('06-'08) Cluster Backlights not working - other lights OK - SOLVED! - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Cluster Backlights not working - other lights OK - SOLVED!

Hi everybody,

First post on the forums; I've done some extensive searching for useful information and been redirected here a few times without much success. I've seem some posts that seem similar but not 100% inline with my observations.

Summary of my issue:
Vehicle is 2007 subaru forester. While changing out two of the backlight bulbs I swapped in LED's, now I'm having no power to these bulbs. All other warning lights etc seem to work fine. Dimmer switch affects the lights behind the mileage, ac cluster lights, shifter lights, and clock.

No voltage at either side of the 3 bulbs that should illuminate the gauges. Continuity tests seem to have strange results; with bulbs out, both ends of where the bulbs connect have continuity to one wire orange(white stripe.) I've seen some diagrams of wiring for this from another site but am unclear their validity based on my results.

I am not sure where the relay for tail lights and illumination is located, from my discovery this would appear to be power, and a low side driver on the illumination control module for grounding, I haven't seen much on illumination modules after 05? I tend to be on the road a lot at night and wanted to see if there's anyone that's had a similar issue and could shed some light, pun mildly intended

thanks for any input

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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:43 PM
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LED are polarity sensitive, did you try reversing how they're plugged in? If you did this & still not lighting, did you try reinstalling the incandescent bulbs to see if they light?

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]


'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Yes I tried OEM replacements, I've even probed both sides with a meter to see if there's any potential across; no dice.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:00 PM
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Looking on the diagram below. What bulbs did you replace with LED that now won't light when the original incandescent bulbs are reinstalled?

Bobby...


['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:02 PM
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I've read others in this situation ended up frying something on the circuit board that needed resoldered. Can't recall what happened now but it kept me from attempting an LED install.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:29 PM Thread Starter
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@2.5x_sleeper Bulbs 2/3/6 are the only ones that seem to have issue. I thought these were affected by the dimmer switch but that seems to conflict diagrams I've found, so I question their accuracy.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scooby24 View Post
I've read others in this situation ended up frying something on the circuit board that needed resoldered. Can't recall what happened now but it kept me from attempting an LED install.
I'd have no problem doing any sort electrical work, I just need accurate information of what is wired to what. Cars have always been tough to find reliable sources and as of lately I don't have the time to build up my own schematic to work from like I've done on other vehicles for lighting mods.

Tbh I didn't want to be bothered to do LED's initially but the ones NAPA supplied burnt out in <1 year (~30k miles) and even the socket they fit in almost melted but those bulbs have been replaced with standard bulbs and work fine
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 06:51 PM
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Start with the easy stuff... like the fuses & making sure those original incandescent bulbs you reinstalled were good?

Assuming everything else is good, the BIU - Body Integrated Unit may have been damaged...

Take a look at this thread: BIU - Body integrated unit - DIY repair!

Bobby...


['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]
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'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 07:15 PM Thread Starter
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The bulbs I installed I presumed to be good but regardless there's no voltage across the bulb from a meter. I back-probed i12 pin 4 (thought this was orange/white for some reason - will investigate in the light tomorrow) and it seemed to have continuity across both sides of the bulb when the bulbs were not plugged in *special note with the assumption it was the three previously mentioned bulbs*

What are the other two light references from this schematic? Assumption the LCD back light references the mileage indicator lights.

I'm unclear what the mew - COM, or I/F block represents; from what I can see the grounding B10 would reference connector I10 pin 10 as a black wire and connector I12 pin 11 as orange and white?
I would venture a guess that voltage should be present at B36 PIN4 violet wire coming from harness, this should have continuity to one end of the bulb socket.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 08:26 PM
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The Subaru technical document doesn't go any deeper into the "magic" on the combination meter circuit board. They don't expect the circuit board to be repaired... as they say, on the trouble shooting tree, if NG, replace.

The illumination control is via the BIU thru the [V] & [OrW] wires. Excessive current draw or a short will blow the BIU.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]


'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 12:36 AM
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This is what I saw

LED in Dash Cluster
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 04:41 PM Thread Starter
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Solution! I found a break on the circuit trace, a little soldering and all fixed up. Connections marked in red are run from the same line for future reference. Thanks for your help.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 05:06 PM
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@Jesse B that you for post the solution to your problem. I added "SOLVED!" to your thread title.
Quote:
<snipped> I didn't want to be bothered to do LED's initially but the ones NAPA supplied burnt out in <1 year (~30k miles) and even the socket they fit in almost melted but those bulbs have been replaced with standard bulbs and work fine
Sound like you were running the wrong voltage bulbs, as in, 12V bulbs instead of 14V long life bulbs? Those hot bulbs could have damaged the circuit traces?

We haven't had to replace any combination meter bulbs in either of our Foresters.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 05:23 PM Thread Starter
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Only the top section had a break the red outlines where that powers. I suspect it's been on the edge for a while lights would intermittently come on and off, I assumed napa bulbs. Thanks for the update to solved on the title. I have no problem with electrical work I just need a diagram I can somewhat trust to work from so I appreciate your help.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 06-24-2019, 07:22 PM
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On the positive side, the BIU - Body Integrated Unit wasn't the problem!

Bobby...

['07 FSXT MODding Journal] ['03 X MODding Journal]

'07 FSXT - COBB Surgeline dyno stock Protune - Stage 1+
'03 X +AVO turbo kit = XT (son's)
'95 Neon Sport
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