Last post on Mar 07, 2013 at 11:38 AM
You are in the Subaru Legacy & Outback
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Subaru Legacy, Subaru Outback, Wagon
#93 of 406 Check Engine Light
Feb 17, 2009 (12:23 am)
I have a 1996 Subaru Legacy Wagon. I bought it from a private party when it had 11,000 miles on it. Not long after I bought it, the check engine light came on. Twice when this happened took to the dealer, they said nothing was wrong turned it off. They never said it was a known problem. Living in Oregon, it was not a problem as there were no emission problems. Now in California, just the fact that the light is seen as on manually, they fail your smog. No emission problems, car problems of any kind. The print out mentions a Knock Sensor. Had it replaced, drove it about 100 miles, had it smogged, now the light is on again. I have two years to do something about this. I love the car, but the only alternative is to sell for scrap in two years. This just not seem right that you would be forced to junk a car that has an engine that is so quite when idling, you can't tell it is on, no emissions, etc.
Would Subaru have a fix for this? One mechanic said it needs a new computer, about $1500. Another said it has nothing to do with the computer or catalytic converter. Any ideas?
#94 of 406 Re: Check Engine Light [2009buyer]
Feb 17, 2009 (10:15 am)
Not that this is a solution, but you should seriously consider purchasing a scanner for the car. That way, when the light illuminates, you can read out and reset the codes yourself. This does two things: 1, you know what codes are tripping and how often, and 2, if something else goes wrong, you will not be in the dark about it (once the light is on, an infinite number of additional codes could crop up and you would have no idea).
Also, it would alleviate the issue of occasional codes causing a fail when having the test performed.
#95 of 406 Re: Check Engine Light [xwesx]
Feb 17, 2009 (1:11 pm)
So how does one buy a scanner and where do you get them? What do you look for? Also, is this in keeping with regulations to reset the codes prior to getting it smogged? Just wondering.
#96 of 406 Re: Check Engine Light [2009buyer]
Feb 18, 2009 (9:49 am)
Scanners can be purchased at many, if not all, automotive parts stores, as well as online through many venues such as Northern Tools, Amazon.com, etc. They tend to cost around $130-$150, and you want a scanner that is OBD-II with CAN compliance.
I am not aware of regulations related to resetting codes prior to getting an emissions test, but it is your car. As far as I am concerned, if the codes had an effect on the emissions coming out of the tailpipe, the car would not pass the test anyway and then you would have a legitimate reason to pursue repair. If it passes, the code was irrelevant. If the state has a problem with that, they are welcome to provide me with a car (and therefore have a say in its ownership) or kiss my.... cheek.
#97 of 406 Re: Check Engine Light [2009buyer]
Feb 19, 2009 (10:19 am)
I got an Actron for $99. Make sure it can read and reset codes also.
#98 of 406 Re: "Check Engine" light + flashing Cruise Control light = ? [horspoor]
Feb 20, 2009 (7:54 pm)
I usually go to my local O'Reilly's and use thier scan tool for free! Hope this helps. Most parts stores do this. Why buy one.
#99 of 406 Re: "Check Engine" light + flashing Cruise Control light = ? [scoobydoo4]
Feb 20, 2009 (9:00 pm)
I have read the posts and appreciate the feedback. Unfortunately I am not sure what I would do with a scanner if I had it. If I bought one, used it according to the manual, then what? It gives me some codes, I read them, don't know what to do about any of it. Don't know what would happen if I re-set the codes. Does that make the check engine light go out? So it would pass smog?
I don't have an O'Reilly in my part of California. Anyone else know of somewhere they do this. Like a Kragan or Pep Boys?
Since this seems to be a common problem, what does Subaru say about this?
#100 of 406 Re: 2005 Legacey GT Problems Help Please... [Pbalkan]
Feb 22, 2009 (3:33 pm)
OK.... I bought a scanner. And.... I have just made the trip from high-altitude to low and from cold to hot. I haven't got a CEL.... yet... but I usually get one within 24-48 hours after I make the trip.
Of course, now that I have the scanner.... the car might just fix itself to spite me.
I found the OBD2, 16 pin connector. Subaru "hides" it in plain sight. I was looking for some kind of hatch-cover but it's just THERE, next to the hood latch. I read somewhere that there are connectors that must be connected to put the car into test-mode. The connectors are supposed to be around the glove-box.
True? Where do I find those?
#101 of 406 Re: 2005 Legacey GT Problems Help Please... [Pbalkan]
Feb 23, 2009 (10:08 am)
Nah, just follow the instructions that came with the scanner.
I didn't need to find any connectors for any of the cars I've scanned. You just plug-and-play. Read the instructions to find out where to put the ignition switch and when.
#102 of 406 Re: "Check Engine" light + flashing Cruise Control light = ? [2009buyer]
Feb 23, 2009 (12:48 pm)
I cannot offer feedback on most of your questions here, but as for "don't know what to do about any of it," I recommend that you simply write down the codes. You can read them without clearing them, which then leaves the codes in there. Or, you can read and then clear, which does turn off the CEL. Assuming no other problems, it should pass inspection.
If you keep a log of the codes and dates/circumstances that may be involved with the code, you might be able to help a mechanic diagnose the problem. The codes themselves are symptoms and do not always point directly to the problem. If the light is on and you take it to a shop, they may very likely be unable to correctly diagnose and repair the problem They will, however, be far more likely to recommend work and throw parts at the problem.
The code reader is not a replacement for repair and maintenance - it is a tool to assist those efforts.