Question about 1998 Subaru Legacy

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My running lights will not turn off unless I unhook the battery.

When the key is not in the ignition the running lightsremain on and the dash lights continue to flash with a clicking noise.  When I turn the lights on the flashingstops but the clicking noise does not. The whole time the running lights remain on until I unhook the battery,which is the only way to turn off the running lights and stop the clickingnoise.  Any suggestions? 

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  • camberggren Nov 26, 2008

    I am experiencing the same problem on my 1996 Subura Legacy sedan. My alternator went bad, and I had it replaced Nov 25. When I picked it up, the mechanic said the alternator and battery were fine now, but he could not get the front and rear flasher lights to stop intermittent flashing. The problem occurs whether or not the key is in the ignition. The lights flash and the clicking noise continues even if the car is not running. I also have to disconnect one the battery cables to get it to stop. HELP !!

  • jepsec01 Dec 02, 2008

    Thanks for your help John.  As it turns out my issue was that my running light switch was jammed.  Thanks again for your help.  

  • Anonymous Jan 05, 2009

    I also had the same issue with my 97 Subaru Legacy-Outback where my lights would flash constantly until the battery would die.  I took it into a shop and they found the restart button (driver's side under the dash, far left side).  So far so good.  

  • Timothy Tharp
    Timothy Tharp Dec 29, 2013

    my daughter had the same problem with her 1998 subaru forester i replaced the battery andthe running lights where flashing and the clicking too. to get them to stop i had to push the remote !!! door lock botton then the remote !!! unlock botton hope this helps.



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Subaru Outback Legacy Flashing
Q. I have a 1996 Subaru Outback Legacy AWD manual transmission. the hazards flash when I turn the car off. I tried to reset the system by pushing the little black button under the drivers' side dash but it won't reset the system. I had problems with the brakes so I did not drive it for about two months and when I tried to start the car the battery was dead.
My running lights will not turn off unless I unhoo - mechanic.jpg Now the brakes are fixed but the hazards won't quit flashing and the guy who repaired the car said I needed to reset the system by pushing the little black button. And I don't know if I should have it looked at, or change the battery, or if it is something very simple I can fix by my self.
Thank you very much,
A. Patrick, you are the third person in the last two days that has come to me with this same exact problem under the same conditions. As of now I don't have any concrete information on this, but I believe the problem to be in the alarm system.
I believe the battery being disconnected or dying does something to the Anti-theft and Alarm System module and having a Subaru dealer reset the system will correct it.
If you do this and it works, please, let me know and I will pass the information on to the others.
Added 11/7/2003
Dear Mr. Ciulla,
I read your Q&A titled "Subaru Outback Legacy Flashing". I recently had the same problem on my 1996 2.5 liter Subaru Legacy Outback and your response is correct but I can give you a little more detail on what worked for me to stop the light flashing (which occurs sometimes if the battery had been dead):
There is a black reset button under the I/P near the anti-theft module.

  1. Turn ignition on
  2. Hold button 20+ seconds (door locks will lock/unlock 3 times)
  3. Turn ignition off
This also resets the key FOB so as step 2.5 you should also press the "lock" button on the key FOB before releasing the black reset button (door locks will lock/unlock one more time--do this with each key FOB you own). That's all!
The questioner in your Q&A said he tried the reset button; I suspect he either didn't turn the ignition on/off or didn't hold it in for over 20 seconds.
PS... pulling the door lock fuse will stop it temporarily if you can't get the above to work and have to take it to the dealer
Photo Courtesy John Spieth ©2003
Additional Information provided courtesy of ALLDATA

Posted on Nov 26, 2008

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  • ggoosse Jan 23, 2011

    Thank you for this information !!! Most forums conclude that it is just a matter of the switch on top of the steering column being accidentally activated (which it often is). In my case, I had a battery replaced and I knew that the switch on top of the column had not been touched. I had actually found the reset switch and pressed it several times, but who would have known to HOLD IT DOWN for about 20 seconds??? That worked like a charm. I am so glad that don't have to take it in to a dealer to get that fixed!

  • Timothy Tharp
    Timothy Tharp Dec 29, 2013

    my subaru forester did the same thing after the battery was replaced if you have a remote door lock button push the lock button then push the unlock botton. this is what stops the flashing every time the battery is disconected then reconected

  • Taylor w
    Taylor w Jan 11, 2014

    lol people fail, its quite comical. /\ is correct and known in most subys



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