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The car is a 2000 outback with a 2.5 and an automatic. It should be noted that it seems to have all the bells and whistles such as power seats and heated windshield (wiper defrost) etc... it does have cloth seats though.

The problem that I am having is that the alternator is not getting the necessary voltage to excite the field and therefore it is not charging. Related to this problem is that the speedometer, tachometer, temp gauge and most of the warning lights and all of the illumination lights on the combination meter are not working. The ignition relay is getting power as evidenced by the fact that when the key is on (vehicle running or not) the airbag light, the clock and the odometer come on but then when I unplug the relay they all go off - then when I plug the relay in again the airbag light comes back on, along with the clock and the odometer. The headlights work and the illumination lights on the heater controls and radio work fine. Also not working are the hazard lights and the turn signals whether the key is on or off. All the bulbs are good. Also all of the fuses (both under the hood and under the driver side of the dash) are all good.

I have changed out: the wiring harness that runs under the driver fender - the combination meter - the hazard light switch - and the fuse box under the hood. So I don't think that the problem is with any of those. I am pretty sure that the problem lies in the wiring harness under the dash which I am dreading changing out and would rather just find the problem and fix it.

I have seen this same problem on several of these forums but no one has seemed to come up with any fix for it with one exception which was a thread back in 2011 where the guy had a problem with one of the turn signal connectors, which was causing the exact same problem as I have except that he was blowing fuses. Through out the several threads, eagle eye and plain OM were both very helpful and knowledgeable. I would like their input on this thread and I would like for anybody to come up with a solution to this somewhat common problem.

Also, I am brand new to this website and forum and I really don't know how to use it all correctly as of yet. Any help with this situation would be great.
 

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'01 OBW 3.0 VDC 184,000 Miles '19 OB 2.5 Base <2,000 Miles - Formerly '14 Impreza Sedan 2.0 5spd 66,000 Miles at trade-in
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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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its a 2000 cloth seat winter package. I had one like that. (lost it in a wreck, bought a faster H6 after to avoid wrecks).

winter package (later called All weather pack) = heated cloth seats, wiper park, and limited slip rear.

Subaru Outback 2000 options, prices, photos and much more
 

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@original subarujon

Do you have the wiring diagram?

Do you have a digital multimeter to test for voltages and resistance/continuity?

As for your issues, all could be related to one fault, or there might be more than one problem. I would suggest focussing first on the absence of the excite signal for the alternator. It's a fairly simple circuit and might be easier to diagnose. Perhaps when that's corrected, the others might be as well.

. . . the alternator is not getting the necessary voltage to excite the field and therefore it is not charging.
How did you determine this?

Related to this problem is that the speedometer, tachometer, temp gauge and most of the warning lights and all of the illumination lights on the combination meter are not working. The ignition relay is getting power as evidenced by the fact that when the key is on (vehicle running or not) the airbag light, the clock and the odometer come on but then when I unplug the relay they all go off - then when I plug the relay in again the airbag light comes back on, along with the clock and the odometer.
With the relay installed, and the engine running, the airbag warning light stays on?

The car is a 2000 outback with a 2.5 and an automatic. It should be noted that it seems to have all the bells and whistles such as power seats and heated windshield (wiper defrost) etc
Sounds as if the car new to you. Did it come with these problems? Any idea of the history of the car, e.g., damage or modifications, especially related to wiring?
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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I had a similar issue with a 2000 OB. Dash was half dead, but turn signals, "Airbag" and high-beam indicator would work. Had a bent terminal on the cluster plug that powered the lights. If the battery light doesn't turn-on, it won't let the alternator charge.

I've attached the files from the PDF showing the cluster pins and the diagram for power routing to the lights powered by the cluster. If @plain OM 's questions don't reveal anything obvious, I'd check for power at C3 on the cluster plug for ignition power. Work back from there if no power.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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couldn't a fault like this in a combination meter connector/wiring easily lead to no charging? doesn't the excite voltage go thru the battery light?
 

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06 OBW 2.5, 05 Forester, had 03 H6 OBW
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If this happened just after replacing a bad alternator, maybe they gave you an H6 alternator, which has the output controlled by the computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Ok well, I solved the problem!!!!!

Yes, plain OM, I did have a wiring harness diagram given to me from eagle eye on another thread where I was asking about this same problem. Your suggestion to check and fix the alternator excite wire was a good one and it was what I decided to do immediately after I first started this thread before I got any replies. I checked continuity from the battery light on the combination meter to the alternator, and as I suspected there was none. So I started checking continuity to each connection from the combination meter to find out where it was disconnected. The drawing showed two SMJ connections (super Mass Junction?). As I installed the under the fender wiring harness there was one on the end of that harness but I couldn't find the other one. I searched all over the dash trying to find it. Finally I located it just above the fuse box under the dash. I went to wiggle it and found that the bolt that holds it together was loose. I checked continuity from the combination meter to the one side of that SMJ and it was good then I checked continuity from the other side of the SMJ to the alternator and it was good as well. I plugged it in and tightened up the bolt and presto... everything came on!

Thank you all for your suggestions and help, that is what these type of forums are all about!

I would attach pictures but I am not technologically advanced enough to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I am just trying to upload this picture. I may have done it twice. Anyways, if you are having similar issues reach up under here and make sure that this bolt that holds the SMJ is tight and that it is securely plugged in.
 

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