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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Discussion Starter #1
so i thought i need some extra light on reverse . thought i connect extra led light from same socket where reverse bulb goes. so i disconnected reverse bulb and wanted to test how mini led bar would light from it and was surprised when it came just dimm like its not enough voltage for it. so it tested with voltmeter and with just ignition on and put gear in Reverse i got 9 v.
so whats going on there. why just 9 v. my trunk light getting full 12v from battery too and its lights full. but on reverse im getting so huge drops.
then i thought i need to start engine and try with engine running and i got drops still. its like if i turn everything off and all light off and climate control off its kinda lights almost full 12v. bet if i turn on low beams and AC it drops again some. when i connected both lights i could see its not getting 12v there at all.
and its not led lights fault i tested without any lights on just from connecttor thats goes into reverse bulb and it was just about 9 v with ignition on and then some more with engine on. but its never full 12v. and its going lower and higher too. not stable.
whos fault is it. whats drops voltage there?

even without AC if i turn daytime lights its changes then if i turn low beam it changes again.
those normal bulbs doesnt react to that at all so i would never saw that if not led lights.
 

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its not led lights fault i tested without any lights on just from connecttor thats goes into reverse bulb and it was just about 9 v with ignition on and then some more with engine on.
Does your Outback have one, or two, white back-up lights? If two, have you removed both bulbs and then checked the voltage at one of the sockets when in Reverse?

Incidentally, what does "Outback 2001/11" mean? Is this an European model year 2001? If so, what does the "11" refer to? I just want to be sure I'm considering the right one.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Is there any evidence that someone at some time tried to hook up trailer lights but did a bad job of it?

I've seen more rear light problems caused by hack trailer light wiring than just about all the other causes combined.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Discussion Starter #4
it doesnt have trailer hitch so no trailer lights as well.
2 reverse lights



i checked voltage with one side bulb disconnected but other side was connected. bulbs and sockets for them where kinda rusted little and stuck in socket so i had to spray them with stuff and move around until i get bulbs out. but they both working bulbs and brake lights working too as supposed to.

here top picture with reverse and all light and AC off.. and lower pic with everything on. it drops voltage quite much, as you can see those leds doesnt even light up as they should.

and voltage is like jumping up and down with AC coming on and off. other lights no prob. but then other lights are old style bulbs so they not show voltage drops as leds do .

2001/11 is date of car , 11 month. it could be counted as 2002 because it has updated brakes allready and other stuff that other models dont have.
for real im not sure what model i have US or EU. i have rear lsd diff, all weather package with front window defrost and mirrors. so not sure what it called. and i have early VDC on 2.5 engine which is rare. maybe mine some australian model.
 

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Wiring diagram attached.

Not much in the circuit. The inhibitor switch could have bad contacts when in reverse, (although that's rare) and there could be bad contacts in the connectors in the wiring to the two back-up lights in the rear hatch. Have to find out where between the fuse and the bulb sockets the voltage is dropping.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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@plain OM is correct, there's not much to this circuit.

Do you have a DVM? I'd check the voltage between the outer socket of the bulbs (pin 2 on diagram) and a known good ground on the chassis e.g. frame horn underneath. Likewise, check the inner pin of he socket (pin 4 on diagram) against this same ground reference Do this with and without other accessories running.

The inner socket voltage should be close to that of the unloaded accessory socket in the back cubbyhole, perhaps 14 V. The outer socket voltage should be within 100 mV of ground. Whichever one is flaky will point you to the problem.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Discussion Starter #7
Great info. Thank you all. Will check those when will have time after work maybe.
Reverse light bulbs where stuck in socket corroded and some rust there. It was problem to remove them when i wanted to check them first time. So those sockets still some rusted i sanded them as i could but its not possible there clean everything. Could be those sockets fault?
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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Yes, corrosion on contacts can be the cause of a voltage drop in a circuit. Typically it's not a steady voltage drop when there is even moderate current flow, it can be quite erratic or even intermittent.

But you have brightness levels changing with other accessories powering on or off, and I believe that is indicating a power delivery or a ground issue. Corrosion could be a secondary issue.

You will have to clean up the reverse light socket corrosion in any case. I use radial bristles on a rotary tool to clean up stuff, like these:

https://www.foredom.net/radialbristlediscs-scotch-brite.aspx

But if there's enough plating eaten away, it kind of becomes a lost cause to restore a socket, and I just replace the parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes i think i will disconnect first both rear sockets and measure then.if its still low then will check where next point is.
Yes i thought ground issue too but where to look for that.does that circuit comes from separate ground or main ground point somewere.
Sorry cant see diagram on my phone its not shown. Will wait until i check it on pc later.
i could connect those leds from better ground source not from circuit. and use just one wire from circuit. but now i will search and fix my problem first.
 

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Perhaps also check the voltage at the fuse (#18 in the cabin fuse panel) with the fuse installed and the back-up lights on.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Discussion Starter #11
should i measure current DC there with fuse out/in . if it would show couple amps meaning shortage somewhere.
then maybe pull connector where it get reverse signal and check there as well. i will try and work from bulbs backwards.
 

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Perhaps, but I'd start with the voltage at the fuse, with it in place.

The fuse apparently powers several other functions in addition to the Back-up lights, namely Cruise control module, Power window relay (energizing coil), and if equipped, the Wiper deicer relay (energizing coil) and Wiper deicer timer.

With the ignition On, both sides of the fuse should have full battery voltage (within a few tenths of a Volt) with any of those loads on or off. It's just a good idea to be sure that the supply side is good to begin with.

Current could be measured as well; however, the power window relay is energized when the ignition is On, so there would be a load there to begin with (although I would think it should be fairly low).
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Discussion Starter #13
so checked on fuse it was 11.80 when battery was about 12. and then after some time fighting with corroded reverse bulbs when removed them , my leds instantly went full light on. measured on there and it was 11.60v. tried to clean sockets and put back oem bulbs but its maybe too much rusted there or i need really small discs to fit inside and clean it properly. so removed bulbs , and now im just with those leds. and they allways on full light now. even just with ignition



how they now light up just with leds , top one oem reverse light. its like go from night to day


so i guess i will look to replace those sockets to new ones. but im not sure i even wanna use oem bulbs anymore.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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That socket doesn't look all that bad; the bulb you removed does.

I'm assuming you're on salted roads, or live near the sea. Was there any moisture infiltration evident in the lamp assembly? You might want to check out the gaskets that are supposed to seal the assembly.
 

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This is very common. I've had to do them on 4-5 Outbacks. If your reverse lights look like that, make sure you check the brake light sockets. They're prolly in the same condition.

I just went to the salvage yard and got new/used sockets.

The rear hatch sockets are on sub harness's. You can remove the assembly from the car by un-pluging the sub harness, and they are easier to work on/clean.

Slather them with a little di-electric grease when you reassemble them.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Socket doesnt look bad but that spring inside stuck too so it doesnt wanna move so well and i cant insert bulb normaly inside and when i do insert its no good co ntact there i must move bulb twist so its got contact and lights up.and when bulb does lights up those leds dimms instant. So i duno why voltage drops there with bulbs inside. So i left them off. Not that they light anything there.
Not live near sea but in winter ee have salt on roads so yh... And maybe that lamp have bad sealant or something because reverse part was dirty inside .
 
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