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Old 05-19-2003, 04:13 PM   #1
TyR1
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2004 Forester XT
PSM

Unhappy Dash/Climate Control/Radio display illumination problem!!

I am in some desperate need here people. I have tried everything. I called Subaru of America, I brought my car to the dealer service center, I have spoken to alarm and stereo installers, called junkyards, posted on other sites...I am losing hope.

About a year ago I installed aftermarket foglights on my 2001 impreza rs. Everything was going smoothly until I tried to connect my aftermarket lights to my stock foglight switch. Something went terribly wrong and I shorted something somewhere. My dash, climate control, and top portion of my double din stereo do not light up when I turn my headlights on. All of the indicators work and all of my external lights work, I am just left dashless.

I have pulled all visible fuses and have checked what relays I could find. I was told that it might be my dimmer switch, so I replaced that, with no success. I have pulled my dash apart 3 or 4 times now trying to find the problem and I am completely lost. I have checked under hood in the fuse box and I see nothing out of place. My car only has like 30 thousand miles on it and I feel like I am driving a heap because I dont have interior dash lights anymore.

If there is anyone that knows of a relay or circuit board or some tiny impreza fairy that I can let roam under trim in the sanctity of nightfall to repair these wrongs, please let me know...I am considering trading my beauty in for an el camino because of this issue.

thanks
brian
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Old 05-19-2003, 05:52 PM   #2
satrya
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Sorry to hear your wiring problem.

My only suggestion is to get a hold of the wiring section of the factory service manual, and manually test the wiring to see if any of the lines are disconnected somehow; there may be some lines inside the connector that got burnt out, but the cable insulation is still perfectly attached to the connector. I'm not sure what the likelihood of such a thing to happen, but from personal experience, electrical connectors can sometimes seem fine from the outside, even if one of the wires or the male/female connector is dislodged from it's proper location. I've seen shorted connectors (not in automotive wiring, but I don't see why it can't happen to automotive wiring as well) that look ok from the outside, but the female connector has deformed such that it no longer makes electrical contact with the male counterpart.

If I were you, I would use the wiring diagram (from the service manual) and test using a circuit tester to see if any of the wires have bad connection from one point to another. Short of buying a completely new harness for the interior, I'm not sure if there's anything else, since as you mentioned, visual inspection revealed nothing unusual.

good luck and bump
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Old 05-19-2003, 07:27 PM   #3
TyR1
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Default Where could I get that....

wiring manual diagram thingy that you are mentioning??

I was wondering if anyone out there had encountered this problem before and if they could tell me where things were located...

I mean I am looking for a relay or a switch that is flipped when I turn on my headlights. I figure that that is the problem.

I am more than willing to spend the man hours testing out those wires and going through with a tester or whatever to figure out what is going on, but I dont know where to locate anything.

If there is a relay somewhere under the dash, that would by first first check.

Thanks for the response and I look forward to getting some more help from you folks
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Old 05-19-2003, 08:59 PM   #4
satrya
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Default Re: Where could I get that....

Quote:
Originally posted by TyR1
wiring manual diagram thingy that you are mentioning??
I meant the factory service manual. I'm not sure how it is sold for the GC/GM/GF chassis (pre MY2002 in the US), but for the GD/GG (MY2002-2003), the manual comes in about 8 volumes. You only need the volume that contains wiring diagrams. Subaru dealers have those, but I'm not sure how much each volume costs. You can also try www.subaruparts.com , or other vendors here.

Bump for someone that is willing to lend the manual, or at least a copy of the relevant pages.

If anything, perhaps you can check the wiring harnesses by making sure one end is electrically connected to another:

[=]------------------------------[=] <--check the pins on both ends to see if any one doesn't conduct electricity to the other side, although there's quite a bit of guesswork involved without the factory service manual. Things also get complicated when the harnesses split into multiple connectors. However, at least the wires should be color-coded, so it's not that impossible to check.

Good luck.

Note: I'm not an electrician, but that's what I would do short of other advice/information.
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Old 05-20-2003, 12:45 AM   #5
avk
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There's a box called "illumination control unit". It's operated by the adjuster on the stalk and supplies power to the instrument lights. Might be worth checking. There's also a relay, but if it was bad, the taillights wouldn't come on.
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Old 05-20-2003, 04:26 AM   #6
armand1
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For $20 for 3 days' access, go to techinfo.subaru.com and you should be able to download all the pages from the Wiring volume of the shop manual for your car. This is invaluable for what you are trying to do, and will come in handy in the future, too.
It should also tell you where the illumination control unit is (which sounds like a good place to start checking wire voltages, etc).
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Old 05-20-2003, 08:52 AM   #7
TyR1
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Wink a ray of hope..

I contacted the local subaru parts department and they do indeed have an illumination control unit, it costs $102.00. I am willing to pay it, but I want to make sure that that is the problem. My issue now is...I dont know where it is located. I asked at the dealership about its location and ask them to fax me a copy of the parts diagram....unfortunately they dont know where it is and said they couldnt help.

My question now for the masses is....Does anyone know the easiest way to get to the illumination control unit??

Thanks for all the help
brian
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Old 05-21-2003, 12:46 PM   #8
TyR1
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Default STILL IN NEED OF HELP?!?!

So TyR1....I was wondering if you ever got that problem fixed or if anyone responded to you to let you know where that illumination control module was. I am also curious as to its whereabouts...if anyone knows where that module is, could you please respond to help my friend out??
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Old 05-23-2003, 10:10 AM   #9
avk
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The illum. box is under the trim bezel to the right of the radio.
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Old 05-24-2003, 08:10 AM   #10
TyR1
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Angry I must be an idiot...

I went out to my car this morning and removed the center paneling, removed my radio and looked around and I didnt see anything in there. The only box is the ECU. There are two sets of wires in there....one for the radio and one for the ashtray/lighter setup...and both of those sets of wires run off to the left and under the dash near the steering column.

Please let me know what I am doing wrong here!!

Brian
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Old 05-24-2003, 11:09 AM   #11
avk
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On the metal edges of the console frame, the illum. box should be to the right and the turn signal flasher to the left of the radio. It might be that your setup is different from earlier years, but people were reporting at least finding the flasher there on a '99, and you are sure the unit is not near the fuse box. Did you see the flasher? Maybe it's hidden by the climate controls. The ECU is in the passenger footwell, you probably saw the airbag module.
Add: there was info on endwrench that on Foresters the unit is above the passenger kick panel.

Last edited by avk; 05-24-2003 at 03:44 PM.
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Old 05-25-2003, 04:53 PM   #12
armand1
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This might be a good time to go to techinfo.subaru.com and pay the $20 for 3 days of unlimited downloads of shop manual and TSB pages, so you can get the diagrams for your exact car without people guessing based on other years.
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Old 05-25-2003, 07:13 PM   #13
Jagtara
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You are going to have to get a hold of some manual pages, if you can download them, DO IT! They will show locations of your components, where the wires route, how to test some of the control units....basically everything you NEED to know to fix your problem. There is no way to accurately diagnose an electrical problem like you are experiencing without one. Another thing you need is a multi-meter for doing pin-out tests or checking resistance for shorted (grounded) wires. If you start poking around with a test light, you can get yourself into some trouble poking the wrong wire and frying one of your control units.

I have the manuals for an 02-03 WRX so I cannot help you there.

Good luck bro...wiring problems are a bitch sometimes but with the tools you have at your disposal, you can fix it.
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Old 05-29-2003, 10:46 AM   #14
TyR1
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Talking I found it!!!

Ok...after contacting a coupla of people and reading enough generic diagrams I decided to take the passenger side trim out...under the dash. So I unscrewed everything, took out the glove compartment, and pulled out the underdash. The illumination control module is a little black box that plugs in all the way to the right directly above the right kick panel, directly to the right of the glove box, about a foot under the right AC vent. I unhooked it and pulled it out. Now I am trying to figure out how to test it. If dealerships werent such bastards I would bring them that piece and ask them to do something with it. My real hope is that I have the good fortune of running into someone with a 2001 impreza that lets me unplug their wiring clip from the module and plug my ICM into their car, seeing if the problem comes up.

In removing my unit, nothing changed, meaning no new problems popped up, so I can safely assume that the module is in the line of the problem. I just dont know if it is the cause.

If there is anyone in New Jersey that would let me do this...I would gladly give you a dollar or something.

Thanks
Brian
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Old 05-30-2003, 06:21 AM   #15
armand1
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If you download the manual pages referring to it, there should be a diagnostic procedure to tell if illum control module is bad.
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Old 11-25-2003, 03:50 AM   #16
WRXacer
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Have you fixed your problem yet? I got the same problem and would like to know what the problem is.. thx!
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Old 07-27-2006, 12:32 PM   #17
TyR1
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Default Just to report

I never got the dimmer to work. I brought my car to Subaru and they replaced the dimmer switch, charged me for it, and then rerouted my electric from somewhere else to bypass the problem. I know this because my dimmer still DOES NOT work. My lights inside are always at full brightness...which is fine for me I guess.

Whatever...
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