Subaru Legacy/Outback "Check Engine" Light Problems



  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    Ah, okay. Thanks for clarifying, Steve - I didn't catch that and just don't have the time to review. :blush:

    If the turbo car is throwing a code, now's the time for a diagnostic tool to help point us in the right direction. I certainly wouldn't want any whining sounds with a turbo mounted onto the engine, either!
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • johnsub01johnsub01 Member Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    I just fixed this exact problem I was having with my 01 Subaru Outback VDC. I believe you still have air in your radiator cooling system. You need to burp your system again believe it or not and it may take several times to get all of the air out.

    After the car is cool, take the radiator cap off and start the car. Let it run until it warms up so the fluid flows. Keep fluid in your reserve tank because as the air burps out of your radiator the fluid will back fill from the reserver tank. Check it every day for a while.

    I had my thermostat replaced three weeks ago and everything was fine until this week. I burped the system and it gurgled for 1.5 minutes. It sucked in more than half of the reserve tank fluid. Everything is good now. I probably did not have a bad thermostat in the first place.

    Two ways to check if you have a head gasket problem - check reserve tank fluid and oil; Smell reserve tank fluid. If it smells like exhaust or fuel there may be head gasket problem. Check your oil to see if there is water in it. Also indicative of a failing head gasket.

    Typical HG problems occur on 1996 - 1998 models. It was fixed after that I've been told.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    Unfortunately, the problem was very common on the 2.5L engine all the way up through 2002 (and even a little later). Problems on more recent models still exist, but are not as widespread due to revised gasket material and the requirement by Subaru to have "stop leak" in the coolant as a matter of course.

    It has never been a problem on the 3.0L and 3.6L H6 engines.

    As far as the radiator goes, for a while there was a "burp plug" on the top of the radiator near where the upper radiator hose enters the unit. That is good to remove when trying to get the air out. On newer models, the shape of the radiator was revised to make the cap the highest point, with the rest of it sloping toward the cap.

    Parking on an inclined surface (with the nose up) or on automotive ramps will help as well.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • pepper55pepper55 Member Posts: 3

    My 2011 Legacy has 650 miles when CEL, Cruise, Brake, lights came on while driving. Dropped off car at Puente Hills Subaru Sunday night. Was just told that it is an engine misfire and that they are still working on it.

    Am I in store for a ton of problems?

    I've researched this issue and have not found a definitive answer, just a bunch of "loose gas cap" posts. :confuse:
  • queenmabbqueenmabb Member Posts: 1
    I see you didn't get any replies but I have to ask- I just had the exact same thing happen w/ my 2009 Subie Outback Legacy (except my fuel light did not come on I have a full tank)- did you figure anything out on your end that might be helpful to me? I am going to try the Battery/ Brake thing but thought you may have garnered more insight since you posted.
  • pepper55pepper55 Member Posts: 3
    Not much info. Got a P0303 and P0304 error codes from the dealer, said there was nothing currently affecting the engine. They couldn't fine what caused the misfires.
  • stk99stk99 Member Posts: 2
    edited October 2011
    I have had the same thing happen as well on two 2012 Outbacks with the cvt transmissions. It happened on the first car twice. They thought at first it was the gas cap thing. The second time it happened they said it was a misfire issue. The dealer didn't want to deal with the situation and so they traded it out for the exact same car. I drove it for 8 days and it happened again. Only 400 miles on this car. Did the dealer have anything else to say on this? Just wondering, I'm taking it to the dealer tomorrow to figure out if its the same issue as with the first car.
  • pepper55pepper55 Member Posts: 3
    Nothing else, just what I stated above. Please let us know what happens.
  • skymarskymar Member Posts: 2
    Ok - I hear you! I have been really disappointed with my new 2011 Outback for the same reason. I started having problems after the first 100 miles. At first it was only the check engine light that came on. I accepted the gas cap explanation from the dealer the first time, even the second time but now it has progressed to all the lights coming on. I was on the interstate, the inside lane, when all of the idiot lights came on and the brake light started flashing. Luckily I was able to get over to the berm and turn off the car. We checked in the book and found info about the flashing brake light which said that the ABS system had failed but it was drivable for short distance. We started the car and drove to the closest exit, pulled off to a gas station and called my dealer ship. They could not help - had no idea as to what was going on so suggested I call Subaru Roadside assistance. Got ahold of them and after some fumbling and mumbling about check engine light, gas caps and "Oh, I will need to talk to my supervisor" we where finally told they would be sending a tow truck and take us to the nearest Subaru dealership. Ok, it takes an hour for the tow truck to get to us. The young man is really nice and takes us up the road , one more exit, to a dealership. They of course are not happy to have us "dropped" in their laps - they are booked solid and can't possibly get to us until later that day or the next. "Errrrrrr" - I get a little testy and finally the manager sends out a tech to "clear and reset" the lights and sends us on our way with -"Oh, you probably just did not tighten the gas cap". I was not happy! We drove home (75 miles) after missing an important Dr. apt. and I immediately took the car to my dealership for service. They of course could do nothing b/c the info was "cleared" out of the computer" . I was sent on my way - again- with "well, it was probably just the gas cap". I DON'T THINK SO !!! Well here I am again, three weeks later and the car is sitting at the dealership AGAIN! On our way home yesterday all the lights came on AGAIN! Check engine light -steady, cruse - flashing, brake - flashing, skid-steady, low gas-steady. Only this time the longer I drove it the more it acted like I was riding the brake (which I was not) and the engine sounded like it was not shifting at all. I have been noticing more engine noise and a whistling starting. I also have told the service guys I have noticed the engine sounds like there is a sticky valve ( if your old enough to remember what that sounds like). So anyway - I have lost all confidence in this car and am at the point that I want Subaru to buy it back from me. Of course that won't happen so I guess I am stuck with this problem car. I think we should all gang up on Subaru and file a class action law suit. Anyone interested?
  • dswissdswiss Member Posts: 11
    Keep all your receipts and find out what the lemon law requirements are in your state.
    With so many CEL problems, I am surprised no law firm has started a calss action suit yet. I have lost lots of money on my Legacy, and I have no doubt I am not the only one!
  • stk99stk99 Member Posts: 2
    So I talked to the dealership here in Charlotte, NC where I bought it from last week. The Service Manager said that they are seeing this happen when driving in the manual auto mode. There is something wrong in the code and they are working on getting new code written for a re-flashing but don't think it will be out until at least the first of the year. He said that he could schedule a time for the Subaru engineer to come write a temporary code and then when the new permanent code is out I could come back in and get it re-flashed. So for now this is what I'm stuck with. By the way, the lights actually went off after the third time that I started the engine after driving a little bit each time. This was a suggestion from another forum that someone posted for my situation. Hope this helps someone else out there.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    This has happened to me twice now. Once when the car was only 2 weeks old....Not only did all the lights start flashing, the park brake would not release. Had to manually release it to drive the car. Got to the dealer...they 'reflashed' the code in the 'brain' and said that should take care of it. It happened again after we had just returned from a 3,000 mile trip and was only 100 miles from home. No cruise control...thank goodness only 100 miles. Dealer said error report was leak in evp system, which they couldn't find, so they blamed it on a loose gas cap. Interesting, I told them, one would have though that *that* problem should have shown up 400 miles before when we last filled the car. That's two times..if it happens again, I will invoke the lemon ours still only has 6000 miles on it. I was told a new software flash would be out 'shortly'. Unfortunately, they had no idea how long 'shortly' would be. I reminded them that I was well versed in Nevada's lemon law and showed him the law.....I also told the service writer that this problem had better not happen again. They wanted to put something different down on the computer work order...I said no...and the work order of record better have my signature on it, as I wouldn't sign their revised copy. (Keep in mind, for a lemon law to be valid, the work orders ***MUST*** state the same issue...the complaint cannot vary.
  • rihanalee02rihanalee02 Member Posts: 1
    This JUST happened to me this evening -- 06 Subaru Legacy, 68K miles -- driving down the interstate, all of the sudden check engine light comes on (not blinking), cruise light comes on (blinking) and I lose the ability to accelerate. Luckily I was on a down-hill freeway off-ramp and was able to "coast" to a safe parking lot. Earlier in the afternoon I noticed my car was a little hard to start and had to turn over twice...which NEVER happens. Anyway, called the dealer, of course, they have no idea. Should find out tomorrow...anyone have any ideas? :sick:
  • biged7biged7 Member Posts: 2
    I have my leased 2011 legacy since Jan, 2011, 5K miles. All of the blinking lights, no cruise cont or ABS, etc, started this week. Just a lay person but I think that under the provisions of the Lemon Law, the dealer has to be given an opportunity to fix problem before legal action can be initiated. I'll be contacting dealer tomorrow. My son is an attorney in Cherry Hill, NJ (location of Subaru headquarters) and he's getting me the name of a specialist for this type of case, just in case it becomes necessary. If I get a negative result with the dealer, I intend to pursue the matter individually or as a part of a class action suit, whichever is appropriate. If someone else has already contacted an attorney and anticipates legal action, I would be interested. Will post results as events unfold.
  • biged7biged7 Member Posts: 2
    Just Googled NJ lemon law provisions and this is the pertinent section for our issues. New Jersey Lemon Law 56:12-33 Presumption of inability to correct nonconformity; written notification.

    a. It is presumed that a manufacturer or its dealer is unable to repair or correct a nonconformity within a reasonable time if, within the first 18,000 miles of operation or during the period of two years following the date of original delivery of the motor vehicle to a consumer, whichever is the earlier date:

    (1) Substantially the same nonconformity has been subject to repair three or more times by the manufacturer or its dealer and the nonconformity continues to exist; or

    (2) The motor vehicle is out of service by reason of repair for one or more nonconformities for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days since the original delivery of the motor vehicle and a nonconformity continues to exist.

    b. The presumption contained in subsection a. of this section shall apply against a manufacturer only if the manufacturer has received written notification, by or on behalf of the consumer, by certified mail return receipt requested, of a potential claim pursuant to the provisions of this act and has had one opportunity to repair or correct the defect or condition within 10 calendar days following receipt of the notification. Notification by the consumer shall take place any time after the motor vehicle has had substantially the same nonconformity subject to repair two or more times or has been out of service by reason of repair for a cumulative total of 20 or more calendar days.

    I assume that all the states lemon laws are similar. They are all online
  • skymarskymar Member Posts: 2
    :lemon: Well - the engine light issue happened again as I was driving on the interstate on my way home from a Dr.s apt. All the lights were flasing, car lost accelration and felt again like the break was on. I decided to go ahead and just keep on driving the car home and then straight to the dealership. I walked in and told the salesman ( in a nice way) that I did not want this car back. I explained to him that what ever was wrong with this car has caused me to lose confidence in it and I was getting to the point of being afraid to drive it, especially when I had a time critical apt. Well, they kept my car and gave me a brand new Subaru Outback to drive while they decided what to do with mine. THis all happened exactly a week ago. I got a call from the service manager today that my car was ready to be picked up. I went in to talk to them about my car (I really did not want it back) but the service manager was out of the building. He is supposed to call me to tell me what they did to the car. I drove it home but am not real happy about it. I have to take my husband to the hospital tomorrow for more testing so we will see what happens. I will keep all of you posted and let you know as soon as I find out what they did. I do know that they had to rest all the keys to a new computer but not sure why. I really do not hold out any hope that this problem is fixed. My next step is to write or call Subaru. Has anyone called the company directly yet?
  • fibber2fibber2 Member Posts: 3,786
    edited December 2011
    OK, maybe it's just me but I'll throw in my $0.02 here in the spirit of the holidays.

    You've had a car for the best part of a year, and up to now it's been pretty much trouble free. This past weekend you suddenly have a 'first event' problem and before you even have the dealer check it out you are already talking 'Lemon Law' and Class Action Lawsuits. What's wrong with this picture?
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    I have had the same problem for the past 6 months or so with my 2006 Outback XT, or maybe longer. It started with the gas cap not being tight enough, according to the dealership. I tightened it up good and It cleared up after about 4 days of driving. But since then, it has started up again, it has started to sputter, make a whistling sound when I accelerate sometimes, and run like crap, basically everything you said yours is doing. I replaced the O2 and Fuel Mix sensors, upstream and downstream, it helped for a short time, but now still runs bad. Replaced mass air flow sensor, and now just had the timing belt and other belts replaced, because the dealership told me after looking for 2 hours that the only problem they can find is the timing belt was a little worn out. Absolutely nothing else was found, even while plugged in to the scanner while being driven. They were baffled, they could feel the problems and know it was running harsh, but they didn't know. Said it's probably the fact I used gas with ethanol in it before and it built up carbon on the valves and cylinder. Told me to use 44K in it right before an oil change and right after it's changed, but i haven't gotten there yet. The new belts apparently did not help the problem, but I know the timing belt was due for a change, at least it won't break and destroy my engine. The codes have been reset when I replaced the air flow sensor right before I went to the dealership, but that didn't help the dealership cuz they had no codes to check. So, maybe it's a knock sensor, or some computer problem. I don't know. I'm not spending more money for someone to plug in their computer to tell me thy can't find a problem anymore. What did you figure out on your car?
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    yeah, you're screwed. My dealer took 2 hours to look at every possible problem, could not find anything wrong with the car even though it was running like it was misfiring, but they checked it out, everything out, and nothing. I'm guessing the one post about the air being in the coolant system might be the problem, wouldn't be detected by scanners, computers or any other way I imagine. One post I found said they replaced the knock sensor and it cleared up the similar problem we all have, so I don't know. I replaced O2 sensors and air flow sensor and plugs and just had the timing belt and all belts replaced. apparently it didn't stop the problem. I think Subaru has a major issue they are not admitting to, just like Toyota did last year. This is a bigger problem because noone can figure it out, and it causes the engine to stall in some cases. Mine hasn't stalled out yet, but it sounds like it wants to all the time. I might need to get rid of it sadly, it's a great car other than this engine problem.
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    No, mines a 2006 Outback with factory turbo. It's not the turbo as the problem, almost all of the other posts are of non-turbo cars, so that isn't the problem here. It's either a wiring issue for sensors, computer issue, or who knows what it is. my dealer could find absolutely nothing wrong with the car while it was there. Said it might be carbon build up from the ethanol gas I've used before, but I doubt it.
  • sheltyshelty Member Posts: 1
    I too have a 2006 subaru outback but it has 130k miles on it. The ABS, Cruise control and check engine light have only come on a few times and every time I'm backing up in a tough situation. Hard snow at the end of the driveway where I have to really gun it to get over and things like that. The first time I was stupid enough to pay Burt Brothers $90 to turn it off then someone told me to just disconnect the negative battery connection for a few minutes. Tried this again tonight and it worked. Must say I've never experienced the acceleration or braking issues some of you seem to have but if you live in snow country this might come in handy!
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    Theres.a problem with sensors I think. My car jerks and vibrates and misfires and the engine makes strange whirling and whistling sounds and the exhaust smells weird. I read that these are symptoms of a bad knock sensor. It listens to the engine and tells it when to detonate and all kinds of stuff. I'm going to replace it this week and pray that its the problem, so keep that in my if yours starts to do weird things like mine does. The engine light comes on when something triggers it but it could be alot of different things. I hate this kind of crap
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    So, I replaced the knock sensor, it runs alittle smoother but it's still misfiring, if thats possible. So Ive replaced the timing belt, O2 sensors, mass airflow sensor, ignition coil packs, plugs, and knock sensor. What's left? I'll put as much into the car as I owe on it before I find the problem. I'm thinking it's an electrical problem more than mechanical. Who can I call to get viable ideas before I trade it in? It's really pissing me off
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    Cam or crank sensor? If the car has one, I would lean towards the cam sensor. This is like the rotor in an old sets the timing of the spark..if it is bad, you will experience the symptoms you are describing. Again...I do NOT know if your engine has these sensors........Good luck..I know how frustrating a problem like yours can be!
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    After 6000 miles, my new (6 months ago) Outback with the Lineartronic CVT transmission, is hitting 30 MPG. I was beginning to think all the 30 plus MPG reports were BS. I chalked up the 25 -27 MPG we were getting, to driving at high altitude (5000 feet plus) and mountainous roads. I am happy now!
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    The car does have a cam sensor. Generally, however, it will throw a code if the cam sensor is out of spec. Did you ensure the alignment on the timing belt was spot on when it was replaced? If it was off by a tooth or two, it will make it much more difficult for your knock sensor to compensate.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    I had a NAPA shop replace the timing belt, so I assume they did it right, and if they didn't, I won't know, I'm not a mechanic. The code that came up was a misfire code, I guess. I switched the coil pack with cylinder 4, the one that was supposedly misfiring, to cylinder 2 and the code than said misfiring from 3 and 4. I didn't do anything with 3. I replaced all 4 coil packs last week. I haven't checked the codes recently since I've replaced the coil packs. So as far as I know there isn't a cam sensor code popping up. I was told the cam sensor might be bad 2 days ago so I'm going to replace it. It's really starting to piss me off really.
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    Thanks for all the replies in trying to help me figure out the problem. The subaru dealer here hash't been too helpful. They've told me it could be a bunch of things, but I don't have the money to spend on the time it'll take for a shop to find the problem, but we'll see
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    Well, try the cam sensor. It will cost you $50 or so, but it s incredibly easy (and fast) to replace. If that doesn't do it, I'd speak with the shop that did the timing belt and ask them to verify the cam/crank alignment. I'm not entirely sure how yours is behaving, but an "off by a tooth" situation would likely result in no noticeable difference at idle, yet occasional issues while driving.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • mcrabbittmcrabbitt Member Posts: 2
    I was told by a mechanic that when the computer senses a problem that will further damage your car by driving it, it goes into a certain "mode" (he told me the name of it, but I forgot it)....basically it means that it only gives it enough fuel to drive about 30mph. It tries to limit what the car can do, to protect itself. I just had a similar issue with my 09 legacy gt. the check engine light came on and the cruise control light and s-drive indicator light started blinking. I live on an island, so it will be a week or so before I can get it to a dealership, but he is going to read the computer tomorrow to get the code. But he did explain that subarus have this protection mode, so maybe that is why yours slowed down and felt like the brake was on??? Just a thought...
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    It is called, "Limp Home Mode".
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    My car's timing was off, after I had a NAPA shop put a new belt on, the tensioner was bad, and they failed to tell me it was bad. They wanted $1600 to replace all the parts including the water pump, but the pump is still good. I didn't pay them for anything but the belt but they didn't tell me about the tensioner most likely because they wanted me to buy all the parts to put on it. None of the parts were Subaru parts which is why I didn't want to have them put on, plus they all cost more than the Subaru parts as well. I never go back to the same shop that did the bad work in the first place. The car still ran like crap after the timing was corrected, still misfiring. I asked the shop that corrected it to find out why its misfiring to replace the camshaft sensors on it, cuz there is 2 of them. They didn't get passed the timing belt because I was running out of money to give them to continue looking, so now I am going to drop it off at Subaru dealer in town for a day and hope they find the problem. I am hoping it's a bad spark plug or the camshaft sensors or something less expensive than a valve or piston or fuel injector problem. I don't know but I will post it on here. It may because I was using ethanol mixed gas in it for awhile, quit using it about 3 or 4 months ago. Noone use ethanol in your Subaru, the engines are not made to handle it, and it is dirty and bad for all engines.
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    I am glad to hear that you may be getting closer to sourcing the problem, but sorry that it is costing you so much (time, energy, and money!). Thanks for keeping us posted.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    Well, I pulled the plugs out, and they were too short, so I think I was given the wrong plugs to put in a couple years ago when I changed them out. I put iridium high performance plugs in today, and it fixed the misfire issue, however it is still making a weird howling sound and seems to "slip" while I'm cruising on the road. and there isn't as much power as there should be,. I think that may be an injector or a bad valve or who knows. Maybe a sensor. Anyone have any thoughts? I can hear the turbo sucking and blowing air, but there's still a disheartening sound once in a while. But it runs sooo much better with the new plugs, so there must be another problem. I have yet to replace the camshaft sensors, I am taking it to Subaru so they can look at it all day on Tuesday, so maybe they will have an answer.
  • tm14930tm14930 Member Posts: 2
    First the cars history: We bought it through private sale in Aug '11 from a little 77 year old lady who drove it 9.5 miles a day 5 days a week, only in good weather, to her family's business and back, and always garage kept, meticulously maintained. We know the people and the history. It had 17000 + miles on it, now it's just over 19,000 miles.
    Now the problem, about a month after we got it, I got the code for the rear o2 sensor passenger side and just replaced it with OEM from dealer, and cleared the code. I just blamed it on time.

    In third week of February I got the p0154 code, bank 2 sensor 1 no indication. I Replaced this one with OEM also and cleared the code. But this time the code keeps coming back after
    20 miles or so. Well now put my meter on it at the connection when the sensor connects to the harness at the manifold and here are the reads with engine running.

    harness side: blue- 3.77 white - 3.77 blk(under blue) - 14.0 blk(under white) - 14.0

    sensor side: yellow - 3.18 red - 14.0 white(under yellow) 3.77 blk(under red)3.77

    I also damp wiped the throttle body, but it didn't need it.

    there were no vacuum leaks found. and no brittleness in the hoses.

    Fuses are good

    With the mileage I don't feel a tuneup is neccesary, as the car runs like a top.

    Question is, where do I go from here, ECM reflash?

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    May as well since there's no expense involved.

    I had a misfire and it turned out to be the ignition coil. I had rodents in the engine bay and they chewed up some of the wires, too.
  • tm14930tm14930 Member Posts: 2
    Just a quick follow up. The check engine light is gone!

    after about 50 - start, wait 30 seconds, and shut off cycles, on a fully warmed up engine the light went away on it's own and as soon as it did that I erased the p00154 code, No indication, and rechecked it.

    I have the Haines book which I've used for my 02 OB vdc, but wanted to try the Chiltons book. While they are quite similar, there are differences.

    I think that between the two books I have better reference material to go by.
  • csmilichcsmilich Member Posts: 11
    I figured out was wrong with my 2006 Outback, it's japanese lol. No but really the turbo was going out for like 2 months, and finally blew the gaskets and shaft. The oil was fouling up the spark plugs, so when the dealer tested the codes it said it was misfiring, but it was the turbo leaking oil that caused the misfire. So if you have a turbo in your Subaru and you have around 100,000 miles, get it replaced it fast. But don't buy the subaru turbo, its too expensive and you can get an aftermarket one much cheaper that will be a better quality.

    Just do it before it goes out completely and shoots oil in places it shouldn't be. It ran like a champ right before I traded it in for a Ford F-150, got a great deal so I couldn't pass it up. Also replace the knock sensor and the cam shaft sensors too and the timing belt. Don't hesitate cuz it will screw you out of money.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    edited April 2012
    14,000 miles. Ever since new, whenever trip mileage was reset, the Average MPG counter would start at 31 MPG and work down to the average MPG within 30 miles.

    After an oil change 4 weeks ago, now it starts at 21+_ and takes forever to count up to the average. (On a recent trip, 120 miles 'downhill' it took all of that 120 miles to stabilize at 26 mpg.

    Before this started, we, on average, got 28 - 29.5 mpg, now the mileage is down to 25 - 26 mpg. NO CHECK ENGINE LIGHT HAS COME ON, same gas station, same route every day...65 miles to and from Carson City, Nevada and Reno, Nevada...all freeway driving.

    Oil used is full synthetic Castrol.

    Dealer says nothing wrong.....makes no difference whether or not the average mpg is ascending or descending. WAIT A MINUTE!! Something had to have happened to make it change from a start of 31 and working down, to starting at 21 and going up, with the actual mileage dropping 3 - 4 MPG.

    Any thoughts as to what might be the problem?
  • xwesxxwesx Member Posts: 16,707
    Why would it start at any point? In all Subaru vehicles I have owned that have a fuel economy readout, they show --- for the first mile after a trip meter reset, then display the average economy. So, the initial display will vary depending on the type of driving experienced in that mile. Sometimes the initial display is in the mid-20s, and other times it is in the mid teens. Where it goes from there again depends on conditions.

    Is the average economy you stated above (28-29.5 vs. 25-26 now) calculated or based on that readout? If calculated, then something has changed (or is wrong, such as a sensor providing erroneous/poor feedback). If taken on faith (e.g., based on readout only), I would do some calculations before getting too concerned.
    2018 Subaru Crosstrek, 2014 Audi Q7 TDI, 2013 Subaru Forester, 1969 Chevrolet C20, 1969 Ford Econoline 100, 1976 Ford F250
  • phxmotorphxmotor Member Posts: 9
    A check engine light can be read with a simple $50 code reader. If you can tie your shoe you can read your CEL.
    Read it, then do what it says. The day of working blind are over! Could not be simpler. Modern cars are NOT more complicated...that is mere shop=talk...get a cheap code reader...if you don't understand the code, Google it and a hundred people will have already posted the solution.
    Don't work blind.
  • phxmotorphxmotor Member Posts: 9
    A simple $50 code reader will answer the issue once and for all. No reason to guess. Its only nonsense shop-talk to think reading CEL codes is difficult. If you do not understand the CEL code, google it and a hundred people will have already explained it in detail.
    Everyone should have their own $50 code reader. Its made owning a car soooo much simpler and cheaper to own.
    Cam sensor? Crank sensor? MAF? MAP? Knock sensor? Bad plug wire? Couldn't be easier. Just plug it the button. Done. Never...ever...need to get suckered by a shop. Remember AAA? They report that a full 50% of all car repairs are unneeded & unnecessary. Its true! Save money...get a code reader! (the cheapest ones are fine)
  • phxmotorphxmotor Member Posts: 9
    95 Subarus use OBD2 scan tool. Why do people answer things with wrong answers? Some 1995 Fords use OBD2 scanners as well.
    Every Subaru owner knows this. Telling the owner of a 95 that they need an OBD1 reader is nuts. If ya dont know an answer why do ya say ya do?
  • texvet1texvet1 Member Posts: 1
    if a class action gets started I want to be in.. today my wifes 2011 outback started doing this, I can tell you I have not been happy with the change in Transmission and the electronic E brake, who would do this to the best all wheel drive car on the market? and if its sooo great, why doesn't the WRX have the same crap on it?
    when they scratch their head and say I don't know, they are really saying, sucker! because when your not around the mechanics are joking about what a piece of crap a car is when they are all by themselves without management.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    Welp! Failure number 5! 2011 Outback, now 16,000 some odd miles, 11 months old. No cruise, check engine light and whine in trans when hard accelerate. This is getting disconcerting. Can't go anywhere for fear the car will quit or the cruise won't work, or the E brake will lock on again. Going to talk to a lemon law lawyer end of this week and see if I have any recourse against Subaru. What a shame...We had 250,000 trouble free miles in our 2000 Forester, and now this..sorta sours me on Subaru.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Member Posts: 72,587
    Sorry to hear that. Lemon law may be limited on mileage, at 16k yours may be too miled up to qualify.

    Good luck, though.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    The vehicle is still under warranty..not even a year old...already checked, yes, it is covered and already have law firm pursuing this option. The Dealer is scrambling to get help from factory now......
  • kldbhkldbh Member Posts: 2
    edited July 2012
    I have a 2007 Legacy GT sedan with turbo- first post but after reading all the previous posts, having same issue. Approx 88,000 miles, first starting happening in Nov 2011 at just over 80,000 miles. Getting same runaround- have done required, recommended maint per manual, good gas, no demanding driving conditions (live in CA). Recently replaced spark plugs and did 75K maintenance early to help solve problems. Just had at dealer on Mon, 7/4- returned to me evening of 7/5- didn't even last a week this time. Supposedly, tech support at Subaru has been contacted- was told replacement of computer module would not be covered under my extended warranty because nothing would link back to that but looks like this posting trail might provide some ammunition. Thanks everyone for your help and will postl if anything comes out of it. But...Mainly posting this so if any class action suit is ever pursued, I am able to put our two cents in. Just like other posters, this was my 5th Subaru, 3 of which were Legacys, 1 impreza - 2005 GT was totaled in accident so will never know if this would have developed, replaced with essentially identical car with 2007 model.
  • mcharliemcharlie Member Posts: 22
    The dealerships are is **always** a gas cap issue.....not something a lemon law will help....well...after the 2nd 'gas cap' report, I marked the gas cap, and when the light came on again, I had a neighbor, who is an attorney and a notary, inspect the gas cap and noted that I had marked it for easy identification. I then took vehicle to the dealership, where, yes, you guessed it, they 'found' a defective gas cap, which they stated, they replaced. End of lemon law here..nothing to prove the ame thing had happened 3 times in the year. Welp, went back to my attorney neighbor, had him inspect the 'new' gas cap, and guess what, Subaru must be manufacturing all their new gas caps with my secret identification, because this one still had my mark, which was photographed, and then the photographs were notarized, as was the statement my attorney neighbor wrote (on his practice letterhead). I do believe Subaru is going to buy me a new Subaru over this one. We have filed a preliminary notice of intent to sue (initiate) an action against the dealer and Subaru of America. If we are lucky, we may even get the service manager and his service writers to serve some jail time for fraudulantly falsifying documents to avoid a legal action.

    In short...gang....don't let these dealerships get away with the loose gas cap crap...mark your caps and make sure you get the info documented before you take your vehicle into the dealership for the umpteenth time for the warning light issue. There is no doubt in my mind that Subaru is trying to cover their asses because they do NOT know how to fix the problem.
  • kldbhkldbh Member Posts: 2
    that is such an interesting comment- I was initially told in Nov 2011 that it could just be a loose gas cap when I contacted dealer about bringing in the shop. Yesterday, the same service person that helped my spouse on Monday told me that he couldn't figure out why anyone would have told me it could be a gas cap issue. Obviously, I am not the only one who has been told that could be an issue and I believe even the manual mentions that could trigger the lights. Incidentally, NOv 2011-code P0457 EVP leak detected
    Feb 2012- code P0304- misfire cylinder 4, replaced all spark plugs
    March 2012- misfire Cyl 2 and 4- update on ECM done
    July 2012- code P0304- loose connector on ignition coil 4
    will wait and see what next code is ---
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