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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 2008 Outback. None of the power windows work. Neither does the sunroof or the power driver's seat.

I can hear an electrical switch clicking on/off every 5-8 seconds when the key is on and the car is running. The sound appears to be coming from beneath the driver side dashboard.

Also, the cruise control light is flashing on the instrument display.

I've read on this Forum and others that the electrical circuit for the windows, sunroof and driver's seat goes through a power window circuit breaker under the driver-side dash. I suspect that is where the clicking sound is coming from. I've tried to locate the source of the sound. It appears to be coming from the black box in the bottom of the attached photo (has one black and one white wire harness connectors attached).

I suspect the power window circuit breaker is in the black box. I've tried to open it but can not. If I can open it and find the circuit breaker, I was going to replace it.

Does anyone know how to open the black box? If anyone can attach a photo of the power window circuit breaker so I can see what it looks like, that would be very much appreciated.

Also, If I am completely wrong in the above, (which is highly likely), please let me know. :smile2:

Thank you.

Mark
 

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Also, the cruise control light is flashing on the instrument display.
When the cruise control light is flashing, are there any other warning lights on in the instrument panel?

When the ignition is turned to ON but the engine is not started, is the Check Engine light on?

I can hear an electrical switch clicking on/off every 5-8 seconds when the key is on and the car is running.
Is there the same clicking if the ignition switch is turned to ON but the engine is not started?

I've read on this Forum and others that the electrical circuit for the windows, sunroof and driver's seat goes through a power window circuit breaker under the driver-side dash. I suspect that is where the clicking sound is coming from.
Does your 2008 have only a driver side power seat or does the front passenger seat also have power movement? If the passenger seat is powered, does it work?

Does the keyless entry system work? (Do the doors lock and unlock with the remote control?)

When a front door is opened, does the ceiling light come on?

The windows, sunroof and power seats all are supplied through the power window circuit breaker. The circuit breaker, in turn, is supplied from a 30 Amp fuse in the engine compartment fuse box, identified as Slow Blow Fuse #4 (SBF-4). The fuse could be blown. (Or sometimes there's just a bad contact where the fuse plugs into the fuse box, and removing and re-installing might resolve the problem.) However, if it is the circuit breaker that's clicking, that means there's power to the breaker, and the clicking suggests it's doing it's job opening and closing the circuit because of a short. (It's rare for the circuit breaker itself to fail.) You could try removing SBF-4 to see if the clicking stops.

I've tried to locate the source of the sound. It appears to be coming from the black box in the bottom of the attached photo (has one black and one white wire harness connectors attached).
It's hard to tell from the photo what the black box is, but I don't think the power window circuit breaker is part of a larger box that has two multi-wire connectors; rather, it has its own, two wire connector which is part of the wiring harness under the dash. One of the wires would be black with a white stripe (or dots), the other wire is white with a green stripe (or dots). The two-wire connector itself might be white or a clear/neutral color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When the cruise control light is flashing, are there any other warning lights on in the instrument panel?

When the ignition is turned to ON but the engine is not started, is the Check Engine light on?
No other warning signs on instrument panel when cruise control light is flashing except "check engine" light.

Is there the same clicking if the ignition switch is turned to ON but the engine is not started?
Yes.

Does your 2008 have only a driver side power seat or does the front passenger seat also have power movement? If the passenger seat is powered, does it work?
My car has only a power seat on the driver's side. Front passenger seat is manual.

Does the keyless entry system work? (Do the doors lock and unlock with the remote control?)
Yes. Keyless entry system works perfectly.

When a front door is opened, does the ceiling light come on?
Yes.

The circuit breaker, in turn, is supplied from a 30 Amp fuse in the engine compartment fuse box, identified as Slow Blow Fuse #4 (SBF-4). The fuse could be blown. (Or sometimes there's just a bad contact where the fuse plugs into the fuse box, and removing and re-installing might resolve the problem.)
I have removed, inspected, and cleaned the SBF-4 fuse. It is not blown. When I reinstalled it, the clicking sound continued.

the power window circuit breaker is part of a larger box that has two multi-wire connectors; rather, it has its own, two wire connector which is part of the wiring harness under the dash.
Thanks to your help, I have found the power window circuit breaker (photo attached). I removed it, and reinstalled. I still get the clicking sound with the ignition in the ON position. Should I replace the power window circuit breaker?

Much thanks for your help.

Mark
 

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No other warning signs on instrument panel when cruise control light is flashing except "check engine" light.
When a fault has been identified that turns the Check Engine Light (CEL) on, the cruise control is automatically disabled. The fact that it is disabled is indicated by the flashing Cruise light.

Most engine related fault codes can be read by generic OBD code readers, but most others, including those for the automatic transmission and ABS require a more specialized tool. However, your 2008 has a built-in fault code reader. It's described in http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...9-how-read-diagnostic-trouble-codes-dtcs.html The fault code (or codes if more than one) can help identify the problem that's causing the CEL and possibly how to deal with it. However, it's likely this is a separate problem not related to the window/seat/sunroof problem.

. . .I have found the power window circuit breaker (photo attached). I removed it, and reinstalled. I still get the clicking sound with the ignition in the ON position. Should I replace the power window circuit breaker.
No, at least not yet.

Of the three circuits powered by the circuit breaker, the sunroof and the power windows are supposed to work only when the ignition is at the ON position. Only the power seat is supposed to be operational all the time, that is, even with the ignition Off. Therefore, when the ignition is Off, does the clicking stop? And, if it stops, do all the power seat functions (forward/back, etc.) work?

If it doesn't work with the ignition Off, then that would be the focus of troubleshooting.

If the seat does work, then the power seat isn't likely the cause of the breaker clicking. The power windows and sunroof circuits would be the next to look at more closely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Of the three circuits powered by the circuit breaker, the sunroof and the power windows are supposed to work only when the ignition is at the ON position. Only the power seat is supposed to be operational all the time, that is, even with the ignition Off. Therefore, when the ignition is Off, does the clicking stop?
When the ignition is OFF, the clicking stops. When the ignition is turned to the ON position, the clicking starts again.

And, if it stops, do all the power seat functions (forward/back, etc.) work?
When the ignition is OFF, the driver side power seat functions work fine. When the ignition is turned ON the power seat functions stop working completely.

Let me know what you suggest I do next.

Thanks.

Mark
 

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When the breaker is clicking, the power coming out of it is off more than on, so anything that's powered by it probably won't work.

As the seat is fine with the ignition off, we can discount it as a possible excess load.

The issue would likely be with the power windows or the sunroof.

The power for the power windows comes from the circuit breaker to a power window relay. The relay is energized when the ignition is On. The energizing coil of the relay is powered by fuse #26 in the cabin fuse box (in the dashboard to the left of the steering column). It's identified as

26 7.5A Power window relay

on page 12-7 of the Owners Manual.

With the ignition Off, remove the power window relay fuse. Turn the ignition On, and check if the circuit breaker starts clicking again. If it does not, then the problem is downstream of the power window relay; possibly in a window switch, or the wiring.

If the clicking continues, the next step would be to remove the power window relay (in case it's faulty as well.) It's located on a relay panel next to the in-cabin fuse panel. The window relay is the second one down in the left side column of relays. (See attached diagram). Turn the ignition On and see if the clicking stops.

(Or if you want, the first step can be skipped, and just remove the relay.)

If the clicking doesn't stop in either case, the issue could be with the sunroof circuit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK. I removed the power window fuse (#26) When I turned the ignition to the ON position, the clicking did not occur.

I reinstalled the power window fuse and removed the power window relay. When I turned the ignition to the ON position, the clicking did not occur.

I reinstalled the power window relay and, with the ignition ON, the clicking started again.

What next?

thanks

Mark
 

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Step-by-step, narrowing it down. Doing well.

There's a window lock/unlock (push-button) switch on the driver door window control. It's purpose is to "lock out" the three passenger door window controls so that only the driver door window will work. Try switching the lock/unlock to Lock and see if the breaker keeps clicking.

While I'm not yet certain, I think that if the clicking continues, it's not related to the other three doors; the problem is more likely with the driver door window. The window lock/unlock switch removes the ground for the other three door window systems, thereby disabling those controls. However, it's still possible that there is a cut or worn power wire to the other three doors' switches that is grounding, and that could cause the clicking, but this is less likely.

If the problem is at the driver door, it's fairly likely it's in the switch assembly. This is not an uncommon issue -- there's a number of threads and posts here about problems with the switches, although the more common symptom is that the window control (up/down) doesn't work.

To access the switch assembly, the door inner trim panel has to be removed. There's a harness connector that goes to the switch assembly. The switch assembly itself can be removed from the back of the panel.

If it looks as if the problem is in the driver door, the idea would be to remove the trim panel and disconnect the connector from the driver window control. If then the breaker does not click, the problem is either in the driver door switch or downstream of it. At that point, some measurements might be helpful. Do you have a multimeter to measure resistance and voltage?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you.

You are being very helpful and I appreciate it.

I will try to isolate the driver window control switch panel as you describe above, tomorrow morning.

I do not have a multimeter but my son, who is a robotics technician, does. I think he and his multimeter may come in handy in this project shortly.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
There's a window lock/unlock (push-button) switch on the driver door window control. It's purpose is to "lock out" the three passenger door window controls so that only the driver door window will work. Try switching the lock/unlock to Lock and see if the breaker keeps clicking.
I tried switching the lock/unlock window switch to Lock, and the clicking continued with the ignition switch in the ON position.

If it looks as if the problem is in the driver door, the idea would be to remove the trim panel and disconnect the connector from the driver window control. If then the breaker does not click, the problem is either in the driver door switch or downstream of it.
I removed the interior dirver door trim panel and disconnected the connector from the driver window control. The clicking continued with the ignition switch in the ON position.

Where to next? My son is standing by with his multimeter....

Mark
 

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I removed the interior dirver door trim panel and disconnected the connector from the driver window control. The clicking continued with the ignition switch in the ON position.
Not what I was expecting, but it is progress.

So the problem isn't the driver door switch assembly or the wiring after it. That leaves the power wiring from the relay to the door harness, and from the relay to the other three door window controls.


Where to next?
The wiring harness in the driver door is connected to the instrument panel wiring harness in the area of the driver side kick panel. (Far left of the dashboard area but down below.). The door harness connector is identified in the wiring diagram as D83 and there's a diagram of the connector down at the bottom of the first page. It connects to a similar, instrument panel harness conector, i76. See if you can find the pair and disconnect. This will isolate the whole driver door harness. Then check to see if the clicking stopped.

(The last page of the attachment shows the location of connector D83. Slightly to the right of it there's two circles around the line for the harness; that is the rubber boot that the harness goes through between the car body and the door, and can be seen when the door is open.)

If the clicking stops then the problem is in the door harness between the connector and the driver door switch assembly.

If the clicking does not stop, the problem is in the instrument panel wiring or the wiring to the other doors. In this case . . .

With the ignition switch Off, remove the power window relay. Measure the voltage (relative to a good ground) at each of the relay contacts on the relay block itself. One of the four contacts for the relay will have 12 V. The others should all be zero. Referring to page 1 of the wiring diagram, the one with 12 V would be contact #17 at the relay, which is connected to the breaker and SBF-4. Identify contact #18. (See the contact ID shown in the relay block diagram at the bottom of the page.) Measure the resistance between pin #18 and ground. It should be very high, but given the symptoms and results so far, I suspect it will be a short or near short to ground.

While measuring the resistance at contact #18, manipulate the window switches at each of the three passenger doors to see if the resistance changes. If it does, that switch might be bad.

As before, isolating sections to narrow down the location of a fault that would cause the breaker to activate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The door harness connector is identified in the wiring diagram as D83 and there's a diagram of the connector down at the bottom of the first page. It connects to a similar, instrument panel harness conector, i76. See if you can find the pair and disconnect. This will isolate the whole driver door harness. Then check to see if the clicking stopped.
I found and disconnected the door harness connector D83 from the instrument panel harness connector, i76.

Still clicking. ****.

I have to bring my son to summer camp this afternoon. I will resume with the testing this evening or tomorrow morning as you recommend above.

Thanks again.

Mark
 

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Is connector i76 fairly accessible? If it is, then before making the suggested measurements at the power window relay contacts on the relay block, but with the relay removed, identify contact #16 on i76. (See the diagram of D83 on the first page and reverse it when looking at i76. Contact #16 should have a green wire without any stripe. Hopefully there are no other green wires on i76 to confuse matters!)

Measure the resistance between i76 contact #16 and a good ground. (This is the same as contact #18 at the relay socket.) It should be very high, but as before, I suspect it will be low. If it is low, then, again, try moving each of the window control switches on the three passenger doors, one-by-one to see if the resistance changes/goes up.

If there is a short to ground when measuring at contact #16 of i76, and none of the passenger switches has any effect, then we'll have to look at isolating circuits by separating additional connectors (which are shown on the wiring diagram pages).

Incidentally, have you had the car for a long time, and when did this problem first appear?

Has any work been done in the dash or door areas? For example, was the front passenger airbag replaced as part of the large recall, and did this problem appear after that?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks.

I think we're at the limit of our abilities.

My son and I tried to test both connector i76 and the power window relay as you described above (using a multimeter). Unfortunately, both the i76 connector and the power window relay are very difficult to access. We were never able to get a sustained reading using the multimeter, either because we couldn't find an adequate ground, or because we could not see exactly which pin socket we were accessing with the probe on the multimeter.

At this point, I don't think we have enough experience using a multimeter to do the kind of testing that is required to find the problem.

We have had the car about 5 years.The car has not had any major work done to it recently. And we have not had the airbag changed.

Unless you have any other suggestions, much as I regret it, I'm going to have to bring the car to the man to get it fixed.

Should I simply try to replace the power window relay and see what happens?
 

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I understand the limitations.

I could suggest disconnecting the front right door connector (similar to i76/D83). It's i101/D84. The two connectors are shown on the second page of the wiring diagram, going to the right FRONT POWER WINDOW SUB SWITCH. The connectors are behind or near the kick panel on the front passenger side. (Connector D83 is diagrammed on the bottom of page 2. It's the same as D84.) If these are disconnected, and the relay is replaced, you can turn on the ignition and see if now the clicking resumes with both front door harnesses disconnected. It's a small step, but if the clicking doesn't start up again, we know the problem is in the right front door. Might still need to take the car in, but at least you know where the garage's work should head. (If that test doesn't stop the clicking, there's other connectors that can be disconnected -- one each to the two rear doors, and a couple under dash, but these might be harder to access.

Sorry this didn't turn out better. You certainly worked at it and did your best. Good experience and perhaps a bit of learning as well.

Hope you will let us know the next steps and what the outcome is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thank you again for all your help.

I really appreciate it.

I will post the outcome. Hopefully, it will have a happy ending.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So last night, my son and pulled the diagnostic codes from the system using his wifi diagnostic tester. (This was after we had given up trying to isolate the source of the window short using his multi-meter).

It produced the following error codes:

P0748 - Pressure control solenoid "A" electric
P1718 - no description
P0457 - Evaporative emission system leak detected (fuel cap loose)
P0600 - Serial communication link
P0700 - transmission control system (MIL request)

I duly noted the codes and brought the car into our auto repair mechanic to see if he could determine the cause of the problem with the windows.

After parking the car, I reinstalled the fuse #26 (I had pulled it to keep the power window circuit breaker from clicking). When I reinstalled the fuse, I noticed the check engine light was off, and I heard no clicking from the power window circuit breaker with the engine ON.

I tried the windows and sunroof switches. Everything worked perfectly! What the heck?

I didn't do anything except reinstall the fuse #26 (same fuse as when I started to try and find the window problem a couple days ago).

I have no idea why the windows and sunroof now operate perfectly. I can only assume there is a loose wire or connection somewhere.

Let me know if any of this makes sense to you.

Thanks.

Mark
 

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The diagnostic codes probably have nothing to do with the window and sunroof issues.

Chances are that there is an occasional fault in the wire or connector system, likely upstream from the right passenger door (per the previous diagnosis you posted here, and Plain OM's analysis) and that you disturbing the wire harness investigating it caused enough motion for it to self-repair.

This situation may last - or not - but for the moment you're now at an advantage - it's not showing the symptoms, which allows you to more easily localize the issue. if you want to investigate further, operate this window while opening and closing this door, tugging on the wires, etc. to see if you can replicate the problem. If you can, you at least have a better idea of where the problem is at.
 

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johnre has it (tnx).

After parking the car, I reinstalled the fuse #26 (I had pulled it to keep the power window circuit breaker from clicking). When I reinstalled the fuse, I noticed the check engine light was off.
Did your son by any chance use the diagnostic tester to clear the codes? Or, was the battery disconnected, or fuses removed (other than #26); either of these could lead to the codes being cleared and the CEL being off (and probably no codes showing if the tester were used again to read codes).
 
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