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How To: Clean out your SI-Drive Switch

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Ok, not many may have this issue, BUT if you buy a used car there is more than likely a good amount of spilt coffee hiding somewhere. In my case it was in the SI-Drive selector.


I had an issue when I was buying the car that I could NOT get it out of I mode and I couldn't figure out why... The next day the switch worked fine, and has for a while, it only acted up twice since then and today was the last draw... Granted I was stuck in S# rather than I when it happened :)


Step one, Remove your Console Referr to Vacation Pix EI-54 for the procedure, simple as removing the e-brake boot, and then the two bolts in the console box, the front two are pop clips.


Step two, Remove the SI-Drive Switch from the console, 4 screws holding it in and one electrical connector... I think you can get this without pictures ;)




Step three, Using a small flat blade screwdriver seperate the backing of the SI switch from the housing, the backing will have the entire circuit board attached to it and there will also be a rubber membrane with the trigger switches on it, similar to a keyboard for PC. This part typically stays clean, Maybe the top portion of the membrane may have some coffee spillage on it, but the knob is where its all at.








Step four, Spin the locking cam counterclockwise with a small flat screwdriver to allow you to remove the button, in doing this be aware that there are two pin type buttons to the left and the right of the knob on the bottom that MAY fall out if you flip the switch over to see the top, so keep the switch upside down during this step.








Step five, Flip the switch over watching to see if the pins drop out. If they do not then there is the culprit. Here are pictures of those pins and how caked up they are with coffee residue… They are just the left and the right of the ball bearing and spring that works the switch.





Step six, Clean these pins and the switch housing as good as you can, they should move 100% free in the bore when installed. Just follow the reverse procedure to put the whole thing back together and enjoy un-interrupted switch operation.


















Edited by B-BGTLimited
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  • 3 years later...

yea i had the same problem this diffidently helped out as for as the vacation pix e54. thanks for nothing you homos. i ended up cleaning the actual plugs too especially if you find goop all over the wires too.


thanks to this helped out with "vacation pix":lol::confused:;) :gmez @ http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/68034-dis-assembly-si-drive-2008-obxt-5mt.html



Figured it all out, here's a quick reveiw. Sorry the pictures are horrible, it was dark out and I was using my headlamp. See the thread linked above for details on dis-assembling the SI-Drive, turned out I didn't even need to do that because the "grape juice" was spilt on the connector, which was easily cleaned with some q-tips & alcohol.


To remove the brake boot, I gently pried it up starting in the front and moved around to the right. There are three sturdy clips on the right which were easy to unclip. Then just pull the boot up, the two clips on the bottom just slide up. At this point I also tightened up my e-brake, it was way too loose, now it fully engages at about 5-6 clicks. See picture below showing the bolt needing tightening, it's 10mm.


Then to remove the center console, lift up and to the right at the same time, to slide off the white plastic clip, pictured below. This is easy but a bit trickier when putting it all back together. Then unscrew the two bolts in the console box below the carpetted liner. When putting back together, I found it easier to get in place and slipped into the white circular clip before putting the console box bolts back in.


Now follow the steps in the thread above, I just removed the four screws and saw that the connector had stuff spilled in it.


Hope this helps someone, thanks.


E-brake bolt



White plastic clip



Console box bolts



Console open, SI-Drive - HORRIBLE picture BTW



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  • 6 months later...
  • 1 year later...

This was very helpful! Spilled coffee all over my console, and about 36 hours later, the SI drive knob no longer worked.


I noticed that if I did not touch the knob after restarting the car, the steering wheel S# button would work. However, if the knob was used, which was pushed by accident more than I realized, it would disable the ability to change modes.


One note, I was getting frustrated with the white clip directly to the left of the SI knob. Some of the other posts recommended pulling up and to the right to remove the console after removing the bolts in the arm rest. I found that pulling straight up with even pressure on both sides of the console worked best.


Thanks again!!

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  • 3 years later...
  • 8 months later...

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