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2009 Forester XT Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
I noticed tonight that one of the rear puddle lights is out...at first I thought it might just be covered in ice but nope it's dead. The curious thing is that now the other lights get brighter when I open a door and then dimmer when I close it. Just curious if that's normal. I never noticed them changing brightness when the door was opened or closed in the past...

I'm wondering if the puddle lights can't handle the winter abuse from snow/ice/salt...
 

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2014 CVT
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take it to the dealer, see what they say. that being said you havent had all that bad of a winter this yr have you???? compared to other yrs that is, i know that rochester has had a very very mild one so far
 

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2009 Forester XT 4EAT
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FWIW, my puddle lights get a little brighter when the door opens and then dim a little after it shuts. It's done that since new.
I would check to see if your ground is working on the light that is out.
 

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FWIW, my puddle lights get a little brighter when the door opens and then dim a little after it shuts. It's done that since new.
I would check to see if your ground is working on the light that is out.
Help me if I am wrong but from reading what you have said here, do the puddle lights stay on constantly when you have the headlights and the vehicle on. I thought they were supposed to go out when you close the doors and are driving around. I thought they work off the interior overhead light switch/relay. From the sound of it they always stay on or do they dim then go out.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Help me if I am wrong but from reading what you have said here, do the puddle lights stay on constantly when you have the headlights and the vehicle on. I thought they were supposed to go out when you close the doors and are driving around. I thought they work off the interior overhead light switch/relay. From the sound of it they always stay on or do they dim then go out.
Nope they go out once the door is closed for a few moments (with the interiors).. they don't stay on all the time.

ArcadeTom - thanks for verifying that's the normal operation..I had never noticed it doing that before.

FPT - no it's been an easy one so far, two major dumps of a foot or more but otherwise pretty mild. I live just between boston and ski country so it tends to snow a bit more here if there is even a dusting in Buffalo.

I was over at KB ski area last night and the parking lots were nice and sloppy snow...I maintained control however and resisted the urge to Baja up to the lift line :) maybe do a few donuts on the bunny hill...

Looks like the dealer can figure this one out, the light assembly looks fine..
 

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Totally off topic. But would anyone be up for a buffalo/rochester area wagon/forester meet? I've been thinking about posting up a forester meet thread on buffaloscooby.com
 

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2009 Forester X Premium
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Puddle lights out, totally.

I noticed the other day that the puddle light under the driver's side door was out and the others were fine. Didn't bother me as I was just going to call the dealer and have them fix it... Nevertheless, I got out of the car yesterday to get the mail and could smell wires burning!!!!! (electrical burn) A little smoke from the rear passenger side puddle light and a burnt smell from the passenger side front wheel well where the plug-in harness is located. Nevertheless, I have no puddle lights at all now. The smell has ceased and the interior lights still work. I have been too lazy to tear apart the rocker panel and remove my mudflap etc... I will have the dealer fix it, as it should be warranty.... Has anyone else had such a malfunction of their puddle lights? Could be water and road salt issues? I have taken it in deep snow twice this winter, I would hope that these lights are durable enough to handle some water and snow. Hmm....
 

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2009 Forester XT Limited
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Discussion Starter #8
dealership says...

Has anyone else had such a malfunction of their puddle lights? Could be water and road salt issues? I have taken it in deep snow twice this winter, I would hope that these lights are durable enough to handle some water and snow. Hmm....
So I finally got into to the dealership, they explained the burning smell (smells like burning rubber) as road soil on the exhaust...not entirely convinced on that one.... they said the puddle light that was out was shorted due to water inside the fixture and they're ordering a new one. I haven't been in deep snow (well not reallly deep) but that area is frequently covered in ice from the road.. it's in the direct line of fire as any water on the road is going to end up there.

Makes me wonder what the life expectancy of these lights is...sealed LED's would have made a ton of sense instead.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Puddle problems 2 down, 2 to go

I think I'm sensing a pattern here... just got puddle light #1 (rear passenger side) replaced after it failed.. work order said the wires were corroded. Not a day after I got it back, the same light on the drivers side has failed.... me thinks the salt and slush are finding their way inside the module. I'll let the dealer fix, but I think when summer comes I'll need to find a way to seal these up. Smells like design flaw or maybe an installation oops..it was the dealers first one (they didn't know the part existed till I asked for it)
 

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Just had the rear driver side puddle light replaced on my 09 XT. It started flickering just after we had some real heavy snow this winter. It went out completely a couple of weeks ago. The service manger brought out the old one for me to see and said it was corroded. He said he thinks Subaru may be working on a redesign since they are now on backorder. I only have 9000 miles on the car and it only went through one winter. I guess the current design isn't very good.
 

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2010 2.5X Premium AFF 4EAT
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Repairing the running board lights on my '98 Expedition was a yearly springtime ritual. Consequently, I made sure my Subaru 'wanted' list omitted that particular convenience.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
JBX - I think it's destined for redesign....sealed wiring is not rocket science though, there's a million ways to prevent the wires themselves from becoming corroded even if the entire fixture is packed with slush.
The other rear puddle light failed a couple of weeks after the first was replaced...I'm expecting this is a pattern.
 

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Just had the rear driver side puddle light replaced on my 09 XT. It started flickering just after we had some real heavy snow this winter. It went out completely a couple of weeks ago. The service manger brought out the old one for me to see and said it was corroded. He said he thinks Subaru may be working on a redesign since they are now on backorder. I only have 9000 miles on the car and it only went through one winter. I guess the current design isn't very good.
Well....Here we are almost a year later and right after winter. Now my rear passenger side puddle light is out.
 

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I think I'm sensing a pattern here... just got puddle light #1 (rear passenger side) replaced after it failed.. work order said the wires were corroded. Not a day after I got it back, the same light on the drivers side has failed.... me thinks the salt and slush are finding their way inside the module. I'll let the dealer fix, but I think when summer comes I'll need to find a way to seal these up. Smells like design flaw or maybe an installation oops..it was the dealers first one (they didn't know the part existed till I asked for it)
Same thing happened in March of 2010 only it was just the rear driver side. Now a year later the rear passenger side is out.
 

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My rear passenger puddle light is out also. I just noticed last week. It was flickering and now completely out. Last year about this time the rear driver side was out.

Is this covered under the 3 year warranty? I have been reading recently but no luck and for some reason, I was thinking only a year was covered.

Dave
 

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Ah, reading this brings back memories. Actually, my puddle lights did burn out last time I posted, but also they replaced the keyless entry module. Apparently after replacing the burnt out puddle lights, they couldn't get them to turn off. And, they would not light at full brightness, just a dim glow that never tuned off, or got any brighter for that matter. The dealer traced it back to the keyless entry module (which probably caused the electrical burning smell in my car last year) and replaced it. All was well, until this winter. Now I have two more burned out puddle lights. Warranty replacement time again.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
And another...

Just had another one replaced last week...about the same time as last year.. Looks like it's at least one or two fails per winter.. This summer I think I'll take a look inside and see if it can seal it..warranty runs out in just another 2 thousand miles before 36
 

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My rear passenger puddle light is out also. I just noticed last week. It was flickering and now completely out. Last year about this time the rear driver side was out.

Is this covered under the 3 year warranty? I have been reading recently but no luck and for some reason, I was thinking only a year was covered.

Dave
Yes...this is covered under 3yr/36,000 warranty. What happens when this warranty runs out? My first one died at atound 9,000 miles and just before one year of ownership. Luckily in my state (PA) any problem that appears in the first 12,000 miles /1yr of ownership could fall under a lemon law claim, so if they refuse warranty replacement on these for as long as I own this vehicle, as petty as it may seem, I'll bring up the lemon law issue.
 

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Darth,
Thank You for the confirmation on the warranty length on this.
My first one failed at like 3000 miles and had them fix it during my first oil change. The last one just recently failed, so probably about 16000 or so. I guess my next oil change will be back to the dealership to get the puddle light changed again. I hope they change the design. Once I get outside the warranty, I will look into buying the bulbs and change myself or even buy a new kit(who knows, it might even be cheaper than 4 bulbs) and have a bunch of spares.

Dave
 
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