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ScottG

Continuing Saga of Cruise Control Problems

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I had first posted on 5/25/09, after I'd installed factory type cruise control components in my '98 Forester (automatic). I was puzzeled by the fact that the components didn't work and posted again on 6/3/09 with a question about part numbers.

 

Suffice it to say, I had done almost everything wrong. The vacuum module for under the hood came from an outback and the cruise control computer came from a legacy.

 

I finally got all the correct part numbers & have acquired new components that have come from the same vehicle..........but after installing all the new stuff, it STILL won't work. About the only improvement,is that the Cruise button lights up when you push it, But it still won't engage

 

After examining all the cruise control threads on this board and another, Subaru wisdom indicates a problem with the clockspring. However, the typical clockspring problem causes you to lose the horn and the CEL & Cruise lights flicker. I don't have any of those problems. I have checked all fuses under the hood and behind the change holder at the bottom of left side of steering column. I've found nothing.

 

So could it still be the clockspring if I have my horn & foglights????

 

I'm thinking there's another situation that I haven't addressed yet.

 

Has anyone any first hand experience with repairing or installing cruise control

on a '98 or '99 Forester -- I want to hear from YOU!!!

 

ScottG

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I can tell you that I recently had a 99 Impreza. Airbag light was on, as well as no horn and I don't believe cruise worked. Everything was plugged in.

 

I took it to the dealer to diagnose. Didn't want to mess with trying to diagnose ABS with my limited electrical skills.

 

Within a half hour they found the problem using a special wireing harness that proved it was the clock spring. FYI a new clock spriing was like 500 bucks.

 

I put a used one in and all was fine.

 

I just did a VW Golf where the horn worked but the airbag light was on.

 

Clockspring is more integrated with the steering wheel so I replaced the wheel and the problem went away.

 

So the clockspriing has several "wires" in it. There could be a chance that a car with cruise even has more wires in the clock spring. But I don't know that would seem like a stupid idea.

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Dave, I suspect that it is the clockspring. Which, I understand, is not really a spring at all, but a rolled or coiled ribbon of wires (much like some computer wires or ribbons) that is coiled down the steering column. It is wired to nearly every function on the 'smart switch', along with the horn, cruise control & the airbag.

 

My problem with it being the clockspring is that I have NO problems: NO airbag light, NO CEL, my horn works perfectly & everything works....EXCEPT the cruise control. Is it possible that everything can work except the cruise & it's still the clockspring????

 

I'm probably more limited in my electrical knowledge than you, so I definitely respect your opinion & appreciate the information.

 

Do you know of a troubleshooting procedure, like from the FSM, that I could run to make sure it's the clockspring???(Or perhaps, eliminate that as the main suspect).

 

ScottG

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I just had a VW where the horn worked but the airbag "section" didn't.

 

 

I'm telling ya - having them diagnose it was the best 50 bucks I've spent in a long time. They have sections of harness to plug in to bypass sections of the wireing at a time. Atleast they did for the SRS system.

 

I would have been days trying to diagnose, swapping parts, etc.

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It's time for me to tell of the successful conclusion to my situation and close this thread.

 

My friend finally put his finger on the problem: IT WAS THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH!! Foresters w/o cruise control have a 2 prong brake switch. Those with cruise have a 4 prong one. I pulled the 4 prong switch from an Outback parts car, installed it, found the proper plug (it was hanging right there), and VOILA!!, I had functional cruise control.

 

Many thanks to all who posted ideas & tried to help. You are the folks who make this board rock!

 

Scott G

Richmond, VA

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Well at least you got it.

 

Clock springs are easy enough to test. You can run a few volts across each wire and check for steady voltage at the other end. Or measure resistance while the wheel is turned. Of course, you should unplug all of its connectors first.

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