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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all.

I have a 2004 Subaru Outback LL Bean 3 liter.

When the turn signal is activated the dashboard lights go out (speedometer, etc). I have to wiggle the turn signal switch to get the dashboard lights to come back on. I have checked the fuses and they seem fine.

We do live by the sea so I suspect corrosion could be a issue.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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This sounds like a job for @plain OM. He is the resident electrical guru IMO. It does sound like a ground issue. The switch is a self contained unit and is fairly easy to replace.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi David. Thanks for your reply. When you say switch do you mean part of the turn signal assembly?

Do you know where it's located?

Cheers.
 

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Hi all.

I have a 2004 Subaru Outback LL Bean 3 liter.

When the turn signal is activated the dashboard lights go out (speedometer, etc). I have to wiggle the turn signal switch to get the dashboard lights to come back on. I have checked the fuses and they seem fine.

We do live by the sea so I suspect corrosion could be a issue.

Any thoughts?

Many thanks
and @DavidPeab

Leaning more to a bad (probably just dirty/grease contaminated) contact in the headlight switch . . .

Not 100% sure about the 2004, but I believe the lighting for the dashboard lights (speedometer etc) is only on when the headlight switch is turned to the first or second positions (parking lights, and headlights, respectively).

The headlight switch, which also turns on the lighting in the dashboard switches (Hazard switch etc), as well as the external clearance, licence and tail lights (aka "parking lights") and, of course, the headlights, is the same "stalk" as the turn signals. (Turn signal switch is activated up or down, light switch is rotated.)

Given the symptoms, this leads me to think that when the turn signal is activated (left or right), the headlight switch contact that turns on the power for the dashboard etc., lights, loses it's connection. Then, by "wiggling" the stalk while still in the left or right turn signal position, the headlight switch contact is re-established and the dashboard lights come back on.

However, more information might be helpful:

Am I correct that the dashboard lights are on only when the headlight switch is turned on (rotated to either the first or second position)?

When the turn signal is activated (left or right), do the dashboard lights go out and stay out (at least until the wiggling is tried), or do they flash (turn on and off) in sync with the turn signals?

When the turn signal is activated, and the dashboard lights go out, do the dashboard lights come back on when the turn signal is turned off?

Also, when the turn signal is activated, and the dashboard lights go out, do the external clearance, license plate and tail lights go out as well? (First check that with the turn signals off, the external lights, other than the headlights, do work.)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Many thanks plain OM for your reply and insight.

Here's a bit more info.

It is only the dashboard lights that are affected when the turn signals are activated. All other lights remain on and there is no noticeable flickering. As mentioned before by wiggling the turn signal switch/control the dashboard lights come back on.

I have checked the fuses, cleaned battery terminals and connections and performed a simple alternator test (started the engine then removed to negative connector from the battery to see if the car would stall - it didn't)

So do I need to replace the turn signal switch or is there something else to explore? Is replacing the turn signal switch something I could do myself? I'm not an expert but enjoy having a go.

Many thanks again.

Adrian S
 

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. . .It is only the dashboard lights that are affected when the turn signals are activated. All other lights remain on and there is no noticeable flickering. As mentioned before by wiggling the turn signal switch/control the dashboard lights come back on.
That's odd. But I want to be sure I understand. When you refer to the "dashboard lights" I take it that's the lighting in the gauge cluster (speedo, tach, temperature and fuel gauge) and NOT the lights in the switches on the rest of the dashboard, i.e., the radio and HVAC controls, cruise control main switch, fog light switch, HVAC controls, Hazard pushbutton switch etc. The latter set of lights remain on. In addition, the outside parking lights remain on. Is all that correct?

I have checked the fuses, cleaned battery terminals and connections and performed a simple alternator test (started the engine then removed to negative connector from the battery to see if the car would stall - it didn't)
Not a recommended procedure. When the battery is disconnected, the alternator loses a reference voltage from the battery that it uses to adjust the charging rate. It will run at maximum, which can be over 17 Volts.

So do I need to replace the turn signal switch or is there something else to explore? Is replacing the turn signal switch something I could do myself? I'm not an expert but enjoy having a go. . .
With your response to the above questions I'll go back to the wiring diagrams to figure out what's happening before focusing on the repair questions (and welcome others with experience in this area!).

In the meantime, others might have comments . . .
 

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For reference, I've attached the wiring diagram for the clearance and tail light circuit. This includes the instrument panel (cluster) lighting and other dashboard controls lighting, as well as the outside "parking lights".

All of these are turned on when the "lighting switch" (i.e., headlight switch) is turned to position 1 or 2.

The four bulbs for the cluster back-lighting is shown on page 3, and are connected to the same source, and the same variable brightness control (integrated module on page 1), and should all be on or off together.

The common supply fuse #12 is powered from the tail and illumination relay. The relay is activated by the headlight switch.

In addition, the outside lights (page 2) are powered from fuse #5, which in turn, is powered from the tail and illumination relay. Consequently, if the relay is bad, all the dashboard, cluster, and outside parking lights would go off.

It seems to me it would be unlikely that the cluster back-lighting would go out, but none of the other lights, unless there's a bad connection in, or to, the cluster alone.

But then I'm not familiar with that generation and there might be something I'm missing.
 

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I don't have a 2000 - 2004 to compare, and the linked page doesn't refer to the Subaru part number to cross-check, but the layout of the controls does look like the diagrams in the Owners Manual, and one reviewer mentions it working in a 2003.

Might want to check other sources, such as www.rockauto.com.

That said, if the problem is the switch, cleaning the internal switch contacts of your switch might correct the problem. There's been some posts about similar switch-related issues.
See: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/80-electrical-electronics/17782-flasher-relay-keeps-clicking.html
 
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