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Subaru Legacy/Outback "Check Engine" Light Problems



  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Good luck, keep us posted!
  • I have a 2005 Legacey Gt 2.5 Turbo, Automatic. Just turned over 64000 miles (which of course takes me out of the power train warrenty). The car does not get driven much anymore but the wife and I took it shopping yesturday and suddenly got a Check Engine light with the blinking cruise. At first I was like humm loose gas cap or fuse something small. Then about 1/2 mile down the road it started to randomly make a Whoop ( kinda sounded like a siren) noise on the passenger side of the car seemed to be coming from under the hood. I was trying to baby it home so I cant say for sure if it was more under a turbo load or not but seemed to not make the noise if I wasnt on the gas. I didnt notice any true power loss but then again was trying to stay out of the gas as long as possible. I am waiting for a scanner to make its way to me but was hoping maybe someone could lend an idea. Thank you so very much... :confuse:
  • Ok here is what the scanner said. The code was a P0011 .. It read Camshaft Position... Actuator A Bank 1 Timing Over Advanced.. The car seems to run fine and no over heating or anything of that sort. So again any help?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Hmmm... not sure what it means exactly, but the timing is fully computer-controlled. I wonder if it was just a hiccup? Perhaps reset the error code and see if it pops up again soon. If so, probably something to take to a shop for diagnosis. Be sure to log this event (when it happened, driving conditions, etc), though, in case it ends up being a sporadic problem.
  • OK here is some info I was given today. There are 2 hydrolic adjusters one on each cylinder head, They have Banjo bolts with screens in them that will get cloged or even fall apart. The adjusters work by oil flowing thru them . As you get on the gas the oil pressure boost and it advances the timing for performance. Was told to replace them and to replace the Bango bolts in the turbo line just in case. Not sure where the bango bols are in the turbo oil line so any help there would be great. Have the parts on order at my local subaru dealer. .. Oh yeah and when I bought the car they said to use coventional motor oil but now are saying to use synthetic with this motor.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Synthetic has much better wear properties than conventional, so yes, I agree that synthetic is preferable.
  • 95sl95sl Posts: 1
    i have a 95 subaru legacy and the CEL came on and i went to get it scanned and it came bac as P1104 which is engine torque control signal circuit malfunction. When i had it scanned the guy told me he never heard of it and he owned a subaru himself. He told me to bring it into the dealer. Well i called around to local mechanics first before i would bring it in to the dealer and all the places i called have never heard of this problem either but they all said it probably had something to do with my transmisson. I was wondering if someone out there had this same problem or had a solution to this problem.
  • paisanpaisan Posts: 21,181
    Been around subies for a long time, never heard of that code either. Sorry :(

    Subaru Guru and Track Instructor
  • This is exactly what I just experienced and our mileage is close. What happened? They originally replaced my oil sensor, but the check engine light came on again and now the dealer says I need a new turbo and catalytic converter to the tune of $5,000. I have had all the O2 sensor problems and many of the others discussed on this forum.
  • We have 2005 and 2008 Outback XT's with auto transmissions. The 2008 has a lurching shift between gears 2 and 3. The 2008 acceleration is also more sluggish that that of the 2005, even with the auto transmission in Sport Sharp mode. Has anyone else experienced similar symptoms with the 2008?
  • Mine is a 2006 GT-Turbo with 5sp Manual. I ONLY get the CEL when I travel between my two homes. One home is at 7000' in a cold climate and the other is at about 3000' in the desert. Usually, I get the light when I go from the cold to hot climates. Every time I take it to the dealer, I'm told its a loose gas-cap.

    I NEVER fail to tighten the gas-cap and I am especially aware of that now. I suspect that the problem is caused either by the change in temperature or the change in altitude (pressure). I always buy gas at the half-way point between the two homes.

    I had a Forester with the same problem and then I had a Baja that never flashed a CEL.... ever.

    Comments? Ideas?
  • 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?
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    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.
  • 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.
  • xwesxxwesx Fairbanks, AlaskaPosts: 8,269
    Scanners can be purchased at many, if not all, automotive parts stores, as well as online through many venues such as Northern Tools,, 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. ;)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    I got an Actron for $99. Make sure it can read and reset codes also.
  • 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.
  • 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? :)
  • 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. :mad:

    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? :confuse:
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    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.
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