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Arcing noise under dash 97 Outback


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I began my restoration by having the engine overhauled in a reputable shop. Once I got it running, a very loud noise started behind the dash. I had replaced the stereo and I can’t imagine any part of that causing the noise. Then as suddenly as it appeared, it stopped. 4,000 miles later, it started again. This time, I tried cycling everything I could, the cruise control, wipers, etc.. then, the headlights were cycled and it stopped! Sounds just like an electrical arc, but it’s not coming from the engine ignition and doesn’t change with RPM. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
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It sounds like you have electrical interference, as in a bad ground or something is shorting out and causing the radio to pick up on it. Normally a radio will be the unit to create the audible noise when there is interference but that doesn't mean it's the cause. You're going to have to climb under the dash and inspect everything. It also wouldn't hurt to clean the grounds under the dash too. If memory serves, there are only 3 of them and 2 of which are on either side of the radio and airbag sensor.
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I remember when I bought my 99 Outback, I had a very similar sounding noise that would happen right after startup. As stupid as it sounds, it was actually the key dinger that was failing and causing it to sound like something arcing under the dash.
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I remember when I bought my 99 Outback, I had a very similar sounding noise that would happen right after startup. As stupid as it sounds, it was actually the key dinger that was failing and causing it to sound like something arcing under the dash.

 

 

mine sounds horrible when it's cold out.

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