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1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the fuse in the holder, and on the way to work and to and from lunch it was fine. About an hour after lunch I get in and it was not in FWD. I'm having a rear AWD issue, so it definitely needs to be in FWD. any ideas? Computer issue or could it be a bad fuse holder?
 

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How do you know it's not in FWD?

When the AWD disabling fuse is inserted, a FWD(or AWD) warning light should be on in the instrument cluster.

If the light was on for a while, but now is out, then yes it could be a bad contact at the fuse holder, or a bad fuse. But, it could also be a bad bulb or a bad connection to the bulb.

Note: If the transmission control module's on-board-diagnostics has detected a problem in the AWD control system, it will not activate the FWD option when the fuse is installed.

When the ignition switch is turned to ON but not as far as Start, does the AT Oil Temp warning light turn on for some time? At that time, or just after the engine is started, does the AT Oil Temp light flash? Or is it on initially, but goes out when the engine is started?

(Your other thread; probably best to keep it all together. http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/111-gen-1-1995-1999/435345-1996-outback-awd-abs-issue.html )
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How do you know it's not in FWD?

When the AWD disabling fuse is inserted, a FWD(or AWD) warning light should be on in the instrument cluster.

If the light was on for a while, but now is out, then yes it could be a bad contact at the fuse holder, or a bad fuse. But, it could also be a bad bulb or a bad connection to the bulb.

Note: If the transmission control module's on-board-diagnostics has detected a problem in the AWD control system, it will not activate the FWD option when the fuse is installed.

When the ignition switch is turned to ON but not as far as Start, does the AT Oil Temp warning light turn on for some time? At that time, or just after the engine is started, does the AT Oil Temp light flash? Or is it on initially, but goes out when the engine is started?

(Your other thread; probably best to keep it all together. http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/111-gen-1-1995-1999/435345-1996-outback-awd-abs-issue.html )

The FWD light is not on. Subaru of Gwinnett actually put it in FWD for the girl I bought the car from thinking it was actually a steering issue. And it's been in FWD without issues since last May. I pulled the fuse last week and discover the locking up/binding issue, and immediately put it back in FWD. ever since then the FWD light has come and gone.

The light flashes when I first turn it on but is normally off by the time I put it in gear/finish backing out of my parking spot. I haven't noticed if it's on with the key just being on. It goes off about the same time the air bag warning light goes off.

The only code coming up is for the bank 1 cat. No other codes pending or in history.

I just came from the MK1 VW world, so these Japanese cars are a bit new on the specific sides. I can find my way around a car pretty well, but the specific intricacies of Subarus evade me.
 

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Sounds like you've got some electrical stuff to check, and plain OM gave a good list.

That transmission is front wheel drive by default. It has no way of not delivering power to the front wheels. It's just a question of whether it also delivers power to the rear wheels.

Putting the fuse in should prevent the transmission from coupling in the rear drive.
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Right. Even with the fuse in it's going to AWD. It's not going down to just FWD is what I mean. But with the rear end issues I'm trying to keep it from being in AWD.

We just got a lot (like seriously insane amounts) of rain here and it's still extremely humid. Even for Georgia, so I'm wondering if that's the issue with the wiring/fuse? It's missing it's little cap so it's pretty open to the elements currently. I'm going to see what it does tomorrow. It seems to coincide with the humidity/rain these past few days though.


How easy is it to replace that fuse holder? Will any fuse holder do? Or is it pretty easy to track that specific one down?

It's $120 to diag it at the new Subaru dealer in town. If I can't figure it out soon I might have to bite the bullet unfortunately.
 

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The light flashes when I first turn it on but is normally off by the time I put it in gear/finish backing out
Which light?

There's two lights that are of interest; the FWD light, and the AT Oil Temp light. If the AT Oil Temp light is flashing, the diagnostic system has detected a fault somewhere in the wiring between the transmission control module (computer) and the transmission itself.

The only code coming up is for the bank 1 cat. No other codes pending or in history.
Generic code readers will not read trouble codes related to the transmission; instead it usually requires the dealer's Subaru Select Monitor. However, you might be able to get the car to display the code number(s) using the procedure in this thread: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...4-how-read-diagnostic-trouble-codes-dtcs.html However, that this uses the AT Oil Temp light, and therefore the light has to be working. If the light that you report is flashing is the AT Oil Temp light, then that's a start -- the light is working.

As noted earlier, if the code is related to the AWD system (e.g. trouble code #24), then the fuse won't work to put the car in FWD because the control module connection to the transmission is defective.

If there are no codes, then the fuse should work, in which case checking that AWD fuse holder is an idea. The holder has just two wires between which the fuse, when installed, provides a connection. A bad contact in the holder is a possibility. If this is confirmed, I guess the two wires coming into the holder could be connected together. (One of the wires goes to a ground point, the other to the TCM.)
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The light flashes when I first turn it on but is normally off by the time I put it in gear/finish backing out
Which light?

There's two lights that are of interest; the FWD light, and the AT Oil Temp light. If the AT Oil Temp light is flashing, the diagnostic system has detected a fault somewhere in the wiring between the transmission control module (computer) and the transmission itself.

The only code coming up is for the bank 1 cat. No other codes pending or in history.
Generic code readers will not read trouble codes related to the transmission; instead it usually requires the dealer's Subaru Select Monitor. However, you might be able to get the car to display the code number(s) using the procedure in this thread: http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...4-how-read-diagnostic-trouble-codes-dtcs.html However, that this uses the AT Oil Temp light, and therefore the light has to be working. If the light that you report is flashing is the AT Oil Temp light, then that's a start -- the light is working.

As noted earlier, if the code is related to the AWD system (e.g. trouble code #24), then the fuse won't work to put the car in FWD because the control module connection to the transmission is defective.

If there are no codes, then the fuse should work, in which case checking that AWD fuse holder is an idea. The holder has just two wires between which the fuse, when installed, provides a connection. A bad contact in the holder is a possibility. If this is confirmed, I guess the two wires coming into the holder could be connected together. (One of the wires goes to a ground point, the other to the TCM.)

The AT Oil Temp light flashes when I first turn on the car. My understand of that per the manual was that as long as it immediately (but how fast is immediately?) turned off it was fine? Just want to make sure I'm understanding! Could that be why it's no going to into FWD only sometimes? That when it turns off quicker it stays in FWD, and when it stays on a little longer it's in AWD? I'll have to see if there's a correlation.


I'll definitely try and get it to flash the codes at me.

And would a professional scanner work? It's not specific to subaru, but my shop does have one where you can try and go into the individual computers and it pulls up the code info for you. It might not hurt to try it again.


Thank you so much for the info guys. I definitely appreciate it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used the post to try and get the codes, but I can't get the AT Oil Temp light to flash? Is there something I'm missing? When it says warm up the engine is that driving it? Or just idling?

And my AT Oil Temp light flashes for around 15 seconds at start up, so there should be a code. Correct?
 

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The AT Oil Temp light flashes when I first turn on the car. My understand of that per the manual was that as long as it immediately (but how fast is immediately?) turned off it was fine? Just want to make sure I'm understanding!
The fact that the light goes out after the 16 flashes does not mean it's fine. The problem still exists. Depending on what it is, either there will be very noticeable issues, such as the transmission not shifting, or, in your case, the AWD always being on full (torque bind symptoms). The latter is typical when there's a code 24 related to the AWD control system in that generation.

The explanation is that the TCU has to be connected to the AWD control solenoid in the transmission in order for it to control the solenoid. If the connection to the solenoid is lost due to an open or short circuit, the solenoid remains in it's default position, which applies full pressure to the AWD clutch, so the AWD is always fully on.

When there isn't any problem, and the fuse is inserted, the TCU sends a signal to the solenoid setting it to a position that shuts off the hydraulic pressure on the clutch. That disengages the rear drive, leaving the car in FWD. But, if there is a code 24 problem, then the TCU can't send the control signal to the solenoid, and the AWD remains fully on. The fact that the FWD light in the instrument panel does not come on is confirmation that the TCU cannot comply with the intent of the fuse. The light doesn't control anything; it's just indicating the state of the TCU control of the transmission, in this case the AWD solenoid.

And would a professional scanner work? It's not specific to subaru, but my shop does have one where you can try and go into the individual computers and it pulls up the code info for you. It might not hurt to try it again.
Worth a try.

I used the post to try and get the codes, but I can't get the AT Oil Temp light to flash? Is there something I'm missing? When it says warm up the engine is that driving it? Or just idling?
I'm not certain just how far back that procedure works, thus the "?" in the title. The warm up method probably isn't critical.

And my AT Oil Temp light flashes for around 15 seconds at start up, so there should be a code. Correct?
Yes. The AT Oil Temp light will flash 16 times and then stop. This is meant to inform the driver that there's a problem, and a code should be readable.
 

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At the risk of getting flamed, of the two Subarus I've had of the '90-'98 vintage, the FWD fuse DID 'work' when the AT temp light was flashing AND there was a code stored/active in the TCU.

In both cases it was an issue w/the rear clutch drum/plate needed repaired/replaced as it was causing Torque Bind.

If I'm clear on what's happening here, I'd hazard a guess that you've 'worn out' your Duty C (over)using the FWD fuse or - since it's intermittent - you've got a bad connection. I'd just buy another 'fuse holder' wire it in and see, before taking it to the shop.

I'd also run 3 Drain/Refill/Drive cycles of ATF thru it....might get lucky.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
At the risk of getting flamed, of the two Subarus I've had of the '90-'98 vintage, the FWD fuse DID 'work' when the AT temp light was flashing AND there was a code stored/active in the TCU.

In both cases it was an issue w/the rear clutch drum/plate needed repaired/replaced as it was causing Torque Bind.

If I'm clear on what's happening here, I'd hazard a guess that you've 'worn out' your Duty C (over)using the FWD fuse or - since it's intermittent - you've got a bad connection. I'd just buy another 'fuse holder' wire it in and see, before taking it to the shop.

I'd also run 3 Drain/Refill/Drive cycles of ATF thru it....might get lucky.
That's actually funny you say that. This morning, on the way to work, it was not in FWD only. Nor was it when i had to take a customer home. I did not have torque bind while driving the customer, and then the last four/five times since then the AT Oil Temp light has not flashed and it has been in FWD only. I've only owned this car a week and a half, so still learning the ropes! If it happens again, definitely hitting the dealer for diag.

I plan on a trans D&F either way since I don't have a record of it getting one the last three years.
 

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I own 4 Subarus. A 95,97,02 and a 14. The first two are 2.2 and the last two 2.5.
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I don't totally understand the last OP post. However, I can state my experience with 90's subarus. When the AT light flashes on start up, then there is an electrical problem with the trans. Most of the time this happens, it will be a failure of the duty C solenoid.

You can confirm that the cause of the trans. failure by connecting two wires underneath the drivers side front panel and following a complicated start/ petal pushing procedure. However this procedure changed at least once during 1995 to 1999 so it hard to find the right procedure. I didn't save a copy of the procedure so I can't help you find it.

Bottom line, when the AT started to flash on my 1995 at 140K miles, I diagnosed it [it took a couple of hours to find the wires]. I had the dealership change the duty c solenoid for $600. The four wheel drive operation was recovered and has operated OK for the last 2 years.
 

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You bought an Automatic???
 

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1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You bought an Automatic???
I know. :( Maybe I'll swap it over later!


Currently still going into fwd. no flashing AT Oil Temp light. So crossing fingers it stays ok for now. If it comes back I'll get dealer to diag then go from there since it seems to be a trans issue
 

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I dont know if this solution is OK for your 1996 Legacy Outback 2.5 Auto Trans....

However....

Removing the rear half of the drive shaft solved Torque Bind in my '96 Impreza Auto Trans.

According to some members here it is OK to run with FWD indefinitely. Apparently some models were produced without the rear shaft.

edit to add:

Coincidentally, just now posting this related thread:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...gon-without-rear-drive-shaft.html#post5005186

.
 

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'03 outback limited, '01 Outback Limited, '01 Legacy L wagon, '96 Legacy Brighton wagon
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I've run my '96 legacy 2.5 auto in front wheel drive for 10 years now, with zero issues.
 
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