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07 Outback Wgn 2.5l Basic-- Manual 170,000 miles
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7 Posts
LED's and circuits felt sound with No play,


re-soldered with rosin core solder anyways. Airbag light went off! New passenger airbag status light of hope in overhead has come on for first time ever since purchasing used car.



Easy fix that saved me tons of money and gives me functioning airbags!
thanx deccher
 

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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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78 Posts
Easy Fix!

First post even though I have registered in 2012 or so :smile2: Love the site and all the info that can be found here. Amazing - thank you all.

Thanks for the info on how to fix it. Everything looked ok on the board and even tested correctly. I re-soldered connections and the annoying airbag light from the dash is gone while the passenger airbag light is working correctly.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited & 2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i
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25 Posts
Thank you polar vortex for visiting Canada, I have experienced this issue.
Thank you OP for helping us out!

I will do this fix when it warms up a bit. It's kinda silly that the "Passenger Airbag" bulb causes the AIRBAG light to come on and disables the system.
 

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Outback 2008 2.5i

When ignition is turned to ON, Passenger Airbag ON (map light console) + Passenger Airbag OFF (map light console) + Airbag Light (Instrument Custer) are supposed to come on for 6 seconds.


In my case frequently the Passenger Airbag ON (map light console) would not illuminate during test and this was followed by the Airbag Light (instrument cluster) remaining illuminated. Like many this would frequently happen when it was cold or humid.


Brought to dealer and was diagnosed with Code 26, suggested I had to change passenger seat cushion sensor ($600 part plus labour). No thanks!


Easy to take apart. Followed You Tube Video :
Subaru Legacy Airbag Light fix! (full tutorial)

It only recommends soldering the back side of circuit board (ie side that does NOT have the light diodes). Reinstalled and still had same symptoms.


Took apart again. Examined diode side carefully and detected hairline cracks in solder. Re-soldered and now everything works.


This is without doubt a manufacturing defect given how systemic and chronic the problem is It is appalling that Subaru has not issued a service bulletin and corrective action.



IF YOU HAVE THIS PROBLEM EXAMINE BOTH SIDES OF CIRCUIT BOARD WITH MAGNIFYING GLASS. IT SEEMS THAT BAD SOLDER JOINTS ON BOTH SIDES ARE CAUSING PROBLEM.


If course there are other failures that can cause AIRBAG lights to stay on but this is really the first place to start.
 

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Outback 2006 3.0Rn 5EAT Wagon.
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477 Posts
Hoping someone can assist with my problem.
My passenger seat seatbelt warning (light and chime) is the current problem.
Back story - some weeks ago my wife noticed her belt wasn't done up (forgot) after I'd been driving for some miles. No warning chime, puzzling. When we got home I checked under the seat and found one unlatched 2-wire terminal. Found the female half of this (no idea when this originally parted company) and re-made the join. Checked on the overhead console and saw (with key on, sitting in the passenger seat) that the "seatbelt unfastened" icon was lit. Did up the seat belt and the light stayed lit. Driving, "seatbelt unfastened" icon on overhead stays lit and the chime sounds incessantly - only way to stop it is to break the connectors under the seat I'd found separated earlier.
I've thoroughly inspected under the seat and nothing seems off. I've opened the overhead console and found one - not 4 - led's as in this thread. My car only has one led - lighting the "seatbelt unfastened" icon I mentioned earlier. It does not have - never has - the "airbag" warning icons which others have mentioned. This in the overhead console. I've re-soldered all joints (only six; two power, 2 on the led and 2 on a resistor. No change - when someone is sitting in the seat, the icon illuminates to remind the occupant to do-up their belt but when you do that, the light stays lit and the chime sounds when moving.
I don't know when the connectors (suspect the occupant sensor) under the seat came to be disconnected. The car had it's airbag recall done months ago but I known no reason why the garage would have fiddled with this during a dashboard removal.
Summary - the seat occupant sensor (when connected) knows when someone occupies the seat but the car doesn't recognise, in this case that the seatbelt has been fastened (thereby silencing the chime and light/led).
Apologies for the essay, wanted to give a full picture. Any ideas where to look next?
 

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2008 Subaru Outback, 2.5i
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1 Posts
Had the same problem on my 2008. It did prove to be the electronics in the map light area. Had it soldered by a friendly mechanic and drove off. It worked for a while, but in the end, I had to replace the entire unit. It turns out that there were multiple problems and the unit just failed completely (badly designed part in my opinion). Sometime, spending the money on a replacement part saves a lot of time and grief (not always and I do like to try repair first). Now working great. Fortunately, I have a mechanic I trust and is very good. I managed a fleet of 44 vehicles for an organization and this mechanic maintained and repaired them for us regularly. They earned my trust - as opposed to the dealer.
 

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2007 Outback wagon, 2.5i
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39 Posts
THANK YOU for the step-by-step instructions. Worked great.

I did NOT disconnect the battery, just made sure not to touch anything electrical, especially before disconnecting the connectors.

A very minor addition to post #6:

On my 2007 OB:

-in step 4, there are 2 connectors, not 3.

I had THREE cracked solder joints. No wonder the airbag light has been intermittent for a couple of years (160,000 miles on the car). My dealership repair said that if the dashboard airbag light is on, you do not have airbags anywhere, even if the problem is in the overhead.

As expected, the car did not show a problem code before the repair.
 

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2007 Outback 2.5
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2 Posts
I have dealt with the dash air bag light being in and off for over three years in my 2007. I was told by the dealership that it was Ann airbag module. I just I'd the measures in this post and no more air bag light on the dash. The passenger air bag on/off in the overhead console is now lit. Thanks for saving me a bunch of money!
 

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Hello All!
Reading this thread and trying to figure out if this is my problem as well. I have a 2012 Outback. During a long 17 hour trip my seat belt alarm and airbag sensor light came on. I stopped at a dealership. They said the problem was my seat belt connector. Changed that and went on my merry way only to have the alarms go off again two hours down the road when I plugged in my power adapter for my cell phone. Stopped along the road, turned the car off, took the adapter out, started the car and the alarm noise and airbag sensor alert were gone. Can this be a soldering problem as well? The dealership says no way. I wouldn't know how to fix it on my own, but have friends. HELP!
 

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only to have the alarms go off again two hours down the road when I plugged in my power adapter for my cell phone. Stopped along the road, turned the car off, took the adapter out, started the car and the alarm noise and airbag sensor alert were gone.
I think the answer is in the quote: the power adapter. Seems the problem arises when it's plugged in, and disappears when it's removed.

It's an electronic device, and might be interfering with seat belt and airbag control system. It's not unusual. There's been cases of various symptoms caused by devices plugged into the accessory power outlets. Could be a faulty adapter; many, especially low cost ones, are just not well designed.
 

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For those not brave or comfortable enough to attempt soldering it on your own. I have been doing this for years for customers at the dealership I work for and on Ebay under the same username as I'm using here. The item number for my repair is 143328485880. I charge $35 which includes shipping back to you. Cheers!

The reason this occurs is due to the importance of the passenger air bag activation status. If you have someone sitting there that's fragile like an older or really young person and their too light to cause the air bag to go off in a crash but you don't know that due to the failure of the "off" indicator, that could be a bad thing in an accident. So if the "off" indicator doesn't draw current when you first cycle the key on due to a bad solder joint, the air bag module will set the fault code for it.
 

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Thanks to this thread and a couple YT videos, I was able to reflow my 2009 overhead circuit, which brought the airbag system back online. WOOT!
 

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2003 Outback 2.5, 2006 Outback 3.0, 2007 Outback 2.5
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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.
Did same fix on my 07 2.5, worked like a dream
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD 5eat , 2'' lift
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On mine it started now appear after car wash and it doesnt go off even after all dry , need to dissconnect battery rest ecu just then light goes off. Just started appear 2 weeks now. Washed car with hand no splashing , drove to shop left car to stand came back airback light came on. What? !
 

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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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Might be worth taking it apart and re-touching the connections. Mine tested just fine and visually also looked good. I still re-soldered connections, and put everything together, viola, light is gone and been gone for over a year now.
 

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2008 Subaru Outback XT (MT) & 2016 Subaru Outback Ltd
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I think the answer is in the quote: the power adapter. Seems the problem arises when it's plugged in, and disappears when it's removed.

It's an electronic device, and might be interfering with seat belt and airbag control system. It's not unusual. There's been cases of various symptoms caused by devices plugged into the accessory power outlets. Could be a faulty adapter; many, especially low cost ones, are just not well designed.
My understanding is that this is a common problem on Gen 3 (2005-2009), and not necessarily Gen 4. Relatively easy to fix vs paying hundreds at your "friendly" dealership to replace the whole unit. I agree with Plain OM that it could be as trivial as faulty adapter, if possible try using different one and see what happens.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD 5eat , 2'' lift
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so what connection could get water when i wash car with preasure washers to trigger airbag light then ? when i removed bumper i saw those on sides , but how could they get water they hidden pretty good. and light doesnt comes up from driving trough water puddles so splashes not problem , but washing car is ? dont get it.
 
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