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Subaru Legacy Outback XT 2007 2.5 Turbo
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I'm a new member. I've been searching this forum during the last few months as I slowly work on my Outback.

The tl;dr for this post is "I failed emissions w/ high hydrocarbons what do I do"
Here's the backstory:

For background I am a total amateur garage mechanic, and I only am working on my car because I can't afford a dang pro repair shop. So forums & youtubes have been my reference for the repairs I've done.

I got a P0011 code a few months back.
That is: Camshaft Position A - Timing Over-Advanced or System Performance (Bank 1)

So I looked at what the forums said about this, and did that. I removed the turbo and removed the screen from the banjo bolt.

The turbo's blades did not show any damage signs, there was a very small film of oil on the intake side, and there was a small amount of side to side play in the shaft, but I decided after some deliberation that it was probably not about to imminently fail, so I put it back on.

I suspected that the oil may have gotten a bit old and sludgey, so I drained & replaced the oil and filter, then I drained it a second time, and dropped the oil pan, cleaned it out and cleaned and checked the intake tube / screen. I put on a second oil filter when I refilled the oil the second time.

As I was cleaning out the oil pan, I noticed a small amount of gold colored metal dust in the bottom of the pan. I talked with someone at the dealership and they said it was probably normal wear, and it didn't send up major alarm bells to them, so I put everything back together.

Then I cleared the code, and I've driven it maybe 25 miles now, and the code has not returned. The car is operating fine, no sluggishness, no roughness - totally no evidence of any problem now.

So since my repair work has been start-stop, my registration lapsed, and for the registration I needed to do an emissions test. I did that today and it failed.

The hydrocarbon test was almost twice over the limit at 2.35 with a limit of 1.2.

I'm kind of at a loss for what to do or where to start.

I looked up possible causes at smogtips dot com

That site suggests maybe ignition parts may be to blame. Before the code was thrown there were occasionally starts where the ignition made a big grinding noise - if I remember right it sounded like the ignition motor may not have stopped when it should have??

So maybe that's where I should start?

Or maybe could it be that camshaft timing that gave me that P0011 code?

Just really need some kind of advice from someone with more experience here! :/
I've got 10 days to fix it and not have to pay for the emissions retest, which would be nice. Any help is greatly appreciated.

2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
320 Posts
Re "ignition motor", it sounds like you've confused the terminology of starting vs ignition. People do this because we "put the key in the ignition" to start the car. When the ignition switch is in the ON position, the ignition (spark) is on. When the key turns (briefly) to the START position, you operate the starter motor.
Starting has nothing to do with emissions. Ignition (spark) has plenty to do with emissions.
Moving on - you need live data to diagnose this. Here are some good options, starting at the cheapest:
1. Borrow a scanner with live data
2. VAG-COM cable and FreeSSM or RomRaider
3. OBDLink MX BlueTooth dongle and BtSsm Android app - I HIGHLY recommend this.

BtSsm will give you tremendous capabilities for quickly monitoring fuel trims, misfires, etc. The other options will do it too; BtSsm will do it better. You can order the dongle and have it in a couple days with Amazon Prime.

If you end up needing ignition coils, etc., always get the right brand; any money you save on off-brand will just turn out to be wasted money.
Getting parts on Amazon rather than overpaying at the store will almost certainly net you better than trying to rush the fix to save the $15 on the re-test.

What part of Colorado are you in? I'm by the tech center and would be happy to help, but I'll be unavailable for a few days. PM me if interested.

Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
16,142 Posts
I'm in Berthoud, smack dab between the Loveland and Longmont dealers.
I am really not that far from you. (Thornton) I have logging software. I don't mind helping. I used to have a DIY/Redneck garage run out of my apartment garage. But the risk killed it.

I might need to run out to SuperRupair in Boulder the next day or 2 anyway.

Premium Member
2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
603 Posts
Nice Chris.

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2006 OutBean, 2005 LGTW
1,428 Posts
I love this community.

You're all awesome
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