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Old 11-13-2013, 05:03 AM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 369299
Join Date: Sep 2013
Default Installing OEM cruise control in 2012+ Impreza 2.0i base model

Many people choose a premium Impreza mainly for its cruise control. Some people who settled on base trims whine and ask if they can add one. Now you have a new reason to love you base-trim Impreza because it actually has a cruise control built-in, but you just need to activate it!

One day I ran into a Chinese XV Crosstrek forum and there were some interesting discussions and guides to install OEM cruise control keyboards taken from other Subaru models. This function just simply works on the base models. That tells us cruise control is already build in every single XV Crosstrek sold in China, but Subaru decides to lock it on the base trim for marketing purposes. Since XV and 2.0i NA Impreza are close relatives, and every Impreza sold in North America but base models in US has this function, I strongly believe this could be the same marketing strategy. I happened to find a used cruise control keyboard taken from a XV Crosstrek, so I decided to give it a try.

I highly recommend the following guides in Chinese, where I learn all the necessary information for this mod. If you don't read Chinese, you may still find the photos and video helpful.

The photos are very useful in locating the air bag clips

This is a detailed video guide in Chinese language. For those who have problem with Flash plug-in:

A video guide in replacing the steering wheel on WRX here (English). However the major difference is the air bag removal, but it is the most difficult step. You may find it useful for everything else.

Special thanks to the friends on http://club.autohome.com.cn/bbs/forum-c-2417-1.html for their discussions, and bignick on www.subaruxvforum.com for supplying the part at a low price

Tools you need:
A 10 mm wrench (to disconnect the battery)
A solid 17 mm lug wrench (to remove the main lug of steering wheel)
A flat screwdriver
A Phillips screwdriver
A bright flash light (you will need to see the components inside)

Parts you need:
From your dealer:
Cruise control keyboard for Impreza #4
Cruise control keyboard with audio satellite remote for Impreza #5

Actually, I am using a used part from XV and it works. However, the harness for paddle shift is different, but I don't care. Some people in that Chinese forum reported successful installation with parts for JDM XV, but the Eyesight button won't work of course. (http://price.52che.com/subaru_xv/news-17628262.html) Some even used the keys for Legacy sold on US eBay, but you need to modify the harness. (http://club.autohome.com.cn/bbs/thre...3119415-1.html) My point is, the cruise control system are very similar across late Subaru models, but the parts designed for Impreza or XV Crosstrek in North America will be the simplest choice.

Step-by-Step Procedure

1. Park your car with the parking break, align the wheels straight, and remove the key.

2. Disconnect the negative end of the battery and wait for more than one minute before work
This work involves the removal of the air bag on the steering wheel. This is the necessary step to prevent the accidental deployment of the air bags.

3. Disconnect the air bag clips
The mechanism to fasten the air bag module is very simple. There is a steel wire attached to a spring to hold the clips. All you need to do is use a flat screwdriver to push the wire and the clip will simply detach. I borrow a image from http://club.autohome.com.cn/bbs/thre...0235057-1.html to show their positions on the steering wheel. Behind each clip, there is a hole on the back cover where you can access the wire.

Close-ups on both sides

You should begin with the bottom one which is the easiest. The air bag module popped right out as soon as I stuck the screw driver into the hole.

Now you move on to the clips on the both sides. They have the same mechanism but the angle is very tricky. I got good luck on the right one within a minute. But the left one took me about an hour because my left hand is so awkward. I can only provide the photos and you have to figure out the the position of the clips, and the correct angle of attack. My advice is that you kind of follow the angle of the hole, but slide in the screwdriver along the wall in the hole closer to your side, like this:

And the wire will be moved accordingly:

Alternatively, while not recommended by the service manual, you can follow the suggestion in this video in Chinese language:

What he said between 3:00 and 4:00 is: Pry out the back cover of the steering wheel, though the gap you can see a square thing where his finger is pointing at. Use your screwdriver with force to lever the square toward the center of the steering wheel. I think this is the square thing he was mentioning and how the wire can be moved this way is shown below:

But I could never see it clearly with the air bag attached, so I did not use this method.

(to be continued due to limit of image numbers)

Last edited by wawacoffee; 11-25-2013 at 12:31 PM.
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