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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted this over on the LegacyGT forum without any responses, but thought I would try here as well.

My blinker stopped working on my 2005 OBXT while driving last week (hazards, alarm signal, passenger tail light also). Everything worked fine when I pulled out of a parking lot, but I noticed that the blinkers stopped working on the short trip home. I thought I just needed a new fuse, but it pops any fuse immediately under the hood.

I'm hoping someone has some insight because this is becoming a huge pain and I can't figure out what the **** is wrong. I was supposed to be leaving on a business trip in the car with some materials, but I had to package/fly instead. I gave up and left it with my Russian mechanic friend several days ago, but to no avail.

Symptoms:
1. No signals
2. No hazards
3. No alarm chirp or lights on lock/unlock
4. Rear tail light is not on with headlights on.
5. Fuse under the hood for signals sparks and blows immediately

I have unplugged the tail lights, all steering column plugs, and several other large plugs under the dash . The fuse still arcs no matter what.

Any ideas, suggestions?
My current theory is that something has gone wrong at the alarm/security box. Any ideas on that unit or the plugs might be?
 

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There was a thread a few weeks ago with similar symptoms. Turned out to be a faulty trailer harness accessory. Have you got a hitch kit installed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I do have a trailer kit installed. I actually installed it (plugged it into the onboard harness) a few weeks ago.

That was the first thing that I unplugged to see what would happen. It didn't change anything. Could I have unsettled some of the stock wiring that had been sitting there for years?
 

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There is one fuse in the main fuse box in the engine compartment, that powers the turn signals, hazards, and the signalling function of the keyless entry control module. It's fuse #8, 20 Amps. Some of the circuits downstream of fuse #8 are themselves fused separately, at lower levels. So if only fuse #8 is blowing, this might help isolate which circuits could draw upwards of 20 Amps to blow that fuse. Is that the fuse that's blowing? (See attached diagram of the fuse box.)

I'm not sure about the rear tail light being out. There's two tail lights, one on each side; are both out?

What about the clearance lights (orange) at the front corners -- they should be on at the same time as the rear tail lights would be on. Do they work, or are they also out?

Do the stop lights (at the rear) work?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So it looks like things are still confusing. We tore out most of the interior panels and unhooked essentially every harness. There aren't any obvious causes. The trailer wiring doesn't appear to be the problem, or at least doesn't cause any change when it is unplugged.

I'm glad my mechanic is patient and "reasonable" about such electrical wild goose chases. He did find that the fuse (#14) has a constant ground. I didn't realize that was odd, but he told me that it is only supposed to be grounded when the signals are operating.


There is one fuse in the main fuse box in the engine compartment, that powers the turn signals, hazards, and the signalling function of the keyless entry control module. It's fuse #8, 20 Amps. Some of the circuits downstream of fuse #8 are themselves fused separately, at lower levels. So if only fuse #8 is blowing, this might help isolate which circuits could draw upwards of 20 Amps to blow that fuse. Is that the fuse that's blowing? (See attached diagram of the fuse box.)

I'm not sure about the rear tail light being out. There's two tail lights, one on each side; are both out?

What about the clearance lights (orange) at the front corners -- they should be on at the same time as the rear tail lights would be on. Do they work, or are they also out?

Do the stop lights (at the rear) work?
1. The #8 fuse is fine. It's the #14 that is the issue. It has a lot of juice flowing and throws off sparks if the terminals are connected. It will pop a 30amp fuse before you even push it in (I was looking for spark with something that wouldn't pop). Unfortunately, this means I can't even put a fuse in to test what is or isn't working.
2. It turned out that the rear tail light was just out. Separate issue that just happened to coincide.
3. No corner lights work, front or back. I can't even put a fuse in to allow them to work because it pops immediately.
4. Stop lights work fine.

My mechanic is going to remove the front driver's fender where the wiring dives in from the engine bay and then snakes into the cabin. He's going to trace it from the fusebox back to see if something has rubbed raw. I'm hoping that the problem lies in there so that we don't have to disassemble any more of my car. It currently looks like it's sitting at a chop shop.
 

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Thanks for the clarification. I misread the wiring diagrams -- looking back at it again with your new information, fuse #8 doesn't appear to go to the turn signals. I apologize for the error.

Fuse #14 (15 Amps) does power the turn signal module. It also provides power to the:

Body integrated unit
Key switch illumination
Key warning switch
Keyless buzzer

None of these is a potential high power load, but a short to ground in their circuits is a possibility.

Has the mechanic disconnected the turn signal/hazard module to see if that corrects the ground at fuse #14? That would either eliminate or identify much of the turn signal wiring as a cause.

I'm puzzled about the clearance (corner) lights not working. As far as I can tell, fuse #14 in the engine compartment fuse box (there's another fuse panel in the dashboard to the left of the steering column) doesn't connect to the clearance lighting. That might be a separate problem. The clearance lights have fuses in the cabin fuse box. Have you checked for blown fuses there?

Also, in regard to the clearance lights, look at the wiring that goes to the rear gate (hatch). There's two flexible rubber boots (tubes) that go from the car body to the gate -- they're at the upper corners. The boots cover wiring that goes to the electrical items in the rear gate. There are quite a few cases here where the wires in the boot, especially on the right side, broke and in some cases shorted to other wires or to ground. The license plate lights are part of the clearance light circuit, and if the wire to the licence lights broke and grounded, it would blow the clearance light fuse. (Interestingly, that could be fuse #14 -- 15 Amps -- in the cabin fuse panel.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sorry, I think I meant to specify #15. The description of the fuses was pretty worn and not well visible on the cover, but it was related to lighting.
 

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Sorry, I think I meant to specify #15. The description of the fuses was pretty worn and not well visible on the cover, but it was related to lighting.
Okay, we're sort of even on mistaking the fuses. But the issue is still puzzling.

Fuse #15 in the engine compartment fuse box supplies power to the Parking Lights switch on top of the steering column. The switch provides a way to have the external clearance lights (front corners, rear tail lights, and the license plate lights) on when the car is off.

Fuse #15 also goes to the Tail & Illumination Relay. When the ignition switch is at ON, the relay closes, and sends the power from Fuse #15 to a range of lighting circuits, including the clearance lights.

However, when the ignition switch is at OFF, the relay should not be energized and, therefore, all of the downstream circuits would not be connected to fuse #15. If there's a short somewhere beyond the relay, it wouldn't affect fuse #15 when the ignition is at OFF.

The Tail & Illumination Relay is in the main fuse box as well -- pull it out and see if that eliminates the unusual ground. There's always the possibility, albeit unusual, that the relay is stuck in the closed position. If there's a short downstream of of the relay, that would blow the fuse even with ignition switch at Off.

But otherwise, the only circuit that fuse #15 supplies seems to be the Parking Lights switch. There is no apparent connection between fuse #15 and the turn signals.

I wonder if you have two separate problems, one in the lighting circuits that's blowing fuse #15, and another that's affecting the operation of the turn signals.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Would that also short out the "chirp" of the lock/unlock of the alarm? When the signals stopped working, the alarm alerts of the lights and chirp stopped as well. Essentially any form of external 'light communication' has stopped other than braking.

It's well within the realm of possibility to have two separate issues. However, it would seem odd to develop two unrelated electrical problems within 5 minutes of each other.

My mechanic has a '05 LGT wagon sitting in the shop. He pulled and swapped every fuse and relay in the main fuse boxes and a few under the dash to see what would happen. No change as of yet.

What's most frustrating is that, in the end, we're just going to find an exposed wire somewhere and that will be it.
 

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The keyless entry system uses the turn signal bulbs to indicate when it locks and unlocks the doors, not the clearance and tail light bulbs.

The turn signal circuit is separate from the clearance & tail light circuit.

I don't see how a blown fuse #15 would affect the keyless entry "chirp", but there could be interactions that are not apparent in the documentation.

But fuse #14, which appears to be next to fuse #15, does provide power for both the turn signals and the keyless entry buzzer (chirp). If it were to be blown, or a wire in that circuit is broken, neither function would work.

If fuse #15 is blowing, I'd tend to focus on it, and try the suggestion to pull the relay and see if that clears the short at the fuse 15 terminals. If it doesn't clear it, then I'd go to the Parking Lights switch to see if there's a short at the connections there. It's a process of elimination until one circuit or wire is isolated.

Don't forget the possibility of broken/shorted wires in the boots to the rear gate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well, my mechanic spent way too much time and effort on it and identified the short! I haven't seen it yet, but he says it was a worn ground wire to the alarm horn behind the bumper. He seated it correctly and says everything is working properly. Awesome! This isn't the fitst time he has chased down a strange issue on the car. I think I owe him a plug for this one. For anyone in the Denver area, I will highly recommend Oleg of Subaru Clinic.
 

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If what he means is the keyless entry "buzzer" (more like a horn, located in the same place as the two service horns on the right side behind the bumper), then that's a possibility. As seen in the attached diagram, fuse #14 send 12 V to the buzzer connector pin 1, and the body integrated unit (keyless entry and security system) will turn the buzzer on by providing a ground at pin 2.

If the wire (highlighted in yellow) going to pin 1 of the buzzer connector is inadvertently grounded, that would blow fuse #14.

Wonder how/why the wire became grounded. Was any work done in that area? Although I haven't looked in that area, I would think that the wires to the horn(s) are held in place by clips so that they can't move around and possibly wear against a grounded metal body part.

Anyways, I'm happy to hear that it has been fixed. Hopefully there won't be any more strange issues with the car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
First of all, thanks for the help, suggestions, and wiring information. Sorry about giving bad information and not figuring out that a tail light was out on its own accord. I was remembering what-was-what from diagrams without having the car in front of me.

Oleg says he had never seen anything like it. It makes sense in hind sight. It has a tow bar installed and I guess the buzzer got dislodged at some point and (over time) wiggled back and forth over some metal and sawed through the insulation. I would never have thought to look there, so 'cheers' to him. What a pain in the azz, though.

Oleg sent me some pictures of what he found. I'm guessing no one will ever experience this again and it won't help the community much in the future, but if anyone ever has the same symptoms... it's the **** alarm buzzer.

 

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Wow!

So the "buzzer" was actually dangling, loose, whereas it should have been mounted to the car. It does explain the short (the white wire with the black stripe is the always-on 12 V that, if grounded, would blow fuse #14 immediately). That's some really great troubleshooting. Not too many mechanics will spend the time and, on top of that, take pictures. Our kudos to Oleg.
 
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