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Discussion Starter #1
I have had this Outback Wagon a good long while, many years and got it with about 30,000 miles on it.

Today I smelled something like burning or hot electric smells when I got in the garage at work returning from lunch. I determined it was coming from the vents. Certainly not something you want to smell but not uncommon in older cars from time to time. No smoke and not strong smell, faint.

Driving the car home I noticed the smell again. I pulled over and tried to locate it under the hood. No smoke and could smell something but could not locate it. Seemed most prevelent on the drivers back side. Lot of the electrics are right there.

I am only about 3 miles from work to home so I proceded home. As soon as I pulled in the driveway it started with a lot of crazy stuff.

Every time I pushed on the brakes it emitted a noise out of the stereo speakers. Stereo turned on and off a few times, AT/oil temp light flashed and flickered, check engine light came on and off, ABS light came on and off, tach and gauge reading went out and back on. All this with in a few seconds of coming to a stop. The whole time idling and running just fine, great as always. I shut it off.

I could still smell the burning but could not locate it. I don't know where the fusible links are, that is where I was going to start. Fuses in the fuse box looked fine and no smells there.

I guess it is going to just be a matter of tracing this through checking all the grounds, connections and harnesses? Where would one start?

Thanks.
 

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Start with some voltage measurements. It does sound like the alternator is dying and failing to regulate voltage presented to the car, some measurements will help confirm. Without the smell component I'd be more inclined to say bad ground.

Sample it at the battery engine off, at idle and at speed.

Some auto parts stores will test an alt for free, consider it if you know you are near one that does.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

Thanks guys. That sounds like a possibility and an easy check. It could be the alternator frying away and smelling as it is failing.

All my alternators in the past just flat quit working and just let the battery go down all the way or the car just died. Never this dramatic so I didn't think about it being this simple. Lets hope so and I will give it a check.

I replaced it a few years ago I think. But, these rebuilds and remans can be pretty poor these days and not last very long. I can't remember exactly when I replaced it and where I got it. I can check that too though.
 

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Subie alternators rarely just quit. They like to take hostages, issue ultimatums, negotiate deadline extensions, throw inappropriately themed parties and more until you decide you've had enough.

Power corrupts. :)
 

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Do you have an aftermarket alternator in there? I just had nearly the same issue on mine and replacing the alternator solved it. Aftermarket alts on these things have a tendency to fry out apparently.
 

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Subie alternators rarely just quit. They like to take hostages, issue ultimatums, negotiate deadline extensions, throw inappropriately themed parties and more until you decide you've had enough.

Power corrupts. :)
:drama:

i'm saving this one.
 

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Subie alternators rarely just quit. They like to take hostages, issue ultimatums, negotiate deadline extensions, throw inappropriately themed parties and more until you decide you've had enough.

Power corrupts. :)
That's so true. If they could take your wallet and run off with it, they will.

Wait, on the H6, they do.

Sounds like an overcharge condition. You'll want to replace the battery, alternator and check for blown fuses and the cables on the rear of the alternator. The regulator on this one is controlled by the ECM.

Be sure the replacement alternator is a Mitsubishi specifically for the H6.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks.

That's so true. If they could take your wallet and run off with it, they will.

Wait, on the H6, they do.

Sounds like an overcharge condition. You'll want to replace the battery, alternator and check for blown fuses and the cables on the rear of the alternator. The regulator on this one is controlled by the ECM.

Be sure the replacement alternator is a Mitsubishi specifically for the H6.
Thanks for all the input from everyone. I haven't had an opportunity to look at the car again as I am at work. But, it is Friday! I will try to look at it tomorrow in the morning. Won't have time this evening.

And, this is for my 2000 OBW with the H4 not the 2006 with the H6. Thanks for the message though as that helps me prepare myself for H6 alternator replacement if ever it should present itself. It sounds expensive...

I have found that these for the H4 are about $230 for an OEM reman from Subaru parts for you that is with the core returned. I went there as I have had good luck with them in the past. I have found some in the local salvage yard for $50 too. They say they have it, I have not seen it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hmm.

Do you have an aftermarket alternator in there? I just had nearly the same issue on mine and replacing the alternator solved it. Aftermarket alts on these things have a tendency to fry out apparently.
I am not quite sure. I will have to give it a look and I will let you know. I am curious myself. It was replaced about 3 years ago. At that time car just flat quit running. No drama, no warning. Sitting at the light idling one minute, off the next.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Ding ding!

Do you have an aftermarket alternator in there? I just had nearly the same issue on mine and replacing the alternator solved it. Aftermarket alts on these things have a tendency to fry out apparently.
You are correct sir. It appears I have an aftermarket alternator and it is the culprit I believe. The original alternator lasted about 9-10 years. This one crapped out in 2-3. Last after market one for this application.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I didn't plan on getting another after market alternator and I even said last one for this car. But, I am not too proud to eat my words.

Took it to NAPA to test and it was one of their alternators. It failed during the testing and it is under warranty and NAPA is giving me a replacement for free.

Free does make my words a little easier to swallow.

KB
 

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The new alternator fixed it. I charged the battery while it was off and it started right up with no issues. See how long this one lasts.

At least they are a piece of cake to change.

Thanks all.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fixed.

The new alternator fixed it. I charged the battery while it was off and it started right up with no issues. See how long this one lasts.

At least they are a piece of cake to change.

Thanks all.
 
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kybishop
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