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SUBARUPictures 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.

But first, lets pay some bills:
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  1. The factory service manual says these relays are very possibly in a fuse box on the left in the driver side footwell.
    footwell


  2. There's the middle trim off. Two screws on the bottom and some clips along the top held it on.
    trim


  3. Where be the fusebox?
    trim


  4. In the drivers footwell on the left wall behind the multi colored tangle of wires, there be a fuse box.
    argh


  5. I see three relays at the top of the fuse box.
    relays


  6. Left trim pop rivet thinger popped out.
    rivet


  7. The trim around the door sill popped up.
    pop trim


  8. 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.
    clip points


  9. 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.
    three relays


  10. Hand holds three relays.
    relays


  11. Three relays out. Two nuts out.
    relays


  12. My nuts in my hand.
    nuts


  13. 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.
    relay


  14. 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?
    ohms


  15. 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.
    bones


  16. 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.


    fusebox labels


  17. 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!
    useless


  18. Next I sold out to make 02ยข so I can fulfill my lifelong dream of owning a 1986 944 with blown head gaskets.
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    But no minivans!


  19. Then I finished my beer.
    Beer


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Last modified: 11/25/2014
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