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Old 03-25-2021, 10:35 PM   #1
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 296950
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Denver, Colorado
2009 WRX

Default 2010 Forrester Electrical Issues

Hello! First, let me thank you for reading this thread. This forum has helped me more times than I can count, and I truly appreciate everyone who takes the time to contribute here....

So the car: 2010 Forrester w/ 220,000 miles. "Cold Weather" package. No upgrades/mods, straight stock.


First, last week my wife tried to run to the gas station & reported that she turned on the radio, it worked for a few seconds, then shut off. She then tried to use the windshield wipers (it was snowing) & they did not work. Shes unsure if the heat was on at the time (that will matter soon) .She came back home & got our other car.

Everything worked fine when I ran it later that day. Continued to run just fine for several days after that.

Second, I'm eating my lunch in the car @ work, with the engine off but the key in the ACC position. About 20min in, the car "restarts"... Radio shuts off & comes back on. Get the seat belt beeping sound, it was as if I had turned the car completely off & back on again, but I didn't.

Third, clock lost time while the car was off most of the day Monday while I was at work (10 hours). Reset to 1:00. I set it back before I drove home.

Fourth, Car lost time again over night/all day Tuesday (I was off). Reset before I left. About 2 min into my drive, I lose power to the clock & heater fan. Radio stayed on, and it was early in the morning & I didn't think to check the wipers. Engine kept running fine. Pulled off, turned the car off & on again & everything worked fine (clock was reset to 1:00 again) the rest of my drive. Did notice a strange "stepping down" on my fuel gauge when I shut it off, like it didn't drop smoothly when I turned the car off. I kinda went down in "steps", a little 25%, then stop, then a little 25% more, you know.... Everything worked fine driving home as well, and a subsequent trip to take my kiddos to karate & back was also fine.

So, I'm not sure what I should be looking at, although I have a few ideas. I won't really have time to dig into it till Sunday, gotta work, so I'm just looking for some additional input on what I should be look at when I have the time. My thoughts so far are.....

Fuses, but if it was a blown fuse the issues would be consistent, not random

Ground issues.... I'm honestly not sure exactly where to look for that. If you know off the top of your head or have an easy link that would be highly appreciated... I haven't looked into it yet.

Alternator..... previous owner seemed to keep good records of all work done on it & from what I see in the glove box (got it from a dealer), as far as I know it's on the original alternator. But that doesn't explain the time loss when the car is off, and car still starting, so I think the battery is still getting a charge. Also, interesting that I lose time, but I don't lose my radio station programing.

I've got a few days working/driving & I'll update this post with any additional issues/symptoms I have. If you are reading this and have any additional input as to what I should check out, please let me know!
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Last edited by Loopey; 03-25-2021 at 10:47 PM.
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Old 03-27-2021, 12:00 PM   #2
Scooby Guru
Member#: 53443
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Anchorage, AK
2001 LL Bean Outback


If the clock showed exactly 1:00 when you saw it then seems that it reset when you got into the car. I think the clock starts counting again after the reset is done.

It is possible that there is a ground problem causing the issue but I would tend to think the trouble is on the power side first. I think the fuse for the clock memory is in the panel under the hood. I would first start looking for the problem by tapping on suspected areas of the wiring with a screwdriver handle and look for resets to the clock to occur. I think things like the radio and wipers are supplied power through the ACC contacts of the ignition switch so check that out also.
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