Question about 2001 Subaru Forester

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Subaru intermittent Headlight socket

My 2001 Forester has one headlight lamp that is intermittent. 
I can jiggle the 3-prong socket and get it back on, but then if I turn the lights off and then back on, the headlight remains off.  However, if I switch on the hi-beams, they work all the time. 
It seems to me I've got an intermittent socket, but why does merely turning the lights on and off cause the light to fail?  Is there something else that would trigger this:  fuse, relay? 
It's not the bulb--I've tried several and bent up the prongs trying to improve the electrical connection.  I appreciate any help out there, I'm working two jobs and I already spend too much time on the road in the dark. Thank you!

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  • Pat Eichers Dec 31, 2008

    A local shop was able to solve the problem--at least for the time being--by switching to a different brand of post-market bulb.  But I suspect it is something more to do with the sockets wearing out a bit.   Thanks for your reply!

  • HNOS Mar 31, 2009

    For a 1999 Forester, my passenger side lamp socket is burned out, and Subaru says I have to buy the whole wiring/headlight part for $550 to fix it. Any more detials (like a brand and part number) for the Universal Standard socket that works?

  • Anthony S Mar 14, 2012

    I bought the 8 dollar replacement socket but i cant seem to figure out which wire hooks up to what. my forester has a blue yellow and red/yellow wire i think and the generic socket has a reb black and red/black wire. which goes to which?!!!

  • Pat Eichers Mar 14, 2012

    Gently pull the insulation back around the plastic socket if possible, that should help determine what wire color combination goes to the left/top/right prong, etc. From there you should be able to determine which wires to connect back together. My fix has been working without problem for 2-3 years. Good luck.

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Had same problem with my 1999 Forester. Jiggled socked for months until I separated it from the lamp and noticed part of the socket had melted and cracked. Checked internet for socket and hoping I wouldn't have to spend big bucks for whole light assembly just to get the socket part. No luck. So called Subaru dealer in Richmond and was told that Subaru doesnt make socket anymore. The good news is they puchase universal standard socket in piggytail form. So for 8 bucks, I got the univeral socket and spliced into existing three wires and works perfectly. The guy at the dealership parts department, which is different from service department, said that they routinely sell the sockets since it is a know problem, of which models not sure. Didnt purchase one for other headlight, if it goes, since guy says they stock the part all of the time. Sounds like something you could get from electical stores, etc. besides Dealership. Hope this helps.
BTW, got screwed on the bad headgaske problems...wasnt under warranty and total near 2500 bucks. Their solution of adding coolant conditioner is a con job.

Posted on Dec 29, 2008

  • Anthony S Mar 14, 2012

    I bought the 8 dollar replacement socket but i cant seem to figure out which wire hooks up to what. my forester has a blue yellow and red/yellow wire i think and the generic socket has a reb black and red/black wire. which goes to which?!!!

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Did you open the wire attachment box connected to the prongs on the bulb. I had neither headlights nor fog lights because inside that cap a short had melted the connections and breaking the circuit. I replaced both wire attachment boxes as well as both fuses in the fuse compartment under the hood on top of the left wheelwell. I did have to replace one of the headlights as well but now I have both headlights and fog lights plus my high beam light on the instrument cluster works again. I have a 2001 Forester. I would check these items first before going to the Subaru dealership. Good Luck

Posted on Feb 08, 2013

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