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Hi,

The left turn signal on my 98 OBW is acting oddly. It blinks about twice as rapidly as normal and the rear light does not flash at all (although the front one does).

 

It does work normally at times and none of the bulbs are burned out.

 

I'm guessing it's a relay or something like that...what else could it be?

 

Thanks,

 

--Damien

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You're sure the bulb filament is not intermittent? I've seen them where sometimes the filament makes contact and sometimes it doesn't.

 

Beyond that, the left turn signal in particular I have seen some posts of the switch getting flaky on 2000 Outbacks; maybe that can happen with earlier models too. It happens on mine, once in a while, it clicks twice the normal speed but doesn't flash. Cancelling and then re signaling usually makes it kick in.

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Is this switch user-servicable?

 

Flaky filament? That would be an interesting one...usually when they vaporize or decay that's it. Could be the 'hair of the dog' in this case...hehehe...

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Not sure on the switch, I thought I saw someone say they somehow cleaned out the contacts, but I could be confusing that with the power window switch. Someone said if replacing the stalk use a new one because I guess it is actually quite a bit of work to replace it.

 

I had a bad filament one time that was intermittent. A few friends told me they noticed my brake light was out, but every time I checked it it was working. Then I got pulled over for a blown out tail light, so I looked closer. It was funny, I pulled the bulb out and it would work if I rotated it one way, and wouldn't if i rotated it another way. The filament was broken at one end, and it would work sometimes but not others, weird indeed.

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I have posted on this issue before. I have a 2000 OBW that had the exact same problem. Dealer mechanic insisted it was the bulb but I knew otherwise. I replaced the stalk (new from RockAuto) and problem has not returned. Stalk is a user-installable item, but you need to lay on your back on the driver's seat with your head in the footwell.

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Bulbs are cheap. Flashers (the relay that blinks the lights) are usually pretty cheap too, but a bad flasher should make both bulbs act the same.

One bulb doesn't blink says bad filament to me, worth at least replacing the bulb with a spare to check if you can't confirm otherwise.

 

Might check the sockets for corrosion and tight fit, especially the one that doesn't blink. Poor ground is possible too.

Signal stalk is big $$$. Checking bulbs and sockets and grounds for corrosion is free.

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The 'stalk' is the turn signal switch assy basically, because, it sort of looks like a stalk of corn growing out the steering column I guess. Here's the rockauto one, at least for 2000 Outback. I'm considering this one, the genuine part is $140, rockauto about $70, that way I don't have to waste all my Subaru bucks either ... http://www.rockauto.com/catalog/moreinfo.php?pk=1003015&cc=1434060

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It was the bulb...the socket was completely corroded...took me 20 minutes to dig the bulb base out of it.

 

 

There was a lot of dirt in there, too...I have no idea how it got in there...but...I've seen stranger things appear spontaneously. :D

 

 

Cheers!

 

--Damien

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Ah alright great, the simplest fix is always the best. I had something like that happen on my '94, none of the brake lights worked, and I was searching aroudn trying to figure out what it would be, and someone asked, are you sure all the bulbs aren't just burned out? And sure enough, that's what it was. Both side brake bulbs and all the 3rd brake light bulbs - all burned out.

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It was the bulb...the socket was completely corroded...took me 20 minutes to dig the bulb base out of it.

 

 

There was a lot of dirt in there, too...I have no idea how it got in there...but...I've seen stranger things appear spontaneously. :D

 

 

Cheers!

 

--Damien

Cheap fixes are the best kind!

Remove the new bulb and coat the socket and bulb contacts in a generous helping of dielectric grease to prevent further corrosion.

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Yeah...I guess if the circuit isn't complete it causes the relay to work differently...kind of a nice feature...it alerts you to something wrong right away.

 

 

Cheers!

 

--Damien

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