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"clicking" noise under dash of my 96 Subaru Legacy (2.2L)

I'm assuming this is a faulty relay, but I don't know what its function is. From time to time while driving (more prevalently on hot days), I will experience an intermittent "clicking" noise (6 clicks, pause, 6 clicks, pause, ....). Eventually, it will stop after doing this for a while. Any thoughts on what this could be? The sound appears to be coming from the dash, either in the steering column or in the dash around the column. If it is a relay, how do I access it? Thanks, David R.

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  • yadayada
    yadayada May 11, 2010

    relays click for a reason, no fault light?



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Its possible the sound is coming from an air conditioner "motor". That is the term for the vacuum and electric solenoids which operate the temperature "doors" in the ductwork.

If you turn the A/C off and all the vent functions off the sound should stop. You may be able to isolate the source by switching to defrost or panel settings. The shop manuals would tell which solenoid is suppose to be active when the dash controls are set to a certain position.

If you wind up going to a dealer, this info would make it faster to diagnose. Perhaps ask a parts person what they sell to fix this problem. The parts guys work hand in hand with the mechanics in the shop.

Posted on Sep 28, 2009


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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.
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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.
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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!
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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

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