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Check Engine/Cruise Control lights theory

2410 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Seabass
Hi, I am brand new to this forum so I don't know how this will be taken but I'll say it anyway. I have a 2005 Outback (base model I guess, auto transmission). Several years ago its Check Engine light and Cruise Control light came on simultaneously. The car was running fine so I ignored it. It went away after several rounds of stopping and starting over the following day or so. Same thing happened once last year and once this year. My friend's Forester has had this problem recently but the lights have now gone out. I checked a Forester forum for her and there were 15 pages of comments on this issue alone. Lots of people have gone to mechanics and have spent lots of money to fix it. I have not seen any comments saying the problem has been fixed for anybody permanently. I say ignore it, assuming your car is running fine. I'm wondering if this is a glitch purposely set up by Subaru to give Service at their dealers a lot of business! I'm also wondering if anybody with an Impreza has had this problem as I'm thinking seriously of buying one in the next year or so.
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Our OBW was doing that, just before the warranty was expired. My wife took it into another dealer and they diagnosed that the catalytic converters were plugged, and ended up replacing two CT Converters and two O2 sensors on warranty. The car also dropped from 27 MPG average to about 23 MPG and the thing nearly stalled each time it was idling.

If you are still on warranty, I would get the dealer to document the problem and maybe even fix it!

It apparently has to do with the cheap ethanol junk they put in the fuel to water it down.
The light coming on means there is a diagnostic code. Before doing anything, you need to have the code read. Just go to your local auto parts store and ask them to scan it. It's free and takes 5 minutes. It can also save you from being screwed by a dealer since you will go in with an idea of what the problem is.

The light+cruise control could be a hundred different things. Don't make any assumptions until you get the code.
Check Engine/Cruise Control lights come on once a year

This problem with the Check Engine and Cruise Control lights coming on simultaneously and gong off simultaneously several stops/starts later happens once a year. Between those episodes I never see the Check Engine light go on. So I cannot believe there is anything to diagnose. The car was last in to a mechanic yesterday for its 67,500 mile service and I asked about it. The guy said he's seen it before and its just a glitch. He did not suggest getting the situation diagnosed. I'll stick with my plan of ignoring it as long as it continues to happen once a year, goes off by itself in a day or so, and the car is running fine otherwise.
cars are now programmed to disable Cruise and sometimes one or 2 other systems ANYTIME a CEL is lit. that is normal and it's quite likely the CEL has nothing to do with Cruise or VDC or TRasction Control or any other light.

I'd get the code read. particularly if I had a warranty - but I'd want to know anyway.
Ignore it if you want. It's your car and your future repair bills.
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