Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Subaru Forester Electrical/Lighting Issues



  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Have you ever lived anywhere but FLA? I think you are not used to the weather up here as it appears your car is working fine.

    There is a setting that splits the heat between the dash vents and the floor, that should warm the whole car up.

  • The rear wiper on our 97 Forester quit working a few days ago. I was going to replace the motor when the windshield wipers quit working last night. Driving home in the sleet and freezing rain was real fun with no wipers. Since both wipers (front and rear) quit working within two days of each other I doubt it is the motors. I checked the fuse and it is good. I'm guessing the problem is the switch that controls both on the steering column. Has anyone experienced this problem and is it a repair you can do yourself or should I be taking it to a dealer so I don't set off the air bag?
  • jpod2jpod2 Posts: 3
    I have a 2001 Forester S. I'm trying to add an additional keyless remote. After following the steps from the owners manual (shown below), the horn never sounds to indicate entry into programming mode. Is the procedure below correct? Has anyone else had problems getting into programming mode?

    Programming the transmitters
    The keyless entry system is equipped with a special code learning feature that allows you to program new transmitter codes into the system or to delete old ones. The system can learn up to four unique transmitter codes. The four transmitter codes may be the same or different.

    To enter the programming mode:
    1. Press to disarm the security system (if so equipped).
    2. Open the driver’s door and sit in the driver’s seat.
    3. Close the driver’s door.
    4. Place the ignition key into the ignition switch and cycle the switch from LOCK to ON ten times within 15 seconds. Be sure to stop at the LOCK position and leave the key in the ignition. The horn will sound once to indicate that you are in the transmitter programming mode.
  • I have a 98 Forester and I noticed the other day when I step on the brake pedal, and the key is turned off, all of the electrical accessories have power to them. (i.e. if the key is off and the rado is in the on position, when the brake pedal is pressed, the radio turns on, the same for wipers, dash lights, etc) There doesn't seem to be any other problem and nothing seems out of normal when the car is on and running. Some folks I've talked to seem to think its some type of built in accessory but that doesn't quite seem right as I never noticed it before and it seems a little useless. As far as I can tell I don't have any fusses out so any help or ideas anyone can give is appreaciated.

  • I’ve had some strange electrical problems with my 2004 Subaru Forester STX starting about 2 years ago… maybe longer if I think about it.

    The first issue that I can remember was the passenger side fog lamp went out at about 35K miles. I replaced it. Then I noticed that the passenger side head lamp (not the day time light) was spotty. It would go in and out and you could wiggle it as if there was a short. This issue remains.

    Slowly the lights on the instrument panel are going out. First, the wiper fluid indicator light went out, then the light on the cruse control button (which is to the left and below the steering wheel). A couple of months later I noticed that the button light for the fog lamps was also out… but I know this didn’t happen at the same time as the cruise button. Most recently the lamp on the dash clock went out. At first we could knock on the dash to get it to light up, but that only worked for a week or two.

    Now just the other day check engine light came on with the cruise indicator blinking. I’ve seen this in the past and was able to remedy the situation by making sure the fuses were all seated firmly. That doesn’t seem to help this time.

    I had a similar problem with another car and it turned out to be a lighting harness. By no means am I a car expert or even a knowledgeable enthusiast, but I’d like to be able to take it to a mechanic with some direction rather than allowing them to diddle around for 4 or 5 hours to diagnose the problem. Any suggestions??
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Not sure why the bulbs are going out.

    However your CEL + Blinking Cruise is a result of a CEL. The code can be pulled with an OBDII Scanner.

    Motorsports and Modifications Host
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Sounds like there's a wire touching somewhere (ignition?). If there's no other symptom and otherwise everything works fine... I suppose you could just ignore it :)

  • I am working on getting my hands on an OBDII reader, but things are going down hill quickly now.

    Friday night I took a 45 mile trip, about 20 miles into it I started hearing a whining sound when I pressed on the accelerator. Soon after that, my ability to accelerate with severely diminished however I was able to maintain speed without a problem. The whining kicked in and out, and there seemed to be sputtering/kick-back going on as well.

    I thought maybe we had a bad gas mix or something, but the problem remained intermittent even after I filled my tank. I suspect most of these minor issues are coming to a head right now because of the cold temperatures (-1 that evening). The long and short of it is that I'm going to get the codes so I can be somewhat knowledgeable when I take it to the dealership… unless someone knows of a reputable repair company in Des Moines, Iowa.
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    That's the last time I let those thieving swines change a bulb in my car.

    LOL :)
  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    Was washing my 04 Forester the other day and noticed that the plastic covers for the headlights were starting to yellow. Is there anything I can do for that (other than replacing them). And if I were to decide to replace them, how difficult/expensive a proposition would that be?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    If it's on the outside, you can use certain polishes if they seem dull.

    If it's on the inside, you can clean them, but the bigger challenge would be to find out where the seal is bad and correct that, else it will just get dirty again.

    Our old Mitsubishi Lancer had a brown headlight like was a pain. I did clean up nicely but it would go brown again a few months down the road.
  • The same thing is happening on my 2004 Forester. A constant high pitched beep under the hood. Did you ever fix it? Thanks
  • jbur1jbur1 Posts: 14
    I have a 2003 Forester and have also heard a high frequency tone at times after parking the vehicle in the garage where it is quiet and turning the ignition off after driving in very cold temperatures (<20 degrees F). It goes away after a short while. My quess is that it is coming from an electronic component located somewhere under the hood.
  • Thanks, guys! Never fixed it - noise appears to be outside temp related, cuz it disappeared once it warmed up, came again went it got cold again (we live near the Twin Cities in Wisconsin), and has disappeared again now that it is 10 degrees and warmer. Noise appeared to be crom back of the firewall, near the radio location. I checked on the websites for some of the major repair services, and found no service bulletins for this problem. Once I can keep the car home for awhile (daughter uses it at college) I will try and dig into it, assuming I can get the noise back again. Since it is a steady noise with the key off, we know it has to be in the circuits that are "hot" (battery voltage) all the time. Good luck - great format here!! Thanks
  • Has anyone had any luck figuring this out by any chance? I noticed my 2005 Impreza wagon doing it last night after I returned home from my evening commute. It's cold and snowy out, but the car would have been warm by the time I got home. I tried restarting the car and seemed like it was making the noise while it was running too. After leaving it for a bit I came back, restarted the engine and turned on all the lights to see if anything was burnt out (because someone mentioned their noise started after they replace a bulb). Oddly when I turned the car off this time the noise stopped as well.

    I talked to two dealers and neither one had heard of this before. My dealer said they'd need to hear the noise before they could escalate it, so to speak, up the Subaru chain, but of course I can't reproduce it.
  • jhnsn4jhnsn4 Posts: 5
    Thanks, guys. Never found the problem - never has returned... When the weather warms up more here in northern Wisconsin I will try to investigate more. It has to be coming from a circuit that has 12 volts to it, with the engine off. I don't have the service manuals to the vehicle, and took a quick peek on AllData website, but nothing jumped out at me as far as the cause of this prob. My noise was coming from the back of the engine, near the firewall, almost appeared to be radio area, but not sure. Keep ya's posted if I learn anything!!
  • xtopxtop Posts: 29
    Hello all: I am going to install a battery isolator to charge the battery in our small travel trailer through the 7-pin electrical connector at the back. I have the isolator, 8-gauge cable, and circuit breaker in hand. Has anyone done this? I am looking at the extremely tight quarters under the hood and thinking it might go in the space behind the driver-side (LH) headlight bucket. There seems to be a spot there where the isolator might fit. It's about the size of half a building brick. How do I get the headlight bucket out? It has a mounting screw showing but I KNOW there's more to it than that. Any valid suggestions at all are welcome indeed.
  • OK the assembly comes off in a minute, but the connector is inside the frame. A gentle tug doesn't get it to slither out. How do you access the bugger?
  • rosado1rosado1 Posts: 3
    Has anyone had problems w/ their door locks after washing their Forester in a car wash? Right after washing it my locks started acting up, i.e. locking and unlocking uncontrollably for a few minutes. I could also hear a clicking sound even when the locks were in the lock position as if there was an electrical short or something. After a time driving for a few minutes it stopped and has not happened again. any ideas? Thanks for your feedback.
  • kurtamaxxxguykurtamaxxxguy Posts: 1,798
    1. do it yourself spray wash, or automatic wash ?
    2. was engine bay washed ?

    The '09 Forester I drive had no door lock issues after its first "typical" (conveyer belt, spray wash, revolving brushes, high intensity blowers ) car wash.
    Didn't leak, either :shades:
  • suzylvsuzylv Posts: 1
    ambient temp not reading correctly. where is the sensor located and can i replace it myself?
  • redrideredride Posts: 3
    The heated seats in my 2000 Forester stopped working. The fuse seems to be ok. The other "weather package" items are working - e.g. heated sideview mirrors and heated windshield. Is there a relay switch just for the seats? Can't find any literature or discussion.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    I would replace the fues, even though it "looks" good it could be bad.

  • redrideredride Posts: 3
    Will do and let you know what happens. Thanks.

  • p0926p0926 Posts: 4,423
    If both seat heaters stopped working at the same time then I agree that a blown fuse is the likely culprit.

  • subachansubachan Posts: 3
    Our 99 Forester took me uneventfully on an errand this morning, and when I came home I may have left the parking lights on but it shouldn't matter since they are set to turn off when the car is off.
    Later in the evening I tried to go somewhere again but it wouldn't start. All dash lights seem strong and normal, I can hear the fuel pump start, but absolutely nothing happens when I turn the key. No dead battery "ka-ka-ka" sound, nothing. I put a voltmeter across the battery and it seems fine. All the fuses are fine. Do you know what might be going on? What kinds of devices are there that prevent the car from starting unless ___ is engaged/disengaged, etc? Could the starter relay be suddenly kaput?
    Thank you!
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Auto or manual transmission? Do you have your foot on the brake?

    Also make sure the parking lamp isn't on, it's the switch on the top of the steering column.
  • dryflydryfly Posts: 8
    This is for 2001 Forester, 94,000 miles
    2 electrical questions: Recently left turn signal flashed extremely quickly. Continued to do so after I pushed turn indicator to right then left. This 'effect' went away after a couple of days. What gives? Next, my cell phone charger for car won't charge anymore. Same charger works in other cars. (this one plugs into lighter receptacle). Fuses or the receptacle?
    Off and on for past 2 months, my check engine light goes on then off. Sometimes if
    I vent the gas door it goes away after a couple of days. Many times, if it is hot (anything over 65 F in Oregon), it will go on. Sensor bad? And how to check? Could it be related to E10 requirement in Oregon?
    Service people want to do 90,000 mile maintenance. Because I had new clutch plate done, all belts are replaced. Now want to do rest. But $150 for replacing
    spark plugs? And over $600 for the rest?
    Had oil change done today. Forgot to ask about checking the warning light. Now service guy says it will cost $68 just to check the output. Am I getting screwed?
    Finally, he says that my CV seals are cracked and need to be replaced right away. For $400?
  • subachansubachan Posts: 3
    Manual, and the park lamp is not set to stay on, but the problem has been solved! It was simply a loose wire to the starter motor. Thanks for your help.
Sign In or Register to comment.