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Old 04-14-2011, 06:13 PM   #1
patricksmith04
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Default 2011 WRX Blinker Issue: Fix

As many who have gotten the 2011 Subaru WRX, you've probably experienced the dreaded "fast blinker" on the front right headlamp. There has been a lot of speculation on what it could be, from: bad bulb, loose bulb, bad wiring harness, short wires, pinched wires, etc.

I've searched high and low on the Internet for a fix. Is it a major issue? No. Annoying for a new car? Yes. I could take it to a dealer since it's new and under warranty still. But when I asked my local dealer about it, they seemed clueless.

So before heading to another dealer further away, I thought I'd inspect it myself. I did have another member send me what they did, but when I tore out my air box, my car was nowhere close to what he described (which seems really, really odd).

Anyways, here is what I did. It's currently fixed, and has lasted all day. If it comes back, I'll go to a dealer. But it took me all of 10 minutes with limited tools and seems like it could help, which I've found, was pinched wires and tension.
---
Tools Needed: Flathead screw driver, socket wrench, long extension, 10mm socket

Step 1: Remove air box scoop. Really easy, just untwist the two plastic screws and pop them out. While you're at it, remove the wired connection from the air box and also untighten the hose clamp on the air hose.

Step 2: Using long extension, unscrew on of two bolts holding down the air box


(Here is a picture of what you need to unscrew)

Step 3: Pull off the rear of the air box and filter (Just use a strong pull, as it's a tight fit).

Step 4: Once all you have is the front of the air box, look inside, and again with the extension, take last nut off from the inside. Then pull out rest of the box.

Step 5:
This is what you should see after you detach the blinker bulb from the back of the headlight. I've made the wire read so you can see it clearer. My wire was obviously pinched and didn't have enough slack (where the wire goes through the metal opening)

Step 6:
Run hand with the wire and unclip/unhold (not really clipped, just holding) it from the plastic clips on the headlight.

Step 7:
You should have a lot more slack and see that where the wires were pinched, it's not so much anymore.

Step 8: Put back in air box and check blinker.

---

Conclusion, the correct fix would be to re-run the wire without it going through that opening, but it's impossible to pass the blinker bulb housing through the metal opening where the wire runs. I hope this quick fix lasts.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-14-2011, 06:18 PM   #2
O.C.D.
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Sweet, pics always make it easier. I am sure when mine has this issue (which I bet it will) I will refer to your post.

Thanks!!!!
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Old 04-14-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
mrkyle3
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I have described how to fix it multiple times on here and this is EXACTLY how I fixed it. Great pictures! The way the wire was routed through those clips put too much tension in the wire so I just unhooked it from the clips and that loosened it right up.

I can vouch for it working, I fixed it about 600 miles ago and it's still working great

By the way, a suggestion when doing this is to put your hazards on. That way you can constantly see how your turn signal is working as you are working on it. When I loosened the slack it didn't fix it at first, I also had to physically push the wires back into the bulb harness and then the bulb lit right back up to normal brightness
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:40 AM   #4
walkercart
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this problem arose on my sti after 200miles. i was dumbfounded until i was able to get to a computer and do a search. Once i understood the culprit was a tight wire, it was an easy fix. Unlike most folks i did not move the entire airbox. All i did was loosen the front nut to the airbox. My hands were small enough to squeeze through to unplug the turn signal. I gave it a few tugs to get some slack. BOOM no more turn signal problems 1000miles later.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:00 AM   #5
2011WRXOBP
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Thumbs up

Good job bro, I didn't know it was such a common problem, but yeah I took mine to the dealer...took them over an hour, well done.
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Old 04-15-2011, 01:02 AM   #6
snkp360
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I had the same thing roughly 1 week after buying my brand new 2011 WRX.

Just took my car into my local dealer to fix and it hasn't happened again. They told me it was a burned out bulb, but I am not sure how much I believe as I couldn't see any burned out....

I was more annoyed than anything else that my brand spanking new car was doing this, I could care less about a burned out bulb lol
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Old 04-15-2011, 08:25 AM   #7
mrkyle3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snkp360 View Post
I had the same thing roughly 1 week after buying my brand new 2011 WRX.

Just took my car into my local dealer to fix and it hasn't happened again. They told me it was a burned out bulb, but I am not sure how much I believe as I couldn't see any burned out....

I was more annoyed than anything else that my brand spanking new car was doing this, I could care less about a burned out bulb lol
It probably wasn't a burned out bulb. They probably just figured they'd try replacing the bulb and in the process of replacing it they made a better connection to the bulb so it ended up working.

Unless they changed the wiring there is a possibility that it could come back but it's nothing to worry about because if it does now you know how to fix it
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Old 04-15-2011, 10:20 AM   #8
patricksmith04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkyle3 View Post
I have described how to fix it multiple times on here and this is EXACTLY how I fixed it. Great pictures! The way the wire was routed through those clips put too much tension in the wire so I just unhooked it from the clips and that loosened it right up.

I can vouch for it working, I fixed it about 600 miles ago and it's still working great

By the way, a suggestion when doing this is to put your hazards on. That way you can constantly see how your turn signal is working as you are working on it. When I loosened the slack it didn't fix it at first, I also had to physically push the wires back into the bulb harness and then the bulb lit right back up to normal brightness
Thanks for your PM. It helped, but as I described, my wires weren't held by any metal clips, just plastic clips you could easily see.

Nonetheless, glad you could help me out! Thanks again.
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Old 04-15-2011, 11:24 AM   #9
mrkyle3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patricksmith04 View Post
Thanks for your PM. It helped, but as I described, my wires weren't held by any metal clips, just plastic clips you could easily see.

Nonetheless, glad you could help me out! Thanks again.
I was wearing gloves so it could be I mistook the plastic clips as being metal (I did all of it based on feel), sorry if my mistake confused you but I'm glad to see you got it all worked out
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:45 PM   #10
hieu1004
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Mine did this awhile back and this method worked for me too.
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Old 04-26-2011, 06:38 PM   #11
toolie
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My WRX is two weeks old and I have the same issue with my front right blinker. I've taken off the air scoop and reached in based on your photos but the wire in question doesn't seem tight. The bulb is definitely dim though so something is up.

I don't have enough daylight to get into the filter today, but maybe this weekend. Or maybe I'll take it to the dealer and let them tear it all out. I'm paying for a warranty after all.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:13 PM   #12
AndrewtechAutomotive
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Mines the front left blinker...I'll look at it tomorrow.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:50 PM   #13
mrkyle3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toolie View Post
My WRX is two weeks old and I have the same issue with my front right blinker. I've taken off the air scoop and reached in based on your photos but the wire in question doesn't seem tight. The bulb is definitely dim though so something is up.

I don't have enough daylight to get into the filter today, but maybe this weekend. Or maybe I'll take it to the dealer and let them tear it all out. I'm paying for a warranty after all.
Turn on your hazards and play around with the wire and watch for when the bulb lights back up to its normal brightness.

My turn signal issue came back the other day even after I fixed the wiring issue. It had been around 600 miles since I fixed it. I took the airbox out and pushed the wires back into the harness and haven't had it come back yet. It's a pretty annoying issue.
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Old 04-26-2011, 09:53 PM   #14
Maudlin
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Thank you for this.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:26 AM   #15
SamuraiLincoln
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Cool, good to know & thanks for taking the time to do this.

I had my driver side burnout at 600 miles & replaced both with some long life bulbs. I didn't notice that the wire was taught but I'll have to take it back apart and see if I have this issue.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:57 AM   #16
buki_JB
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This just happened to my 2011 STI after 800 or so miles...I just brought it into the dealer, they re-routed the harness, and I had them hand wash it while they were at it.

Not sure why you guys are bothering to mess with it yourselves...why not just use the warranty? It's a brand new car.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:27 AM   #17
toolie
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Took the car to my dealer this morning. The tech popped everthing out and had it back in action in 15 minutes. He was aware of this issue on the Impreza and his opinion is that the culprit is more likely the socket than a tight wire. Like I said, my wire was not pinched when I was rooting around in there last night. He told me they would replace the socket if it happened again.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:49 AM   #18
mrkyle3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buki_JB View Post
This just happened to my 2011 STI after 800 or so miles...I just brought it into the dealer, they re-routed the harness, and I had them hand wash it while they were at it.

Not sure why you guys are bothering to mess with it yourselves...why not just use the warranty? It's a brand new car.
I brought it to the dealer and they had no idea how to fix it.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:53 AM   #19
buki_JB
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrkyle3 View Post
I brought it to the dealer and they had no idea how to fix it.
That's simply unacceptable. I would have called SOA and told them to make sure that dealership gets their junk together.

My fear would be that if I routed the wire myself and it catches on something or causes a bigger issue, they could put the blame on me. I don't like taking those kinds of risks, especially when the dealership is 100% responsible for taking care of issues like this.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:09 PM   #20
toolie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buki_JB View Post
Not sure why you guys are bothering to mess with it yourselves...why not just use the warranty? It's a brand new car.
I like to tinker. So there's that, but also it's just a stupid bulb. It shouldn't require burning office hours and gas with a trip to the dealer to get fixed, especially if it's going to happen every two weeks. It is quite a bit more difficult to get at the back of these headlights than any other car I've ever owned though. Now that I've watched them disassemble the airbox I should be able to bang it out quickly if I ever need to again.

mrkyle3, sorry to hear about your incompetent dealer. This shouldn't be over their heads in the slightest. It's just a light bulb. My guy pulled the bulb out of the socket and blew in it and put it back in. Problem solved (for now). The bulb didn't look terribly snug, at least not compared to bulbs I've replaced in the past in different cars. Again why I think it's a socket issue and not a wiring one. If I ever have to open it up again myself I'll look into a way to tighten up that connection between the bulb and socket.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:28 PM   #21
patricksmith04
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Just to update, since my posting to fix this, I have NOT had the problem since.

THIS IS NOT A BULB ISSUE.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:54 PM   #22
nonoywrx
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It happen to me yesterday. After reading your posts, I tried just to push the harness and straighten the wires (it was bent, maybe pulling the harness) for now and it work. I don't know how long will it last though.
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Old 05-23-2011, 04:10 PM   #23
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My right blinker went out too a few weeks ago. Took it to the dealer and they handled it under warranty. They said it was the bulb but they also said they were "looking to see if it [was] shorting" on anything. Who knows what really fixed it but I haven't had a problem since.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:00 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nonoywrx View Post
It happen to me yesterday. After reading your posts, I tried just to push the harness and straighten the wires (it was bent, maybe pulling the harness) for now and it work. I don't know how long will it last though.
Well it didn't last long enough. Called the dealer and dropping it off tomorrow.
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Old 05-25-2011, 09:27 AM   #25
patricksmith04
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I'm still blinker issue free after my fix in April.
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