Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

My tail lights, marker lights, and license plate lights are not working. Brake lights, signals, headlights, hazards all work fine. I've replaced both the fuses and that hasn't fixed the problem. Diagram shows a Tail and Illumination relay and I thought it might be that but the illumination on the dash works fine. Parking light turns on all of these lights so it's not a bulb. Any suggestions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,379 Posts
Check the bulbs/sockets. After that, I'd suspect a broken wire in the harness, where it passes from the body of the car/lift gate.

You should fill out a signature, so we know what year your car is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,285 Posts
Parking light turns on all of these lights so it's not a bulb.
If the parking light switch (on top of the steering column) turns on all the exterior clearance and tail lights, then most of the wiring is apparently okay. The Parking Light switch, and the regular light switch, generally use the same wires to send power to the bulbs.

Model/year would indeed be helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,285 Posts
Thanks.

If the dash lights (instrument panel, radio and heater controls etc) turn on when the headlight switch is turned On, but the clearance and tail lights do not, that leaves the Parking Switch (on top of the steering column).

There have been cases where the switch contacts have become corroded and don't conduct. When the Parking Switch is turned on (separate from the headlight switch) a different set of contacts is used, and the external clearance and tail lights work. But when the Parking Switch is in the Off position, the external clearance and tail lights don't work.

In the following section of the wiring diagram, when the Parking Switch (upper left) is in the OFF position, power comes from FB-2, fuse 7, to "B" on the switch, but goes no further. At the same time, the Tail & Illumination Relay provides 12 V to "T" of the Switch, when the main ignition switch (key) is in the ON (IGN) position.

"P" of the Switch goes to FB-3, which connects to the tail, clearance and license plate lights circuit.

When the Switch is in the ON position, the exterior lights work, so that confirms all the wiring from "P" onwards through FB-3.

Furthermore, as was noted, the dash lights do work when the headlight switch is turned on. The dash lights are supplied by the relay. In the diagram, only some lights are shown, powered from FB-26, fuse 12.

So if the dash lights work, the relay is working.

That leaves the Parking Switch, or wiring specific to it, as a probably cause.



Have to check continuity through the Switch. I'd start by pulling fuse #5 and fuse #12, and with the ignition Off and the Parking Switch at Off, check for continuity. If the switch is good, there should be continuity between one side of fuse #5 and one side of fuse 12. (There's four possible combinations of test connections, but that shouldn't take much time.)

Alternatively, it might be necessary to remove the covers from the steering column to get to connector B69 (4 pins) that connects to the Switch.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
2002 - your wiring running from the rear head liner to the rear hatch can break over time due to the opening and closing of the hatch. Very common issue easily fixed if you know how to do a little soldering and replacement of old broken wires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,285 Posts
2002 - your wiring running from the rear head liner to the rear hatch can break over time due to the opening and closing of the hatch. Very common issue easily fixed if you know how to do a little soldering and replacement of old broken wires.
The OP said that all the lights work if the Parking light switch (the one on the steering column) is used to turn the clearance and tail lights on, rather than the headlight (stalk) switch. That suggests the wiring to the lights is good. Moreover, unless a broken wire going to the rear hatch is shorted to ground, the broken wire would affect only the lights on the hatch, not the other clearance and tail lights. And if it were shorted to ground, it would blow the fuse (#5), so the lights would not work regardless of which switch is used.

I don't disagree with the idea that wires going to the rear hatch can be broken, but in this case, the combined symptoms don't seem to apply, unless the description of the problem is incorrect.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Plain OM, I am looking for a replacement parking light switch. I've checked autozone.com and rockauto.com. Neither have a replacement part of that name. Would it be listed under a different name?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,836 Posts
The OP said that all the lights work if the Parking light switch (the one on the steering column) is used to turn the clearance and tail lights on, rather than the headlight (stalk) switch. That suggests the wiring to the lights is good. Moreover, unless a broken wire going to the rear hatch is shorted to ground, the broken wire would affect only the lights on the hatch, not the other clearance and tail lights. And if it were shorted to ground, it would blow the fuse (#5), so the lights would not work regardless of which switch is used.

I don't disagree with the idea that wires going to the rear hatch can be broken, but in this case, the combined symptoms don't seem to apply, unless the description of the problem is incorrect.
No doubt but shorted wires do all kinds of goofy stuff down stream. Still should be eliminated from the check list.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,285 Posts
Plain OM, I am looking for a replacement parking light switch. I've checked autozone.com and rockauto.com. Neither have a replacement part of that name. Would it be listed under a different name?
Have you verified that the switch itself is bad?

Probably dealer only for a new one, but perhaps consider a used one from recycling yard. (I haven't worked on one of these switches, and wonder if it can be opened to clean/refurbish the contacts, if that's the problem.)

See this page for a typical diagram and part numbers: http://opposedforces.com/parts/legacy/us_b12/type_21/electronic/switch_combination/illustration_1/

If the switch isn't yet confirmed as the problem, might as well consider checking the wires going to the rear hatch as well -- lift the flexible covers and examine the wires inside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I haven't been able to test the switch. If it was cheap enough I was going to just switch it out. Anyway, new development. After running the all those lights by flipping the parking light switch as a temporary fix now they don't turn on even with the parking light switch. It seems as if I read this in another forum but didn't see a resolution to it there....

Will update when fixed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
For anyone who has been having a similar problem I am posting my resolution. I finally was able to take apart the steering wheel yesterday and get to the parking light switch. I found that the orange wire in that switch had broken off at the soldering. I decided that the parking light switch was not essential so I used a dolphin clip to connect the orange wire to the brown wire. I used another dolphin clip to cap off the white wire. This fixed the problem. Lights are working fine now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
I have had the same issue with my 05' outback. There were contacts on the switch where the wires are soldered to that came apart. You need to pull the steering column off to get to it. They can either be soldered or I am myself looking to bypass the switch. Plain OM do you have a wire diagram of the plug that attaches to the switch unit that differentiates which wires are which so I can totally have the system bypass that switch?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Benderitaliano, there is an aftermkt sub I dealer in Boulder Co that sold me a used switch for $10. Not sure if they mail parts but it's worth a try. It's called super Rupair. 303-442-6508. It's worth a try. It's seems there are lots of issues w the parking switch. I'm looking for a wiring diagram after the switch and after the fuse, so basically from the final fuse to the actual rear lights. If anyone has this can us post please?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
98 Legacy no tail lights

I have replaces the hole wire harness behind the steering wheel because me parking light switch was broke and i got that all on and all the wires back together and still no tail lights. I also have checked all the fuses and also all of the bulbs help im stuck i want my Subaru back lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,285 Posts
Welcome.

To start . . .

How long have you had the car, and how long have you had this problem?

Only the tail lights don't work, or all the exterior tail and clearance lights?

Which fuses did you check, and how did you check them?

There's two ways to turn on the tail and clearance lights -- the parking light switch on top of the steering column, or the headlight switch when the key is at the ON position. Do both not work?

When the key is at ON, and the headlight switch is used to turn on the tail and clearance lights, does the interior, dashboard controls lighting come on?

Is the parking light switch on the steering column connected? Did you test or replace it? If tested, how?

I've attached a wiring diagram that should apply to your 98.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
This sounds like a similar issue I am having with my outback 2008. How do I know which wire in the rubber boot belongs to the license plate light? Also my reverse lights are out. Dash lights, brake lights, headlights, blinkers, rear wiper, heater, all work.
 

Attachments

1 - 18 of 18 Posts
About this Discussion
17 Replies
7 Participants
alohaaaron
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top