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2006 Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I picked up my new (to me) 2006 3.0 VDC last week, and the vehicle is great, it just had one slight problem that was not detected till after I took delivery. When turning on the cruise control the light comes on, but it turns off by itself when I turn the steering wheel. After investigating the problem on this site, it appeared to be the clockspring. So I went back to where I purchased the car (a local Sube dealer). They diagnosed the problem as being the "steering rolling connection". I am curious if anyone knows if that is the same as the clockspring. I am in Quebec, and language is sometimes an issue. The bigger issue really is the price of the part, I saw on here someone mention a clockspring is approx. $50.00, and they are asking $300.00. Now it could be the person who mentioned $50.00, had a 2.5, but I can't imagine the price would be that much more for the VDC. The only reasonable explanation would be it's not the same part. Any comments would be appreciated!
 

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"clockspring" and "steering rolling connection" are more than likely referring to the same part. It's not unusual for there to be more than one. The factory service manual calls it the "steering roll connector".

The roll connector connects controls that turn with the steering wheel, such as the airbag, horn, cruise control and radio controls (if so equipped), with the electrical wiring of the car. It contains, in the "ribbon", the number of wires required for the particular car. So there could be different connectors, with different part numbers and, perhaps, prices.

clockspring - Google Search has pictures of the roll connector used by Subaru.

and

http://opposedforces.com/parts/legacy/us_b13/type_32/electronic/switch_combination/illustration_2/ shows the roll connector (#9) with some part numbers listed below. This particular diagram might, or might not be correct for your Outback. Also note that there are several p/ns, depending on build date. The dealer might use your VIN number to determine the correct one.

I had a quick look at some of the U.S. on-line dealer parts suppliers and the list prices are almost $300, with on-line sales prices nearer to $200. So it would appear the price you were quoted is "in the ballpark". (Although some list a roll connector for the Baja and one for the Tribeca that is far less expensive -- not sure why. Could be an error, or there's something significantly different.)

There might be used units available from recyclers, but there's always the risk they might fail early (due to previous use or misuse), or might not be the exact one that's needed. I'm not sure if there are any new ones available from aftermarket suppliers at lower prices than the Subaru-supplied ones.
 

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2006 Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks very much for the info! The dealer had offered to pay 50% of the cost, and I mentioned that since the car was advertised as having cruise control, it wouldn't be fair for it to cost me anything at all. But I nonetheless offered to give them the cost of the labor to diagnose the problem ( a little less than an hour). They accepted. The dealer is a few blocks from my office, and I figured keeping a good relationship with them was worth the $75.00.
 

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Like you, I would have thought it would be fully covered, but your willingness to participate for the cost of the diagnosis, with the dealer covering the part and labor to replace it, is really nice, especially if it tipped the decision for the dealer and avoided confrontation.

Let us know when it's all done . . .
 

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2006 Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Had the steering rolling connection fixed today, cruise functions perfectly now, after taxes and a new rear wiper, I walked out $110.00 poorer. The part was approx. 350.00, so I'm happy. Car has performed flawlessly in the month of winter driving so far which has included -30 temps, and a 47c snow fall.
 
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