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Discussion Starter #1
Good day all. First post, please be gentle.

I have searched. But I haven't found my specific issue, so I figured I'd ask.

2012 Outback with 2.5 and CVT. 217,000km. I've owned it for 5 years and have taken good care of it. And very recently changed tires to 225/70/16 Cooper Discoverers. If that might be a thing.

Basically - had the AT Oil Temp light start to flash a few days ago along with the brake warning and traction control light. Took it in to my shop (NOT Subaru) they cleared the codes, asked me to drive around. Ran fine. No issues. But the lights did return.

The big difference with the posts that I've read and my issue is that my AT Temp light doesn't flash-stop-flash. Not 8 or 16 times. It just flashes. And keeps on flashing. Which is why I'm hoping that my circumstance is a little different.
I've got an appointment with a transmission shop for next week, but I thought I'd post the codes that my mechanic got from the computer in case they ring a bell with any of you fine folks.

The computer was cleared after I brought it in. The mechanic saw these codes on the test drive and even when they were cleared (yet again) they returned right away.

P-0971
C0045
C0232

I'm going to bring it home from the mechanic tonight (I'd rather it was in my driveway) and change my taillights back to incandescent from LED and check to see if I can spot a bad ground or any loose bits.
If anyone has anywhere else for me to look, I'm open to suggestions. Obviously I fear that the CVT has crapped out, but I need to make sure. If anyone can help, I trust it's this forum.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. It wasn't supposed to be this long.

Cheers all.
Jason.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5l Premium / CVT
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Good day all. First post, please be gentle.

I have searched. But I haven't found my specific issue, so I figured I'd ask.

2012 Outback with 2.5 and CVT. 217,000km. I've owned it for 5 years and have taken good care of it. And very recently changed tires to 225/70/16 Cooper Discoverers. If that might be a thing.

Basically - had the AT Oil Temp light start to flash a few days ago along with the brake warning and traction control light. Took it in to my shop (NOT Subaru) they cleared the codes, asked me to drive around. Ran fine. No issues. But the lights did return.

The big difference with the posts that I've read and my issue is that my AT Temp light doesn't flash-stop-flash. Not 8 or 16 times. It just flashes. And keeps on flashing. Which is why I'm hoping that my circumstance is a little different.
I've got an appointment with a transmission shop for next week, but I thought I'd post the codes that my mechanic got from the computer in case they ring a bell with any of you fine folks.

The computer was cleared after I brought it in. The mechanic saw these codes on the test drive and even when they were cleared (yet again) they returned right away.

P-0971
C0045
C0232

I'm going to bring it home from the mechanic tonight (I'd rather it was in my driveway) and change my taillights back to incandescent from LED and check to see if I can spot a bad ground or any loose bits.
If anyone has anywhere else for me to look, I'm open to suggestions. Obviously I fear that the CVT has crapped out, but I need to make sure. If anyone can help, I trust it's this forum.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. It wasn't supposed to be this long.

Cheers all.
Jason.
I am having the same issue exactly. No codes. Temp normal. Stop car. Take off gas cap and put back on. Everything back to normal for a day or two. Keep me posted.
 

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2012 Outback 3.6r Limited
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My 2012 3.6R hated LED brake lights. These were the only ones that caused my traction light and brake light to blink on the dash.
It could also be the temp sensor in the trans.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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You probably have a faulty solenoid in the CVT valve body (code P0971) and if this is the problem the solenoids are available on eBay for around $100 from a member of this forum who imports them. Subaru only sells the whole valve body for around $1,000. The additional codes could be caused by the p0971 fault.

Hopefully your transmission shop knows what they are doing and are happy to replace the actual faulty part and not the whole valve body which will save you a whole lot of cash.

Seagrass
 

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2010 Outback 3.6R 2014 Legacy 2.5i 2003 Legacy L special edition (retired to backup)
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1,280 Posts
when was (if ever) the last time you changed CVT fluid? no fluid is life time, not even Subaru CVT

217,000kms is about 136K miles and yeah, I would definitely change that fluid

P-0971 is a circuit fault so proper diagnostics will be required before changing any parts
C0045 is left rear speed sensor
C0232 is a circuit code for the automatic transmision

seeing how all 3 are active, I would be looking at the wiring harnesses and doing resistance checks
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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@NucksSubaru Next time the dash lights up, the best thing to do is get the computers on the car scanned. All of them. A part store will not be able to scan the other modules on the car and most can't scan the transmission.

Number 1 failure in the CVT is solenoids on the valve body.

I'm going to have to look at the availability of replacement solenoids. I've been replacing the valve bodies, TCC codes - never any others, and the cost for the valve body has been under $600.

The valve bodies are easy to replace. Top mounted, you won't have to drain the fluids. It's a good idea to replace the fluid anyway. Bottom mounted you'll remove the pan and refill with about 5.5 qts total after filling when the trans comes to temp.
 

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2001 VDC/SC One of a Kind
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@YeuEmMaiMai The C codes in this case refers to a mismatch or incorrect data transfer between modules. The trans does need to be checked thoroughly before replacing parts. The C codes are related to the P code. Whenever C codes are present you have to look for faults in the other modules on the car for correlation codes or mechanical fault codes. If the VDC module is expecting a diff lock based on engine parameters, TCM commands and speed sensors and it's not happening, it's a communication issue between modules and a fault in the solenoid that prevents diff application will cause improper communication codes to pop up because the VDC module assumes communication issue over mechanical. And in this case, the TCM is reporting a mechanical issue which may be an electrical fault. In this case, we assume all the codes came from the TCM and therefore the trans faults come first. After the trans repair, whatever it may be, then you check the functionality and code settings in the VDCCM. If codes are active (Present) in the VDCCM after the trans repair then other areas will need to be checked based on what the module is reporting.

P0971 first. This includes battery, grounding, and harness checks with function checks of the solenoid.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's the best forum answer I've ever seen, cardoc. Fantastic. Thank you.

I'm going to see what I can see now that the car is home and the sun is up. And I'm going to print this out to share with the transmission shop next week. I am a lot more hopeful now than I was just 12 hours ago. Amazing.

Cheers.
Jason.
 

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In this case, we assume all the codes came from the TCM and therefore the trans faults come first.
I'm going to see what I can see now that the car is home and the sun is up.
Focussing on the explicit transmission fault, P0971 is a connection problem in the wiring circuit to, or through, the AWD Transfer Solenoid. See attached diagnostic pages.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
That's great, plain OM, thank you.

I don't have the 'tight corner braking' or drivability issues, yet, so I guess I'd better fix it before I do.

This is great. I don't know why it took me five years to use this forum...
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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10,978 Posts
hey @Brucey your video fix worked on the 2011 legacy. same thing here ?
I'm thinking so. It sounds like a different solenoid than the one shown so I'm not sure if they use the same model or not.

Entire replacement of the valve body is likely what the shop will recommend although for the price difference it might be worth gambling on the solenoid.
 

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I don't have the 'tight corner braking' or drivability issues, yet, so I guess I'd better fix it before I do.
Probably won't show tight corner braking etc. That wording is a carry over from days when an open or short to the AWD solenoid would cause the transfer clutch to remain locked. But that was changed and now, if the connection fails, the AWD clutch is disengaged. It's when the clutch is locked that the tight corner braking symptom appears. Instead, what will happen is there won't be any drive to the rear wheels; this will be noticed when accelerating on a slippery surface and only the front wheels have drive and start to spin.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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10,978 Posts
Probably won't show tight corner braking etc. That wording is a carry over from days when an open or short to the AWD solenoid would cause the transfer clutch to remain locked. But that was changed and now, if the connection fails, the AWD clutch is disengaged. It's when the clutch is locked that the tight corner braking symptom appears. Instead, what will happen is there won't be any drive to the rear wheels; this will be noticed when accelerating on a slippery surface and only the front wheels have drive and start to spin.
Good info right there.


Good diagnostic test would be stop on a dirt/grass incline and accelerate hard and see if the rear wheels engage?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Just a quick update... sort of.

My mechanic wants nothing to do with this. He has referred me to a transmission specialist he knows. And now he's had the car for a week. The mechanic seems to get that I don't want to replace anything more than I have to and even told me he recently did a solenoid replacement on a Nissan unit. So I'm hoping that's the route he suggests here.

If not, I'm leaning towards bringing it home and just doing it myself. The longer this takes, the more I read/watch, the more I'm confident that this is something I would have no trouble with.

I'll keep you posted.
Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
GOOD NEWS!!!

The transmission shop has determined that it is just the one solenoid that has failed. AND they are willing to replace it, and not the entire valve body. This, for me, is the best possible outcome. I'm pleased.

Is there a 'local' source for the solenoid? The shop has tasked me with supplying the new part and I have approximately zero interest in waiting 32-68 business days for one to arrive from China. I'll keep looking, but if anyone (I'm looking squarely at you @Brucey ) has a source, I'd be happy to support someone local first.

Cheers everyone. Have a great weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks OBDad, that hadn't crossed my mind. I don't really know much about solenoids, so I was just going to buy new and hope that I can get another 220k out of it.

Do you know (in case I go this route) if there's a way to determine how much life is left in them? I'd hate to do it just to have it fail quickly. I think I'd rather spend the extra $50 or so and be confident it was likely to last a while.

Cheers.
 

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Brucey
'17 3.6
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GOOD NEWS!!!

The transmission shop has determined that it is just the one solenoid that has failed. AND they are willing to replace it, and not the entire valve body. This, for me, is the best possible outcome. I'm pleased.

Is there a 'local' source for the solenoid? The shop has tasked me with supplying the new part and I have approximately zero interest in waiting 32-68 business days for one to arrive from China. I'll keep looking, but if anyone (I'm looking squarely at you @Brucey ) has a source, I'd be happy to support someone local first.

Cheers everyone. Have a great weekend.
The one I got from Amazon came in in 3 days.

The issue with sourcing and Subaru in general is Subaru doesn't make the valve body serviceable.

In their own manuals and mechanics literature it only breaks down to valve body and not the individual solenoids on the valve body.

Even though they don't make the solenoids and use off the shelf parts.

We're essentially cheating by skipping the middle man (Subaru) in this case.

The only place I could think of that would have such a specific part is going to be Engineering Catalogues.
 

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2012 Outback 2.5 Limited
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Look for a low-mileage wreck. Could also try car-parts.com

Agree durability of a used part is a concern. The counter argument would be "how much do you trust a Chinese aftermarket part". So, might be a bit of a roll of the dice anyhow. Hopefully I'm very wrong and those aftermarket parts are very durable. I just know it's a general concern with aftermarket quality these days.
 
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