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Old 01-31-2013, 12:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stuck in Mud - CEL

Hi Folks

For the first time in my 36 years of driving, I found myself stuck in the Herefordshire mud last evening. The car slid off a muddy lane during a rainstorm, and ended up with the LH wheels down in a muddy ditch, and the car resting on a grassy strip along the road's edge, more or less high-centered. Car is a 2004 OB wagon, 5sp manual, 175K miles.
No amount of rocking in 2nd / reverse, normal or lo range, would shift it, so I gave up, and got a tow out by a mate in a 4WD the following day.
During the rocking, I saw the ABS light and the CEL come on. Today, the ABS light is off, but the CEL remains on. Also, the Cruise Control logo is slowly flashing on and off as your drive along; turning cruise on and off seems to make no difference to that. (cruise not used on this car, as it surges, and struggles to hold the speed correctly...just an additional FYI.)
The car runs fine, drives fine, brakes OK, so before I go to the expense of hooking the car up to an OBD reader, would anyone care to offer opinions as to the potential problem causing the CEL to be lit ?
I was thinking perhaps an broken wire on an O2 sensor somewhere on the exhaust system ... would there be any other 'simple' things to check, prior to hooking up the OBD reader at a garage ?
Thanks in advance for your opinions !
Chris
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Old 01-31-2013, 12:39 PM   #2 (permalink)
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One time I was hooning in some mud puddles in the rain when I got a CEL. Car progressively lost power to the point where I had to floor it just to get going.

Turns out I had wet my MAF sensor (EJ25D on a 1st generation Outback). It then went away after an overnight drying.

Hope your issue is as simple as mine and that it goes away.
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Old 01-31-2013, 08:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Without knowing the codes, any guess is basically worthless. Get the CEL read and we can go from their.

And a CEL disables the cruise control, it is a common feature on many OBD-II vehicles.
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Old 01-31-2013, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can get an ODB-II reader online for as low as $30. Not wasting extra time in troubleshooting is so worth it to get a reader. It turns car maintenance into a breeze.

Read code.
Replace broken part.
Enjoy life.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:50 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sounds like a good plan, and would be a good instrument to add to my rollercabinet.
Update: started car this am, and both CEL and Cruise lights are OUT. The only characteristic I find different is the car seems to pull slightly to the left (the same side that has excessive wear on outside of rear tyre, so may be related to the (suspected) worn trailing arm bush on that side vs. anything drive related.
I think I'll drain and refill the gearbox oil and rear diff oil as a precaution, as both may have had some abuse during the rocking phase of trying to get the car out of the ditch. As the lights have extinguished, would it be worthwhile to still get the car hooked up to the OBDII ? Are previous error codes stored in memory ? And if so, for how long after the fault 'disappears' ?
Thanks for all the help, chaps. Much appreciated.
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Old 02-03-2013, 10:59 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had this case. When my car stuck in snow or in mud the ABS lamp was blinking.
When all dried out then the ABS lamp off. Usually a couple of hours drive.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It will store them. See what code it threw.
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