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'15 FXT Limited CVT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New member on here,
recent purchaser of 2015 Forester XT.

When initially test driving this vehicle, it exhibited these symptoms, which they explained was an issue they were working to resolve, and the dealer fixed the issue before we purchased it.
3 weeks into owning the vehicle, once again this issue has resurfaced. When the vehicle is turned on, the hazard lights are activating randomly, sporadically, without user intervention.
The dealer/shop said that they had tried swapping out various relays and switches etc with other models of Forester they had trying to isolate this issue, and that it ended up being a resistor that they stated wasn't on a wiring diagram.
Does anyone have any idea what might cause this issue?

If the Hazard lights are activated by the center console button, the hazards operate as expected. When the hazards are turned off, the sporadic behaviour resumes.

I have uploaded a short video outlining the behaviour to youtube:

I have checked, and re-seated the 15a fuse for the hazard lights since this started recurring, and it made no difference.
We have scheduled an appointment to get it back in next week but wondering if anyone has insight to this issue?
 

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2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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The answer may be in your question ...

that it ended up being a resistor that they stated wasn't on a wiring diagram.
Did this resistor get removed? Were they able to figure out what it is for or from? Have they tried to go around that resistor?
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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May be a silly question, but do the lights on the exterior of the vehicle actually come on as well when the flashing occurs?

For the fun of it, what happens if your turn on the signal lights (left or right) while this is happening?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@GuusV Hey, thanks for getting this clarification - the lights on the exterior react exactly as they show up in the indicators when this is occurring. (they are flashing for brief moments)

when the turn signal is used while this is occurring, the turn signal operates as expected however it is interjected with the behaviour experienced with the hazards/indicators.
(both occur at the same time)
 

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reason I was asking is that the hazards and turn signals work together. In older cars there are 2 flashers. One for the hazards and one for the turn signals.

It sounds like a loose contact or loose wire. The center dash-panel is relatively easy to pop out. I wonder what would happen if you unplugged the hazard-switch.

A wiring diagram might help you chase down where the culprit might be...

Honestly though, this was a problem that existed when you bought the car. They said they were going to fix it, but obviously, they didn't! So, it's not really your problem, it's their problem!
 

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@GuusV That's true - I was hoping to find a needle in a haystack.. I'm just wary of this becoming a recurring issue.
There are usually multiple connectors involved in an electrical circuit. Somewhere in the system, the hazard lights are being activated.
Starting from the signal-light and working your was back to the hazard switch doesn't make sense because the signal light can also be triggered by the signal-switch. So, I'm guessing it is something between the hazard switch and the signal-switch.

You have to start "somewhere"...

I wonder: Do the hazards get activated when a collision is detected? (from watching "stupid driver" videos on YT, I would almost think the answer to that is Yes...)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
There are usually multiple connectors involved in an electrical circuit. Somewhere in the system, the hazard lights are being activated.
Starting from the signal-light and working your was back to the hazard switch doesn't make sense because the signal light can also be triggered by the signal-switch. So, I'm guessing it is something between the hazard switch and the signal-switch.

You have to start "somewhere"...

I wonder: Do the hazards get activated when a collision is detected? (from watching "stupid driver" videos on YT, I would almost think the answer to that is Yes...)
It could have something to do with the eyesight system yes, but so far no other symptoms are appearing other than sporadic hazards.

- on the evening we brought it back, as it is intermittent, the issue was not occurring. The dealer did not get the issue to reoccur. the dealer replaced that same 'diode/resistor' with another similar model, and they didn't get the issue to reoccur, but on the way home it happened again. seems to only start happening after a while of the engine being warmed up, but this may also be coincidence.
 

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It could have something to do with the eyesight system yes, but so far no other symptoms are appearing other than sporadic hazards.

- on the evening we brought it back, as it is intermittent, the issue was not occurring. The dealer did not get the issue to reoccur. the dealer replaced that same 'diode/resistor' with another similar model, and they didn't get the issue to reoccur, but on the way home it happened again. seems to only start happening after a while of the engine being warmed up, but this may also be coincidence.
Damn... that's frustrating!

I didn't mean that it has something to do with eyesight. I was referring to the Airbag/restraint system. It would be helpful to see a wiring diagram to see what's involved in activating the hazard lights...
 

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Lucidry, have you found a fix for this yet? I'm having the exact same problem on my 2016 Forester. So far, two mechanics have been unable to come up with any solutions other than replacing the flasher module, which did not help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Hi Ryan,

No they have not fixed this intermittent issue yet.
To further complicate the problem, the issue hasn't reared it's head since the colder weather and snow has been hitting us (I live in southern Ontario, Canada).. I don't know how weather is playing a role...
I have scheduled to bring the truck back in early new year.. I'll post with any updates.

Please post back if you get any progress. I will post an update that i had a P0137 code come up and it put the vehicle into LIMP mode. i used a bluetooth odb2 scanner i have with an android app, to pull the code, and reset, which put it back to normal.
The code has not reappeared since clearing it, but it is for the rear bank o2 sensor. there's a technical service bulletin for a PCM update, 11-169-16 Subaru Technical Service Bulletin , which I am trying to get an official Subaru Dealership to apply the update per this bulletin, but they have told me the technician may not do it unless the service code comes up again.
 

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I think the third mechanic I tried has solved the issue for me. I haven't had any problems for the last 1-2 weeks. He found a corroded connector on a wire running to the rear gate control module from pin 8 on the hazard module (white/green wire). This must have been intermittently pulling the line to ground.

The connector is located behind a cover on the floor beside the driver's left foot. I think all he did was clean up the connection a bit and it's been working fine since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
@Ryan52 - thank you so much for the detailed followup.
I brought the forester to the regional Subaru dealership at the advice of the dealership I bought the vehicle from... They advised that the battery was likely causing the issue pulling lower than expected (about 300 amps?), and charged me for diagnostics and replacing the battery. Time will tell if this resolved it, when the temperatures warm up.

If it comes back I'm going to look for that connector, and I will update.

Again thanks for your response!

------ edit; update
the regional subaru dealership charged me for replacement battery and diagnostic fee, and did not resolve the issue. (it started happening again)
-- I've looked for the connector in question but have not located it yet - there doesnt seem to be any compartment / cover on floor... does the carpet need to come up?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I know this thread has been dead a long time, I just want to confirm this issue was resolved with the suggestion provided by Ryan52, the mechanic found corrosion in the same place described, and have had no intermittent flickering since.
 

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I just signed up to this forum as soon as I saw this thread. I live in Toronto and I have a 2018 manual forester. About two weeks ago, I got my interior detailed since the winter is almost over. Right after that I started having the same problem along with ABS, Traction Control, Blind Spot Warning, Hill Assist etc all disabled. I tried to dry the interior for days with the heat on at max for hours and hours. After 3rd day, everything got back to normal except this hazard lights issue and power lift gate malfunctioning. I still have the problem and I can’t wait to try this on my car tomorrow. If it works, I’ll get you a lunch if you are down for it. Thank you so much for the both of you even for the hope! Fingers crossed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just signed up to this forum as soon as I saw this thread. I live in Toronto and I have a 2018 manual forester. About two weeks ago, I got my interior detailed since the winter is almost over. Right after that I started having the same problem along with ABS, Traction Control, Blind Spot Warning, Hill Assist etc all disabled. I tried to dry the interior for days with the heat on at max for hours and hours. After 3rd day, everything got back to normal except this hazard lights issue and power lift gate malfunctioning. I still have the problem and I can’t wait to try this on my car tomorrow. If it works, I’ll get you a lunch if you are down for it. Thank you so much for the both of you even for the hope! Fingers crossed!
It's quite possible that the design flaw might be in the draining channel on the driver side, allowing moisture to accumulate there... here's hoping that's your issue, let us know!
 

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I have a 2016 Forester, in February '22 the intermittent blinking of the hazards started for me.
I took it to a local dealership and a mechanic looked at it there for about 4 hours. I think he noticed a corroded wire as well and worked on that. But they tried swapping out different parts, from the hazard button itself to a relay switch, with no luck. At the time they didn't think they resolved the issue, but as I was driving home the blinking stopped and seemed to be fixed going forward.
Fast forward 3 months and it started again. The tech at the dealership in February said that replacing the wiring harness could be the solution, which I hope is not the case as the estimate I was given for that work was not cheap.
If anyone has had this issue fixed but return, would love to hear what your options were.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have a 2016 Forester, in February '22 the intermittent blinking of the hazards started for me.
I took it to a local dealership and a mechanic looked at it there for about 4 hours. I think he noticed a corroded wire as well and worked on that. But they tried swapping out different parts, from the hazard button itself to a relay switch, with no luck. At the time they didn't think they resolved the issue, but as I was driving home the blinking stopped and seemed to be fixed going forward.
Fast forward 3 months and it started again. The tech at the dealership in February said that replacing the wiring harness could be the solution, which I hope is not the case as the estimate I was given for that work was not cheap.
If anyone has had this issue fixed but return, would love to hear what your options were.
Hi Piper, you might want to try another mechanic, (or this one if you're a regular) and specifically ask that they look for the connector that may be at fault in our cases:

"He found a corroded connector on a wire running to the rear gate control module from pin 8 on the hazard module (white/green wire). This must have been intermittently pulling the line to ground.
The connector is located behind a cover on the floor beside the driver's left foot. I think all he did was clean up the connection a bit and it's been working fine since then. "

Beware this issue 'can' appear to be resolved for days, weeks, even months at a time just to reappear - that is what I had for over a year only intermittently (more during rainy, snowy season and weather) - until I finally went to my mechanic using this post as extra information, and he found the wire connection described. (not the wire itself being corroded, but the connector between 2 wires required cleaning up and electric grease)

-- after having this connector cleaned up, the issue has not occurred in over half a year.
hope this helps,

Ryan
 

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I have a 2016 Forester, in February '22 the intermittent blinking of the hazards started for me. I took it to a local dealership and a mechanic looked at it there for about 4 hours. I think he noticed a corroded wire as well and worked on that. But they tried swapping out different parts, from the hazard button itself to a relay switch, with no luck. At the time they didn't think they resolved the issue, but as I was driving home the blinking stopped and seemed to be fixed going forward. Fast forward 3 months and it started again. The tech at the dealership in February said that replacing the wiring harness could be the solution, which I hope is not the case as the estimate I was given for that work was not cheap. If anyone has had this issue fixed but return, would love to hear what your options were.
Hi Piper, I was wondering if the solution proposed worked for you too? The mechanics seem to be ignoring me.
 
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