Subaru Outback Forums banner

1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So does anyone else have a chronic Check Engine Light on an '05 LL Bean and what did you find out?... P.S. I hate this car, once I get it fixed, anyone wanna buy it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
Check Engine lights are one of the WORST newer system design on cars (not that they are very new, but you know what I mean). Genius for the auto service industry though. Someone needs to start updating this system of communication between the car and the owner. So many people, including myself have chronic check engine lights that lead to MULTIPLE repairs that never really solve the engine light issue. Ive had it on the car I own and the last car I owned.
It shouldnt take 5 repairs to finally extinguish the light. If so - its a bad system - but more than not - these are the results I hear from Check Engine light issues.
My OB has had chronic CE lights for the last 100,000 miles at least (its at 240K).
I now have a replaced engine and tons of jobs later (by more than one mechanic who have all been shown the issue) and the light still comes on and goes off.

I dont care if the problem causing it has been many, as opposed to a single problem yet to be solved, it gives the impression nothing ever gets fixed correctly. Horrible system.

I dont know about other states because of the different smog requirements, but here in California, it seems the CE light lights up often as a result of many sensors for the smog components.
Someone who knows Ca cars can enlighten me if they know more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
yeah, no one seems to be able to explain it, all they want is money, and it never gets fixed. Wish I had never bought the car. It is poorly engineered. I have had it in 18 times in the last 13 months for check engine light.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
What are the codes?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
@AWDFTW.... first code I got was 13 months ago, three days after i got it... P0420 (of course) Dealer replaced the cats under warranty... I drove 500 miles, P0420 again. replaced lower O2 sensors, 500 miles, P0420 again, replaced upper sensor on passenger side bank, P0420 stopped. Then a battery cable shorted out and the car threw about a dozen codes, I don't know all of them. They replaced the bad battery cable, drove about 500 miles then we started getting the code for "lean knock on both banks". That has been going on over and over again now for about 4 weeks now. Car had a K&N filter that fouled the MAF. About two weeks ago mechanic cleaned up the MAF and car ran great. Drove about 500 miles, car started lagging again, gas mileage cut in half, lifter knocking and "lean code both banks" hit again. and today had codes P0171B and P0174B. Replaced MAF today, car ran great for about 15 minutes, then died. Put in old sensor, car runs again, ordering another sensor hoping this new one was defective but I think it is the car.
There are myriad other codes it has thrown, I have never gotten the chance to write them all down. Car is in to the shop every two weeks...and NO IT IS NOT THE GAS!! Doesn't matter where I buy gas, still get the CEL about every 500 miles. Problem keeps getting worse, I think we are looking in the wrong places and the engineering on this system is so poor we may never find the problem.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,299 Posts
It is important to note that this is abnormal for that vehicle (with one exception, noted later). So - that leads to some questions.
1. How many of your 18 visits to the shop are due to the P0420 code?
2. did you buy this car new or used?

If it's used then I suspect something happened to this car or someone worked on, tweaked something, etc.

at first glance it appears you have a problem that needs properly tracked. fuel system or something is whacky. That's not normal for this engine so it's no surprise someone hasn't tracked it down.

you said engine, exhaust was replaced - so it needs to be electronics, ECU, or fuel....all very odd since those systems are generally robust and rarely fail on Subaru's....almost unheard of.

*** Due to the variable and confusing nature of your issues I'd be tempted to install another ECU. they *never* fail so it's easy to find a used one for cheap. Unlikely but very easy to replace and they're cheap since there's no demand. Though another 2005 may need the recall/update....

That being said - you've wasted a lot of time on P0420 code, probably would have saved you a lot of headache had you asked about that code the first or second time you got it. I would do away with that one first and see if things improve.

1. 2005's I believe have a recall or computer programming/software update for P0420 code. Google it or ask Subaru, it's common knowledge.

2. There's a $5 fix for the P0420 code, you are way past due for that, do it.

Take note - the P0420 code is a common issue across all makes/models. Google it, it's everywhere and a poorly designed emissions parameter causing the issue in all vehicles. Tolerances are way too tight for practical vehicle use. With a P0420 code - the exhaust actually passes an emissions gas test, but of course they won't test with the check engine light on. So there's a terribly disproportionate exchange going on - loads of resources (shipping, recycling, manufacturing) to supply a part for something that's not even a real emissions issue. net emissions losses = HUGE.

Anyway...it's a complete debacle and my friends Honda has the same code coming back right now after I cleared it a few months ago. Very common, i'll be doing yet another $5 fix on hers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It is important to note that this is abnormal for that vehicle (with one exception, noted later). So - that leads to some questions.
1. How many of your 18 visits to the shop are due to the P0420 code?
2. did you buy this car new or used?

If it's used then I suspect something happened to this car or someone worked on, tweaked something, etc.

at first glance it appears you have a problem that needs properly tracked. fuel system or something is whacky. That's not normal for this engine so it's no surprise someone hasn't tracked it down.

you said engine, exhaust was replaced - so it needs to be electronics, ECU, or fuel....all very odd since those systems are generally robust and rarely fail on Subaru's....almost unheard of.

*** Due to the variable and confusing nature of your issues I'd be tempted to install another ECU. they *never* fail so it's easy to find a used one for cheap. Unlikely but very easy to replace and they're cheap since there's no demand. Though another 2005 may need the recall/update....

That being said - you've wasted a lot of time on P0420 code, probably would have saved you a lot of headache had you asked about that code the first or second time you got it. I would do away with that one first and see if things improve.

1. 2005's I believe have a recall or computer programming/software update for P0420 code. Google it or ask Subaru, it's common knowledge.

2. There's a $5 fix for the P0420 code, you are way past due for that, do it.

Take note - the P0420 code is a common issue across all makes/models. Google it, it's everywhere and a poorly designed emissions parameter causing the issue in all vehicles. Tolerances are way too tight for practical vehicle use. With a P0420 code - the exhaust actually passes an emissions gas test, but of course they won't test with the check engine light on. So there's a terribly disproportionate exchange going on - loads of resources (shipping, recycling, manufacturing) to supply a part for something that's not even a real emissions issue. net emissions losses = HUGE.

Anyway...it's a complete debacle and my friends Honda has the same code coming back right now after I cleared it a few months ago. Very common, i'll be doing yet another $5 fix on hers.
Yep, bought it used, I got screwed, I know..... Moving on now..... We have cleared the P0420 code, that has stopped, bout half of the visits were for that. It turned out to be a combination of uneven voltage off the positive battery lead making the brain fluctuate and bad O2/AF sensors. We finally got that to stop about two months ago. The car ran great for about two weeks after we replaced the passenger bank AF sensor. Now I am going in weekly with CEL on again and "lean knock codes for both banks" (and you can hear the knock at low speeds). Loss of power, gas mieage averaging 15 or less, lagging, hesitation. We pulled the MAF sensor about two weeks ago, discovered K&N pink oil and dirt encrusting the wire. Cleaned it, replaced the K&N filter with a standard. Car ran great for about 3 days. CEL with lean knock codes, audible knocking, horrible noise like a hole in exhaust muffler on highway. Codes yesterday were P0171B and P0174B. Got a new MAF. Installed the new MAF and the car died completely and totally. Put the old MAF back in and got it home, waiting for another MAF today and we will see what that does.

It's a horrible car.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
It is important to note that this is abnormal for that vehicle (with one exception, noted later). So - that leads to some questions.
1. How many of your 18 visits to the shop are due to the P0420 code?
2. did you buy this car new or used?

If it's used then I suspect something happened to this car or someone worked on, tweaked something, etc.

at first glance it appears you have a problem that needs properly tracked. fuel system or something is whacky. That's not normal for this engine so it's no surprise someone hasn't tracked it down.

you said engine, exhaust was replaced - so it needs to be electronics, ECU, or fuel....all very odd since those systems are generally robust and rarely fail on Subaru's....almost unheard of.

*** Due to the variable and confusing nature of your issues I'd be tempted to install another ECU. they *never* fail so it's easy to find a used one for cheap. Unlikely but very easy to replace and they're cheap since there's no demand. Though another 2005 may need the recall/update....

That being said - you've wasted a lot of time on P0420 code, probably would have saved you a lot of headache had you asked about that code the first or second time you got it. I would do away with that one first and see if things improve.

1. 2005's I believe have a recall or computer programming/software update for P0420 code. Google it or ask Subaru, it's common knowledge.

2. There's a $5 fix for the P0420 code, you are way past due for that, do it.

Take note - the P0420 code is a common issue across all makes/models. Google it, it's everywhere and a poorly designed emissions parameter causing the issue in all vehicles. Tolerances are way too tight for practical vehicle use. With a P0420 code - the exhaust actually passes an emissions gas test, but of course they won't test with the check engine light on. So there's a terribly disproportionate exchange going on - loads of resources (shipping, recycling, manufacturing) to supply a part for something that's not even a real emissions issue. net emissions losses = HUGE.

Anyway...it's a complete debacle and my friends Honda has the same code coming back right now after I cleared it a few months ago. Very common, i'll be doing yet another $5 fix on hers.
Well, It def isn't the MAF. Still get check engine P0171B and P0174B. My mechanic gives up... says I have to go to dealer. HAH!! I guess I will try it. We are wondering if VVT is stuck or not functioning correctly. Is that likely?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,299 Posts
Wow, this may prove very, very difficult to track down. That is one of Subaru's best vehicles so in all likelihood you are battling some previous history - maintenance, wreck, flood, hack job owner/mechanic...stuff like that is really hard to track down sometimes.

I'll try to comment later...gotta go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
16,964 Posts
have you used a vacuum gauge and a fuel pressure gauge on the car?

Sometimes, spraying something flammable or using a hose from a propane cylinder to test vacuum hoses/connections and intake manifold gaskets will help find vacuum leaks.

low fuel pressure might also lead to lean conditions.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,148 Posts
Well, i am getting the PO420 is caused from the previous owner ignoring the check engine light.
The PO171 and PO174 are lean codes. Given that both banks have the issue, you have a vaccum leak. Fix it before you kill the new cats. Check all vac hoses and possible intake gaskets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13 Posts
It is important to note that this is abnormal for that vehicle (with one exception, noted later). So - that leads to some questions.
1. How many of your 18 visits to the shop are due to the P0420 code?
2. did you buy this car new or used?

If it's used then I suspect something happened to this car or someone worked on, tweaked something, etc.

at first glance it appears you have a problem that needs properly tracked. fuel system or something is whacky. That's not normal for this engine so it's no surprise someone hasn't tracked it down.

you said engine, exhaust was replaced - so it needs to be electronics, ECU, or fuel....all very odd since those systems are generally robust and rarely fail on Subaru's....almost unheard of.

*** Due to the variable and confusing nature of your issues I'd be tempted to install another ECU. they *never* fail so it's easy to find a used one for cheap. Unlikely but very easy to replace and they're cheap since there's no demand. Though another 2005 may need the recall/update....

That being said - you've wasted a lot of time on P0420 code, probably would have saved you a lot of headache had you asked about that code the first or second time you got it. I would do away with that one first and see if things improve.

1. 2005's I believe have a recall or computer programming/software update for P0420 code. Google it or ask Subaru, it's common knowledge.

2. There's a $5 fix for the P0420 code, you are way past due for that, do it.

Take note - the P0420 code is a common issue across all makes/models. Google it, it's everywhere and a poorly designed emissions parameter causing the issue in all vehicles. Tolerances are way too tight for practical vehicle use. With a P0420 code - the exhaust actually passes an emissions gas test, but of course they won't test with the check engine light on. So there's a terribly disproportionate exchange going on - loads of resources (shipping, recycling, manufacturing) to supply a part for something that's not even a real emissions issue. net emissions losses = HUGE.

Anyway...it's a complete debacle and my friends Honda has the same code coming back right now after I cleared it a few months ago. Very common, i'll be doing yet another $5 fix on hers.

OK I gotta know, what's the $5 fix???
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
You mentioned K&N filter. Is it's just a square drop in filter or a "kit". It sounds like your problem is not with Subaru, but with someone who previously worked on the vehicle that didn't know what they were doing. That or possibly flood damage as it seems you are having multiple electrical problems that wouldn't normally be related.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,108 Posts
Search $5 fix in the google search bar at the top of this forum, you'll find it.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
About this Discussion
17 Replies
10 Participants
AWDFTW
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top