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Discussion Starter #1
The climate control displays are lit but dim - unreadable during the day.
It's not because the headlights are turned on - doesn't get brighter if I turn them off.

I don't see a dimmer switch for interior lighting, is there one?
 

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The climate control displays are lit but dim - unreadable during the day.
It's not because the headlights are turned on - doesn't get brighter if I turn them off.

I don't see a dimmer switch for interior lighting, is there one?
There is:


* Image from Cars101 - 2006 Tribeca

^ See that set of switches that would be near the driver's LEFT knee? close to the turn-signal stalk?

Below is a detail shot of that area:


* Image from Cars101 - 2014 Tribeca

^ The dimmer switch is the rotary on the top row, far left.

On the brightest setting, the console and display lighting remains at peak brightness regardless of whether the parking-lamps/headlamps are engaged or disengaged.

On any of the other dimmer settings, the console and display lighting revert back to their brightest setting only if the headlamps are disengaged (i.e. DRL only). Whenever the parking/marker-lamps or the headlamps are engaged, the console and display lighting will them dim to their dimmer-set level.

You mentioned that your climate control stack is lit but only dimly, and that when you turn your headlamps on/off, their illumination level does not increase or decrease.

I would suspect from what you wrote that something is awry. That should not be normal functionality.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I'll take note if that dimmer changes the other items.

So there's probably a dimmer control unit somewhere - anyone know where that part is located?

Time for a Tribeca FSM.......
 

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Illumination control is incorporated into the BIU, but then it still needs to be understood why only the climate control is affected by the problem and not the instrument cluster. Perhaps the climate control has some additional circuitry that uses the BIU signal as input.
 

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Is there a dedicated illumination power wire coming off the harness for this particular plug? Just a loose connection from maybe a connector that's failing?

It's a long-shot, but it's really not that hard to pull the entire stack.....
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Okay if the system isn't known/can't be diagnosed - how about powering the LED's to always be bright?

I'll play with it some more but this is looking more complicated than I care to investigate as a guinea pig for something as simple as a light bulb.
 

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From the FSM, there seems to be a dedicated climate control system connector (connector i88 of the instrument panel wiring harness).
 

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is it just the white numbers for temp and flow selection not lighting up properly or the entire panel? what changes when dimmer is wound up or down.

I have schematics for the panels and radio, there is really no separate circuits its all integrated with each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
is it just the white numbers for temp and flow selection not lighting up properly or the entire panel?
Yes, just the temp and flow lights...but since I only have one Tribeca I'm not sure what it's supposed to do either, so I'm sort of assuming. I'll double check when I'm back home if any of the others vary.

The LCD up top for radio, gas mileage, etc work fine and are entirely visible.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
ah yeah, i sah that VFD reference in the Subaru technical bulletins/info.

i'll check dimmer control and make sure i'm reading the symptoms right (those VFD's only and everything else working as normal) and replace the console.
 

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Discussion Starter #14

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Good point. If it's a power supply circuit, which VFDs must have, perhaps there's a cracked solder joint that can be fixed.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
ah great, under audio, thanks AVK.

now - i just need to verify that it's indeed this panel that's the issue.

I'd hate to replace it and end up right where I am still....

i'll be able to look at it tomorrow, out of town still.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Okay finally tested this

1. They do get brighter when I turn the headlights off, then dim when i turn the headlights on.

2. but they still aren't readable during the daytime when it's sunny out - like not at all readable - not even a little bit.

3. the dimmer switch does nothing - all other lights dim or brighten - but the HVAC buttons do not.

*** Can you verify:

A. that they should be readable during sunny daytime conditions? It seems like a given but I should ask.

B. the dimmer does or does not dim the HVAC displays?
 
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