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2005 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I'll start with the fact I have read the other related threads, and found mixed and match threads about my issue.

I'll start at the VERY beginning. 12 months about (aprox) I lost my am stations on my radio. 6 months ago (again aprox) I lost my rear wiper. Then about a mouth ago I noticed I had no reverse lights. After some inspection I did find broken wires in the tail hinge boots on both the left and right side. After consulting a few friends who are car people (let me add I am NOT a car guy. I'm lucky to know how to put gas in it. Please free to cut a corner off my man card now) we decided I would remove the boots. Strip some wire butt connect the wires and heat shrink them. I went through the entire process and now have...

...still no rear wiper, still no rear back up lights. On the plus side I did fix the am antenna, and have that back. But now I have NO headlights and only Daytime running lights in park (with the parking brake up) or in reverse. I suspect there may be a break further down the harness. In a second attempt at repairing the car on my own, I (with help) cut out all the butt connectors and heat shrink. Stripped and soldered the connections (to rule out bad butt connector crimp job) and re-heat shrink the connections. And still havent fixed the issued.

Should I replace the harness get a new one? Is it possible I shorted a module somewhere?
 

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'14 3.6R Outback
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2,348 Posts
Okay, I'll start with the fact I have read the other related threads, and found mixed and match threads about my issue.

I'll start at the VERY beginning. 12 months about (aprox) I lost my am stations on my radio. 6 months ago (again aprox) I lost my rear wiper. Then about a mouth ago I noticed I had no reverse lights. After some inspection I did find broken wires in the tail hinge boots on both the left and right side. After consulting a few friends who are car people (let me add I am NOT a car guy. I'm lucky to know how to put gas in it. Please free to cut a corner off my man card now) we decided I would remove the boots. Strip some wire butt connect the wires and heat shrink them. I went through the entire process and now have...

...still no rear wiper, still no rear back up lights. On the plus side I did fix the am antenna, and have that back. But now I have NO headlights and only Daytime running lights in park (with the parking brake up) or in reverse. I suspect there may be a break further down the harness. In a second attempt at repairing the car on my own, I (with help) cut out all the butt connectors and heat shrink. Stripped and soldered the connections (to rule out bad butt connector crimp job) and re-heat shrink the connections. And still havent fixed the issued.

Should I replace the harness get a new one? Is it possible I shorted a module somewhere?
I'm sorry I have to ask the dumb question because you didn't mention it..

Did you check the fuses?
 

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Ditto on the fuses. When the wires break in the boot, it's not uncommon for the exposed ends to contact other broken wires, shorting out circuits.

How did you determine which wires to reconnect to which? Was it based on the wire colors? Are you sure they were matched correctly, including the base color and stripe?

I doubt there are breaks in the harness elsewhere -- that's almost unheard of.

The back-up light wiring is quite basic -- fuse, inhibitor switch, lights. I very much doubt the switch would be a factor, so that leaves the fuse, and the bulbs themselves. I'd focus on this first, as it's the simplest. The rest may follow . . .
 

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2005 Outback 2.5i
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
so yes we did visually check all the fuses under the hood and in the passenger compartment. we also checked the relays. we determine the horn relay was good (the horn honks) and the placed that relay into the other individual locations. we did ensure the colors matched: color to color and stripe to stripe.
 

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My 2010 - had zero low beams - DRL's worked fine high beams worked - turned out to be a bad relay took the dealer about 15 minutes to find it and replace it.
 

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First, visual inspection of those mini-fuses often doesn't reveal a small crack in the fuse element. Always better to check the fuse for continuity with a meter, or replace it with a known good fuse (same value) and see what happens.

The back-up lights, the wiper motor and rear defogger all depend on a common ground wire going back to the main car body. Ground wires are usually black. Did you find any broken black wires?

Sometimes a wire in the bundle going through the boot will break, but not separate, so it isn't apparent that it's not providing the connection. In some cases, pulling on the visible part of the wire results in the wire coming out of the bundle; in other cases, it might not and continuity testing is required.

The back up light sockets are accessible through small hatches on the inner trim of the rear hatch. Perhaps start by pulling out one of the sockets, and checking to see if, when the ignition is ON and the gear is in reverse (perhaps have someone else in the driver's seat for this), there is 12 V on the center contact of the socket. (You will have to find a good ground on the car body as a reference.) If there is 12 V, and if the bulb is good, then there's likely an open circuit on the ground side.

(Again, I'm focusing on the back-up lights because of the relative simplicity of this circuit. The rear wiper system is more involved because of the body integrated unit, which turns the motor to continuous operation, when it was in intermittent operation, when the gear shift is moved to R.)
 
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