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Discussion Starter #21
The video without the key is showing the nifty feature from the aftermarket flasher tap to pass unit. When the left or right turn is activated using the stalk, it illuminates the bulb constantly on that side. I guess it is for parking on narrow streets in the fog?

Before everyone starts shouting Eureka!!! - Lot's of folks here have those units (found it here) and when I swapped it out for a new OEM (Autozone version) the EXACT SAME SYMPTOMS occurred, ruling out the aftermarket flasher unit. I was really hoping that was the problem too.
 

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from the aftermarket flasher tap to pass unit.
So the tap to pass unit is back in the car?

When the left or right turn is activated using the stalk, it illuminates the bulb constantly on that side. I guess it is for parking on narrow streets in the fog?
That's interesting, but do I understand this correctly? When the ignition switch is off and the turn signal stalk is moved to the left, or right, turn position, the turn signal lights on that side, including the green arrow, stay on continuously. But when the ignition is On, that same move of the stalk gets the turn signals flashing on and off until the stalk is moved back to the middle position. (Thinking that might be of use in troubleshooting.)
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Yes. That is correct. Come to think of it, the parking lights used to stay on for 30 seconds when the remote was used to unlock the doors. That stopped working and I forgot about it. It helped to find the car in a parking lot. It may have been turned off accidentally by one of the kids performing some unique sequence of signal, brake, ignition etc, like a lot of these aftermarket do-dads use.
 

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Yes. That is correct. Come to think of it, the parking lights used to stay on for 30 seconds when the remote was used to unlock the doors. That stopped working and I forgot about it. It helped to find the car in a parking lot. It may have been turned off accidentally by one of the kids performing some unique sequence of signal, brake, ignition etc, like a lot of these aftermarket do-dads use.
Unless it has been modified, the factory wiring would not turn on the parking lights when the remote is used. Yes, there are lights that normally flash when the doors are locked or unlocked but, in fact, those are the turn signal lights. In the wiring diagram attached earlier, it's the Body Integrated Unit, which is the controller for the keyless entry and security systems, that is flashing the turn signal lights once for lock and twice for unlock.

The tap-to-pass flasher module, if simply installed in place of the factory flasher module, without any wiring modifications, would also not be connected in any way to the parking lights.

But the idea that the turn signal lights could stay on continuously when the turn signal stalk is moved to either the left or right turn positions with the ignition Off could provide another "test":

When the turn signal stalk is moved to the right turn position, the green right turn arrow, and the three right side turn signal lights should be on. But given the problem, we would now expect they are not on or they might be on but very(!) dimly. So, try this at night when the car is in a dark area. With the ignition Off, move the turn signal stalk to the right turn position. Look carefully at the location of the arrows in the instrument panel, through the clear turn signal lens at the back corner, at the turn signal lens in the mirror, and through the amber lens at the front. See if there's any sign of a glow in any of the bulbs for the right side. (Edit: Might as well also look at the red lenses at the back to see if the bulbs behind there are glowing at all.) At the same time, tap/slap around the dashboard and especially below and to the left of the steering column where the fuse panel (and flasher module) is located while watching the green right turn arrow area to see if it blinks or comes on. Do the same at the outside light housings at the right front, mirror, and right rear, while watching for a flash of light, or the light coming on steady. If the intermittent lights are due to a bad connection, maybe this would cause it to change, even temporarily, confirming the nature of the problem, albeit not the exact location.
 

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Discussion Starter #27

My daughter found this post which solved the problem with a new BIU. Seems very similar to our problems
 

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My daughter found this post which solved the problem with a new BIU. Seems very similar to our problems
Yes, I recall that thread. However, in that case there was no function at all for the turn signals, hazards, or when the remote for keyless entry was used:
The other day, my turn signals and flashers stopped working, nor do they flash when the car is locked/alarm set via the key-fob.
upon switching the left or right turn signal "on" or turning on the flashers, I heard a very rapid clicking sound from under the steering column. The sound is same as when the turn signals/flashers worked, only 1000X faster.
When your hazards, left turn signals or keyless entry is used, the left side works. Also, based on the videos, when the right turn signal is used, the clicking rate seems to be normal, i.e., the same as when using the left turn signals which do work; not so in the linked thread.

[ The BUI is connected to the flasher module at one point only, which is the same as the hazard switch. The turn signal lights will flash on and off when that terminal is grounded. The hazard switch, when On, grounds that terminal, and the lights flash continuously until the switch is turned Off. In the case of the BIU, when using the keyless entry, the BIU grounds that terminal for just enough time for one flash (lock) or two flashes (unlock). Neither the Hazard switch nor the BIU distinguish between left and right. They ground just that one terminal, and the module then activates (flashes) both the left and right turn signals at the same time. ]

Your 2008's left side does flash normally when the keyless entry or Hazard switch is used. Consequently, although I can't absolutely say the BIU isn't involved, I tend to doubt it at this point. (Incidentally the 2005 had a number of issues related to the BIU, which was new with that model year, incorporating the LAN, keyless entry and security systems among others.)

But the linked thread did remind me about the trailer connector. Whether or not the car has a hitch, there is a trailer connector in the rear cargo area. The right and left turn signal wiring goes to that connector. There is the possibility that the connector is damaged in some way, and the right side wiring has an intermittent short to another circuit, such as ground. That could be preventing the right turn signal lights from flashing clearly all the time. (Is there any evidence of the car being used for towing? Has the trailer connector in the cargo area ever been accessed?)
 

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Discussion Starter #29
No hitch or evidence of a towing set up. Here in damp east coast woods with nibbly mice a plenty, it would not surprise me if one of those wires was compromised. Can they be accessed easily enough to check or be eaten.

I believe 1LTexan may have already asked, but could the hatch wire boot wires have anything to do with this?
 

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Looking through all of the videos, and also examining the FSM pages that @plain OM posted:

1. The switches all operate correctly and initiate the requested action on the exterior signalling.
2. The rate of flashing is correct, i.e. it doesn't speed up to indicate a failed filament.
3. All of the lighting involved on passenger side (front, mirror, rear, and combi meter) have separate grounds, leaving me to believe it's not anything to do with grounding.
4. But all of the lighting involved on the right side exhibits similar symptoms (short or no illumination when one expects illumination).

This makes me expect the one common point where this all ties together, which is the Turn Signal and Hazard Module, or its power feed through fuses MB-28 or FB-34. But that's been replaced, so it might be instead that this unit has a thermal sensor that cuts current out if it thinks there's an overload somewhere in the system affecting the output filament drivers. And note in the first video posted, the flashing for passenger side starts stronger, then gets progressively weaker, suggesting thermal overload.

And where could that overload be? I suppose anywhere in the passenger side, but my suspicion is on Trailer Connector R79.

Anna, look at attached image, and try to find this R79 trailer harness (anyone specifically know where it is - spare tire well, side pockets, ???). If it's been messed with in the past, or there are wires attached, or there's just some gunk or conductive material in it, clean it out.

rear harness.png
 

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Can they be accessed easily enough to check or be eaten.
If the connector has not been removed from it's original factory location, then, no, not easily accessed. (For some humans as well!)

I'll post more detailed location info shortly (if someone else doesn't do it sooner!).

I believe 1LTexan may have already asked, but could the hatch wire boot wires have anything to do with this?
I am constantly on the watch for this possibility -- one of my "favorite" topics when it comes to the 3rd gen Outbacks. Again, like the thread you linked, we have to look at the details. There's no turn signal wiring through the hatch boots, so something like a broken or grounding turn signal wire in or adjacent to the boots, isn't as likely.

That said, Subaru has some unexpected interconnections, such as a blown fuse for the back up lights (which are in the hatch) causing the DRLs, headlights and fog lights to not work. But I haven't yet found anything that suggests that type of interaction with the turn signals. Moreover, your turn signals do work; it's just the right side lights that might not be lighting up with any apparent brightness. As johnre mentioned, some sort overload or drain (short to ground) in the right side turn signal circuit could cause that.
 

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This makes me expect the one common point where this all ties together, which is the Turn Signal and Hazard Module, or its power feed through fuses MB-28 or FB-34. But that's been replaced, so it might be instead that this unit has a thermal sensor that cuts current out if it thinks there's an overload somewhere in the system affecting the output filament drivers. And note in the first video posted, the flashing for passenger side starts stronger, then gets progressively weaker, suggesting thermal overload.
Thanks for the summary. The "overload" idea is one direction that is being considered (e.g., a short to ground).

I'd like to confirm whether or not the Turn Signal & Hazard Module ("flasher module") in the 3rd Gen. maintains the "clicking" sound rate regardless of the load. Do you know?

(Note, the flasher that's in this 2008 LLB is not the Subaru version; it's an aftermarket "tap-to-pass" unit. But the problem was the same with a new replacement flasher that should be the same as the original factory one.)

With the earlier 3 and 4 terminal flasher units (which are basically mechanical thermal switches), if the turn signals on one side use two or three bulbs, and one bulb is burned out, the flasher will run faster than normal. If all the bulbs are burned out (including the "arrow" in the instrument panel), the flasher wouldn't work at all. But I suspect that this newer, 8-terminal module is electronic, and that could generate a constant "click" rate regardless of whether or not all the bulbs are working. (Unless the module is designed to detect the absence of full load current due to blown bulbs, and changes the flashing rate of the remaining ones.) And, in keeping with your idea, if there's an excessive load (opposite of bulbs being burned out), does the flasher module have a failsafe capability such that it limits delivered power but still keeps clicking at the normal rate, as is observed in the videos?
 

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I'll post more detailed location info shortly (if someone else doesn't do it sooner!).
The trailer connector, as it comes from the factory, is well hidden, and somewhat awkward to get to the first time. It's located on the left (driver) side of the rear cargo area behind the left side trim panel, at the bottom, and sometimes tucked up a bit.

Here's a photo of that area with all the side and floor trim removed. The trailer connector is circled in red. Just to the upper left of the connector (10:00 o'clock position), on the side panel is the mounting hole for the hold down loop. (The large black part to the right of the connector is the rear "flow-through" air vent. There's one on each side. The other connector hanging down is R28, which goes to the left rear tail light housing.) [ Note: It's not necessary to remove all the trim, as in this photo, to get to the connector. See below. ]
470531


Here's the left side view of the cargo area, with the floor panel over the spare tire lifted. Note the hold down loop at the left.
470532


The left side gray floor covering can be lifted off -- it's held by the two white clips toward the right side of the photo below. Under the floor covering is a foam panel that's shaped to hold the jack handle and has space for other items. At the left of the photo, there's a round push-pin that holds down that corner of the foam. The pin can be pried out. The back end of the foam piece can then be lifted. There's a lip on the upper left corner of the foam that's under the side trim panel below the hold down loop. The foam has to be pulled out toward the center of the car to allow the lip to clear the trim panel. That should free the rear part of the foam so that it can be lifted a few inches. (The front part of the foam is still fastened down.)
470533


With the rear part of the foam piece lifted up (black part at the top of the photo below), here's the view underneath, looking toward the hold down loop (upper left). That's the 6-pin trailer connector tucked under the side panel.
470534


If your car has never been used for trailering, then it's quite possible the connector is still in the factory location. That's fairly well protected and unless there's a significant leak, or the car was flooded, the connector should be in good condition, as in the photos.

If the connector has been used, it might not be in this same location; instead, it might be pulled out and is lying in the depression in the foam piece. (There's several inches of slack so that it can also be pulled out into the the cargo area for regular use.)
 

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The "overload" idea is one direction that is being considered (e.g., a short to ground).
Mind you, this wouldn't be a full short, as the videos show there is some illumination on the passenger side. It would be an excessive load, one that happens too slowly for electronic shutdown but not thermal shutdown.
I'd like to confirm whether or not the Turn Signal & Hazard Module ("flasher module") in the 3rd Gen. maintains the "clicking" sound rate regardless of the load. Do you know?
Sorry, no.
I suspect that this newer, 8-terminal module is electronic, and that could generate a constant "click" rate regardless of whether or not all the bulbs are working. (Unless the module is designed to detect the absence of full load current due to blown bulbs, and changes the flashing rate of the remaining ones.) And, in keeping with your idea, if there's an excessive load (opposite of bulbs being burned out), does the flasher module have a failsafe capability such that it limits delivered power but still keeps clicking at the normal rate, as is observed in the videos?
I don't know this either, but I suspect that it does - it's how I would design it if it were me. Imagine the ideal scenario where a bulb filament failure temporarily leaves an excessive load because of a broken off short piece of filament bridging the support wires; a limiting circuit would allow the system to fully burn out the broken piece, so it doesn't compromise the remaining lights - and thereby make it easier to service (all the car owner would see is a burned out bulb, and replace it, as opposed to having to debug a non-functioning system.

But we're talking black boxes here, where we don't have schematics or functional descriptions to help us. These are the worst sort of problems to sort out.

Regarding whether or not the clicking stays synchronized with the flashing, it appeared that in the videos, it did. But I don't think that has much to do with the problem at hand here.

And sorry, I didn't see that you had previously brought up the possibility of the trailer harness - I hadn't read through everything. So we'll have to ask @DavidPeab - is part of the life of this vehicle unknown to you, and could someone have messed with the trailer connection?
 

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Discussion Starter #35
There were two previous owners and I asked the second, who I bought the car from, and did not trailer, but bought the car from a dealer in VA when it came from FL. So, it may have been used for towing.

I’m visiting Anna for a few weekends in Oct, but not long enough to start disassembling Onyx and get her back together in time for Anna to have her DD back.
 

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Imagine the ideal scenario where a bulb filament failure temporarily leaves an excessive load because of a broken off short piece of filament bridging the support wires
We've seen similar issues in the larger 1137 dual filament bulbs used in the rear of the 2000-4. Typically blows fuses.

I raised that type of possibility earlier when referring to the front turn signal bulb. It's a dual filament, one for turn signal, the other being the clearance (parking) light filament. If one filament were to bridge to the other, depending on how it's oriented, the load on the flasher could include all the exterior clearance, tail and licence plate lights. Instead of just two incandescent turn signal bulbs on the right side, there's an additional eight bulbs all around the car! Presuming that the electronic flasher would limit current, that could lead to none of the bulbs appearing to work. I suggested looking at the lights in the dark to see if there is any apparent glowing.

@DavidPeab: Is there a web site for the tap-to-pass flasher unit that's in the car? I'm wondering if it would indicate whether or not the clicking rate will change when there's a bulb out (or and excessive load). Also, how hard is it get to the flasher? If I get to a pick-and-pull, I'll see if I can get one to test, but would want to have the right tools with me.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The flasher unit is pretty easy to get to. I was able to change it in a parking lot with just a Phillip’s head to remove the lower dash panel under the steering wheel.

Anna said she couldn’t see any illumination in the dark when the right signal was active. But, when she flipped the stalk up (for the right signals), the left arrow on the dash came on for just a second and faded before to right arrow on the dash faded.

The manual for the tap to pass (may actually be the name of it) is with the Onyx files I left with Anna.

Aaaargh! Why did I leave my baby in Las Vegas? I miss her so much. Kinda miss Anna as well. :) Hopefully Anna can develop some skills, mechanical or flirty that can get this done. I’m bummed I’m not able to tear into this.
 

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Anna said she couldn’t see any illumination in the dark when the right signal was active. But, when she flipped the stalk up (for the right signals), the left arrow on the dash came on for just a second and faded before to right arrow on the dash faded.
That's odd, but could it be the way the tap-to-pass works when activating the one-side always on "parking" lights with the ignition Off (post #21 above)? (I would imagine this function was rarely used, so the two arrows coming on initially might not have been noticed.) Does it also happen with the ignition On, and turning the switch to left, or right turn flashing positions?

The right arrow fading is telling us something, but what . . . ?
The flasher unit is pretty easy to get to. I was able to change it in a parking lot with just a Phillip’s head to remove the lower dash panel under the steering wheel.
Thanks. If I get a chance, I might see if I can find one at a pick-and-pull yard for a bit of reverse engineering.
 

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Following up on the trailer connector, when you had the car, did you ever have a need to look in the left rear corner of the cargo area, or in the spare tire well? Often, when the car is being used to tow, the 6-pin connector is kept out from under the side panel so that it's easily accessible. Subaru uses a cable with an adapter box to connect to trailers; one end attaches to the car's 6-pin trailer connector, and the other end goes out of the car to the trailer. When not in use, the 6-pin connector, and the adapter cable, can be stored under the left side gray floor panel or in the spare tire well. I wonder that area could be checked to see if the 6-pin connector is out. Photos of the connector could be used to help examine its condition and the condition of the wires going to it.
 
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