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Subaru B9 Electrical/Lighting Problems

PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,807
Work out any B9 electrical gremlins here.


Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles



  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    Hello All,

    Anyone have experience with or more information about the 3M Protective film to apply to the front bumper, leading edge of hood, and headlights? My right front fog light has a hairline crack on it- doesn't allow moisture through- but would like to prevent further damage to other parts of my B9... I've always thought that it fades at a different rate, and with my white paint, I wouldn't want the clear film to get "yellowish" over time.

    I do believe the plastic used for the lens of the fog light is very succeptable to crack- I am amazed that it did crack- never in any of my previous cars has this happened, and I do understand that things like this do happen; with less than 2K miles, unlikely, but still possible.
  • Hey cross post this to the B9 Problems forum as well. I think you are now #3 in the cracked fog light club :sick:

    I do think they make a goof on the design there. the material they used for the lens is way too thin. :surprise:
  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    The new name brand films (3M) don't yellow from what I've been told. I put 3M film (from on my OB XT hood, and have been happy with it.

    The film used to protect lights is thicker than the paint protection film, and usually a lot easier to install just because of the smaller sizes and simpler shapes.

    I only did the hood because painted metal parts chip most easily. I rarely get chip damage in the painted plastic parts like the bumper, so I left that alone.

    I did get a crack in the fog light of my previous Outback, but it never let water in so I left it alone. Anything that low is prone to damage.

  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    Brian- Craig,

    Thanks for the response, I just need to find a local professional who can give me an estimate and do the work- I am going on a road trip for Thanksgiving hence the interest in the 3M film. My Acura seemed to very easily get chips and dings, while the Audi and once owned Volvo 850 seemed to resist everything thrown at it. Thanks again,

  • c_hunterc_hunter Posts: 4,487
    Almost any newer car will have chipping problems because of the environmentally friendly way they apply paint now. Older cars of any make were much more chip-resistant.

  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    Generally speaking, yes- old paint was more durable- but the multi layer painting and baking process should protect cars just as well- my main problem lies in the fact the lens for the fog light has a crack in it- without any damage to the surrounding area. Typically plastic used for headlights and turn signals have high impact resistance- apparently not so for the fog light.

    Something I thought last night as I was driving: the Subaru emblem on the steering wheel- given how nicely the cabin is lit with lighting, why not put a small back light for that? Second, the power ON button for the stereo- the button is lit by a surrounding ring of red light, why not light the button as well? The RX330 has back lights for the scuff plate on the door sill when you open the door- that would also be a nice additional touch, to have the Subaru name lit up.

    Thanks for all the responses.

  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,599
    old paint was more durable- but the multi layer painting and baking process should protect cars just as well

    Paint today is about as thick as 3 sheets of newsprint - it doesn't take rocks very well.

    Typically plastic used for headlights and turn signals have high impact resistance- apparently not so for the fog light.

    Fog and driving lights seem to be glass - perhaps due to heat issues?

    the Subaru emblem on the steering wheel- given how nicely the cabin is lit with lighting, why not put a small back light for that?

    I think an airbag having to rip through a lighting circuit in order to deploy might preclude that.
  • "Typically plastic used for headlights and turn signals have high impact resistance- apparently not so for the fog light.

    Fog and driving lights seem to be glass - perhaps due to heat issues? "

    Yeah but Subaru used a cheap thin plastic for the fog light lens :surprise:
  • Regarding the Subaru emblem; the emblem depicts the constellation Pleaides, also known as The Seven Sisters, yet there are only six stars in the emblem.

    I believe Subaru means "Pleaides" in Japanese.

    Please excuse me if this has been discussed before.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,110
    I believe Subaru means "Pleaides" in Japanese.

    That is correct! It's also the name of their humongous astronomical telescope which is powerful enough to spot a B9 all the way across the Pacific.

    tidester, host
  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    Different cars different paint- Lexus and Volvo that I know use an 8 layer paint process, a Dodge Neon may have paint that is 3 sheets of newspaper thick.

    Almost every car from the Chevy Aveo to the Maybach(sp) use plastic/ composite headlight lenses- they are lighter than glass, and are cheaper to produce. Intake manifolds and plenums for some GM engines are made from plastic/ composite material- heat shouldn't be an issue. The fog light on my B9 is plastic and it has a hairline crack in it.

    When an airbag "rips" through the steering wheel, the cover rips at prescored areas in the plastic and stay attached to the top and bottom half of the steering wheel- having a low voltage wire supplying light to an emblem shouldn't be hard- if anything this was a cost issue, or something designers didn't think was appealing enough to warrant the cost.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    vger105 - There's a multi-layered meaning behind the name "Subaru".
    I believe the history goes something like this: After WWII, Nakajima Aircraft company is divided into 11 or 12 smaller bits. Six of them combine in the early fifties to form Fuji Heavy Industries, matching the six visible stars of the Pleiades. (Perhaps 7 stars were visible from Greece when the Greeks named it Pleiades?) FHI's first passenger car is the "P-1", but the president of FHI insists on giving it a Japanese name - "Subaru". Along with being the name for that constellation, Subaru also happens to mean "unite" in Japanese.
    The traditional Japanese name for the constellation is Mutsuraboshi, which means "six stars", and was romanticized in ancient texts.
    So Subaru is the name of the constellation, and means "unite" and "six stars".

    You had ordered a Seacrest Green B9 Tribeca, right? Has it arrived? If so, how are you liking it so far?
  • Lighting the steering wheel logo would be an annoyance and just add more glare for the drive. In very dark situations it could be a dangerous distraction. Cars should be fun to drive and aesthetics are important, but if SOA was to add features and cost I would be much happier if it were the suspension or better power and not creating a an AWD Christmas tree. Nothing should be illuminated in a car unless it helps add to the safe operation the vehicle.
  • Thanks very much for the enlightment; I never knew the complete origin of the name of the constellation.
    My perspective is that of an amateur astronomer, and the number of stars visible in the Pleiades varies from person to person, and from observing site to observing site. My wife can see nine stars while I generally see six.
    For those who are interested: The Pleiades is visible now, high in the sky, near Mars (a bright, yellowish "star" that doesn't twinkle). Face south, look up, and you can't miss either one.

    Tonight we picked up our Seacrest Green five passenger Limited, and we are just wild over it! It is so well made, comfortable, quiet, loaded with thoughtful touches, and confidence inspiring. It makes me smile everytime those puddle lights come on and the speedo and tach needles swing over upon start-up.
  • raybearraybear Posts: 1,776
    "SUBARU" is a Japanese word meaning "unite", as well as a term identifying a cluster of six stars, which the Greeks called the Pleiades - part of the Taurus constellation.
  • jeffmcjeffmc Posts: 1,742
    vger105 - I'm near Seattle, so stargazing's pretty much out of the question for the next, oh, six months or so. :)

    If you're new to Subaru, welcome to the club! As you drive it over time, you may feel the vehicle develops a personality. Hope it becomes a trusted companion for you and yours through the years. I've been itching to test drive a B9 Tribeca - gotta do it soon. It'll be at the top of my short list for purchase in a couple years.
  • harvptharvpt Posts: 40
    I also heard that the emblem depicts the configeration of the bolts on the transmission.
  • aka1aka1 Posts: 110
    I was reading up on the Olds Rainier board- a friend has one- and it was kind of sad to hear some of the things these owners go through to have a decent car that can be relied on. One owner was talking about a problem with his headlights, how they flicker constantly from dark to bright (not high beams) just weak lights- and has problems with interior lights doing the same for the radio display. After getting the run around from the dealer: there are so many components requiring electricity on this vehicle more than other cars, so its operating normally. Numerous owners that have problems with their AWD in the snow, vehicle still fishtails at turns bc the torque split is biased toward the rear (is is just me or has the whole purpose of AWD just been flushed down the toilet?)

    It just struck me as odd, somehow, I feel bad for that person. Myself, I quietly thank God every time I look at other vehicle owners complaining...

    By the way, called the 800 number provided by ateixeria (thanks!) to list the cracked fog light lens. They suggest at least contacting the service dept. they may just replace it for free (considering there is no "chip" on the lens, just a slight crack running through).
  • I called also & was told the same thing.

    My cracked lense has no dimple. It is just a crack radiating out from the center with a shorter crack just below the longer one. There is no chipping of any kind on the front bumper at all. It seems to be a very long shot that only one stone struck the lens - cracked it & left no dimple.
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good, if anyone else complains let's keep reminding them, and eventually SoA will issue a TSB for this type of thing if a they detect a pattern, so future ones are fixed "no questions asked".

    Rainier is a fancy TrailBlazer. I recall a CR Auto Issue where the black line for below average reliability for that model went off the page. Too bad he didn't see that.

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