My son has a 2001 Forester with the 2.5 liter engine, 5 speed manual. Recently, all the gauges, p.windows, signal lights and probably some other things quit working. A short while later, the car quit running, but would start with a jump. All signs pointed to the alternator, so I swapped it out with a new one, tested voltage at the battery with it running and only got 12 volts...gauges still not working. I had the alternator tested, and it tested fine...so then I started looking at fuses. Fuse #5 in the fuse box under the hood (15 amp) was blown. I replaced it, started the car and everything worked, for about 10 sec...then the tach and everything else quit working, but the car would stay running. The fuse blew again, so I put a 20 amp fuse in, and the same thing happened. I used a 25 and a 30 amp and it blew as soon as I turned the key to on. I even tried using wire instead of a fuse and as soon as I turned the key, smoke would wisp up from the wire. On the description for the fuse, all it says is "meter" and "SRS airbag system warning light" I have tried looking at a wiring diagram, and cannot figure out what the "meter" is. By the way, when the gauges and everything was working, I tested the voltage at the battery and got 14.5. When the fuse blows, I get 12 volts again with the car running. What is in that circuit that would keep the alternator from charging the battery?