Below is a video on How To Fix A Subaru Outback Broken Liftgate Wiring Harness
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Today we will show you how to fix a Subaru Outback broken liftgate wiring harness. This will fix a bunch of problems on this 2007 Subaru Outback. This problem is more common on the 2005-2009 Subaru Outback although it can happen on other year Outback’s as well. These problems will include fixing poor radio reception, third brake light, reverse lights, rear wiper, rear defrost and the rear trunk lock not working. We will show you where to locate the fuse just in case it happens to be just a blown fuse but more often than not it will be broken wires within the harness that goes from the car to the rear lift gate within the flexible grommet.
So what happens is the wiring harness flexes in the same spot every time you open and shut the rear lift gate causing wire sheathing to become fatigued and cracked and thus causing the wire to break. So you may notice that the items will work one day and not the next because the wire touches sometimes when you open and close the trunk and the next time it won’t make contact.
So first will check the fuse to ensure that, that is not the culprit. If we open the driver side door and kneel down on the outside of the car. Once down you will see a small door within the driver’s side kick panel/ plate. If you pull that downward it will open and then if you pull towards the driver’s seat you can remove the entire little panel. You can look on the back of the fuse panel to figure out which fuses to check. The rear wiper motor fuse is four over from the left and four down from the top. We already know this one is bad so we will show you were to look for the broken wires.
Next we can open the liftgate and on the top of the car on each side of the liftgate hinges you will see two black colored flexible grommets and if we pull the top part out and on the drivers side and look at the wires they will most likely look fine. If you pull out the bottom grommet this is where you are going to most likely going to find the broken wires and you will see on this car we have two on the drivers side. Now luckily it is just the power and ground wires that broke going to the clarion antenna booster. (part # 86327AG06C ) Now if it was the actual signal wire for the radio we would have to order a new harness as it is a small copper wire with shielding around it so we can’t just splice it back together. The new harness part number would be 86326AG07A.
Next we can go to the passenger side flexible grommet and if we pull the top part out and look at the wires they will also most likely look fine. If we pull out the bottom grommet this is where you are going to most likely going to find the broken wires and you will see on this car we have a bunch of broken wire on the passenger side. They are mostly likely the ones going to the rear defrost, rear wiper, and the liftgate lock.
Now that we know where the broken wires are we can start by removing the plastic interior parts to gain access to where the wires are. Well start on the passenger side liftgate. Well just need to squeeze the plastic trim and pull straight off to undo the push pins. If the white clips stay on the trim piece you can use a flat screw driver to get them off as our wiring harness goes on this side and attaches to the white clips so they need to stay with the car. Once we have the passenger side off we can repeat to remove the driver’s side trim. Once we have the passenger and the driver’s off we can now lightly pull the center trim piece and remove it.
Now that we have all the tailgate trim removed we can now remove the car interior trim. We’ll start on the passenger side doing the same thing squeeze and pull towards the center of the car. You could also use a trim removal tool to remove the panels. We can also remove the drivers side panel the same way. Once we have both side panels removed we can lightly pull down on the head liner to undo the three clips that hold it in position. You don’t want to pull it down too much as you don’t want to bend or crease it.
Now that we have all the interior trim pieces off we can now start on the driver’s side and use a pair of wire strippers and strip back the broken wires on the drivers side. Next we can grab two 12” long pieces of wire and butt connectors and crimp the extension wire into the butt connector and then crimp the extension onto the wire coming from the car side wiring. Once we have our extension wires crimped on we push the connections down into the car and reinstall the grommet making sure it’s in place so it will be water tight. Next we can grab a rigid piece of wire or something rigid to help feed the flexible wires though the grommet. So we’ll take the rigid wire and push it through the rubber grommet and then use electrical tape to tape the flexible wires to the rigid one. Once taped we can pull them back though the grommet.
With the wires though the grommet we can untape them and discard the rigid wire. Next we can strip the liftgate side wires and use the crimping pliers to crimp the extension wires onto the trunk wires. Once the connection is complete we can push that and the extra wire into the liftgate and reinstall the liftgate grommet. If the wires are pushed up and out by the booster we can push them back into the lift gate and use a piece of electrical tape to hold them in position. With the grommets pushed back in and the wires taped that’s it for the drivers side and we can now move onto the passenger side.
For me since I have part of another wiring harness from another car I’m going to cut all the wires at once if you don’t have different colored wires you may want to cut one wire at a time and then reconnect them just to ensure that the wires don’t get mixed up or you could buy a replacement harness and replace the entire wiring from the car clip behind the lower passenger side trunk trim to liftgate clips by each item on the lift gate. That would be part number 81812AG03C. for the entire replacement passenger side harness. So next we’ll grab a pair of wire cutters and cut all the wires. With all the wires cut we can now slide the gourmet off the wires and then grab our wire strippers and strip all the wires on the liftgate side. Once we have all the wires stripped we can crimp on butt connectors and our extension wires one by one matching up the color of the wires. Once we have the extension wires crimped on we can now tape the wires up by the connection and then push the connection up and into the lift gate. Also add some tape to the end of the wire and push the wires though the grommet and then put the liftgate side of the grommet into the liftgate making sure that side of the grommet says “door” on it. Next we can push/ pull the wires coming from the car back into the car above the head liner and then push the extension wires we just crimped on down through the trunk hole and into the car. With the extension wires down into the car we can now push and reinstall the grommet making sure it is in position and going to be watertight.
Now with the wires inside the car we can take wire cutters and even up the car harness side and remove the damaged sheathing. Next we can grab wire strippers and strip all the car harness side and then use the crimping pliers and crimp on the butt connector. Once we have the butt connectors on the car side we can strip the ends of the extension wires. Once they are all stripped we can match up each wire one by one and crimp them into the butt connector to complete the connection.
Once we have all the wires reconnected we can now check and replace any blow fuses. For this car it was only the rear wiper fuse that was blown. It is four down and four over located in the kick plate fuse box. It was a 15amp fuse blue in color. Once you have any blown fuses replaced we can reinstall the fuse panel cover. Push the clips on the lower part of the door downward and then push the door upward and close to lock it into position.
Next we can test all the items on the rear lift gate to ensure that they work properly. Well test the rear wiper, third brake light, reverse lights, liftgate lock and ect. We can also grab a multimeter and test the rear defroster to ensure that it is wired properly. Well put the negative lead of the meter onto the ground screw near the antenna booster or the rear liftgate strut. Next we can take the positive side lead of the meter and touch it to the power lead going to the rear glass on the drivers side. You will want to have someone help you so they can turn the key on and then turn the rear defrost button on and off to ensure it’s working correctly. It should go from 0 off to 28-30 or so volts when on.
Once we ensured everything in the rear liftgate is working properly we can now push the car connections up and into the headliner of the car. Once the wires are tucked up and out of the way we can push the headliner up and into position making sure all three plastic clips are in. Once we have the head liner back into position we can now reinstall the side plastic trim. We need to make sure that they are facing the correct way and then push the plastic clips in. You will also want to make sure the rear weather stripping is on the outside of the plastic trim piece.
Once we have the car side trim on we can start on the lift gate. Well put the centerpiece on just align the push pins and push it inward. Once we have the center on we can install both side pieces doing the samething checking the orientation and aligning the push pins and push them inward to clip them in position. Making sure we hear that click when the push pins lock in.
Alright so with everything now working on the rear liftgate and all the interior pieces back in position that’s it we have just shown you how to fix a Subaru Outback broken liftgate wiring harness.