Subaru Ground Wire Location: All you Need to Know

The Subaru brand, like most automobiles, is known for its relatively complex electrical fittings. Even though these enhance the brand’s safety and security features, they can be cranky sometimes resolving issues around the electrical system. 

The ground wires are designed to allow current flow while performing the electrical circuit functions. Sometimes, you feel some bit of unhealthiness in your car’s responsiveness. The grounding might be the issue. So, locating it can be somewhat tacky for a DIY owner or an inexperienced technician. 

In this article, I have put up detailed lines to help you navigate your way whenever there’s a problem with your Subaru ground wire and you need to fix or replace it 

Subaru Ground Wire: How to Locate

A faulty ground wire can cause the electrical components not to be grounded. As a result, these components may overheat, causing a potential fire incident. Also, poor grounding can result in stalling, engine misfire, and other engine-related issues. 

Sometimes, the ground wire is fine but you can’t figure out the exact wire that’s having issues. There’s a way to go about identifying the bad wire in your Subaru’s electrical system. The first thing to do is to check the fuses and see if none is burnt. A burnt fuse can cause your car to fail. If the fuses are in good condition, then start to disconnect each wire individually. 

A multimeter is needed to achieve this. Don’t forget to detach the battery heads from the terminals. With a multimeter, you can begin to test each wire, identifying which one is connected or not. I’ll recommend that you take your car to a mechanic.    

Finding the Subaru ground wire location is pretty simple. Let me first highlight a few things you need to know. The Engine Control Unit (ECU) gets its ground from the top of the intake manifold. 

The ground is neither from the block nor the chassis. Hence, if the top of the intake manifold isn’t connected to the chassis or the block, you may be having a fatal issue in your hand. The ground cables combine all the wires into a single unit or joint.    

So, let’s talk about the process of locating the Subaru ground wire. 

  1. Open your car trunk. First, take the trunk and head to the front of your car. 
  2. Look to the right and left side of the engine while standing in front of the car
  3. You’ll see the ground wires located on the engine 
  4. The ground wires are connected to the intake manifold  
  5. You’ll see the battery. Disconnect the positive end 
  6. Take off the upper bolts for the starter
  7. Slip the ground bracket over the starter

The Subaru main negative on the battery is located at the starter and connected to the engine ground. In the engine compartment, however, the main battery negative is close to the chassis ground. There will be abnormal current flow if the main battery negative connected to the chassis ground is loose or bad. The loose wires can be either at the chassis attachment or at the battery clamp.

The idea of connecting the ground wire to the engine is to easily pull the wire connector out when you need to remove the engine.

How to Test if Subaru Ground Wire Needs Replacement 

One of the reasons you may want to locate the ground wire of your Subaru is to inspect if it’s working well or not. Once your Subaru engine starts to stall or run rough, the ground wire may be faulty. Other signs include flickering or dimming headlights and failing electrical components’ function. 

To avoid guessing ultimately, you can carry out a DIY ground wire testing. There is a wide range of methods to test if the ground wire in your car is working well or not. 

A multimeter will read 0 ohms if your Subaru is working on a pretty good ground wire. However, a damaged ground wire will cause the multimeter to read + or – 0 ohms. In that case, you’ll need to replace the ground wire. 

Steps to install new Ground Wire

To replace a ground wire in your Subaru, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Disconnect the wire

The first step is to remove the power side of the battery. Don’t start locating the wire or any electrical work on your car if you haven’t disconnected the wire. This way, you can avoid components catching 

Step 2: Seal the positive terminal

The next thing to do is to seal the positive terminal of the battery. You can use a piece of tape or a dry towel. 

Step 3: Remove the old ground wire

The next thing is to remove the old ground wire. Here, you’ll need a suitable wrench to unfasten the bolts and nuts. Remember the old ground wire is held down by these nuts. 

Step 4: pull out the old wire

Now that you’re able to access the old ground wire, pull it out. You may need a pair of pliers or a wrench. Discard the wire after removing it.

Step 5: Install the new ground wire

Connect the new ground wire to the same location (close to the drive side in the trunk) you removed the old one. With a wrench, tighten the bolts and nuts to ensure the ground wire is secure in place. 

Final Thoughts

Truth is, a faulty ground may create a lot of issues. You’ll need to inspect it as regularly as possible. But how would you if you didn’t know how to locate it in the first place? As I always do, ensure you drive to a certified mechanic to look at what is wrong with your car’s electrical system.

As the name implies, the ground wire ensures that all the wires and electrical components of your Subaru are well grounded. Any issue with this wire can ground your car. A one-time system check may save your car from an emergency electrical breakdown. 

  • James Smith

    I'm James Smith, a car enthusiast and a content writer for Daily Car Tips. I have a passion for all things cars, from classic muscle cars to the latest electric vehicles. When I'm not writing about cars, you can usually find me tinkering with my car or checking out the latest automotive trends.

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