checking the wiring, look for the wires that pass out of the body into the rear hatch. Look for a break there. The 2000-2009 wagons are known for this issue.

Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk
 

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When the ignition and headlight switches are On, does the lighting for the interior dashboard area switches and controls work? These would include the fog light switch, hazard (4-way flasher) switch, cruise control main switch, radio illumination, seat heater switches, AT (gear) select lever, and instrument panel (gauges etc) back lighting. (Each has a bulb to light the switch so that it can be seen at night.)

There should be a rocker-type switch on the top of the steering column, between the steering wheel and the instrument panel. It's used to turn on the parking lights when the car is parked and the ignition is off (.e.g., key out). Check to see if the exterior parking lights work when this switch is turned On? When it's On, there's a red area of the switch that shows; it's hidden when the switch is Off. Checking the function of the switch can help narrow down the area of the fault. When the switch is Off, power for the external parking/running lights goes through a pair of contacts in the switch. There's been cases where the "off" contacts or a wire to the switch have failed, causing the parking lights not to work when the headlight switch is used to turn them on, but they might work when this special Parking Lights switch is used to turn them on.
Yes I found the rocker switch that you pointed out no the exterior lights do not light up when in the position that you pointed out, neither do the brake lights clearance lights bar either. Do you know what that rocker switch is called? I can't find it in my 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon owner's manual.
I assume you're talking about exterior marker lights, parking lights, etc. Does interior illumination work okay? Headlights work? Brake lights?

First, verify that you've checked the fuses with an ohmmeter, not just visually.

There could be a wiring harness issue that'll take a factory wiring diagram and some time with a volt-ohm meter to diagnose.

Are you aware of the parking light switch on top of the steering column? I wonder if that switch failed, if you'd get the same symptoms. Something to look into.

If interior lights aren't working, look at the headlight switch on the steering column too.

Last thing I'd do would be to replace the illumination control module if I could salvage one from a junk yard (over $100 new).
I did check the fuses and relays with an ohm/ volt meter all are fine. The interior lights all work as well as all the dash and panel switches. What is a illumination control module and where is it located?
 

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Do you know what that rocker switch is called?
"Parking Switch", or, in the Owners Manual "Parking Light Switch"
neither do the brake lights clearance lights bar either.
Not sure what "brake lights clearance lights bar" refers to.
And I can't drive it at night because my running lights don't light up unless I press lightly on the brakes.
The italicized part could be an important clue. Can you provide more details about this? Exactly which lights light up when pressing the brake pedal? Are they bright or only dimly lit? Does this happen even with the ignition switch at Off? Do any interior lights (dash, switches etc) also light up when the brake pedal is pressed?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I will second checking the wiring, look for the wires that pass out of the body into the rear hatch. Look for a break there. The 2000-2009 wagons are known for this issue.

Sent from my SM-N950U1 using Tapatalk
I have a 1998 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon and I don't see any breakage or cracking at the back hatch as you said to look and see. And also I've checked out and tested all the wires in back panel where you access the lights for clearance lights and inside rear corners for taillights.
"Parking Switch", or, in the Owners Manual "Parking Light Switch"

Not sure what "brake lights clearance lights bar" refers to.

The italicized part could be an important clue. Can you provide more details about this? Exactly which lights light up when pressing the brake pedal? Are they bright or only dimly lit? Does this happen even with the ignition switch at Off? Do any interior lights (dash, switches etc) also light up when the brake pedal is pressed?
Brake lights do light up when the brake pedal is pressed and what I am referring to as clearance lights is the middle light section in between the brakes on the hatchback. The lights are bright yes when the ignition switch is off. No none of the interior lights do not light up when u press the brakes.
 

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The front and rear clearance lights have the same fuse. Different grounds. So I would check your ground from the bulb socket to the body. There's a ground lug on the right side of the luggage area. I don't recall exactly on this year model, but it's behind the panel in the same route as the harness.

Next, is the tag light working? Again, same ground as the rear lights.

At the fuse box, fuse 5 splits. One wire goes to the front, one to the rear. I can't determine from the diagrams I have exactly which plugs to check. It doesn't give me a connector color. Two different plugs on the back of the fuse box go to the lights. One plug has 2 red wires, pins 7 and 8. These are red. Pin 8 comes from the switch to the fuse. Pin 7 is from the fuse to the rear lights. The only thing between this fuse and the bulbs are the connectors in the body harness. There's another connector, red wire again, pin 1 of the fuse box connector, goes to the front harness and lights. So if you have current on the front lights positive wire at the fuse box and not the rear, it's the fuse box or a bad connector at the fuse box. If you have current at all 3 with the switch on, there's a problem in the harness and most likely it's at the hatch to roof junction. The wires get bent a lot with opening and closing the hatch and break. You'd have to pull out the insulator from the roof of the car and where it goes in to the hatch and look closely. You could have a break in the positive or ground wire. If you have a connection between the bulb socket and the ground lug then you've narrowed it to the positive wire.

Brown wire at the lights is your ground feed. The other wire, varies in color, is from the fuse.
 

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I'll reiterate again for readers. There is nothing between the fuse and lights except connectors and the bulb socket. If you are getting power to the fuse box from the switch the problem lies in the harness because current has already run through the relay and module.

This is to protect the module and switch. The fuse should blow to cut the tie between the bulbs and switch, module.
 

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There is nothing between the fuse and lights except connectors and the bulb socket.
But between the fuse and power source, there's the Parking Switch, and I don't see any verification that there's power at fuse #5 (in the cabin fuse panel).

I've attached the two related pages for the external front clearance, rear tail, and rear licence plate lights. Starting with the upper "Lighting" diagram, the power for the yellow highlighted external lights comes from FB-6 and FB-34 (at the top of the page, also highlighted yellow). FB-6 and FB-34 are in the Power Supply Routing diagram, which I've added below. Both of these connections go to Fuse #5, 10 Amps, (in the cabin fuse panel) which in turn goes to FB-33. Back in the Lighting diagram, FB-33 goes to pin 11 of connector B69 and then to the "P" terminal of the Parking Switch.

When the Parking Light switch is in the OFF position (as in the diagram), it connects the external lights to FB-26, the Tail & Illumination Relay. The relay is turned on when the ignition switch is On and the headlight switch is at either the first or second "on" position.

In addition to powering the external lights, the Relay also powers the lights in the dashboard controls and switches, and the back lighting in the instrument cluster; they all should be lit when the ignition switch is On and the headlight switch is at either the first or second "on" position.

The dashboard controls lighting is powered from FB-28 and FB-29, which are from the same point at the Relay as the wiring for the external lights. Consequently, if the dashboard switches and controls, and instrument cluster, light up when the ignition and headlight switches are at On, that confirms the Tail & Illumination Relay is working. Between the relay and the front clearance, rear tail and licence plate lights are the Parking Switch and Fuse #5.

It's my understanding that the dashboard control lights do come on when the ignition and headlight switches are turned On. If so, and given that there's separate wiring from fuse #5 to the front and rear external lights (less likely that both would be faulty), and fuse #5 is good, that leaves the Parking Switch as a possible cause of the external lights not working.

Similarly, when the Parking Light switch is On, instead of connecting the external lights to the Relay, it connects the them (i.e., terminal "P" of the switch) to FB-27, which is an "always-on" supply coming from fuse #23, 20 A, in the engine compartment fuse box. That fuse also powers the Tail & Illumination Relay, so if the dashboard control lighting works, that fuse is good. Again, the Parking Switch is between fuse #23 and the external lights, so it's common to both situations where the external lights should be on, and yet aren't.

The Parking Switch, especially on older models, has been found to be faulty in at least several threads here. In some cases the internal contacts were bad; in others, a contact on the switch appears to have overheated and the wire separated from the switch, isolating the circuit for the external lights.

The question as I see it is: Is there continuity through the Parking Switch? To verify this, I would try to find connector B69, which is an 11-pin irregularly-shaped connector. From there the continuity through the switch can be checked with a multimeter.

I've also attached the fuse box layouts from the Wiring Diagrams section of the FSM. This might differ from Section 11 in the Owners Manual. I don't have access to a 1998 to verify.
 

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Brake lights do light up when the brake pedal is pressed and what I am referring to as clearance lights is the middle light section in between the brakes on the hatchback. The lights are bright yes when the ignition switch is off. No none of the interior lights do not light up when u press the brakes.
Your car should have five brake (stop) lights at the back. One in each of the outer fender lights, two in the bar under the rear hatch window, and the high-mounted light above the window. Consequently, when the brake pedal is pressed, there should be two lights coming on in the section on the hatch, as well as the ones in the left and right fenders.

It also has four tail lights in the same four lower locations (i.e., other than the high-mounted brake light).
 
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