Pictures of how I fixed the tail and illumination relay on the Subaru Legacy Outback.
My wife said her instrument cluster lights kept going out. Intermittently, when she drove at night with the headlights on, the speedo, tachometer, and what else, fuel gauge? would go dark. Then she could cycle the headlights on and off a time or two and the instrument lights would turn on again.
The interweb forum FaceTweets said the tail lights would also go off because the instruments and tail lights are controlled by the same relay, the "Tail and Illumination Relay." I think it is a bad idea for my wife to drive at night with no lights, so I better find that relay.
The factory service manual says these relays are very possibly
in a fuse box on the left in the driver side footwell.
There's the middle trim off.
Two screws on the bottom and some clips along the top held it on.
Where be the fusebox?
In the drivers footwell on the left wall behind the multi colored tangle of wires,
there be a fuse box.
I see three relays at the top of the fuse box.
Left trim pop rivet thinger popped out.
The trim around the door sill popped up.
These clip points under the trim in the door sill are old and brittle and
will break if you jam a screwdriver in there and yoink on them. Possibly.
I undid the small, easily lost, and hard to reach nuts that hold in the fuse box and pulled it down to see the three relays.
Hand holds three relays.
Three relays out. Two nuts out.
My nuts in my hand.
The relays slip out easily. There is no clip holding them into the fusebox.
So there was no need to pull out the fusebox.
Did you already pull out the fusebox? Ha ha.
I checked the relays with an ohm meter and a PSU battery.
All three relays sound good and have almost no resistance.
So why the problem?
I think it was the curse of the dead frog I found under the door sill trim.
I gave the frog bones to a neighbor kid,
and, with this proper burial, the spirit was appeased.
Can you see the printing here? On the left is the R-Def, or rear defrost. In the middle is Tail-Illum...something. That is the tail and illumination relay. On the right you can see it is the... Can't see anything. Probably something unimportant like the brakes.
I switched the relay from the rear def to the tail and illum slot and vice versa. Who cares if the rear defog intermittently goes out. I think.
I may have disabled the brakes.
This is a useless picture that I also took.
I crawled under there and took it, the least you can do is freakin look at it.
LOOK AT IT!
- Next I sold out to make 02¢
so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.
But no minivans!
- Then I finished my beer.
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Think: Cars are expensive, powerful, and heavy. Before I start work, I face the possibility that I will destroy my vehicle, my own life, and innocent pedestrians' lives. If anyone messes with a 4000 lb machine capable of 100 mph, these are real possibilities. If I get in over my head, I call a professional mechanic. The information on this website is provided only for entertainment purposes, and it is not intended as advice on how to service a vehicle. For all you know I made this up. Don`t believe everything you read on the internet.
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Last modified: 11/25/2014