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Discussion Starter #1
I am having issues finding the problem / fixing the problem of a weak radio antenna signal and non-functioning rear defroster.

2005 Subaru Outback

Checked -
*Stereo works, antenna weak signal / no signal. I get pretty much 1 station in the city.
*Rear defrost front engine bay relay functioning
*Rear defrost front engine bay fuse good
*Rear defrost cabin fuse box fuse good
*Rear defrost switch illuminates when pushed
*Rear defrost contact plugs are attached on both sides of window with little/no corrosion and good contacts.
*Rear hatch rubber wire harness boots pulled on both sides and inspected harness; no broken wires, no exposed leads, everything looked clean.
*Rear hatch panels pulled, all wires look good, and the antenna signal box is in perfect condition; no loose wires, no visible breaks or damage or oxidation.
*Rear defrost element lines on the window are in good shape with no visible flaws or oxidation.

*Rear defrost does not function at rear window.

I am suspecting that both of these problems are associated to each other since the rear window has the antenna lines built into the glass with the rear defrost elements adjacent to them.

Any help in the direction I should be pointed to next, or if there is a FSM page for trouble shooting these known problems that could be linked to or posted up I would greatly appreciate it!

Thanks,

TMZ
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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Visually inspecting the wires going through the boot won't do you any good, you need to check continuity. If they're bad, you can splice in replacement wires one at a time or replace the whole harness.
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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It sounds like you have an issue with the driver's side hatch harness (runs between the hatch and roof). Had a no-reception issue on an 05 not too long ago due to this.

Just like the common passenger side harness (that kills the rear wiper and license plate lights), this one fails, typically, due to age and flexion. See if pushing/working that small section will bring back radio reception.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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If you get digging into the driver's side harness and do see that the wires are compromised, you might just take care of the passenger side as well at the same time. Besides the rear wiper and license plate lights that @RoughDiamond mentioned, the lock/unlock solenoid wiring goes through this passenger side boot. If this doesn't work and the hatch ends up locked when it stops working, it's a crawl into the rear compartment and a bit of disassembly to get it unlocked.
 

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If you get digging into the driver's side harness and do see that the wires are compromised, you might just take care of the passenger side as well at the same time. Besides the rear wiper and license plate lights that @RoughDiamond mentioned, the lock/unlock solenoid wiring goes through this passenger side boot. If this doesn't work and the hatch ends up locked when it stops working, it's a crawl into the rear compartment and a bit of disassembly to get it unlocked.
i had the same problem with the boot lock unlock ... and sure enough when you pulled back the grommet that goes between the rear hatch and the roof of the car i think 4 wires were broken ... its a common thing among all cars ... break out the soldering iron and grab a few beers and just take your time ... its very rewarding to fix stuff like this
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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... its a common thing among all cars ...
Not necessarily all cars, just those cars where the manufacturer got cheap on the wire harness and didn't spec a wire construction that could take the flexing in the intended application. For Subaru, it's a Gen 3 thing.

When the time comes that I have to repair mine, I'll use something like this, and the problem will be solved for the life of the vehicle:

#2671 Ultra Flexible Sub-Miniature Wire - UL STYLE 1568, 1692

.... break out the soldering iron and grab a few beers and just take your time
I wouldn't solder wires in the broken area, as that merely stiffens the wire where the break occurred, and transfers the future failure point to either side of it. You have to open things up and patch in new wire, keeping the repair locations away from the area that flexes. There are well-documented DIY guides in this forum that you can follow to do this.
 

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06 Outback 2.5i, 05 Outback Limited
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The harness isn't that hard to replace, and the part (at least the passenger side harness) is around $50...
 

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2003 Forester 2.5i, 2007 Outback LTD 2.5
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I wouldn't solder wires in the broken area, as that merely stiffens the wire where the break occurred, and transfers the future failure point to either side of it. You have to open things up and patch in new wire, keeping the repair locations away from the area that flexes. There are well-documented DIY guides in this forum that you can follow to do this.[/QUOTE]

^^^^^^
What he said!
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I couldn't find any visual cracking in the wires on the driver side. (Edit, I cut off the boot and found 3 damaged or broken wires). Does anyone have the part number for the driver side harness? I replaced the passenger side harness today with 81812AG03B.

The new problem, which I am suspecting is related to the driver side harness still is no rear defrost, ( I found 3 broken wires in the driver's side harness, the shielded one and two going ground/antenna) , useless radio antenna, intermittent wiper control (need to check if passenger side harness replacement fixed it), but now the headlights and high beams stopped working. The daytime running lights no longer work and the only way I have headlights whatsoever is with the steering column stalk in the off or parking light position WITH the e-brake engaged. I have neither headlights (including DRL) or brights functioning at the stalk. The directional lights and brake lights still function properly.

Would either of these harnesses have anything to do with the headlights, brights or DRL or am I chasing multiple wiring failures?
 

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Would either of these harnesses have anything to do with the headlights, brights or DRL or am I chasing multiple wiring failures?
Check fuse #18, 10 Amps, in the cabin fuse panel.

It powers the back up lights, but also the DRL control module. There's been cases of the wire to the back up lights, in the rear hatch, breaking (as you have already experienced, on the passenger side) and shorting to ground when the gear shift lever moves through the R position. With no power to the DRL module, the headlights don't work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok I'll check that tonight.

I already tested the steering column switch, all relays and fuses in engine bay and headlight relays in car.

With the car in the ACC or Key-ON mode, shifting into reverse or drive with the car off, makes a sound like stuck solenoids clicking on the auto trans valvebody harness area, and while in ACC, ON and START with the e-brake engaged I have DRL with the light switched off, but no headlights (low or high beams or fog lights) when parking lights or headlights turned on at switch If the car is running, and lights switched OFF, I have DRL in reverse but nothing in park, neutral or drive.

I fully replaced the passenger side hatch harness (right) and I repaired the driver side hatch harness (left).

I now have functioning antenna again and defrost (found what looked olto be a bad solder joint at one of the glass connections), rear wiper works but when car is in ACC or physically running, if you shift into reverse, the rear wiper stays on at full speed, not intermittent.
 

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. . . rear wiper works but when car is in ACC or physically running, if you shift into reverse, the rear wiper stays on at full speed, not intermittent.
When the rear wiper is set for Intermittent, and the transmission is switched to R, the rear wiper changes to continuous. Page 3-55 of your Owners Manual.
With the car in the ACC or Key-ON mode, shifting into reverse or drive with the car off, makes a sound like stuck solenoids clicking on the auto trans valvebody . .
That's normal except it should only be with the ignition switch at ON, not ACC or OFF. The transmission control solenoids are being activated. But are you sure it's also happening in ACC? That's not right, all the more so because it should not be possible to move the shift lever out of P into R or D while the ignition is at OFF or ACC.
 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I have the shift lockout plug removed for testing so I can go through all gears in off, acc, on or running.

Thank you for the clarification on the rear wiper!

I will also check the solenoid stuff in key at ACC and ON. I am suspecting the solenoids are functioning properly. **EDIT: Confirmed I can shift only through in ON hearing the solenoids. In the Off and ACC positions it does not allow the shift into gears unless I am depressing the lockout release and there is no solenoid activity during the Off and ACC positions.

I am going to check the DRL fuse, inside, and then research where the DRL module is located and then test it.

As for my wiring I repaired on the left side hatch harness, I used shielded mil-spec 18- gauge teftzel wire that I spliced in to the shielded 22-gauge antenna wire I tinned first, then soldered, then glue heat shrinked the section, then extended the shielding braiding back over and connected, then tinned the shielding together, then I glue heat shrinked over the shielding. For the other two wires I used 16 gauge and 18 gauge non-shielded Teftzel wire and then soldered the joints then glue heat shrinked each section. I added about 12" to the harness lengths and then tucked the splices into the roof panel or the hatch panel and left enough where there was no stress on those areas. I then used Techflex FR over the section and then booted the harness and reinstalled.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Check fuse #18, 10 Amps, in the cabin fuse panel.

It powers the back up lights, but also the DRL control module. There's been cases of the wire to the back up lights, in the rear hatch, breaking (as you have already experienced, on the passenger side) and shorting to ground when the gear shift lever moves through the R position. With no power to the DRL module, the headlights don't work.
This is exactly the scenario, the 10A fuse #18 popped, replaced and I have lights again! Thank you!!

Now to tackle the panoramic sunroof guides and repair the plastic sleeves that have broken causing the guides to pop out of their locators not allowing the sunroof to work. Guessing I'll have to find some plastic rod and size it to fit, as I am suspecting Subaru would never sell those tiny plastic drilled dowels separately from the entire sunroof assembly.

Thank you all for your help! It is greatly appreciated!
 
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