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2020 Forester Touring
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2010 Forester that I am installing some OEM fog lights on and I can't seem to get the top steering column cover off. The diagram shows 3 screws and I can't find them. I have the bottom off... Just can't figure out the top half.
Thanks!!!
 

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2010 Forester M
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97 Posts
I am getting ready to do the exact same thing on my 6 day old forester. I will post what I find in a few hours
 

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2017 Forester X
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4 Posts
Fog light cost

Didn't order the fog lights due to cost and the fact that we rarely get fog here in the dry southwest. But was wondering what you paid for your lights? Did you also look at after market ones?
 

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2009 Forester, auto
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57 Posts
The top cover does not need to be removed, it just needs to be uplifted to get the old turn stalk out and the new one in. The three screws do need to be removed though.

The three screw: one just to the back of the stalk, one in the middle and one on the right side. Unplugging one of the connectors makes it easier to see and get to the one on the right side. Using the fog light install instructions will get you in the general area. A bit of "looking" will find them. They really are not right in your face.
 

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2010 Forester M
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ok, just finished it. at first I almost put it off for another day.

first 2 on the left side. one is back above the lever for tilting the steering wheel.
Next one is towards the front, easier to see, hard to describe but this one is the easiest to find.

third one is in the center, it is visible from the right side, there is a gap in front of the ignition cylinder, you can see it up towards the top if you look carefully, take your time and put eyes on it first. thread the screwdriver up, there is a path to it. and loosen it up.

I did not try this but the screws are about 3/4 inch long, if I would do this again, I would not loosen the screws all the way. just about 3/4 of the way so you can lift the upper half up, this may give you enough clearance.
this way you will save much time getting the screws back up in there.
if not:
now as hard as that was, if you do need to take the screws all the way off,

use a magnetised screw driver,

put the screw on the end of the screw driver first, then feed it up through the wires, just worry about getting it through that metal hole first, push it all the way through, then with your other hand, position the plastic trim piece on the screw. this will save you from dropping the screw a half dozen times before giving up.

good luck.
 

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2002 WRX
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40 Posts
I did this to my girlfriend's forester and didn't see the two front screws at first. The back screw is easy to spot, but you need to get underneath to get a clear view of the other two hidden by the brackets and wiring.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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50 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
First up... to answer how much I paid, it wouldn't be a good judge because I got a really great deal on an OEM set from a parts friend of mine.... seriously, I wouldn't have gotten them if I didn't pay less than 1/3 what Subaru wants (which is $325 if I'm not mistaken... and unless you can get them for less than that, it's really not worth it, in my opinion).

My mechanic partner and I installed the OEM fog lights for our 2010 Forester 2.5X Premium) earlier today. I handled the inside, he did the outside. I have to say, right off the bat... the instructions that come with them and that can be found online are horrible. They pretty much tell you how many screws you're potentially looking at getting into... but that's all! And don't forget to remove the negative battery terminal before you begin! Safety first!

I agree with everything already said, but want to give me own account. And I, too, recommend a magnetic screwdriver. Also, be careful of losing screws below the drivers seat. I have a power seat and there is a hole in the carpet (on purpose) and then a little area where stuff can fall and be lost forever. So, beware this area!!!!! I almost lost a screw to one of these spots!

First up, the screws and such for the steering column: Below the steering column there is a cover that has 1 simple screw right in the middle, in the most obvious place. Once that is off it is a jumble of wires and problem areas.
The first screw I tackled to get the upper steering column off was the one on the left hand side (a US car, so towards the drivers side of the vehicle) which is right above the tilt steering wheel lever. Unfortunately there is a horribly placed steel plate that cannot be moved that is in the way. You will need a long screwdriver and patience because you cannot get at the screw at the proper angle. The second screw I tackled was on the opposite side, very near the ignition switch. For this and the other screw I went ahead and undid the wiring to the wiper stalk for easier access. This screw is attached to a long piece of plastic that comes down from the upper column cover down to almost the bottom of the steering column. The last screw took me forever to find. And to be 100% honest, I wasn't the one to find it. But according to my partner, it was directly across from the first screw I removed.

The signal/light stalk should now fully be exposed. You should try to unplug it first before removing it. The builder that wired my vehicle wrapped the wires around other wires and it made this very difficult to unplug. The stalk itself is held on by two small screws facing the door. Just slide it out and slide the new one back in, screw the screws back in, and attach the wiring.

I would wait to put the column cover back on until you have finished installing the relay. Just my opinion.

Now, to the side panel. You pretty much just have to pry off the side panel (the part that touches the door) with your bare hands. I wouldn't recommend using a screw driver or anything because you might damage the plastic. It is just held on with 4 plastic pressure attachments (similar to snaps, but nothing to have to push in to free). Once this piece is off, there are only 2 screws that you need to remove to take off the entire underside of the drivers side dash. One screw faces the door and the other faces the seat. Once the screws are removed you will need to carefully peal the rest of that lower section off. It is the entire sheet of plastic from those screws you just removed all the way to the center console. The rest of this is just held on with the same type of pressure snaps as the previous piece.

Note that there are 3 connectors going to this panel (1 to the mirror switches, 1 to the dashboard dimmer knob, and the last to the traction control button). I went ahead and unhooked these to give me better access, but if you are nimble enough, you can probably do this without removing these.

Here is another area where the instructions are kinda foggy. This is where you are going to plug in the relay. Basically after removing the bottom half of your dash you have exposed a set of fuses and a bunch of wires. The instructions lead you to believe the relay insert is right in front of your face when in reality is is hidden behind a metal brace for the dash. You will definitely need to shine a flashlight in here to see where it goes and what direction. Basically you are putting the new relay in the bottom-most right opening. There are a few open slots, so make sure you get the right one. You'll also have to figure out which way it plugs in (it only goes one way), which I did by site rather than by feel. It firmly plugs in.


Replace the underside of the dash by matching up the pressure snaps and pressing firmly (make sure you pay attention to how many and where these are as they are pretty much all that holds this section in place, and you wouldn't want it accidentally coming back off). Screw the two screws back in and replace the side panel.

As for the inside of the vehicle, you're all done!

Now for the actual lights...

The instructions pretty much say that you have to take off the whole front bumper and about 10 plastic snaps. But, with a creeper on a hard surface, he was able to get to the installation area without taking any of the plastic snaps on the top or the bottom off! The only things he had to remove to get to the installation area was to remove 2 small bolts (1 on each side). These bolts are not shown on the instructions. They are located under the vehicle, on the inside, next to the towing tie-downs. You will need a 10 mm socket with a long extension to remove these. This will allow you to move a plastic cover to give you access to the installation site. The covers/grates that are currently in the place where the fog lights go just snap out. Make sure you put the correct light on the correct side of the vehicle, slide the light in from the front, and screw on the plastic screws. Then there is a metal bolt that goes on the bottom of the light (he believes this is also a 10 mm). The wiring for these lights is taped up in a recessed area. Un-tape the wires and connect them to the lights. Finally, snap on the chrome rings onto the front of the light.

We did not adjust the lights (it was too light out to really see where they were shining), but to adjust, just remove those same two bolts to access the area and use a stubby phillips head screwdriver to adjust the direction of the lights.

Overall, other than screw hunting, this was a VERY simple install!!! Definitely not worth the upwards of $200 that several places charge. There's definitely some crawling around and patience involved, but nothing too bad!

Again, I just wanted to give a detailed (even if it may be a bit TOO detailed) version of my experience. I know that I have used this forum for so many things already and so many of your comments have helped me tremendously!!! So, thank you to all those that have shared!!!! I am forever grateful!!!

Hope this helps! And good luck!
 

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2010 Forester M
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great write up.

I only did the switch install and I managed to plug the relay in without removing the panels.

I am going to hold off installing the fog lights until it warms up a bit. I really wasnt crazy about taking off the entire front bumper. I will try your method and see what happens.

oh, I paid $240 at subaruonlineparts.com

they were the cheapest I found after hours of searching.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter #9
How in the world did you plug the relay in without taking off the panels? I would not even have known where to look. Of course, because of a bad back, I could not really get up under there and look around.
 

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2010 Forester M
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well pg 3 of the directions, step 5 has a little diagram (4) of the relay panel to the right of the fuse panel. I tilted the steering wheel up all the way, and was able to get one or 2 fingers in on that side, pulled the little fuse door and squeezed the relay in that way, it was difficult but I got it in there.

I may try the fog lights this week if it stays warm.
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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704 Posts
Pretty easy to do. Feel free to add in any tips you know of and Ill update this first post. Instructions are here: 09-10 Fog Light Kit. The whole database for install guides are here: Public Tech Guides. Pictures and tips below:

Reading around people don't like the stock position of the fog light. They come from the factory pointed pretty low. Something to look into if you are not impressed. Also, you can add some PIAA Intense White 9006 (HB4) bulbs.

The two tiny rivet looking things at the corners of the bumpers (one each side) can be removed by pressing the button in, then removing the whole clip. The other clips, you just have to pry the center up about a 1/4" then remove the whole clip.



Correct, the front bumper can stay on during the install.





















The chrome might be a bit much for me...maybe flat black??


Don't forget to put these guys back in!
Hope this helps!
 

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2010 2.5 Premium, auto
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Wow great write up, I just did the same install to mine today. I wish I had your pictures! I am guessing it took you much more time to do the write up than the install, I found it to be one of the easier installs I have done. I was able to leave the panel on to put the relay in, and was absolutely amazed how easy the bumper came off and more importantly back on, which will come in handy when the sport grill arrives.

The next step is the rally innovations light bar and I'm thinking some PIAA 520s, any suggestions, anyone try this setup yet?
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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On yeah, gotta love that bumper. I ran up on some snow in a parking lot (was going to park my ride ontop of it) but I failed to remember how warm it was that day. I just plowed right into it. When I tried to back out my bumper poped off! Stopped at a gas station...took maybe...1 minute to pop it back in place. Looks brand new!
 

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2010 Forester M
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took me about 15 min to install both. used my multitool and a 10mm socket wrench. I had been planning on waiting until spring to put the lights in, but after reading this write up, I decided to take a look under the hood. . basicly if you arent afraid to crawl on the ground, this is easy.

undo that 10mm and then 1 of the snaps, and you can fold the panel out of the way.

used the pliers on the multitool to pull the dummy plastic panels off.

I had read about people saying the lights came aimed a little low so I gave each light a full turn with the screwdriver. hopefully it is not too bad and I can wait until april or so to aim it properly.

I had done the switch and relay last saturday so I am ready to go.
 

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2020 Forester Touring
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Discussion Starter #15
Cuddles,

You know, I searched and searched for a thread just like this one and your original post never came up. I tried everything... and over the course of several days.

Just curious though... did you not take the third (not circled) screw of of the top steering column cover off? That was the hardest little bugger... not having a clear path to get to it... especially trying to put it back in crooked!

Anyway, thanks for the post. I think that between your pictures and my overtly long write-up, we've got everyone covered for a while!!!
 

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2010 2.5 X
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I did this install last night and it was a breeze! Thanks to cuddles and mreding for a great write-up and pictures. Now I just need to aim the lights a little higher and I will be good to go. (This is what I would have written had the unfortunate accident* not occurred)

*Everything above is true until the easiest part of the install. I clipped/semi-clipped the chrome bezel in the wrong way and it got wedged in pretty good. I tried, as gently as I could, to get the bezel out with no luck. I eventually got it to pop out after prying from behind the light with a flat head screwdriver but broke two of the clips in the process. They have been superglued and I will clip them in after work today. I've got a message in to a vendor about the availability of the bezels by themselves. If they aren't too expensive maybe a new set will be on the way and I can experiment with blacking out my current set.
 

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2010 Forester M
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trying to aim them once they are installed is tougher than the actuall install itself. I re-aimed last weekend and managed to get it higher but still pretty low. I am waiting for warm weather and I am going to remove them and crank them as far as they will go.
 

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09 Forester 2.5X
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Cuddles,

You know, I searched and searched for a thread just like this one and your original post never came up. I tried everything... and over the course of several days.

Just curious though... did you not take the third (not circled) screw of of the top steering column cover off? That was the hardest little bugger... not having a clear path to get to it... especially trying to put it back in crooked!

Anyway, thanks for the post. I think that between your pictures and my overtly long write-up, we've got everyone covered for a while!!!
Glad I could help everyone, it's the least I could do with all the help I've gotten from this site...definitely link here if anyone else starts a new thread on fog light installs. Sucks that my thread didn't come up with a search!

Third screw...I cant remember, but there is one on the cover AND 3 screws under the cover?? Wooops. I may not circled it because I was able to find it. The others it took a few minutes to locate. I started to think they weren't even there! hahah.
 

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I just did this installation on my '10 today.

After looking it over carefully, I chose not to remove the side panel on the dash and had no problem installing the new relay but it took some manual dexterity to make it happen.

I did remove the entire bumper like the directions call for.

Took me all of an hour from start to finish.

I do need to aim them a bit higher so I'm hoping to figure out how to access them through the removable panels from underneath.

One thing I noticed is that the chrome rings do not snap in flush with the lights. There is a bit of a gap between them and the glass. I'm hoping this is correct and not a problem with my installation.
 

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2010 Forester M
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I noticed the same gap, but the gap seems to be there in order to allow for the adjustment of the lights.
 
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