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Old 02-25-2014, 08:03 PM   #1
Scooby17
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Default 06 wrx- Tail Light Fuse keeps blowing

Alright guys ive had some recent problems. Its winter here in Canada.. -25C -13F temperatures all winter. Ive been doing some recent work to my car bringing it into the heated shop. Ive noticed after bringing it into the shop I started blowing fuses..So as the car thaws out the fuses go. First my headlight relays went ( haven't changed yet) then my cig/heated seats and now my taillight fuse keeps blowing AS SOON as I turn on my lights.. I looked for bad wires behind the panels. Couldn't find anything.Now I disconnected both harness' to the brake and tail lights and the fuse still blows.. Any solutions or ideas?
thanks guys.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:13 PM   #2
DentMagnet
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Temp-sensitive micro-gaps that open and short due to thermal expansion and contraction? Gaps this small would probably be invisible to the naked eye.
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Old 02-25-2014, 08:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply dent! So what.you're saying is its gonna be in the wiring harness from the tails to the harness? Any way I can fix this? Last.thing I wanna do is bring it to a shop with electrical problems... Anyway I can get them working for now?
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Old 02-25-2014, 11:41 PM   #4
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If you have a wire harness connector for a trailer check it for corrosion. Check the license plate bulb wiring also. Also look for damaged wires in the trunk area.
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Old 02-26-2014, 09:45 AM   #5
DentMagnet
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Without pulling up a schematic, it might be inside of a module depending on what fuses blew and what they feed.
Finding this may be pretty difficult.
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:17 AM   #6
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The tail lights are fed through the headlight relay, replace the known bad part before doing anything else.

If that doesn't fix it,try turning on the parking lights with the switch on the column. If the tail lights work, the problem is in the headlight wiring.

In an 06 there are no modules used to control the headlights and tail lights. Broken wires would cause the lights not to illuminate but would not blow fuses.

Last edited by LIChuck; 02-26-2014 at 12:21 PM.
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Old 02-26-2014, 11:50 AM   #7
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I can't explain what happened to the head lightlight relays unless you installed bulbs that required more power than the originals did. Also, the trouble may be with the control portion of the relay instead of the relay itself.

I think the fuse for the tail lights is located after the relays in the circuit for the headlights. One thing you could do to help locate the trouble is replace the fuse with with a brake light bulb. That will act as a load and limit the current to the short to a safe level. Then start disconnecting suspected trouble areas until the light dims down a lot indicating the short has been removed from the circuit.
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Old 02-26-2014, 12:27 PM   #8
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Wow thanks for help guys! I found out the headlight relays are still fine as I tested them through the horn. but my headlights still don't work.. but brights do..are the taillights associated with the headlights at all? Does the headlights not working have anything to do with the tails? sorry electrical is my last expertise and I always get lost!
thanks again
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Old 02-26-2014, 04:57 PM   #9
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Yes the headlights and tail lights are associated.

How did you test the relay through the horn? In low beam operation the power runs through a set of normally closed (NC) contacts. (The relay is energized to turn the low beams off) The horn uses the normally open (NO) contacts.

Did you test the NC contacts or just the NO contacts? The NC contacts are what have to be checked.
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Old 02-26-2014, 06:20 PM   #10
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I put the headlight relays where the horn goes. So what ur saying is the no contacts on the headlight could fine which makes the horn work?? Again I appreciate the help!! Thanks
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Old 02-26-2014, 10:48 PM   #11
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The relays supply power to both the low and high beam lights so the trouble with the low beams isn't due to a relay problem. The switch position for the low beam connection to the relay coil may be faulty or perhaps both of the lights are burnt out. I'll bet both of the lows are bad.

One of the relays passes power on to the running lights and that line has a short to ground on it. Another way to find the short if you don't want to use my previously suggested method is to use an ohmmeter set to the lowest scale and use it to read the resistance of the short circuit. Remove the fuse from the slot and place one of the meter probes on the fuse connection that doesn't have power on it when the lights are on. That is the protected side of the wiring that goes to the lights. Place the other probe on a good ground point and check the meter reading. It should be close to zero ohms, maybe a few ohms at best. That is showing the short to ground. Then start removing suspected trouble areas using the connectors of the wiring to seperate the wires. When the short is removed the reading will go somewhat higher showing the resistance of the lights on the circuit. As a guess the reading may be less than 20 ohms.
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Old 02-27-2014, 11:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
"The relays supply power to both the low and high beam lights".
True, but if I remember the wiring diagram correctly, the low beams go through the NC contacts and turn off when the high beams are turned on though the NO contacts.

Put the horn relay in place of the light relay and see if the lights work.
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Old 02-27-2014, 01:43 PM   #13
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That isn't the way I recall the relays working LIChuck but maybe the newer models have changed the way they work. The way each are turned on is by the return path selected by the light switch.
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Old 02-27-2014, 04:42 PM   #14
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Cougar4, If he can't solve his problem before the weekend I have the lighting circuits at home and will double check. I know that the switch on the column is also in the circuit.

OP do your front parking light work?
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Old 02-27-2014, 07:27 PM   #15
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That sounds good LIChuck. We'll get these lights working again. If the wiring is similair to older models then the front and rear lights share the same fuse (F/B #5).
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Old 02-28-2014, 01:56 AM   #16
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Front parking lights are on top of steering column no?
I figured out why my headlights weren't working.. Im not sure what the piece is called, but the part that the bulb connects to, are fried. I remember I had my ignition on when I pulled a a bulb and blew it( stupid me ) so ill get those ordered from Subaru. If anyone can get me a name that would be awesome. Im not sure if this has anything to do with the tails or not. ?
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Old 03-03-2014, 02:29 PM   #17
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The front and rear parking lights work together and also with the switch on top of the steering column. Some data I have for an '04 WRX shows fuse #5 in the dash fuse panel supplies power to the those lights. There are two r/y wires leaving the fuse panel, one for each end. Your model may be similar to that also. I assume you have a taillight relay in the dash fuse panel and if so remove it and then hopefully the shorting problem will stop. If it does then install the relay back in place. Then take a blown fuse and solder wires on each side of the fuse that connect to a socket for a brake light bulb and install the old fuse in the fuse socket. The bulb is now in series with the rear lights and will limit the current to the short to a safe level so you can hunt for the short. When the short is removed from the circuit the bulb will dim down or go out. Look for the short in the trunk area or places where the wiring can be damaged.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:40 PM   #18
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Alright guys little update. I replaced both front headlight sockets with new bulbs, one of the sockets was fried ( my mistake ) thinking that might of been it. No luck but headlights and brights do work. Today I was using power to both my heated seats as well as my cigarette lighter as a radio transmitter and that blew my 20A cig/seat fuse today. I un plugged the third brake light connector ( one that sits on the trunk lid) and a bunch of water came out of there. blew that out, left unplugged( definitely thought this was it ) turned headlights on, worked....for 20 seconds, then fuse blew again. Now Its shorting out even without the car being on. Key out , I put in the 10A Taillight fuse and boom blows as soon as I touch it. The parking light switch , what exactly do those do. Its obviously not doing anything now, doesn't turn off or on any lights as my fuse blows right away.
again thanks so much.
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Old 03-03-2014, 08:55 PM   #19
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Lets work on one circuit at a time. To find out what is blowing the fuse for the rear taillights I suggest you follow the instructions I gave you in post 17.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:36 AM   #20
LIChuck
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The parking light switch turns on the parking lights without the headlights. If turning it on blows the fuse, you have a problem in the parking light circuit. So does turning on the parking lights with the car off blow a fuse?
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Old 12-31-2020, 04:03 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LIChuck View Post
The parking light switch turns on the parking lights without the headlights. If turning it on blows the fuse, you have a problem in the parking light circuit. So does turning on the parking lights with the car off blow a fuse?

I have the same problem where the rear tailight fuse blows as soon as the headlights or the parking light switch come on. I removed all the taillight wiring harnesses and the fuse still blows instantly as soon as the power comes on. i think the is from the license plate bulbs, since one of those lights used to be blinking . do the license plate bulbs come on with the parking light switch
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Old 12-31-2020, 11:47 PM   #22
Cougar4
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The license plate bulbs do come on with the parking lights. The front running lights also come on so the trouble may be in the front. If you have a trailer harness check that also.
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Old 01-02-2021, 02:54 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cougar4 View Post
The license plate bulbs do come on with the parking lights. The front running lights also come on so the trouble may be in the front. If you have a trailer harness check that also.

the trouble was in the license plate lights. one of the LED bulbs had an internal short and kept causing the fuse to blow. I found the short by unplugging everything I could that appeared to be on the tailight circuit and then adding them back until the fuse started blowing.
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Old 01-03-2021, 12:00 AM   #24
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Glad you found the trouble.
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