Jump to content

headlight issues Tribeca

Recommended Posts

I have an 08 Tribeca and the high beams seem to be on any time I turn on the headlights. My fogs never come on anymore. I get "flashed " by many other drivers but my dash does not indicate they are on. When I try to turn them on by pushing th lever forward nothing noticable happens on the dash or outside. If I pull the lever like to flash the highs they get brighter and I have the dash indicator?:confused:

The daylite headlights lights work normal. One thing I like about this car is the headlights turn off when the key is off. One thing I don't like about this car is you have to turn on the key to run to turn on the headllghts. Do I sound confused?

I am going down to put it in the basement and poke around for a fuse or relay but beyond that I'll need someones input or a schematic. I know how to use a voltmeter if anyone has suggestions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll check that out.

I have a correction. When the light switch is turned from "off" with only the day lights on i have the innermost headlight on. When the switch is turned up one more turn I get the green indicator on the dash and the taillight come on. From here I can cause the "high" beam the round lamp outside of the low beam to come on if the handle is pulled toward the driver. If the lever is pushed to cause the heaadlights to stay on the handle stays but no lights come on, dash or outside. If the switch is in normal low I can roll it up to the top and the high beams come on. Still no fogs anytime.

I very well may have two problems the fogs a seperate issue from the high beams. My spousal unit (female) swears the low beams are brighter than before and I have noticed the other driver flashing lights as well. I just give them the brights from the momnetary switch to show what bright really is!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, this is a confusing issue but I'll take a stab. Do you have the headlight beam leveler dial as shown in the first attached image? If so, I suspect the dial may be in the wrong position, aiming the headlights too high, thus making them look brighter and blinding oncoming traffic.


Just to be clear, the innermost bulbs closest to the grille are your high beams, and the round lamps next to them are your low beams. Your high beam lights are also your daytime running lights. The car just sends less power to the high beams bulbs when they are operating as daytime running lights.


From what I'm reading lighting issues are very common with tribecas.


So I'm still a bit confused though. When your light switch is turned to off, your daytime running lights closest to the grille come on? This is normal if so.


When your switch to the first headlight position, located between the off position, and headlights on position, you get a green indicator on the dash which is normal, and your tail lights come on, which is normal. You also indicate that you can flash your high beams by pulling the lever towards you, but not keep them on all the time with the lever pushed away from you. I'm not familiar with using your high beams with the headlight switch in the first position, but it sounds like that may be normal behavior.


You also indicate that when you switch to the second headlight position, your headlights act normally, and you are also able to flash your high beams, and run your high beams at all times when the lever is pushed away from you, is this correct?


And lastly, I don't want to insult you, but I have to ask this question. You say your fog lights never work, is the fog light dial turned to the on position, as shown in the last attached image? If so, then it sounds like you may have blown a fuse. If the fog light fuse is still good, then my last guess is that both fog light bulbs may simply be burnt out.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

These were my replies to troutman -




^ As he said in his OP here, he was initially confused as to the proper operation of the headlamp system in his Tribeca. I corrected him as to the proper usage of the headlamp system (of which you did a much better job here, apexi :)) However:




^ He does seem to have a genuine problem with the high-beams....and given that he refreshed his posts after your writeup here, apexi, I think there's actually something going on, electrically/mechanically.

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm still very confused about his problem, and I hate to say it but I'm still not 100% convinced that there is an actual problem with the car. Like I said earlier I did read about tribecas having headlight issues so it certainly is possible, but I'm just very confused.


This is his most recent post from today 2/23.


"I posted this problem on the nav section and didn't get an ansewr from anyone who really could help so maybe someone who keeps up with this section can help.

Like my title says my highbeams stay on anytime the vehicle is started. This is an 08 tribeca. I originally was mistaken about which lights are the high beams and had them confused with the low beams because when I pulled the lever back the low beams came on when no lights were turned on or maybe the parking lights were on. I was told this feature is called "flash to pass". So when my DRLs are on so are my high beams. and when the lows ar on so are the high beams. Never any fogs anymore. must be a light controller somewhere that sorts out that stuff.

So when driving at night we get people flashing high beams at us and this was consusing at first till we realized something was wrong. I am going to look under the dash to see if there is some contact by the parking brake that may be causing this but it seems strange to have bright lights on if the parking brake is engaged isn't that what the parking brake light on the dash is for? If anyone know where I can get a good schematic of for this car let me know."


He states the following:

"I originally was mistaken about which lights are the high beams and had them confused with the low beams because when I pulled the lever back the low beams came on when no lights were turned on or maybe the parking lights were on."

Either this is an additional problem with the car, or there is still confusion as to which lights are the low beams and high beams. The low beams should not come on when the lever is pulled back or pushed forward. Unless the OP thinks that the home position for the turn signal lever is pushed fully away from your towards the front of the vehicle.


He also states the following:

"So when my DRLs are on so are my high beams"

Which one is it? Your DRL's are your high beams. Is he trying to say that his daytime running lights, aka his high beams, are on all the time, operating as high beams?


I don't think there is a parking brake issue. Engaging and releasing the parking brake in my legacy turns the daytime running lights off, and on. I don't see how the parking brake could tell the car to give full power to the high beams instead of reduced power for daytime running lights.


I would just take the car to the dealership. Electrical issues like this can be a pain to troubleshoot in my opinion. Could be the combination switch (turn signal lever/headlight switch), drl module, a relay, etc. I would especially push to take the car to the dealer because they can diagnose the car and tell you how to fix it asap, instead of waiting for an answer online. I can't stand it when people drive around with their high beams on all the time, it happens all the time around here. I know it isn't necessarily the OP's fault in this case, but the fact of the matter is it's happening and you really should get this fixed soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ That last recommendation is what I started him off with, too. As I stated in my follow-up, the way the Tribecas are rigged, using improper bulbs with the DRL does all sorts of funny stuff. Besides, it's simply good logic to check what's easiest to check, first. :)


And yes, as with you, I'm not completely certain that there is an actual issue - the way his posts read, just like you, I'm *still* not completely certain that he is operating the combination switch (the official term for the light/turn-signal stalk) properly. But without being there to actually diagnose, I'm left to assume that he can properly perceive the brightness difference of the DRL-to-high switch, and therefore assume that he is indeed -now- operating the switchgear properly.


That he wants to troubleshoot why the fogs isn't coming on at the same time is something that I'm trying to steer him away from. It's just not worth pursuing, without knowing that the headlight functions are correct, first, since that can well be the upstream cause.


As for the parking brake, I don't see that being the problem, either - but given the weird things that can happen electrically, I thought that I'd give him the reference.


And I completely agree about the dealership - but it looks like he's unwilling to pursue that avenue; I first proposed that in my reply on 02/09, at 7:47 PM Eastern, when I first saw his post on SB9T (I tracked it here because I thought his screen-name looked familiar). With regard to taking the car to the dealership, I think that's important simply so that he can establish that he's actually working the combination switch (the headlamp system) properly. Given that we both still think that he might not yet be fully correct about how to operate the system, he needs to - to start - make sure that's actually right, before he goes any further.


If money is a concern, I can definitely understand...but this is something that troutman can start out by simply asking a salesperson to just come out to the car to demonstrate proper usage of the combination switch stalk while he and/or his wife also walk around to the front of the vehicle to examine how the headlamps are behaving. From there, if further service need to be pursued, they can then decide whether to do it or not, but at least they'll actually know that they're doing the proper thing with respect to basic operation of the system, and at least take that variable out of the equation, once and for all. :)

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I initially just skimmed through the two threads over at sb9t.com, but after re-reading through them I do see that I inadvertently said some of the same things you had already recommended.


I agree with everything you've said. Anything is possible, so the parking brake could somehow be the problem and it wouldn't hurt to look into that. I've read on other forums that other funky things like a fog light relay could even cause issues with the high beams. I really do want to help the OP fix this problem, but seeing as how this has been going on for a few weeks or more now, I think it might be time to have a shop take a look at it.


And I also agree, and totally understand that he might not want to spend at least $90 (or whatever the cost is for 1hr labor) to have the dealership or another shop diagnose the problem. You never know though, I've had service managers come outside and take a look at my car for free, they've even gone over and pulled a few techs out of the shop to help troubleshoot the problem at no cost. And as you said even if you can pull a sales person out they could be very helpful as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ I totally agree. I wasn't trying to say "I first" or anything like that - and my sincere apologies if it came off that way :redface: Rather, I was trying to say that we're definitely thinking along the same avenues.


Like you, I'd really like to help troutman put this behind him, but there's definitely a lot of "what ifs."


We're completely on the same page! :)

<-- I love Winky, my "periwinkle" (ABP) LGT! - Allen / Usual Suspect "DumboRAT" / One of the Three Stooges

'16 Outback, '16 WRX, 7th Subaru Family

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use