Severed wiring leading to hatch, strange problems - Impreza Outback Sport 97

F

frisbeepappy

Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Since none of these failures were anything more than an inconvenience,
I really didn't feel like paying someone to fix them. I finally
decided to fix the rear wiper myself since it was a relatively easy
job. I replaced the motor, but it didn't fix the problem. This is
where everything got really strange. During this process, I noticed
some wiper fluid dripping out from a hole in the bottom of the hatch.
I felt around inside the hatch and realized it was flowing down the
inside of the hatch from the top of the hatch. I removed the rubber
cover between the car body and the inside of the top of the hatch on
the drivers side. The only thing inside that rubber cover was the
wiper fluid line leading to the rear window and it was severed. It
looked like it was compressed to the point of cutting through the line.
After seeing this, I removed the rubber wiring cover on the other side
of the top of the hatch and sure enough 6 out of the 9 or so wires
inside were also severed. They all seemed to have been compressed by
something to the point of being cut.

It is quite possible that when the hatch is closed, it is applying too
much pressure to these wires/tubes and causing them to be cut. It is
also possible, but seems less likely, that this could have been someone
tampering with the car. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Any
chance that I can get this fixed for free on a 9 year old car(unlikely,
I realize, but it does seem like a manufacturer defect)?
 
Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Since none of these failures were anything more than an inconvenience,
I really didn't feel like paying someone to fix them. I finally
decided to fix the rear wiper myself since it was a relatively easy
job. I replaced the motor, but it didn't fix the problem. This is
where everything got really strange. During this process, I noticed
some wiper fluid dripping out from a hole in the bottom of the hatch.
I felt around inside the hatch and realized it was flowing down the
inside of the hatch from the top of the hatch. I removed the rubber
cover between the car body and the inside of the top of the hatch on
the drivers side. The only thing inside that rubber cover was the
wiper fluid line leading to the rear window and it was severed. It
looked like it was compressed to the point of cutting through the line.
After seeing this, I removed the rubber wiring cover on the other side
of the top of the hatch and sure enough 6 out of the 9 or so wires
inside were also severed. They all seemed to have been compressed by
something to the point of being cut.

It is quite possible that when the hatch is closed, it is applying too
much pressure to these wires/tubes and causing them to be cut. It is
also possible, but seems less likely, that this could have been someone
tampering with the car. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Any
chance that I can get this fixed for free on a 9 year old car(unlikely,
I realize, but it does seem like a manufacturer defect)?
Hmmmm.....is it possible that someone used the car while you were out of
town and had a wreck, got the car repaired, and said nothing to you
about it? I got nuthin'

Carl
 
Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Since none of these failures were anything more than an inconvenience,
I really didn't feel like paying someone to fix them. I finally
decided to fix the rear wiper myself since it was a relatively easy
job. I replaced the motor, but it didn't fix the problem. This is
where everything got really strange. During this process, I noticed
some wiper fluid dripping out from a hole in the bottom of the hatch.
I felt around inside the hatch and realized it was flowing down the
inside of the hatch from the top of the hatch. I removed the rubber
cover between the car body and the inside of the top of the hatch on
the drivers side. The only thing inside that rubber cover was the
wiper fluid line leading to the rear window and it was severed. It
looked like it was compressed to the point of cutting through the line.
After seeing this, I removed the rubber wiring cover on the other side
of the top of the hatch and sure enough 6 out of the 9 or so wires
inside were also severed. They all seemed to have been compressed by
something to the point of being cut.

It is quite possible that when the hatch is closed, it is applying too
much pressure to these wires/tubes and causing them to be cut. It is
also possible, but seems less likely, that this could have been someone
tampering with the car. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Any
chance that I can get this fixed for free on a 9 year old car(unlikely,
I realize, but it does seem like a manufacturer defect)?
It may have been made wrong, routing those through a pinch point instead of
the proper channel. In the alt.autos.volvo forum broken wires in wagons at
the tailgate hinge are pretty common, though.

Mike
 
Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Since none of these failures were anything more than an inconvenience,

Terrific. Bright minds at Subaru removed the mechanical rear locks on
late impreza wagons:
if this happens on mine I won't be able to open the rear gate at all !
 
Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Since none of these failures were anything more than an inconvenience,
I really didn't feel like paying someone to fix them. I finally
decided to fix the rear wiper myself since it was a relatively easy
job. I replaced the motor, but it didn't fix the problem. This is
where everything got really strange. During this process, I noticed
some wiper fluid dripping out from a hole in the bottom of the hatch.
I felt around inside the hatch and realized it was flowing down the
inside of the hatch from the top of the hatch. I removed the rubber
cover between the car body and the inside of the top of the hatch on
the drivers side. The only thing inside that rubber cover was the
wiper fluid line leading to the rear window and it was severed. It
looked like it was compressed to the point of cutting through the line.
After seeing this, I removed the rubber wiring cover on the other side
of the top of the hatch and sure enough 6 out of the 9 or so wires
inside were also severed. They all seemed to have been compressed by
something to the point of being cut.

It is quite possible that when the hatch is closed, it is applying too
much pressure to these wires/tubes and causing them to be cut. It is
also possible, but seems less likely, that this could have been someone
tampering with the car. Any thoughts? Any similar experiences? Any
chance that I can get this fixed for free on a 9 year old car(unlikely,
I realize, but it does seem like a manufacturer defect)?

Sounds like somehow the wiring harness and juice tube got mis-routed.
Instead of being the torsion joint you like to see it became a folding
joint, and over time caused fatigue in the wires and even the plastic
tubing.

Easiest thing will be to go to a junk yard and get a new harness rather
than trying to repair all those wires. Most important point is to get
them routed properly after the replacement. You will probably see the
proper routing as you take the wires off the car at the junk yard.
Alternately, get it repaired by a mechanic. Its not a repair that
requires any high amount of Subaru knowledge.

--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard." Ecclesiastes 9:16
 
Has anyone else had a similar problem with their impreza wagon? Over a
period of many months, I noticed the following problems:
- the interior light stopped going on when the hatch was open
- the rear wiper motor stopped working
- the rear lock stopped working with the remote control (it still
worked with the key, just not the keyless entry)
- the rear window sprayer stopped spraying

Common problem on the early cars. On my 10-year-old it failed first
whilst still just under warrantly and the cable was replaced. Went
again a few years later. Haven't bothered to do anything about it.
 
Thanks for all your replies. The wires definitely go through the
correct point on the car and hatch because the rubber covering only
fits into one place on the car and the hatch. I doubt it was caused by
a malicious act or accident. And it really doesn't look like the wires
get compressed a whole lot like I first thought might have happened.
The most likely reason that I've heard is that they broke due the
stress from the range of motion they go through whenever the hatch is
opened and closed. The range of motion combined with the aging,
increasingly brittle, wires caused them to break.

So I soldered them back together, I just didn't have the heart to pull
new wires through the frame. I guess the best way to keep wires from
breaking is to only open the hatch when you really need to? Sigh... I
wish I didn't love my Subaru so much, because then I could just get rid
of it. Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.
 
@t31g2000cwb.googlegroups.com>,
(e-mail address removed) says...
So I soldered them back together, I just didn't have the heart to pull
new wires through the frame. I guess the best way to keep wires from
breaking is to only open the hatch when you really need to? Sigh... I
wish I didn't love my Subaru so much, because then I could just get rid
of it. Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.

Pulling a new harness thru there wouldn't be of
any advantage, as long as you did a good job on
the repair.

I had tailgate wires in a Cherokee crap out in
similar fashion, after 10 or 12 years...the
symptom that got me looking into it was really
odd, too--IIRC, the rear parking lights
illuminated dimly when the tailgate was fully
opened, even with key-out/ignition off...it had
me scratching my head for a while.

The fix was still good this year (over ten years
later) when I bartered the Jeep off.
 
Thanks for all your replies. The wires definitely go through the
correct point on the car and hatch because the rubber covering only
fits into one place on the car and the hatch. I doubt it was caused by
a malicious act or accident. And it really doesn't look like the wires
get compressed a whole lot like I first thought might have happened.
The most likely reason that I've heard is that they broke due the
stress from the range of motion they go through whenever the hatch is
opened and closed. The range of motion combined with the aging,
increasingly brittle, wires caused them to break.

Its not that they are not going through the correct hole, its that they
are not going through the hole correctly. You should make sure the
wires do not bend like an elbow, but instead are aligned so that they
twist like a wrist. A racheting action at a right angle or thereabouts.
So I soldered them back together, I just didn't have the heart to pull
new wires through the frame. I guess the best way to keep wires from
breaking is to only open the hatch when you really need to? Sigh... I
wish I didn't love my Subaru so much, because then I could just get rid
of it. Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.

Solder at the break point will be even faster to fail than before. I
would have put a new harness in. Would have been no harder than
soldering if you can find all the clips. Most important is to ensure
the type of stress put on the wires when the door is operated.



--
Thank you,



"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
man's wisdom [is] despised, and his words are not heard." Ecclesiastes 9:16
 
Hi Frisbee, dnoye, All!


Its not that they are not going through the correct hole, its that they
are not going through the hole correctly. You should make sure the
wires do not bend like an elbow, but instead are aligned so that they
twist like a wrist. A racheting action at a right angle or thereabouts.


Solder at the break point will be even faster to fail than before. I
would have put a new harness in. Would have been no harder than
soldering if you can find all the clips. Most important is to ensure
the type of stress put on the wires when the door is operated.

dnoye is quite correct; soldering the wires will fix the problem, but
it probably won't last very long.

Two things contribute to failure at this flexure. The most obvious is
the way the wires "lay" as they exit the "D" pillar and enter the
rubber boot; if they are kinked here, they won't last very long. The
less obvious problem is that it is a horrendous b___h to snake the
harness down thru the "D" pillar (at least it was on the 94ish Legacy
wagon that I installed a hatch on a few weeks ago); there are sharp
sheet metal edges that grab and frequently scrape and/or cut thru the
wire insulation; conductors as well if you tug hard enough, I'd
suppose.

Even so, in the long run your best bet will probably be to replace the
harness, being very careful not to cut anything, both when you pull
the replacement harness out of the donor vehicle, and when you
reinstall it in yours. Keep working at it until you get the wire
bundle to run smoothly between the chassis and hatch, and you should
have a long lasting fix.

It occurs to me that a creative person could probably make their own
harness by soldering the appropriate connectors onto their own wire.
Soldered connections would be OK in this application, as they wouldn't
be subject to repetitive bending, and you could pull all of the wires
thru before installing the connectors, which would greatly simplify
that task. If you decide to try this, see if you can'f find some of
the teflon jacketed wire (an electronics surplus store?); it will be
considerably more expensive, but will be much easier to work with, and
less likely to abrade or cut during installation.

Good luck.

ByeBye! S.
Steve Jernigan KG0MB
Laboratory Manager
Microelectronics Research
University of Colorado
(719) 262-3101
 

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments. After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.

Ask a Question

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
13,933
Messages
67,479
Members
7,408
Latest member
Gianna99

Latest Threads

Back
Top