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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need some help with this one. 99 legacy; last night it died. First the ABS light came on for about 5 seconds than went out. It than came back on again and stayed on. Not long after that, the ABS Oil Temp light came on and started flashing. At the same time I noticed that both the speedometer and odometer wouldn't really function but would jump when I pressed the accelorator; even though my speed didn't increase.

Also, the radio would click in and out intermittently before it quit working altoghether. It finally seemed that the engine was not longer running. I parked it about a halfmile from home.

This morning I walked up to see if it would at least start. It did, but all the aforementioned issues (warning lights, no reaction from the odometer) were still present. Also, the engine idled far lower than normal.

Thoughts?
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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912 Posts
I would start with the alternator and battery. The voltage may be low which can affect a variety of systems in odd ways.
 

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2002 OB Wagon 2.5L
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208 Posts
Had the stereo go off on and on and odd dash warning light come on when waiting at at red light. Had the alt and battery check at a parts store, got a bad battery cell according to the machine. Swapped the battery and none of the issues came back. Start with the cheaper battery option first. Got the car battery at Costco, they will let you return even if the you installed the battery. So low risk.
 

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22 Posts
Well - - I too had the same problem.....

Battery Light / Brake Light on

Radio starts to go out....

ABS light comes on

AT Oil light comes on - then car starts to Stall.....

Been in the shop several times now:

New Alternator - didn't work
New Battery - didn't work
New Cluster (speedo) - didn't work

Had all the work at a legit Subaru only mechanic.... Subaru Surgeons in Hudson.... guy knows his stuff.... but....

it's a 1999 OBW w/83k original miles.... so she's barely broken in... confused on what to do next....

ideas?
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,259 Posts
Well - - I too had the same problem.....

Battery Light / Brake Light on

Radio starts to go out....

ABS light comes on

AT Oil light comes on - then car starts to Stall.....

Been in the shop several times now:

New Alternator - didn't work
New Battery - didn't work
New Cluster (speedo) - didn't work

Had all the work at a legit Subaru only mechanic.... Subaru Surgeons in Hudson.... guy knows his stuff.... but....

it's a 1999 OBW w/83k original miles.... so she's barely broken in... confused on what to do next....

ideas?
Reman Alt?

Were the Alt and Batt replaced at the same time?

Did anyone check the ground cable where it bolts to the block at the starter?
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,926 Posts
Seems like the shop is throwing parts at it. I would take it to a different dealer.
 

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2005 OBW 2.5L, 1989 Subaru Justy, RIP Blu
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7,355 Posts
Have the charging system checked. There are quite a few garbage rebuilt alt's out there from name brand parts stores, so it is possible to get multiple bad alt's in a row, i know i did.
 

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Wait there's more going on here I think some info has been left out let's be fair

I'm responding from Subaru Surgeons regarding this Outback.

First we never throw parts at cars but are very careful on our approach regarding our work.

This Outback presented with a classic charging issue failure. The battery was flat when it came and was a bit weak but we recharged it and determined the alternator was not producing power and it tested bad. With the recharged battery and a rebuilt alternator we sent the car out. The one mistake we made was not retesting the system once the alternator was in the car I will admit.

The Outback then drains the battery and is towed back in. Since we back up our work we stopped charging labor at this point and had only charged an hour to begin with. The charging system tested bad and the alternator was not producing current so we replaced it again after arguing with our vendor because it tested good. The second alternator does not charge either so we start to trouble shoot the system. We find the dash has been tampered with and the bulb for the charging system was missing we replaced that bulb and the system starts charging. This was a bit obscure considering the bulb is not usually removed and we don't encounter many problems of this nature.

Now we held the car for additional testing feeling a bit snake bitten and since our reputation is important and again this is free to the customer we keep driving the car. And yes dash lights come back on and the system stops charging. I ask the customer for more information on the car and the dash. It turns out a 17 year nephew has been playing with the electrical system and has spliced into the main cabin harness now the 5 year old battery is intermittently shorting so we replace the burnt and melted gauge cluster and reluctantly the battery -- and no labor was charged.

Now the dash lights come on intermittently and it seems the charging system is compromised again. We are willing to trace wires and re-splice the harness at no charge but this is not the typical repair nor is our response as a shop unethical considering the free labor only a couple of parts (that were damaged) and the lack of information we were presented with. We really do care about our customers but its a partnership -- information is key.
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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2,926 Posts
Thanks for defending yourself! You certainly were ethical and more than fair. 5 year old battery, probably time for a new one anyway. Customer can't be upset for paying for that.
 

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Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
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16,259 Posts
I'm responding from Subaru Surgeons regarding this Outback.

First we never throw parts at cars but are very careful on our approach regarding our work.

This Outback presented with a classic charging issue failure. The battery was flat when it came and was a bit weak but we recharged it and determined the alternator was not producing power and it tested bad. With the recharged battery and a rebuilt alternator we sent the car out. The one mistake we made was not retesting the system once the alternator was in the car I will admit.

The Outback then drains the battery and is towed back in. Since we back up our work we stopped charging labor at this point and had only charged an hour to begin with. The charging system tested bad and the alternator was not producing current so we replaced it again after arguing with our vendor because it tested good. The second alternator does not charge either so we start to trouble shoot the system. We find the dash has been tampered with and the bulb for the charging system was missing we replaced that bulb and the system starts charging. This was a bit obscure considering the bulb is not usually removed and we don't encounter many problems of this nature.

Now we held the car for additional testing feeling a bit snake bitten and since our reputation is important and again this is free to the customer we keep driving the car. And yes dash lights come back on and the system stops charging. I ask the customer for more information on the car and the dash. It turns out a 17 year nephew has been playing with the electrical system and has spliced into the main cabin harness now the 5 year old battery is intermittently shorting so we replace the burnt and melted gauge cluster and reluctantly the battery -- and no labor was charged.

Now the dash lights come on intermittently and it seems the charging system is compromised again. We are willing to trace wires and re-splice the harness at no charge but this is not the typical repair nor is our response as a shop unethical considering the free labor only a couple of parts (that were damaged) and the lack of information we were presented with. We really do care about our customers but its a partnership -- information is key.
Kudos! :29:
 

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Definitely not upset at all with the Mechanic! Subaru surgeons have been outstanding! Already have sent several people his way….
 
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