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no lowbeams after battery change + burning smell

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New to the forum, and not real familiar with Subarus. Searched the forum didn't see anything specific to my situation.

My wife drives am '02 Outback wagon 2.5, and her battery about 3 1/2 years old gave up the ghost. it had been cranking slowly for about a week and half, and battery had been drained (accidently) a couple times. Anyway I replaced it yesterday afternoon and did a test start. It started right up ran for a couple seconds, and i shut it off. This morning my wife calls me and says she had to drive the truck, cause she has no low beams. The parking lights and high beams work, but the low beams are out. Plus she could smell some burning in the car.

I'm thinking its probably just a short somewhere, or as a coworker suggested, maybe a voltage regulater. but i'm guessing it's got a built in reg. w/ the altinater. But electrical is not a strong point for me. Anybody got any suggestions or previous experience?

(excuse my spelling also not a strong point)
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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
18,777 Posts
Check the alternator output with and without a load. It is not unusual for a battery to fail due to a weak alternator, or an alternator to fail due to a weak battery. It is always a good idea to check the alternator after a battery swap to insure it still functions properly.

The burning smell could have been due to an overcharge from the alternator or something else. Depends on the type of scent.

The headlights could have been coincidence. Change the bulbs and check the plugs for any burns.
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