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2007 Outback wagon, 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #1
The seat belt buckle got caught in my front door and broke the plunger switch that controls the overhead and door lights and the dashboard indicator. I've ordered a new switch. When you close the door, it pushes on the switch.

To install the new switch, it appears I need to access the back of the post between the front and back doors. I know it must be simple, but can somebody either explain how to do it or direct me to a link?

Thanks!
 

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Might want to look at this thread on replacing the switch, especially ending at post #6, where it appears the switch can be changed without removing the interior trim if you're careful.

Let us know how it works out and any more details you can provide. It might be of help to others in future.
 

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2007 Outback wagon, 2.5i
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Discussion Starter #3
That's useful, thanks. I ordered "SUBARU 83331AG02A GENUINE OEM FACTORY ORIGINAL DOOR JAMB SWITCH Item# 150968020505" through eBay for $42.08.

Subarupartsforyou.com has it $2 cheaper but I resent having to go through most of the checkout without knowing shipping and handling (part is $29 plus very expensive s&h, total $40), and their website doesn't give me confidence with "usually in stock." I don't feel like going back and forth numerous times, AFTER placing the order. They call it "PLUNGER SWITCH FRONT body FOR INTERIOR LAMPS FOR 2005-2009 LEGACYS ALL".

My Subaru dealer can order it for $40 plus 8.625% tax.

Looking at what's left on the door of the switch, I don't see how to do an install without removing the interior trim, but I'll check that when the part gets here.

Meanwhile, I jury-rigged a small metal plate to keep the switch depressed so that the battery doesn't get run down because the side door light otherwise stays on all time when the engine is off.

I'll report back when the part arrives. Happy holiday to all!
 

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When you get around to it, if you have the chance, take some photos or note down details of the procedure. Looks as if replacing those switches isn't all that uncommon and a how-to thread ("How to replace door switch, 2005-9"), perhaps in the DIY sub-forum, would likely be highly appreciated.
 

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I had exactly the same thing happen this week with my '08 Outback.

The replacement switch, 83331AG03A, was $37 at the local dealer. He also had another part for around $50 with a short cable attached to the switch, but there wouldn't have been any advantage to it in my case.

I wasn't able to remove the old switch from the outside because there wasn't enough slack in the wiring to get at the connector on the bottom of the switch. If there had been more slack, it would have been a very simple fix. (Note: the old switch broke apart as I was pulling on it - I was glad I had disconnected the battery first).

Getting at the wiring from the inside wasn't too difficult. Pulling up on the rear of the front door scuff plate revealed a slot in the center pillar lower trim piece that I was able to use to pry the trim open enough to get at the wiring. The trim is made of sturdy and fairly pliable plastic, so it was possible to pull it away enough to do the work without removing it entirely. There's a lot of wiring in the pillar, so be careful not to use anything sharp when doing this.

The connector for the short cable between the switch and the wiring harness was tightly taped to the wiring harness in a way that made it difficult to disconnect. I used a razor blade to carefully cut the tape, which made the connector readily accessible and left enough slack in the wiring so that I'll be able to replace the switch from the outside if I ever need to do this again (which is likely given how easy it is to slam the door on the seat belt).

Sorry I don't have pictures. I was doing this on a cold winter day and needed to get it done as quickly as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Done

Actually, I just finished the same job today! It was cold in NYC too!

I also could not get the old switch out because of the short cable, but I used a vise grip to squeeze the new switch very slightly, and was able to get the plastic top piece off without breaking.

It was simple to click the top in place on the bottom of the old switch (which works fine) while holding (with forceps) the old switch just barely out of the cutout metal hole in the door pillar.

Thanks for the information on how to get to the switch from the inside. It's good to know.
 

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NBG, sumie:

Thanks for the follow-ups.

A couple of questions:

What part of the switch was broken? I presume it was the section under the rubber cover?

(See attached annotated third photo below).

It appears there's two parts; the rear of the switch, where the wiring connects, and the front, which seems to consist of the black plastic and the gray (rubber) part beyond (above, in the photo) the pencil point . There appears to be a small "clip" on the side to hold the front part to the back, and probably one on the opposite side.

sumie: I presume you squeezed those clips in so that the front part is released, and then snapped on the front from the new switch. Is that correct?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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Sorry if I wasn't clear.

It was the plastic piece that was broken, still attached to the rubber in my photo, not the base switch itself. I'm showing the broken top in the accompanying photo.

I GENTLY squeezed the BASE with vise grips so I could get the NEW top off the NEW bottom without breaking the tiny nibs, which I painted white in the accompanying photo to make it clearer. There's one nib on either side. If you break it, you can throw away the new switch. The nibs hold the top to the bottom.

The clip that I pointed to in the earlier photo does NOT hold the bottom to the top. The clip holds the assembled top and bottom to the door pillar. Very clever. That makes it unnecessary to access the inside of the pillar. It snaps into place when you reinsert the switch in the pillar.

Hope that helps.
 
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