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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2006 Outback 2.5i Ltd, and the airbag light has come on since it has been cold out. On warmer days, the light will randomly display. So, I had the dealer run a diag on it, since my car was in there for a transmission issue. When I picked up my car, the dealer told me the light wasn't throwing any type of code, and they found the issue to be a burned out LED bulb, located in the map light overhead console. This is the passenger ON/OFF light, and sure enough, if I tapped on it, the light would flicker. I asked how much it would cost to fix, he said it would be around $340 (- the $65 i paid for the diag), and the whole overhead console would need to be replaced. SO for a burned out bulb, it would cost me $270...are you kidding me??!! I now understand why so many refer to the dealer as the STEALER. Unbelievable. I was told that since the airbag light was on, the airbags would not deploy.

So, I jumped online, and found the overhead console (OEM) sold for around $115. I looked at mine, and figured out how to remove it .... remove the lens, and 2 screws secure it. So, now I am looking at the cost of the part, installing myself, and saving the ridiculous $160 installation fee (I guess it is $80/screw).

I figured since I had mine out, I might as well look at it. I removed the PCB that contained the 4 LEDs. With closer inspection, I could see one of the components on the board was loose...as in there wasn't enough solder to secure it. So, I whipped out the old soldering iron, and bolstered it a little. I may have added a little too much, but it was the best I could do w/ the tools I have @ home (better lab tools @ work). Anyway, tested it....works perfectly. In the pic below, I have called out the component that was loose.



I'd like to know what you all think about it. If it's a legit fix, hopefully I help someone else.
 

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Nice job.
So a single badly soldered surface mount resistor.

I like it when people use their common sense and intuition to arrive at a simple fix.
 

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Nice work. I did the exact same think on my 2007 Outback. Was going to post the fix here soon. You beat me to it! LOL.

My dealership (actually both of the local dealerships) read the error code, 26 I believe, "passenger side indicator light malfunction", and told me that I needed to replace an ECU that is located behind the glove box console in the middle of the dash. $250 for the ECU and $100 to install. I'm glad I didn't listen to them. That would NOT have fixed the issue, $350 later.

In my case, once I had the IC board in my hand, I could wiggle the LEDs just a tiny bit and see that the solder on them was the issue. I just re-soldered the LEDs (and resistors, as well, just b/c I was already in there) and the airbag light has been off ever since.
 

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Great work!

To round this thread out for others, could either of you elaborate on how to get to the board? E.g. how to remove the lens, assembly, board. . . etc. Any pics?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok, here goes....

[instructions, with pic reference name in parenthesis] (since i cannot put pics in-line with the instructions)

1. Locate the two slots to release the map light lens (see MapLightConsole, LensSlot). Insert a small flat-blade screwdriver, and gently pry the lens free (see LensFree), and remove lens

2. With the lens removed, locate two screws, and remove (see LensRemoved)

3. Locate the two retaining clips, which need to be pulled slightly toward the screw hole to free (see RetainingClip). Once the retaining clips have been freed, the console can be dropped down.

4. Release three connectors (see ConsoleWiring, and LEDCableConnector)

5. On the under-side of the console, locate two screws, and remove the LED cover (see LEDCover)

6. With the cover removed, you will see the LED PCB. Remove two screws to free the PCB (see LEDpcb).

[Just looking at this pic, I realized I forgot to put the protective black foam tape back over the IC components, protecting them from the cabling]

Hope this helps out. If anyone wants me to PDF-it, let me know.
 

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Great write-up and photos. This should be of significant help to anyone facing the same problem. Thanks.
 

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this sounds similar to my problem...
I just bought an '05 Outback 2.5XT ltd.
My airbag light comes on, more often when its cold, and the passanger seatbelt light illuminates/flashes on the overhead console (where the map lights/sunroof switch are). The chiming noise is awful. It acts as if the seat belts are not being worn.

Did anyone have the seatbelt chiming when the airbag light was on?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
hey lude,

no chiming here, but i can imagine the pain in that one (would drive me nuts).

while researching my airbag issue, i remember reading something about the airbag connector under the passenger's seat. perhaps it is tied to your issue, even though there is no mention of the chime. here is the post i found under another forum (suby forester). maybe it will help....

Air Bag light ON - Subaru Forester Owners Forum

dan
 

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Thanks for the pics deccher, very helpful! I have an 07 OBWi, and have been staring at the red airbag light in the dash cluster, and the black hole in the overhead console where the "Off" light should be lit, on and off (most of the time) for about two years now. Finally read this thread and with the help of your pics reflowed a few solder joint on the small circuit board and now that is all good. Thanks again! (now if I can stop the CEL from coming on every 200-300 miles telling me I need new $1400 cats, I'll be good to go)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the pics deccher, very helpful!
Any time, my friend. Happy to help out!!!

I had to part ways with my Sub'y about 2 weeks ago. I couldn't take the transmission "hunting" (my other major post), and SoA's/dealer's response on it.

I will most likely be back to Subaru, just gonna take a break for a bit.

Take care,
Dan
 

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Just purchased a 2008 Legacy, and was not happy when AIRBAG light came on after two days of owning the car. Thankfully I found this thread!!!

Performed the fix this morning, only took 30 minutes! Problem solved!! Can't thank you enough!
 

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Such a great help!

Just followed this step by step on my 08 outback, it worked perfectly. Thanks so much for posting the instructions and pictures! 15 min fix and no more airbag light to worry about!
 

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So I just bought an OBXT yesterday and the owner said the airbag light came on for the first time on his way to meet me for the payment/title transfer. We are pretty sure this is the issue. I don't have any soldering stuff, what should I buy to do this repair?

Thanks, Doug
 

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Thanks. I have this exact issue although I've not fixed yet. At least know I know what I need to do, and it's relatively easy.

To poster above, just get yourself a solder iron from ratshack and a roll of solder. May be helpful to practice on something first but up to you. Just be careful not to apply too much solder.
 

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Excellent procedure, saved me $235. ('07 OB)

I just want to take the time to thank you for this procedure, it worked like a champ on my recently purchased 07 Outback and saved me $235 from the dealer or $105 for the replacement console online. Thanks again...
 

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Just found this thread and I'm hoping it's the problem on my 08' too!
No ON or OFF light on in the display, and red AIR BAG light on in the dash randomly......usually on.
Will report back.
 

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Yes! Wait at least 20 minutes before messing with explosive airbags or seat belt pretensioners. Most systems have electrolytic capacitors that store electricity, in the event that an accident destroys the battery or its connection on intial impact. The stored electricity can still fire the bags and pretensioners in the following rolls and hits that the car takes in the accident. After a while the charge leaks out to nothing and the items are safe to handle.
 
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