Gen 5 – 2015 Active Grille Air Shutter not working, MIL light



My new to me 2015 Outback Premium 2.5i just threw code U0284, Lost Communication With Active Grille Air Shutter.
Front what I can see the air shutter is stuck open, with no debris or anything preventing it from closing.
I did a bunch of reading up on this, and figured if I could get a closer look maybe I’d see a problem with the 3-wire connector going to the actuator. So I removed the front bumper. What I did find was not pleasant, the front end must have had a minor impact. Some of the plastic is cracked and bent, and the air shutter assembly’s frame is cracked in a couple of places where it’s bolted on. I still don’t know why the code just came on though.

Can anyone help troubleshooting, I have a DMM and I’d like to know how to check if the wiring to the actuator is OK, thinking it may be a bad actuator. If the wiring is OK then maybe I’ll replace the entire assembly. The wires are black, white, and red w/ blue stripe.

I can see the 3-wire connector to the actuator is on the driver side of the assembly pic #2. But what is the 2-wire connector attached to the passenger side for? (pic #3) Is that a thermostat or something?

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those things will default to open. They’ll close based on speed, temperature (coolant and ambient air).

The two wire thing is your ambient air temperature sensor… used for lots of things. One thing is the display on your HVAC for outside air temperature, might be a good way to see if it’s reading anything.

The three wires – the black goes to ground, the red/blue comes from the fuse for that circuit, that’s the power – fuse #30 in the engine compartment.

The white is a LIN communication wire going to your ECM. That you would just check for continuity. If it’s broken somewhere, you would get that error. Likely the shutter module there stopped working, the housing all around the electronic part looks cracked / stressed.

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there is a blurb to do these things if the ECM or Active Grille Shutter is replaced… BUT – the active grille shutter is auto initializing, so it should do this on it’s own, I think the point here is that you would use subaru’s diagnostic software to view this value and see the shutter respond… Nothing to do if you replace it, other than check the operation in the software.

you’d start the engine, after 3 minutes, run the system operation check, and watch for the active grille shutter part to complete successfully.

no way to manually make it do anything.

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Thanks Walker! Great to see the wiring diagram! I just did look up how to check for voltage at the connector, and I’m getting about 12V DC at both white & red/blue. So I’m assuming the wiring is good, and the actuator module must be broken.

BTW I read that the shutters close when the car first warms up. Not sure though.

Do you think it’s safe to say I should replace the assembly? Looks like I can find it online for about $115.

Also, I see the fuse as 25 in my manual. I tried a spare fuse in its place but no change.

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everything I saw for troubleshooting says things like “Is there any damage in each part of the active grille shutter? -> Replace the active grille shutter.”

probably the best route.

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