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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings,


I picked up my nephew's 2014 Outback in November of last year. He was heading overseas and wanted to sell the car. It has 116K on it and runs well. Lived its life in southern VA so no rust. He kept up with the maintenance and the only thing so far I've done are pads/rotors on all four corners and a new gas cap.

The gas cap is what brings me here. I replaced it after I got a bunch of warning lights that corresponded to the seal on the gas cap going bad and needing replace. Did that and I still continue to get the warning lights intermittently. Is there something I am missing here? Do I need to get the codes cleared by the dealer or is there another component in the fuel system that needs to be replaced as well? The car runs fine, even with the codes displayed.


I have limited access to the Outback since my son drives it and is working on the East Coast this summer and would like to get a line on what needs done prior to him coming home for a visit in a couple weeks. This is my first Subaru and I do appreciate the help.


On a side note, is there a service manual for this vehicle out in the public domain?
 

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Master Caster
2005 XT, Mildly Modified...2006 XT Limited, Highly Modifed
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16,174 Posts
The codes do need to be cleared.

What were the codes. If there is a problem still, the codes may still apply. Even if the car appears to be running fine.
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,956 Posts
P0440 or ?

there are many ways to get certain evap codes. Was the car sitting unused? any chance of 'critters' chewing on hoses or wires ?
 

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Registered
2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses. I can have my son stop and get it scanned for the code and tell me what lights are illuminated on the dash. The car did not sit unused. My nephew did a lot of traveling around the US with it. That being said, he did do a lot of camping so something could have chomped on it. There is always the chance of critter damage and I will need to take a closer look at hoses / cables when it is back in my garage. Initial check for me was a week of driving and parking inside. No odors of fuel or other fluids and no drips on the floor. The underside was clean and dry when I had it up in the air.
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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973 Posts
Back in December 2016 I took a chance on a set of Outback/Legacy service manual CDs for our 2013 Outback 3.6R that I found on eBay for just under $11. They are very detailed and complete, but they are not indexed so you must scroll through thousands of pages to find what you are looking for. The more you use them, the more familiar you get with how they are laid out, so you gradually learn how to scroll through them quicker and therefore spend less time finding what you need. Cumbersome but doable. I am glad I ordered them. They came from a company called Auto Nation Tech. If you have questions, their e-mail address is [email protected].
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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973 Posts
I just checked the envelope that my service manual CDs came in because I thought it contained a CD for the 2014 Outback/Legacy series. It indeed does. If you are interested in acquiring this CD, PM me.
 

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Registered
2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the offer Jon89. I don't have enough posts to PM you. Need 15 and I am at 3. I am interested, can you PM me?

On the Outback side, I finally got a look at the car today. The following light is on

Check Engine.

The following are flashing:
Brake
Cruise Control

Cruise will not engage.

I took it to a local auto part store and they scanned it and pulled a code of P0420 - Catalyst System Efficiency Below Threshold (Bank 1)

Their recommendation was to run a couple bottles of injector cleaner through the system and see if it clears. Doubtful but seeing that my nephew never ran any injector cleaner in 4yrs /114K and the cheapest gas he could find, there may be some merit to it. Oh and this error will come and go. It was gone for a couple weeks and then back today.

My thoughts are the Catalytic converter and possibly the O2 sensor. Not sure at this point and I will not be able to get it in to a dealer since he leaves tomorrow. Drives fine, power is good but cruise does not work.

We do know a good independent mechanic up in the Boston area so if we need to replace a converter and O2 sensor(s), we have someone we can trust.

What are your thoughts as to possible issues?
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,956 Posts
catch up on any lagging maintenance/repairs, confirm there are no exhaust leaks.

replace catalytic converter ONLY after it is confirmed by a reputable shop to be the problem. Often, vacuum leaks, exhaust leaks or 'tune-up' type of problems are responsible. Normal for cruise to be disabled and other systems on newer cars.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the response. I do know the exhaust is loose and rattling around. My nephew had a less than reputable shop put on a hitch and things are rattling away down there. I'll put it on the ramps tonight and verify we don't have any leaks
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,956 Posts
leaks after the rear sensor, behined the cat, wouldn't matter.

BUT, if the exhaust has been, uh - mistreated, maybe the wiring to the rear sensor is broken?

there's a huge thread here about P0420 - it's booger to deal with, and cat convs DO go bad, but, even though cat. conv. is part of its definition, the code is often set by issues OTHER than a bad cat.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I took advantage of a rainy day to change the plugs, clean the MAF sensor, check/clean the throttle body, and inspect what vacuum lines I could find for cracks. I changed the oil back in December when I got the car and the level is up in the normal range. Air filter was changed then as well and is clean. I've got less than 60 miles on this tank with the fuel system cleaner so I will give it a tank or two to clean out. The car does run smoother, accelerate better and idle a bit lower than with the old plugs. None of them showed any major dirt or fouling. The tips were all white to whitish brown. No oil on ends of coil packs and the plug holes were all clean and dry.. My guess is that they were the original plugs. Changing them were not as difficult as I thought it would be. First experience with the Subaru engine.

No leaks found in the exhaust system last night and no compromised wires off my O2 sensor..

The tranny and differentials were serviced at 90K by Subaru. Battery was changed last August. I changed pads/rotors on all 4 corners back in December and the car got new tires this morning as well.

I read the P0420 thread and it has a lot of good info. Will definitely keep that in mind if it does not clear on its own.

I did not pull the power to the battery to reset... Any value in doing this and if so, do I need a radio reset code?

Thanks again for all the assistance.
 

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Premium Member
03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,956 Posts
on the newer cars, there may be good reasons to find a way to back-up the power so, you may need an alternate way to reset the ECU.

hoping someone with more experience will chime in.
 

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2012 OB 2.5 Premium & 2017 OB 2.5 Premium
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6 Posts
My '12 Outback had the same dash lights. It ended being the Flow Valve Body on the transmission. $1600 or so to get it fixed, but 2 weeks later Subaru issued an extended warranty on it and we got reimbursed for every $. This was about 15K miles after we had the trans fluid changed.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
My '12 Outback had the same dash lights. It ended being the Flow Valve Body on the transmission. $1600 or so to get it fixed, but 2 weeks later Subaru issued an extended warranty on it and we got reimbursed for every $. This was about 15K miles after we had the trans fluid changed.
Being a fist time Subaru owner, I'm not sure what kind of love I'll get from the dealership for extended warranty being the car now has 126K on it and is 4yrs old. Did it have the same P0420 code or something different? Lots of info in this forum on the 420 error. I'll need to dig deeper to narrow down the cause if the new plugs and a couple tanks with fuel system cleaner do not do the trick.


The thing that gets me is I have limited access to the Outback to just a couple times a year so if I am going to do the work myself, I need to shotgun it, which can be costly.
As of 5PM last night it was on its way back to the East Coast. I'll update this thread if the fuel system cleaner does the trick.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Just a quick update on the Outback. Seems that 2 bottles of injector cleaner in 2 tanks of fuel got the lights to finally turn off. I told my son to run another couple bottles through with the next tank as well and monitor. If it comes back, we'll go the next step of diagnosing possible other causes (fuel pump pressure, O2 sensors, etc)


Appreciate the feedback here.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
The CEL and other dash lights continue to stay off and the car is running well. He will continue to add a bottle of fuel injector cleaner once a month for the remainder of the summer. We had an alignment done and new tires put on before he left town. Rt front was way out on alignment and almost down to the cords. Says it handles great. I'll continue to monitor and provide updates as I get them.
 

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2014 Outback, 2.5
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10 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Update on the issues and New issues

It's been a while on the errors with my 2014. The P0420 error has gone away and not come back. I am however getting an error now that points to the Flow Valve Body with the transmission. Not too happy here with Subaru quality and not having it local to work on myself doesn't help any either. We did get a dealer to do a transmission service hoping that would clear the error and it did not. It will be going in to an independent Subaru mechanic next week to have the flow valve body repaired/replaced and most likely traded in on something that is more reliable once the snow stops flying.
 
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