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Old 12-04-2015, 10:46 AM   #1
Nick Boxler
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Default 2013 Impreza, CVT, won't go into gear. No brake lights. Electrical issues

My mom recently got her tires changed, and she found the ABS and traction control lights came on shortly after. Turning the car on and off fixed this for a short amount of time, but they came back on later.

Her passenger headlight burnt out twice within the past 6 months, which I thought was odd as we had replaced it with the highest quality Sylvania bulb.

After changing her headlight bulb, her car would not go into gear and I discovered the brake lights were not working anymore. I checked many fuses with none blown but my multimeter wasn't working so I couldn't check them for continuity. Undid the battery to reset everything but that didn't fix anything.

I sprayed the brake light switch at the pedal with WD 40 to see if that helped but no luck. Anybody have any ideas? Seems like all this is related, my buddy suggested maybe a grounding issue. I might go through all the grounds later and clean them up to see if it fixes anything. Haven't had any luck with the fuses but I'm gonna get a new multimeter and check more this afternoon.

Any help is very much appreciated! Thank you.
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Old 12-04-2015, 02:13 PM   #2
Rymar
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I would not use WD40 as a contact cleaner (or as a lubricant!). It can soften some types of plastic. Good for loosening rusted bolts, though. A brake light switch failing on a 3 year old is very unlikely.

It seems likely that the tire change is related. Did they put the car on a lift (incorrectly), and damage some wiring? The ABS and traction control use the wheel speed sensors, which have wiring attached to each wheel. This may have been damaged by the shop which put on the new tires. If so, it is their responsibility to fix it.

If the problem really is unrelated to the tire change, a 2013 car probably is still covered by the new car warranty.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:14 PM   #3
CosmoTheCat
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headlights and wipers too, 3/36k

Probably a bad brake switch.
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Old 12-04-2015, 03:29 PM   #4
Kottosen
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Default 2013 Impreza, CVT, won't go into gear. No brake lights. Electrical issues

There will be a tab you can pull up on the left of the shifter on the silver plastic..lift that up and push a screw driver down it and try to shift into gear tell me if that works...(it bypasses blown fuses that tell the car to not go into drive)

Last edited by Kottosen; 12-04-2015 at 03:37 PM.
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Old 12-04-2015, 05:08 PM   #5
Rymar
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Here's how to check the switch; there are 2 sets of contacts, one normally-open, and one normally-closed. Also, the clearance between the switch and the brake pedal should be 1mm to 2mm with the brake pedal all the way released. In other words, there should be 1mm to 2mm of the brake switch plunger showing.

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Old 12-04-2015, 08:10 PM   #6
Nick Boxler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kottosen View Post
There will be a tab you can pull up on the left of the shifter on the silver plastic..lift that up and push a screw driver down it and try to shift into gear tell me if that works...(it bypasses blown fuses that tell the car to not go into drive)
Yeah I was able to put the car into gear using this trick, I didn't try to drive it though... I just did it to push it to where it needed to be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rymar View Post
Here's how to check the switch; there are 2 sets of contacts, one normally-open, and one normally-closed. Also, the clearance between the switch and the brake pedal should be 1mm to 2mm with the brake pedal all the way released. In other words, there should be 1mm to 2mm of the brake switch plunger showing.

Excellent, thanks for this! I'll test it out first thing in the morning. Had a longer day at work today than I expected so I'm beat.
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Old 12-05-2015, 04:17 PM   #7
Nick Boxler
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Ended up testing the switch and got some strange readings with my multimeter, so I ran to Subaru and grabbed a new switch. Only cost 23 bucks, and it fixed all the issues. No more ABS, traction control or hill assist lights. Shifts into gear fine now. Disconnected the battery while I did the switch too. Thanks Rymar for the diagram!
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Old 12-06-2015, 12:50 AM   #8
Rymar
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No problem. I did some searching, and there was apparently a design change in the brake light switch. The new part number is 83311FJ000, and the body of the switch is blue (the old one was gray). There is also TSB 06-46-14, which describes a revised brake light adjustment procedure. I guess they must have been seeing failures in the switch... the revised spec for adjustment is 1.5mm to 2.5mm of clearance with the pedal pulled all the way up.

The switch is $10.25 online, so I'm going to replace it on my 2012. I haven't had any problems, but it seems like cheap insurance.
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Old 06-03-2018, 11:07 PM   #9
ogi
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This happened to me on my 2014. I removed the Stop Light switch, cleaned the contacts, reinstalled, and it hasn't given me any trouble for 2 months.
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Old 06-08-2018, 07:39 AM   #10
Elbert Bass
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Common issue on Impreza/Forester 2012 to 2015. There has been a bulletin about checking switch adjustment as well as two mechanical revisions to the brake lights switch. Unless you have a blue/brown brake switch with a green dot on the body you will likely experience the same problem as the OP described (minus the headlight failures which is not related).
It is also important to get the switch adjusted properly - Impreza brake lights should come on between 4 mm to 7 mm of pedal travel.
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