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2011 Forester
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone!
My 2011 Forester has both of its front windows stuck in the fully closed position. Both rear windows raise and lower perfectly. This problem was intermittent for several years, and now seems to be permanent.
I have tried the window software reset sequence specified in the Owner's Manual, but it did not have any effect on my problem.
The problem is the same whether using the driver side switches or the passenger side switch.
I cannot hear any motor sounds or clicking when I press the switches.
My first step was to test the fuse and relay, but I cannot identify them. I have attached three photographs: one of the engine compartment fuse box, its cover with the identification legend on it, and one of the interior driver's side fuse box cover with its identification legend.
I'm sorry to ask such an idiot question, but I feel certain there must be a fuse and quite possibly a relay and I can't find either!
By the way, I have vacuumed out the acorn and leaf chips that are shown in the picture of the engine compartment fuse box. Things got a little messy!
I will appreciate any help with identifying the fuse, relay, or other troubleshooting suggestions.
Thank you very much!
Dave
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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,920 Posts
My guess is possibly a wire has broken in your door loom, or there is a problem with the driver's door switches. You will probably need to examine the door wiring and remove the door card and test the switches. Good luck.
 

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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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1,550 Posts
I'm looking at the wiring diagrams for a 2010. The circuit is fed from SBF-4 (fusible link) in the main fuse box under the hood. This, in turn, goes to a relay block under the dash. There are at least two blocks, one on the driver's side and another behind the glove box.

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The fuse for the relay control voltage is #26 in the cab fuse box on the driver's side. You'll want to check your owner's manual.

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From here, the power wiring wiring goes into the instrument panel cord then into left and right front doors. It looks to me like there There is no fuse for just the front windows. So I'm thinking you should be looking at the connection between the door cords and the instrument panel cord.

This is for my car and it demonstrates a certain philosophy for the SH models. YMMV. :)

EDIT: I tried to draw a conclusion when I shouldn't have. The important aspect is that the door cords connect to the instrument panel cord. I'm not finding fuses specifically for the front windows.
 

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2011 Forester
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59 Posts
One data point from another 2011 owner.
I had to replace the mirror positioning switch in the dashboard. Symptoms started with intermittent non-functioning and eventually went to full non-function.
One opinion.
If you have had collision damage to either door, there is a possibility of wire loom damage.
Another opinion.
donkpow can't find a common relay, so suspect switch on driver door (most wear). You can bypass the switch using a paperclip reshaped into a U. Easiest to do by removing connector and inserting clip into connector. Another clue is that the less-used rear window switches still work, but the most-used front switches no longer work.
 

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2019 Forester Sport Lineartronic® CVT
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500 Posts
In the switches. I have to clean the contacts of the switches in my F-150 sometimes, they build carbon from arcs just as the switch closes, the more use, or greater electrical load, arc gets hotter. The carbon is a byproduct of the hot arc and the grease often used on the switch contacts. My F-150 switches can be disassembled, I have never needed to do it on our '03 Subaru. Might require new switch assemblies.
 

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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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1,550 Posts
donkpow can't find a common relay
It's actually all I can find, one relay labeled for all power windows. And to reiterate a point, there is a door cord for the front left door and another door cord for the right front door. Each connects to the instrument panel cord through respective connectors.
 

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2011 Forester
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2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you very much for all these carefully thought out replies! I've had a long day, and started troubleshooting late: I've gotten the switch assembly out of the driver's door and verified that the switch connections all had low resistance, so hopefully not too much arc damage. The car has never crashed, so I'm hoping that the door looms are not the problem (since I hate tracing them out! Too many bad experiences with British Leyland and Lucas electrical parts!) Tomorrow I'm going to take a hard look at the relay, and see if maybe it's a multi-pole relay and the pole(s) powering the front windows are bad.

I can't tell you how much I appreciate the reams of great information you all have posted! I will get back to you all tomorrow evening after I've looked at the relay.

Thank you!
Dave

P.S. This is an old joke, but maybe some of the newer members haven't heard it: Background: Lucas Electric made many of the switches, sockets, lamp holders, etc. for British Leyland back in the days of the MG and Triumph sport cars. Their parts were legendary for their unreliability. Your headlights would suddenly die, and you'd be left working on your car by the side of the road. Eventually, the manufacturer became known in some circles as "Lucas, Prince of Darkness". 😂
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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1,401 Posts
I suspect fritzy power windows in SH (2009-2013) Foresters are a well-known thing - my cousin's 2009 had a driver's window that if lowered, was difficult to get to come back up, the one time I drove it with her. I have no idea what the fix is (or fixes are), though.
 

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2021 Forester Limited
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1,361 Posts
@whobodym could be worn or mis adjusted guides causing the glass to bind in the track. Or worn track too.
I have noticed both the 2010 Impreza and the Forester's we have have a lot of slop that the windows can move in. If they get a little crooked going up, they might bind a little.
 

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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@Black21Limited , the 2009 I experienced was clearly an electrical interruption - it either moved normally, or didn't move at all. No labored slow motion or noises. I would try to raise the window 3 or 4 times getting nothing, then it suddenly would work again. Of course you could be right about other cars at other times.
 
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