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LGT_King 04-29-2011 04:44 PM

Wagons beware - tailgate electricals
It took me awhile to find this info and solve my issue so I would just post it up here for a sort of FYI. Because if it hasn't happened it likely will.

My parents have a outback XT (I flashed it to stage 1 :cool: ). Anyway they complained that the rear trunk would not lock anymore with the keyless remote.

Went over pulled all the trim off and had a look at the mechanism and plugs. 2 plugs, one for seeing if its closed (dash light) and one to close/open it - both two wire.

Checked and the unlock wire got power but the lock wire didn't. Low and behold in the connection (accordion boot) between the hatch and the car on the right side the wire was cut clean. Even some other wires had exposed portions as if they eventually would be severed.

Connected a wire to join the lock wire and then wrapped all the wires with some exposed portions with electrical tape. And then everything with electrical tape... Some poor design maybe??

cliff note: wires being cut by the open/closing of the rear hatch inside the boot on the top right causing things to stop working. Mine was rear trunk lock, but easily could be light related.

black_bulletgt 04-29-2011 05:01 PM

thanks for the warning. will have to check mine out when i have some time.

BAC5.2 04-29-2011 07:07 PM

Thanks! Since I have to run wires through there soon, ill sheath the wires to protect them.

ironchefireland 04-29-2011 08:13 PM

Interesting. I've got some odd thing were the keyless will lock the doors but not the rear lift, but will set the alarm. Sometimes I forget and the alarm goes off. Really annoying. Gonna have to check those wires.

AkumaMax 04-30-2011 12:30 AM

Thanks for the heads up I will look into this and maybe add some pictures to what you are talking about.

jagcars26 04-30-2011 06:58 AM

Thanks fr the heads up.

Max Capacity 05-01-2011 06:42 AM

Mine is different. sometimes, it won't unlock. We went in from the back seat. popped the panel off and moved the lever down with a light push and it unlocks.

It did this the first time last Fall, but after driving the car to my buddies body shop, the thing unlocked and worked like there was no problem. Yesterday while the car was up on jackstands, the hatch wouldn't unlock.

Will trouble shoot more during the next week or so. Tranny's out being rebuilt, but that's a different thread.

Max Capacity 03-26-2012 07:45 AM

Open the hatch and pull the rubber cover back on the wires in the right upper corner, you may find broken wires there.

My buddy's body shop repaired four or five broken wires there on mine for $120.00 much cheaper then the $3-400 estimate I got from the dealer.

frank_ster 03-26-2012 07:46 AM

ah thats whats wrong with mine ! mine was blowing the fuse for locks .. now just the hatch lock doesn't work anymore ..

nwsurfwakeskate 03-26-2012 11:23 AM

05 RBP wagon

122k miles. 3rd brake light quite working about a month ago and my rear dome light only turns on when I first open the hatch but then goes out after the hatch is more then 2 inches open. Any ideas where to start? I pulled the rubber boots back on the wires running through the hinges and they looked fine from what I could tell. Have yet to open up the trim yet. Pics or a how-to would certainly be nice!


OutbackXT05 03-27-2012 01:30 PM

Mine is wierd. When i bought the car it had an aftermarket alarm in it. It works on all doors and the hatch. But the oem subaru one i bought after onlu opens/closes the door. Trunk does not work. And also my rear latch sensor is tripping out. It keeps flashing on and off on my cluster and its really annoying. Anyone know how to fix that?

mbcracken 03-27-2012 03:55 PM

Wires breaking in the rubber wire cover between rear hatch and body have caused me many headaches...
It first started with my rear wiper intermitten not working properly. I first replaced the wiper motor which I did myself. Did not fix it... I replaced the wiper switch on the steering column. Did not fix it... Dealership fixed it by replacing wires for $100 (mostly labor as I didn't want to mess with removing headliner).
A couple weeks go by, the wires go out for the radio antenna...ugh. Got it fixed too at dealership.
Subaru really went cheap on these wires and have caused all sorts of headaches. Well documented over on the Outback forums. My recommendation would be to replace all the wires at once when you have everything opened up. Good luck...


Leonardo 04-01-2012 07:11 AM

I would do what Mike did. I would take all issus related to this issue to the dealer so all this gets documented and probably SOA will release a service bulletin or recall as it will affect mostly all of the wagon & outbacks out there. If the dealer charged you and a recall is issued, you get refunded the money for those repairs done at the desler.

nwsurfwakeskate 04-19-2012 09:41 PM

Well I finally dove into this to try and fix my 3rd brake light and rear dome light issues.

ended up cutting the boot in the middle so that I could fold it over its self. Without doing this I couldn't get enough wire exposed to add some butt splices in. Sure enough there was 2 wires broken and about half a dozen that were cut through the insulation. I repaired the wires that were broken and wrapped everything up in Rescue Tape (silicone tape). Both the 3rd brake light and rear dome light work the way they are supposed to now. I tried opening up the headliner a little bit to see if this was an easy wiring harness to replace. The shit looks like it runs everywhere and its electrical taped into every other wire harness that comes near it both in the tailgate and in the headliner! WTF subaru!!!!

I'm debating cutting the whole thing and rewiring each connection eventually but for now my bandaid repair should hold for awhile. Thank God the brake lights aren't in the tailgate. that could be a serious problem!

frank_ster 04-23-2012 05:49 PM

yep 3 wires sawed right through others insulation is cut. so will put 3 peices of wires in and protect the rest with some conduit if i can shove itin there

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