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'96 Outback EJ22E/5MT
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Discussion Starter #1
Since I've had the car (6 months), the trunk light in my '96 OBW has had to remain switched off because it doesn't turn off automatically when in 'Door' mode.
Also, the 'Door open' light in my instrument cluster is illuminated constantly.
I've looked at the two black switches in the tailgate recess (one either side, quite low down) and they are springing back and forth freely.

What could the problem be?
Could a switch be stuck closed somewhere else?
 

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I presume that you can turn the cargo area light off by setting the switch at the light to the off position.

If both the cargo area light and the door open warning remain on when the door is closed, and the switch at the cargo area light is set to have the light come on only when the rear hatch is open, then it's possible either the door switch (part of the latch at the center bottom of the hatch) is broken (permanently in the "on" or closed position), or the wire to it is grounded at some point.
 

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'96 Outback EJ22E/5MT
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Discussion Starter #3
I presume that you can turn the cargo area light off by setting the switch at the light to the off position.
Yes, and I currently have it switched off all the time so as not to drain the battery.

plain OM said:
If both the cargo area light and the door open warning remain on when the door is closed, and the switch at the cargo area light is set to have the light come on only when the rear hatch is open, then it's possible either the door switch (part of the latch at the center bottom of the hatch) is broken (permanently in the "on" or closed position), or the wire to it is grounded at some point.
I'll check that out, though I couldn't see a switch there last time I looked.
 

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Attached is a diagram of the wiring in the rear gate (hatch) for 1995. Your 96 should be similar if not the same.

|Connector D46, which has two pins, connects to the rear gate door switch that turns on/off the dome light and the door open warning light. D46 should be at the rear gate latch mechanism inside the tail gate. There's another connector, D47, which appears to be a 4 pin connector, also connected to the mechanism.

Were you able to find the rear gate latch mechanism? (Have to remove the interior trim of the rear gate.) It's at the bottom center of the rear gate, inside. You won't actually find a switch on it, at least one that can be recognized as such. But there should be two connectors on the mechanism.

The door switch isn't a traditional switch. Instead, it's a set of contacts that are fastened to latch mechanism parts inside, so that when the latch is open (door open) the contacts are together, and when the latch is closed (door closed), they're open.

The initial objective should be to first find connector D46, and disconnect it from the latch mechanism. If the dome light and instrument panel light go out, the problem is in the latch mechanism. As far as I know it's not a repairable item and has to be replaced as a unit. But I guess there would no loss if the latch were removed and disassembled to see if it can be fixed. In either case it has to come out.

If the lights do not go off when connector D46 is removed, then there's a short in the wiring. It could be in the flexible boot between the rear gate and the main body (where the wires pass through), or elsewhere.
 

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Thanks. This thread was helpful.

I added a dome light in the trunk area of my new Crosstrek. It came on and wouldn't go off. I had shorted a wire while putting the headliner back in place. Thanks for the info.
 
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