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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Troubleshooting Backup Lights

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7 replies to this topic

#1 alaskaloyale


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 05:14 PM

Winter is approaching in Alaska, and since it is suddenly no longer light out 24/7 I discovered that the backup lights do not work on my 88' GL Wagon (no voltage at the bulb sockets). I don't have a wiring diagram for the car so I'm not sure where the circuit goes. I'm guessing there is a sensor on the transmission that goes to a relay inside the dashboard somewhere that sends power to the backup lights? How do I go about testing the sensor, and where is the relay located?


Also, if anyone has a pdf of the chassis electrical part of the factory service manual that would be awesome to have, all I've been able to locate is the engine manuals.


Thanks for the help, this forum has been invaluable to fixing up this old 367,000-mile subaru

#2 Loyale 2.7 Turbo

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:04 PM

There's a Difference between Wiring for Manual Transmission and Automatic Transmission.


So What Transmission does your subie have?


Also, have you already checked for Blown or Rusty Fuses?


Kind Regards.

Edited by Loyale 2.7 Turbo, 08 October 2013 - 07:05 PM.

#3 alaskaloyale


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Posted 08 October 2013 - 07:33 PM

The car is a manual, 5-speed dual-range. Fuses are not blown or rusty, I swapped them with known good fuses to make sure and the lights still did not function.

#4 odie


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 10:56 AM

did they work before? if you have never seen them work I would look as the switch. either on the shifter or trans. I think that's where they usually are. Older cars often you will find them disconnected, say from a trans R&R and never reconnected.

#5 alaskaloyale


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 05:37 PM

They have never worked, I'll take a close look at that. If that's the only problem that would be great.

#6 maozebong


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 08:05 PM

ive found that it's usually the wires for the switch on the transmission break off the switch from old age. 

the switch is the one on the drivers side of the trans. 

#7 jono


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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:34 PM

reverse switch is the one more to the middle of the side, rather than at the end, red with white trace ? both wires ? It is switching 12V pos so 12V comes in and leaves when switched in right postion. I have found for some reason an extra washer has fixed the problem, in the past with my DR 5 sp EA82 manual box

#8 ivans imports

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 08:46 AM

Heres a cheat the senser on trans wears the end down pull senser and remove the aluminum washer reinstall this will move senser slightly closer to trans giving it a new range to turn on have fixed many non working reverse lights this way

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