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2001 Forester S
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read several threads on the cruise control. I'll try to cover the things that have been brought up.

The brake lights work.
No Engine Control alarm light showing on the dash.
The Cruise switch on the lower left of dash doesn't lock down in the "On" position when depressed. I don't think it's supposed to?
The little amber light does not light up when switch is pushed. I can't hear any relay clicking. Not sure if there should be an audible click or not.
I pulled the switch out and opened it. Nothing seems to be out of order AFAICT. The clear lower bulb appears to be OK, The amber bulb in the upper receptacle is cloudy looking, but I can't tell if that's just the amber coloration.

Any thoughts?
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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891 Posts
@Telkwa I have a '99 with 227,000 and I really like using CC, so I'm hoping you can solve your issue and post up solution.

My car:
* CC switch on lower left dash never did lock down when used in my car. CC works even so.
* The CC light on that switch went out so long ago that I can't remember its color - must be amber. CC works even so.
* Can't recall ever hearing any relay clicking when turning on CC by that switch; maybe my hearing not sharp enough? CC works even so.

Luck. Let us know.
 

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2007 2.5XT Limited 4EAT
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343 Posts
Older style cruise control systems are usually governed by vacuum. Do all of your heater controls work properly? I.e. does your cliamate control default to defrost only, air conditioning doesn’t work as it’s supposed to? These could be indications of a related vacuum leak. There also should be a fuse for the cruise control, could be as simple as that.
 

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2001 Forester S
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the feedback.

I didn't think the Cruise switch on the lower left of the dash locked down when "ON", but wasn't sure. When I disassembled the switch I looked for some little broken-off piece of plastic that might have worked as a detent, but everything seemed fine.
It makes sense that the switch would work with or without the tiny amber bulb.
The relay clicking was just a guess. One of the other two switches in that same group causes a relay to click under the steering wheel somewhere, so I thought maybe the cruise circuit did the same thing.


I forgot to mention that I swapped the 15A cruise fuse with the A/C fuse, even though the cruise fuse looked OK. That was the first thing I tried.

The switch acts like it's not getting any power at all. I looked in the bigger fuse box under the hood but couldn't identify anything that seemed to be dedicated to cruise.

We keep our Suby in a garage, so rodent damage is unlikely.
 

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2001 Forester S
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sorry, I didn't reply to the post about vaccuum. I have a gauge, if it still works. Heater controls work just fine. Would a very small leak shut down the cruise control?

I imagine the answer is "depends"? Depending whether the leak was near to the cruise tap or far away?
 

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2001 Forester S
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Seems odd to me but some folks on the internet are saying inoperative brake lights can cause cruise to fail. Ours work.

Beginning to think the prob might be electrical. The fuse under the dash is OK. Maybe I need to start there with a multimeter. I don't know if there's anything between the ignition switch and the fuse that can fail?

Apparently there's a switch adjacent to the brake pedal that can get out of adjustment or fail. I'll take a look at that next.
 

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1999 Forester S
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530 Posts
Find the appropriate factory service manual for your year of Forester and follow the CC troubleshooting tree.
 

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2001 Forester S
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
OK, I'm gonna try to leave some helpful hints for people.

Our cruise is working, but initiation seems a bit sporadic. I think it's in the stalk on the steering wheel because it seems like I've got to jiggle that a bit to get cruise to lock in.

It took me a few hours to stumble on to an obvious trouble-shooting trick. Swap with known good parts. The cruise button (lower left corner of dash) seemed to be inoperative because neither light was working. The obvious thing to do is borrow bulbs from the two buttons next to the cruise button. I screwed around for an hour or more trying to figure out if the bulbs were functional. When I FINALLY thought of swapping bulbs it all became clear. The bulbs that were in the cruise button failed to light up when swapped to the rear window defrost (RWD) button. The lights from the RWD button worked in the cruise button.

Before swapping bulbs I sat down and mapped out the contacts in the back of the cruise button with a multimeter. There are 6 contacts at the back of the cruise button. 4 of them are for the lightbulbs. The last two contacts make up when the button is pushed. So there's less going on than you might think when you look in there and see 6 contacts. Mapping out the contacts and what they do was fine for my own education, but swapping bulbs was a much faster way to get an idea that the button was 1) getting power and 2) probably functioning just fine.

I took a multimeter to the contacts in the plug that the cruise button plugs into. With the key "on" a contact at the top of the plug went hot. With the lights turned on, another contact showed 12V. So I guessed that power was OK into and thru the plug. After mapping out the contacts in the back of the button, and swapping the tiny light bulbs, it sure seemed like everything was OK up to and thru the button.

It was rough getting to the brake switch on the brake pedal. I took that plastic shroud under the steering wheel off before attempting to reach the switch. I removed it and tested it with a multimeter. One pair of contacts was open until pushing the plunger in. The other set of contacts were closed until pushing the plunger in. Although I didn't know for sure what that meant, the brake switch seemed to be functional.

Took it out for a test. At first the cruise didn't engage. Then it did. As mentioned previously, it seemed like I had to wiggle the stalk a little bit, or push down on it a little, to get cruise to engage. But it is working right now. If it gets worse I'll replace the stalk on the steering wheel.

EDIT: soobcrazy, when you say "find the manual" do you mean the manuals are available online? The real true hardcopy manuals are so expensive, and it seems like you've gotta order them from the dealer. Having said that, it sure would have been handy to have a set of steps for troubleshooting. Depending of course on how useful the manual's troubleshooting steps are...
 

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1999 A/T - 235,000 mi. WA state
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thanks for the detailed reporting...

OK, I'm gonna try to leave some helpful hints for people.
...
Took it out for a test. At first the cruise didn't engage. Then it did. As mentioned previously, it seemed like I had to wiggle the stalk a little bit, or push down on it a little, to get cruise to engage. But it is working right now. If it gets worse I'll replace the stalk on the steering wheel.

EDIT: soobcrazy, when you say "find the manual" do you mean the manuals are available online? The real true hardcopy manuals are so expensive, and it seems like you've gotta order them from the dealer. Having said that, it sure would have been handy to have a set of steps for troubleshooting. Depending of course on how useful the manual's troubleshooting steps are...

1st, My CC in my '99 is very appreciated, so I'm going to baby the CC stalk :|

2nd, on the service manual: look to EBay, I recently bought a used hard copy manual for a Ford.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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85 Posts
OK, I'm gonna try to leave some helpful hints for people.


EDIT: soobcrazy, when you say "find the manual" do you mean the manuals are available online? The real true hardcopy manuals are so expensive, and it seems like you've gotta order them from the dealer. Having said that, it sure would have been handy to have a set of steps for troubleshooting. Depending of course on how useful the manual's troubleshooting steps are...
You can 'rent' access to the database of Subaru Service Manuals and download them to keep. It's under $40, you have access for 3 days, you just have to download what you need. I hear it can be a process, and if you search the forum, people have set up scripts to download everything for your car. I haven't done it yet or I'd try to help more.

https://techinfo.subaru.com/stis/#/purchase_subscription
 

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1999 Forester S
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530 Posts
1st, My CC in my '99 is very appreciated, so I'm going to baby the CC stalk :|

2nd, on the service manual: look to EBay, I recently bought a used hard copy manual for a Ford.
Baby the CC stalk? Please elaborate as we also have a '99 with a balky CC stalk.
 
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