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2001 Subaru Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter #1
Ok so, This all started when I replaced my half shaft, tie rods, ball joints, and tires. My ABS and VDC lights would come on. I tried to fix it by charging the battery, those lights now don't turn on, but my traction control comes on and seems to affect what feels like the front driver side wheel. I tried replacing the ABS sensors on both the sides of the front of the car. This did not work, my traction control came back on, and again felt like it grabbed the same wheel.

I will be giving the car an alignment over the next couple weeks when I have the time to see if that helps. I will update on what happens.

Does anyone know what else could cause this?
 

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Outbacks, SVXs, XT6, 4Runner, Celica, Brat, E150s
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Alignment. Our '04 VDC did some goofy things before I managed to replace the rear adjusters so I could get it alilgned. If the steering angle sensor and yaw sensor don't agree, the stability control tries to kick in.
 
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02 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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all the tires full?
22 psi or so in one or more can make for some drag particularly when riding on twisty road that makes the suspension articulate and lean the car a bit.

miles on this? ever in a wreck?

how many tires did you replace ? (hopefully all 4 so they are exactly the same tread / circumference).
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Mechanics who worked on your car could messed up something there. I got that after they did my aligment. As said before if aligment is not perfect vdc could see problem. Or they just disconnected something while working.
Then could be just abs problem. Something with brakes. Vdc could come up alone, but if it comes us with abs meaning its abs problem first . look for that. Fixing abs will fix vdc as well. Had that too.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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The steering angle sensor needs to be at 0 degrees +/- 5 or so degrees when driving straight. Until you get the steering wheel straight when driving down the road the VDC will detect a fault and disable the system.
 

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4, Gen 2 H6's: 2001 LLBean, 2002 LLBean, 2002 VDC, 2003 Plain...I love the H6's!
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I recently had the steering angle sensor replaced on my ‘02 VDC, and the VDC and abs idiot lights turned off.
 

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and just to remind other respondents: initial year 2001 US spec VDC cars, do have no "vdc off button"

which would be handy for quick testing purposes in this case.

I am thinking the ABS system might have a nick in a wire or some kind of periodic short.
 

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I would suspect an intermittent open on one of the speed sensors.When a speed sensor goes open, the car thinks that wheel has stopped turning. Because it is intermittent, the ideal way to troubleshoot it would be to monitor the individual wheel speeds and look for one that isn't reporting properly. That would require a scan tool or laptop capable of monitoring that data. You may not have that.

Without that, the first thing I would do is check the resistance of each sensor at the connector to the ABS controller and look for one that appears to display a significantly different resistance value. While you are checking the resistance of the sensor, I would also wiggle the entire harness and any connectors for the sensor you are measuring to see if that affects the reading. If you find a spot where that happens, that is most likely the area where the problem is.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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Its good thing that those lights comes up. Keeps you informed that something might be wrong and its not safe to drive. I like it.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter #11
Hey everyone, sorry been away, have not been able to check in. I replaced all 4 tires, don't even have 50 miles on them yet, i will check to be sure, but all are inflated to 30 psi. I did all of the work, the only sensors I took off where the ABS sensors and I replaced those to be sure I had good ones.

I still need to do an alignment to see if that works.

When replacing tie rods (inner and outer) can you mess up a sensor on the rack even if non where touched?

If the alignment doesn't work I will probably take the CV axle out and inspect the tone ring, if I find it is bad, I will replace the axel with one I know is good.
 

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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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When replacing tie rods (inner and outer) can you mess up a sensor on the rack even if non where touched?
it shoudnt , i change them couple times outer and inner ones , it had no effect. even without proper alignment never had VDC light after that.
VDC main thing is to use brakes, so if its sense even little problem with brakes or pads or something not moving as it should or something stuck there, it could light up VDC light at certain speed. couple times i had VDC went off after 90 km/h .
 

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@idosubaru may have a suggestion. maybe a tone ring or some rust/ dirt etc getting where it does not belong. ( a tradional thing for old pickups that would activate the ABS when you were coming to a stop. ...just needing a cleaning of the tone ring area etc).

I have been lucky never had a VDC problem with mine, and very few people report problems like this at all.
 

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01 Outback LL Bean
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Does it engage the VDC when going staright or only when turning?

Given you me mentioned you think its grabbing the right wheel I suspect its only engaging when turning left.

The system will not work correctly without a proper alignment. There are wheel speed differences when the car is turning and the VDC computer needs to know the steering angles precisously to determine if the wheel speed differences are expected or are due to a slipping wheel condition.
 

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You replaced alignment components.

Now you're having an alignment-related problem.

Get an alignment, don't worry about anything else. Hope your rear toe adjusters aren't seized (mine both had to come out with a sawzall)
 

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2001 Subaru Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter #17
Does it engage the VDC when going staright or only when turning?

Given you me mentioned you think its grabbing the right wheel I suspect its only engaging when turning left.

The system will not work correctly without a proper alignment. There are wheel speed differences when the car is turning and the VDC computer needs to know the steering angles precisously to determine if the wheel speed differences are expected or are due to a slipping wheel condition.
The TCS grabs front driver when going straight at around 25 mph (40 kph), haven't gone above that yet. I am gonna align the car today, and if that works I'll let everyone know, if not ill pull the CV axle and inspect the tone ring.
 

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2001 Subaru Outback 3.0 VDC
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Discussion Starter #18
Update:

Upon testing my ABS sensors, Replacing my Half Shaft, and aligning the car none of that worked. While reading about testing the ABS sensors for a Subaru outback I learned that the brake lights are connected to the system and a bad or incorrect bulb can cause an open circuit and cause the ABS system to have random lapses in the ability to read wheel speed causing traction control to come on. I have replaced the bulb. Driving the car turned on the ABS and VDC lights but after turning the car off and then driving another 10 miles, no lights and no traction control came on during the drive. I am currently cautiously optimistic and I appreciate all the suggestions I was given. I will update again after I drive the car more.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Final update:

Car has gone another 30 miles, and is feeling really solid in the snow that just fell last night. No lights coming on and traction only kicked in when it should have. I appreciate all the help I received.
 
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