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Registered
1999 Forrester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I'm new to the forum, and a know-nothing when it comes to autos. My older son pointed out an electrical problem with our 1999 Forester yesterday. He had been driving it, and only stopped home for a few minutes. When he went to leave, all he got was a 'click', or nothing when turning the key to the start position. He also noticed interior and dash lights kind of 'blinking' dim to full bright, to the pattern of the emergency flashers. And you could hear what seems to be the click of the flasher relay.

The exterior 4-way flashers were also flashing in time, though not as bright as normal, nor as fast.

Yes, the battery terminals were badly corroded, but fixing that didn't fix the strange flashing of the lights. Sometimes, the slam of a door, or switching on/off various dash switches would make the blinking stop for about 5 seconds, but it would resume.

A neighbor who works on his own cars came to help. In the end, he removed a 10A fuse from something under the dash, and that stopped the blinking. Now the only thing I have found that doesn't work as before is the illumination for the radio display is out. I forgot to try the power windows and mirrors.

My question is: Does anyone have an idea what caused the blinking? And secondly, what does the 10A fuse go to? When I looked, I couldn't even see where a fuse would fit "into the end of a wire".

The vehicle DOES have a pushbutton for an Anti-theft alarm. Perhaps it is a panic, or vehicle locator system. I have not used it because I don't know/remember how. I half wonder if the fuse was for that, or if the blinking had to do with the Anti-theft/panic/locator system.

I'm currently unemployed, and cannot afford a huge shop bill to figure this out.

Thanks,
 

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Premium Member
2008 XS 4EAT
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9,825 Posts
Larry first welcome to the forum and we hope you visit often, there are a lot of members willing to offer advice and knowledge. I'll have a go at this since this happened to me when I owned a '99. All the Foresters of that vintage came equipped with remote entry, even if it was the base model the basics were there if you wanted to add a remote. If the battery is disconnected or has a bad connection, the remote entry will have to be reset. Since you mentioned the battery cables were corroded, I'd suggest disconnecting the battery and cleaning the corrosion off the terminals and cables. If you have time charge the battery to make sure it is fully charged. When you reconnect the battery you will hear and see the familiar flashing and clicking you've been experiencing, with your remote (if you do have one) click the unlock button a couple of times and see if that stops it. If it doesn't get inside the vehicle and feel under the coin/fuse cover, on the drivers side, run your hand along the bottom of the trim, you'll feel a nub with a recessed button, this is the manual reset, with the ignition on press the button. Hopefully this will solve your problem. Please let us know if it worked here, so if it didn't work somebody else can take a stab at solving it. Good luck
 

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Administrator
2004 Forester XT Premium 4EAT
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29,436 Posts
^^ yep, what good dog said... lock and unlock once with the remote should fix it once the battery terminals have been cleaned and properly connected.
 

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Registered
1999 Forrester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
THanks for the replies

Yes, it DOES have key fob for remotely locking/unlocking the doors. Great feature if you should be stupid enough to lock your key in the car, as I have done before with another vehicle :icon_redface: (and I DON'T keep the remote on a keyring WITH the key-- they be separate just for that reason:icon_wink:)

I'll ask the neighbor to replace the 10A fuse he took out that stopped the flashing. Your suggesting sounds like a reasonable solution to the problem. I went to get something out of the car today, and found that the remote entry key fob wouldn't unlock the car. No big deal in general I thought, but it is a second thing that I found that no longer work since the neighbor pulled that 10A fuse from under the dash which resolved the problem for the time being.

Kind of funny though. In my original post I touched on your possible solution Good Dog. I mis-spoke when I said "The vehicle DOES have a pushbutton for an Anti-theft alarm. Perhaps it is a panic, or vehicle locator system. I have not used it because I don't know/remember how. I half wonder if the fuse was for that, or if the blinking had to do with the Anti-theft/panic/locator system. " I was meaning to indicate it has a remote for unlocking the doors, and I think it also worked an Anti-theft/panic alarm system. And I knew about the under dash button associated with it. SO I was dancing all around your suggested solution without knowing how to put the two and two together. (Typical guy: doesn't take the time to read the owners manual:icon_rolleyes:).

ANYWAY-- I'll try your suggestion and report back. Thanks for the reply.

Larry
 

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Premium Member
2015 XC diesel CVT
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4,053 Posts
It'd be worth checking the *other* ends of the battery cables too. There could still be a voltage issue that's stopping the security device from properly re-setting.
 

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Registered
1999 Forrester
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3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Talk about embarrassed.......

Good Dog,

Yes, that was the simple solution to my problem. One click of the UNLOCK button on the remote entry (after replacing the 10A fuse under the dash) stopped the flashing lights. :woohoo:

THe day my son told me about the issue, I didn't have the remote on me, so I didn't try it. It was only the next day, after the removal of the fuse and the cleaning of the battery terminals that I had the remote and found it wouldn't unlock the car.

Thanks for the help. By the way, I found the owners manual online after my last post, and after reading it, I KNEW that would be the solution.

Again, Thanks for the help.

Larry
 
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