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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 25329
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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2000 Subaru Outback: headlight..Only the high beams..Low beams

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I have a 2000 Subaru Outback with a headlight problem. Only the high beams are working. Low beams do not work. Bulbs were replaced. Same results. Could replacing the connectors with Dorman 85811 sovle this problem? Is this something I could do myself or do you recommend a subaru dealer?
thank you,
Hi there! Do you have a test light for checkking the circuit?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

No I do not. But, I took the car to a local garage. Now, the low beams go on, but the low beam on pssanger's side is dim. Here's the best part. When I turn the car off, the headlights remain on. It seems like the ground is hooked up to the battery in some way. Any advice.... I still think the connectors may fix the problem. Any thoughts???


Well, I think step one is to check the fuses under the hood. There are 2 for the headlights and most commonly when one blows, the headlight will still glow, but dimmer then the other. start by checking the fuses and let me know.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Both fuses were replaced with the bulbs, but failed to provide this information earlier.

OK. So you are able to turn the headlights on even with the key off?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes, key is off, but lights stay on.

OK, You have some type of wiring problem and I don't believe it will be the headlight harness. When the key is off there should be no power to the headlights at all.If the headlights can be turned on or are staying on with the key off, you have some wires touching or shorting that should not be touching.

I am assuming you mean the headlights say on and not the parking lights.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
yes headlights stay on, and not the parking lights.

Yeah, you have a wiring problem that must have something to do with the ignition switch or something under the main fuse box. The power to everything is cut off when the key is turned off. It looks to me like you have a wire feeding power to the headlights even with the key off. This is going to need to be checked with the aid of a test light and a volt meter. I suggest the dealer for this. I can't help you from here without the proper testing equipment. But if you think back, you used to be able to leave the headlights on and when you shut the key off they went out. Since this is not happening, you have a problem in the wiring harness somewhere.

A dim light does normally indicate a ground problem, but the headlights should not stay on once the key is off.This is telling me there is more to the problem then just a bad ground on the headlight socket.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

OK, I agree there is some wiring probelm, which occurred while trying to fix the initial problem. The initial problem was high beams would go on but not the low beams. Bubls were replaced. Fuses were replaced. Could replacing the connectors with Dorman 85811 solve the low beam problem? This is my last question. You've been very helpful so far, but dealing with the initial problem would be greatly appreciated.


I believe if the problem was with both low beams, it will not likely resolve the problem. I say that because the problem seems to possibly be a ground and you are just going to put this on a already bad ground. I think the problem is going to be in the wiring harness to the switch or possible the switch itself. I think if you can wiggle the connector on the bulb and it changes so the light is brighter, then yes, try the dorman on the dim bulb.
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