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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Really hoping someone can help (and apologies for the long thread - hoping I cover everything but questions and suggestions very gratefully received)

I was driving our 2010 Outback on the interstate, around 65mph, and the red BRAKES light flashed on. Brakes were working fine so stopped the car on the shoulder, waited a few minutes, turned engine back on to BRAKES, CHECK ENGINE, CRUISE, and Traction lights flashing at me. Drove to the next exit and got the car home.

Took it to the local Subaru dealer who tells us that they ran diagnostics and problem is caused by the non-OEM cat that was fitted 12 months ago (car has driven less than 5000 miles since cat was fitted).

Off to the independent that fitted the non-OEM cat who told us that problem is the O2 and Air Fuel Filter sensors, but they did not check the cat to see if it was OK.

So back to dealer who tells us that they dropped the exhaust, checked the cat and saw problems with the honeycomb.

Independent says there was no sign of exhaust being touched recently (rust on screws etc.)

Independent wants $1000 to replace sensors and won't use OEM parts, and will only check cat if problem persists (and replace under warranty if there is an issue)

Dealer wants $3000 to replace cat which may or may not be damaged

Car has been driven to / from various garages in the last few days, with all lights flashing, and engine in safe mode which isn't doing it any favors :frown2:

However I don't trust independent because of mistakes and unrequired work on Outback and other vehicles in the past and I'm doubting the dealer too.

There is another Subaru dealer I would trust but they are 400 miles away and I'm not sure it would be a good thing to drive the car that far under the circumstances / in safe mode

So, has anyone experienced a similar problem? Should we get the sensors replaced and see what happens? or get the cat replaced? or just sell the car (don't want to do this and it may be difficult given the error lights!)
 

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So even my 2001 Subaru required a oem only O2 sensor in the first Catalytic converter to avoid errors its a $180 part. The catalytic converter doesnt matter as long as temps are in the standard range which all catalytic converters need to be in the same temp range to work. First thing just put a OEM O2 sensor in it. Takes all of about 10min max to do. Kinda looks like a spark plug scewed into the cat or exhaust pipe right next to the cat.

The rear catalytic converter and O2 typically can be non oem and not cause any issues.

Your 2010 should have a factory warranty on the cat unless you damaged it or lost it some how vs say a internal failure etc.
 

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1999 30th Anniversary Legacy Outback DOHC 2.5L 4EAT, 2008 Impreza WRX 2.5L 5MT, 2008 Impreza Wagon 2.5L 4EAT
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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you for the link. Will take a look as we have a p0420 code amongst others

Dealer said cat was out of warranty because car had 150k miles on the clock.

We have the codes from the independent dealer:

Cause
p0420 cat effisensy
c0057 ecm control
c0231 ecm failure
u1201 u1202 can failure

Correction
Replace Component a/f sensor
recommend rear 02 sensor

The independent is also saying that sensors are OK sometimes and generating errors other times

Dealer has only provided code c0057 but their comments say rear O2 sensor was reading low on data display, so looked for burned cat, realised it was non-OEM and suggested "needs manifold"

ETA: Have just confirmed that there are no exhaust leaks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So even my 2001 Subaru required a oem only O2 sensor in the first Catalytic converter to avoid errors its a $180 part. The catalytic converter doesnt matter as long as temps are in the standard range which all catalytic converters need to be in the same temp range to work. First thing just put a OEM O2 sensor in it. Takes all of about 10min max to do. Kinda looks like a spark plug scewed into the cat or exhaust pipe right next to the cat.

The rear catalytic converter and O2 typically can be non oem and not cause any issues.

Your 2010 should have a factory warranty on the cat unless you damaged it or lost it some how vs say a internal failure etc.
Thank you for the information. I don't suppose you could recommend a Youtube video I could direct OH to, so we could do that. Independent is saying that the front sensor, O2, is shorting out, and the rear, AF, is giving false readings at times. They want to change both, and they claim that it's a very difficult and fiddly job that will take several hours! Oh, and they won't fit OEM sensors as they will only fit what they supply themselves in case they fail at a later date :frown2:
 

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2005 OBXT Limited, VF37, STI intake, 5MT
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Thank you for the link. Will take a look as we have a p0420 code amongst others

Dealer said cat was out of warranty because car had 150k miles on the clock.

We have the codes from the independent dealer:

Cause
p0420 cat effisensy
c0057 ecm control
c0231 ecm failure
u1201 u1202 can failure

Correction
Replace Component a/f sensor
recommend rear 02 sensor

The independent is also saying that sensors are OK sometimes and generating errors other times

Dealer has only provided code c0057 but their comments say rear O2 sensor was reading low on data display, so looked for burned cat, realised it was non-OEM and suggested "needs manifold"

ETA: Have just confirmed that there are no exhaust leaks
You have quite the combination of codes.... From the service manual, do you have any other lights on the dash? (VDC, SI drive, ATOIL, etc)

The U-codes denote a CAN system short somewhere (which is likely causing your C-codes). Identifying any other lights/codes can help pin-point the source of the short. See the attached PDF for the U-codes.

The P0420 may be old is probably unrelated to the CAN BUS issues.

Unfortunately, it sounds like your independent is out of his comfort zone if his answer to your CAN BUS problems is to start shot-gunning parts (sensors) and your dealer isn't quite clear on how to proceed/diagnose neither. Your dealer or a highly specialized Subaru shop are the only ones with diagnostic equipment that can easily pin-point the CAN BUS issue.

But before dropping four-figures on parts and labor, has a system-clear been attempted to see if this CAN BUS failure was a glitch?
 

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I agree with RoughDiamond. I would make note of the codes and clear them. If the communication codes didn't return, I wouldn't worry about them. A low battery can trigger communication faults.

I suspect the P0420 is the one that will return and the code that is causing your problem. There is a lot to look for when checking a P0420. If a cat has failed, I like to look at the fuel trim to be sure it's not out of range either direction. Either one will destroy the catalytic converter. I would pay special attention to that on your car considering it has had a second catalyst efficiency problem.

I don't totally agree that it requires highly advance diagnostic tools to resolve communication faults. If the technician has a scan tool that is capable of communicating with the modules that have the communication errors and understands network diagnostics, he should be able to resolve any network issues. I'd say most likely, your network issues were caused by a one time event and won't need any attention.
 

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My dashboard lit up with warning lights too...

My 2010 Outback lit up with warning lights too. I keep getting my "computer board" reset, but after a couple of weeks it keeps lighting up: cruise control, brake!, engine... all lit up.

One independent said get "computer board" replaced. I think that runs between $500 and $1K.

Does that sound like the right thing to do?
Thanks!
-Ren
 

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Really hoping someone can help (and apologies for the long thread - hoping I cover everything but questions and suggestions very gratefully received)

I was driving our 2010 Outback on the interstate, around 65mph, and the red BRAKES light flashed on. Brakes were working fine so stopped the car on the shoulder, waited a few minutes, turned engine back on to BRAKES, CHECK ENGINE, CRUISE, and Traction lights flashing at me. Drove to the next exit and got the car home.

Took it to the local Subaru dealer who tells us that they ran diagnostics and problem is caused by the non-OEM cat that was fitted 12 months ago (car has driven less than 5000 miles since cat was fitted).

Off to the independent that fitted the non-OEM cat who told us that problem is the O2 and Air Fuel Filter sensors, but they did not check the cat to see if it was OK.

So back to dealer who tells us that they dropped the exhaust, checked the cat and saw problems with the honeycomb.

Independent says there was no sign of exhaust being touched recently (rust on screws etc.)

Independent wants $1000 to replace sensors and won't use OEM parts, and will only check cat if problem persists (and replace under warranty if there is an issue)

Dealer wants $3000 to replace cat which may or may not be damaged

Car has been driven to / from various garages in the last few days, with all lights flashing, and engine in safe mode which isn't doing it any favors :frown2:

However I don't trust independent because of mistakes and unrequired work on Outback and other vehicles in the past and I'm doubting the dealer too.

There is another Subaru dealer I would trust but they are 400 miles away and I'm not sure it would be a good thing to drive the car that far under the circumstances / in safe mode

So, has anyone experienced a similar problem? Should we get the sensors replaced and see what happens? or get the cat replaced? or just sell the car (don't want to do this and it may be difficult given the error lights!)
You might check your fuel pump. Ours was setting off CEL's before I installed a new assembly at 50k on a 2011. The strainer/filter at the base is exceedingly small for the system and is prone to issues. Our's was clogged with debris, starving out the pump. It caused all sorts of issues (rough running, stalling at stops, shorter plug life, low mpg, random CEL's, etc.....). Best of luck with it.
Regards
 
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