Last post on Oct 02, 2011 at 9:44 PM
You are in the Subaru Forester Maintenance & Repair
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Subaru Forester, Lights, Electrical, Wagon
#28 of 139 instrument cluster
Sep 22, 2007 (8:08 pm)
Hi. I am looking for advice. I own a 2004 Subaru Forester (original owner). The car has been great, and we kept up with regular maintenance. However, the car died Monday afternoon without warning. When my husband checked the battery, it was giving out a minimal charge. We decided to jump the battery. The car came back to life with one exception. The instrument cluster was virtually dead. The dealer's mechanic claims that my husband improperly jumped the car causing the instrument cluster to short. He is estimating a total of $1,000.00 for identifying the problem, a new cluster, and labor. I feel like we are being ripped off. Has anyone else heard of this as a problem with the 2004 Subaru Forester?
#29 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [eyorteach]
Sep 23, 2007 (4:49 pm)
It is not confined to the 2004 Forester. It is a general situation when jumping cars with an ECU. The manual may call for a very specific sequence for connecting the cables to specific locations. People tend to just clamp the cables around here and there. If the manual is not followed exactly, fuses can be blown or the ECU messed up . More likely that is what happened, rather than actual damage to the instrument panel.
#30 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [aatherton]
Sep 24, 2007 (2:18 pm)
We were told we need to replace the instrument panel. I can only assume that the fuses were checked. We know that the computer is okay. Thanks for the information.
#31 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [eyorteach]
Sep 24, 2007 (3:08 pm)
Even if the fuse was checked, go ahead and have it replaced.
I ran across a situation where the fuse looked fine but wasn't, it had still burned out. I swear I could see no flaws in it, but a new one still fixed it.
Worth the few pennies to try that.
#32 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [eyorteach]
Sep 24, 2007 (3:12 pm)
How do you know the computer is OK? It is possible for a surge from a poorly executed jump to hurt an ECU and mess up the ECU's status and warning lights in the instrument panel.
On the other hand, I don't see how a jump can pass the fuses and cause damage to the instrument panel itself.
#33 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [aatherton]
Sep 24, 2007 (7:45 pm)
The mechanic checked the ECU and said it was fine. Supposedly, he checked the fuses as well. From my discussion with him, they actually pulled out the instrument panel and checked the wiring as well. There were no warning lights on the instrument panel. The thing was absolutely dead with the exception of the mileage reading before the car was jumped. I will call first thing in the morning to discuss the fuses again. I just wasn't thinking about the logic in that. I did contact Subaru customer service, and a case file has been opened. Unfortunately my schedule is such that I cannot drive over until the afternoon to discuss the issue face to face.
#34 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [eyorteach]
Sep 24, 2007 (8:50 pm)
Replacing fuse is really easy. Can't you buy fuses (get the list from owner's manual) from local auto store or wal-mart, replace it and see if it works. It will only cost you around $15 even you replace all the fuses in the fuse box.
#35 of 139 Re: instrument cluster [mogul2]
Sep 25, 2007 (4:40 pm)
I want to thank everyone for the advice. I am continuing to persue the fuse issue. When I questioned the technician who diagnosed the problem, he was emphatic that he tested the fuses. He felt that because the odometer always receives a charge, that the short ran through the odometer which caused the whole panel to short. He did not have a solid response for when the panel shorted (before or after jumping). At this point, I have referred the situation to Subaru for inquiry and will talk to the service manager in detail. I have reliable pricing information on the instrument cluster so that we can discuss an appropriate fee. I am not an electrical engineer, so I rely on the advice of others in this department. The car is at the dealership and the old panel has already been removed in preparation for the new panel. The dealership would not release the car back to us due to safety concerns. I wish I could say that I am being dealt with honestly, but my gut instinct is screaming otherwise. I will let you know about the outcome tomorrow.
#36 of 139 Battery dead
Nov 09, 2007 (3:20 pm)
My 2001 Forester would not start. The keyless entry also does not work. When I manually opened the door, I heard a slight whirring sound from the CD/Radio on the dash (factory installed). The light inside was extremely dim. I tried jumping the car, but absolutely nothing happened when using the key in the ignition. I bought a new battery to install myself and was told that I may need to reset the "override button". Any hint as to where to find this switch and/or tips on putting in the new battery other than the obvious of hooking up the terminals?
#37 of 139 Interior Lights and Headhlights Dimming and flickering
Nov 14, 2007 (10:12 am)
I just purchased a 2002 Subaru Forester that has a couple symptoms I am worried about. It appears as though my interior lights have a slight flicker to them. This is most noticeable when I am idoling. Similarly, when driving and I release the gas peddle and press the brakes (so the rpm's drop), it appears as though my headlights dim or flutter for a brief second. Any thoughts on what this might be or steps to correct would be greatly appreciated.