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CVT AT Temp Oil error P0971 - USA Subi in Germany ;) - > to fix or not to fix

376 Views 13 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Avion
Hey everyone,

this forums is amazing! I have received already so much help and now while replacing my breaks I had another issue come up:

Suddenly both "Break" and "AT Temp" warning lights flash. Occasionally they stop and disappear but randomly re-appear and then continue to flash.
I asked the ADAC to read the sensors and it provided the error P0971 (AT Oil Solenoid Valve HIGH) I asked the local Subaru workshop but they could only delete the error (P0971) and told me the repair (replacing the entire solonoid body) would be at least 3.000 EUR plus the fluid.
After reading through many threads and posts and downloading the factory manual ... i distilled some questions I would love to get off my chest.

Situation:
Car: Subaru Outback 2015 2.5i Premium with this engine according to my VIN OUTBACK 2.5L H4 DOHC 16V (I love that car)
Bought in Germany, but it was build / registered first in Subaru SIA , USA.

Personal: Money is tight, just rolled back my startup for A.I. Driven Drones and hence finances are in a squeeze. One week ago got the incredible information that we are getting another baby (YEEHA), family holiday is booked and planned in one week and it is a 2.000 km trip to the mountains (booked 4 month ago) and I need that car for it and can not cancel ...
The car drives and sounds fine and shifts fine. But occasionally the warning lights flick on and stay on, even at a completely cooled down engine (after 1. start in the morning i.e.)

So to the daring questions:

1. Would I likely damage the transmission if I drive 2.000 km with this warning on? Is there a chance of a locking CVT or permanent costly death damage?
2. Is there a way to measure resistance for the valves or check for broken cables / loose connectors without draining the AT oil? (so that I know at least what the issue is?)
3. I read the @Brucey and @geneworld threads with delight and am confident that I can repair this. (I am a hardware developer but have only few car experience). How do you find out what the exact part numbers are for the model you own ? I would love to just buy the valves and replace them individually.
4. Well if the answer is yes, what do I need to replace? I assume solonoid valve (if I find the right ones), o rings and the seal for the body casing? In germany I could not find anything... hence I would order from Alibaba or USA. But I would need to be 100% sure about the part numbers. Any chance to find that out without taking it apart? --> The plan is of course to replace just the valves not the entire valve body.
5. What Software / Plug / X? Do I need to do the relearning and clearing of the errors and the system diagnostics? If I am going down this rabbit hole, I am going to need this.
Here in germany there is a lot of malicious market with this kind of tools and software and usually they ask for subscriptions. That can not be right?

Thank you very much in advance for any help. tip, source provided. you guys rock and make my love for the car and the subaru & specifically the outback community even stronger!
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<Edit>: All this info is for a Gen 4 Outback, not the 2015, which is a Gen 5. Wrong transmission, wrong part numbers. Wrong subforum. Oops.

I'm just going through a similar exploration, for my daughter and son-in-law's car, a 2011 Outback Premium.

In their case, the error was a P2764, indicating that the lockup-duty solenoid is faulty.

Your code of P0971 is for the AWD solenoid.

First, get yourself a copy of the Factory Service Manual, available for download from techinfo.subaru.com for $35; or there are other free sites. It has all the debugging and testing info you are looking for. Really, don't start this without having one. From the manual:

Font Rectangle Parallel Number Pattern

Rectangle Font Material property Parallel Pattern



Subaru only sells the whole valve body, for about $800, but you can buy replacement solenoids individually. Difference in parts cost is $700, since a solenoid is about $100

These 2 videos are the best references I have found:

Mr. Subaru TR690 CVT Valve Body Replacement:

And on replacing a solenoid (great video, @Brucey! )



Here are the parts required from Subaru; but don't trust me! Check them yourself! The quantity of fluid I estimated from the amounts I have seen quoted in the videos.

I entered the VIN for their car into parts.subaru.com,and then selected the local Subaru dealer in Oregon City for online pricing. I recommend you use your VIN to make sure the part numbers are correct. None of these parts have been installed yet, so they haven't been fully checked.

1) 11 quarts of CVT Fluid (may vary)
SOA427V1660 - Subaru Cvtf ii quart bottles. Genuine subaru | Lithia Subaru, Oregon City OR

2) Two of these O-rings for tube from control valve body:
806924110 - Subaru O ring 24.4x3.1. Control, valve | Lithia Subaru, Oregon City OR

3) One of these O-rings, for the oil strainer/pickup:
806929030 - Subaru Automatic Transmission Filter O-Ring | Lithia Subaru, Oregon City OR

4) CVT Drain plug gasket:
11126AA040 - Subaru Pb000973 gasket drain plug. Transmission | Lithia Subaru, Oregon City OR

The AWD solenoid which is throwing the error code in your car is not the same type as the lockup-duty solenoid: it is 3.2 ohms instead of 12 ohms. Watch Brucey's video for a diagram of where the AWD solenoid is located in the valve body. Make sure to search for that type, and verify that is the right resistance before ordering.

The plan is to let the CVT self-train over time; many people have done this without problems. So, no factory software required.

Can't comment on the potential for damage if you keep driving it. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'm just going through a similar exploration, for my daughter and son-in-law's car, a 2011 Outback Premium.

In their case, the error was a P2764, indicating that the lockup-duty solenoid is faulty.

Your code of P0971 is for the AWD solenoid.

First, get yourself a copy of the Factory Service Manual, available for download from techinfo.subaru.com for $35; or there are other free sites. It has all the debugging and testing info you are looking for. Really, don't start this without having one. From the manual:


Can't comment on the potential for damage if you keep driving it. Good luck!
@Raymar THANK YOU for the detailed answer. Those two videos are of course familiar and quite helpful! They motivated me to not spend the last of my cash on a full valve body but instead find the faulty one, order that and the parts you listed and rather get into it.

Man thanks! I'll try to find the AWD solonoid and hope that it is just that. ...
 

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Hey, just realized your car is a 2015, which is a Gen5 (at least in the US). All my info is for a 2011, which is a Gen4. Doh!!!

Completely different transmission, different parts required; but I think the solenoids are common.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hehe I noticed that but it still got me to the right corner though.
currently I am trying to figure out a) where to get my parts or more specifically how to get them to germany
and b) how to get only the broken solonoid valve not the entire body. I need the AWS Solonoid. I would not mind if it takes like 4-5 Weeks as long as it is the right one.
 

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My only caution at this point is the quality of the solenoids that I've seen available. When I went through this process, the solenoids available had about half good, half bad reviews. It would be unfortunate to go through the repair of an individual solenoid and have the solenoid not work or fail a month later. If you have the valve body mounted on the bottom, you could be looking at a significant cost of fluid just to fill it back up with OEM fluid (which is strongly recommended) - you won't want to do this twice as this will greatly increase your cost.

Essentially, replacing solenoids seems more complicated and more risky since you can't gaurantee the quality of solenoids. Replacing with and OEM valve body is more costly up front but in the long run you have ALL NEW solenoids and is a much better bet - also it's a really straightforward process with the whole valve body.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My only caution at this point is the quality of the solenoids that I've seen available. When I went through this process, the solenoids available had about half good, half bad reviews. It would be unfortunate to go through the repair of an individual solenoid and have the solenoid not work or fail a month later. If you have the valve body mounted on the bottom, you could be looking at a significant cost of fluid just to fill it back up with OEM fluid (which is strongly recommended) - you won't want to do this twice as this will greatly increase your cost.

Essentially, replacing solenoids seems more complicated and more risky since you can't gaurantee the quality of solenoids. Replacing with and OEM valve body is more costly up front but in the long run you have ALL NEW solenoids and is a much better bet - also it's a really straightforward process with the whole valve body.

Yea that is what I am afraid about as well. So far I only find sources of Solonoid valves with very mixed reviews. Even on the japan sites... Might be wiser to face the pain and buy the whole valve body. Thought that leads to one question to check: Any way to rule out loose or broken cables without draining the fluid?
 

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Someone on here may be able to post the pages from the Service Manual for the correct year/model you have. You'll need a multimeter and you need to test everything COLD and also when the vehicle engine and transmission are completely WARM. Often these solenoids show failure when the heat up so they will test fine on a cold vehicle and then test a failure when warm. That happened to me and other members.

It is definitely worth going through the diagnostic process. I'm leery of testing electronics but I was able to step through the diagnostic with members helping me and determine I did have a failure. Then I did the whole valve body and it's been great since.

@seagrass @OBDad @cardoc - you guys know where he can get the FSM pages from someone on here?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey everyone,

Thanks for the infos! Great sources. I found the pages and am armed with my multimeter to at least measure everything out.
I am now anyhow quite certain: I need a complete valve body from the US shipped to germany. I checked four suppliers for the valves only and then went on for the japanese pages and sources but all in all the reviews are 50% good at best. 50% say "broke down after x km or replaced the one valve and onother broke a month later ..."
I totally agree with OBDad and Stocker and all of you: May be worth the money to replace the whole part instead of the minor fixes, especially since I need to import everything anyhow.

Importing seems not as straight forward though. I need to find a reseller or service partner from Subaru who is motived to ship to Germany. ;D If you know a Subaru retailer / dealer / service company where I could buy the part online and pay for shipment etc. I am very much gratefull for any hints and recommendations. Otherwise I'll keep mailing Subaru Dealers and ask them directly if I could purchase it via a store or something and have the valve body and o rings and seals etc. shipped to me.

One thing i was wondering: Since it is the AWD Valve not the shifting valve for any gears, would it be horrible unwise to take the car on the family trip next week?
We booked a holiday in the mountains (puristic cabin no thrills but also no road). Can I damage more then the valve body when I would keep driving it for 2.000 km?

I'll post my measurements, once im done ;).

Thank you all so far. It has been an incredible help in finding the parts, making a decision and planning the repair!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hey @Brucey @stocker @raymar
Thank you a lot!

I managed to organize a FedEx Pickup at a CA Subaru and it arrived yesterday. I have never done anything this deep in my car but thanks to the factory manual, your help and the nice youtube videos it was ok. The build version is slightly different but all in all it is good now.
Thanks to your help I have now a working, safe and sound car to go on family holiday tonight.
The weatherforecast is 1.5 new snow, ice on the road and storm on the mountain. Perfect Subaru weather and good to have a working AWD Solonoid valve now.

If anyone is interested: I measured out the old valve body. The AWD Solonoid and the Temp sensor are broken but everything else was according to specs. I gladly send it to you.

Sky Entertainment Plant Concert Performing arts

Entertainment Musical instrument accessory Electronic instrument Audio equipment Music
 

· Brucey
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When I made that original post regarding replacing just the solenoid it had good reviews.

I'm not sure if quality changed afterwards or if the popularity of the repair caused more to show up.

But yea, most reviews are mediocre at best.

Due to this I now typically recommend either replacing the entire valve body or if funding is tight replacing with a salvage solenoid since it at least originally met Subaru spec.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
By the way: Interesting thing regarding different versions. I spoke a lot with the Subaru Serremento CA guys and also three Subaru Dealers in Germany. The Subaru US said they have this valve body failing often enough that they have it in stock. The germans never do this kind of repair as they never have that issue, but looooots of head gascet issues in contrast to the US version.

Regarding the solonoid: @Brucey I reached out to a friend in Japan and he said it is becoming harder to get the solonoid since the manufacturer does not sell them online anymore or rather just locally . The new ones from japan are all fine and I found two companies, one in russia and one in poland, who refurbish the valve bodies. They use the japanese originals and even give 2 year warranty on the valve body. But the ones I found online look kinda old? Even the ones in my 180K km valve body look pretty fresh ;). But I would gladly get a new valve and replace it and sell my valve body to another DIYler who is tight on budget like me.
 
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