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The usual "Lights dim when I hit the brake" thread...Insight needed

24321 Views 23 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Slottech03
I just read some threads on this forum from back in '04, it seems the dimming lights problem was normal on these cars even when new.

Since then:

Has anyone ever fixed this issue? Are there members here that don't have their headlights dim when they hit the brake pedal? Every bulb, interior and exterior, on my '01 dims when I hit the brakes, or even use my turn signals.

My OB has a brand new battery, and the alternator was replaced about a year ago. Clean terminals, all of the grounds I've seen look fine and have been unbolted/reattached.

If there is an alternator available that is higher output, or has a better voltage regulator that will solve this problem, I am all ears.

Back in '04 a Canadian member found that all of the new Legacy/Outback models on his dealer's lot exhibited this same problem. I am hoping that since then, a better alternator or a homebrew fix has been developed to remedy this. When tapping the gas pedal, all of the lights brighten, so it is obviously an issue with the charging system being inadequate at idle by design.

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The dimming effect you have observed is ordinary and common to quite a few Subarus...

If it bothers you to the point where you want to do something about it, I might suggest converting to LED brake lights- the reduced current draw will make for less of a voltage drop.

I haven't seen an aftermarket voltage regulator.

For later models, you could consider using freeSSM to artificially raise the idle.
Are LED brake lights just a bulb replacement solution? Has anybody on this board actually done this with a result that solves the problem?

Is the dimming also related to the ABS, Battery dash lights coming on intermittently?
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