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Discussion Starter #1
We have an 2003 Outback Wagon and when you turn on the headlights the ABS light comes in. Last night we keft the head lights off and just used the druving lights as it wasnt dark yet, but when you hit the brakes, the dask board and radio lighting would dim. What would the cause be for this other than a bad ground? I have heard that an alternator can cause it but not sure. The ussues atarted all of a sudden. No prevoius issues. Original alternstor and car has about 145k miles. Thanks for your time.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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seems like a a low-voltage problem. ABS is often the first system to report an error when voltage is low on Gen2 cars. Charging and battery systems need a thorough check-up, including cables and ground connections.

ABS seems to be the first system to report an error due to low voltage on Gen2 cars.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 3.0 VDC Wag + 2018 2.5 Leg Ltd
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when you are looking, check out the rear of the car:

a bad bulb socket / bad bulb / or failing bulb on the brake lights.

problems with the brake lights create and augment other problems like what you see on the dash.
 
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Discussion Starter #4
I took the car to autozone and had them test the alternator & battery as well as check for fault codes. They found that the alternator was running on the low side of the specs (13.8v) and the battery had a bad cell. There were no fault codes for the ABS. I took the car to Les Schwab as that is where the battery was from. It is a 3 yr old battery but they said it tested fine. Either way, I had it replaced but it didnt fix any of the issues. Tomorrow I will check all the bulbs in the brake system. I will say that when i hit the brakes, you can hear a relay click over inside. I believe that to be the interlock for the shifter. Thanks to all for the help thus far. I will update when i finish the testing tomorrow.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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eagle's pos tis good. known issues with bad bulbs and corroded sockets.

there can also be abraded or broken wires in the rubber boot between the body and the hatch itself.

3 years is old for battery in the south, also depends on how many times it may have been completely discharged. But in cooler climates, they can last 8+ years.

don't replace your OEM alternator with a typical parts store rebuilt unless it's an emergency. If You live near a big city, locate a local shop to rebuild yours if you can be without the car for a few days, or get a used alt. from car-part.com .

You may need a suabaru-friendly shop to take a look. Post your city in a new thread asking for a recommendation.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well today, i pulled 6 of the 8 tail lights and tested the system. No ABS light came on and rhe dash lights did not dim. This was odd as all the bulbs had all worked. Never the less, I went into town and bought 4 new 912's for the upper brake lights and 2 1157's for the hatch brake lights. Retested with the 912's installed. No problems. Installed the 1157's nd retested. No problems. All work fine now and no ABS or dimming od the radio or dash lights. Thanks for the help guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I live in WA State. Its a cooler climate. The town is Rainier. If you dont mind me asking, why not use an OEM alternative?
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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?

many folks have reported problems with typical parts store rebuilt alternators. OEM are good parts, but when rebuilt with low-bidder parts by unskilled workers, well, it's a recipe for extremely variable results.

maybe one of those 1157 bulbs had a sagging element. I saw that happen once on an old car of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Its possible that was the case. I disnt see any issue with them hen i exami ed them nor any isue when i metered them. However, all were tossed out to be on the safe side. Thanks again for the help.
 
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