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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have a 2006 Subaru Outback SUS LLBean 3.0r.

For reference the 3.0r has VVT, it has 155k miles on it, I do not know if the timing chain, guides, or tensioner have ever been serviced .

I have 6 codes: P0021 and P0011, P0016, P0018, P0028, and P0442.

I've been doing a bit of research for all of these codes, so I think The Evap Leak (P0442) doesn't have anything to do with the main issue I'm having. I only bring it up because it is causing the check engine light (stagnant) + cruise control light (flashing) to come on.

Currently it idles a tad rough but not horrible. When I go to start it, the first crank sounds like it is having trouble but then catches back up to speed on the second crank. Sometimes it makes a crazy wizzing noise which had me believe my starter is going out, but with these codes I am now wondering if that is actually my timing chain rattling. It does sort of sound like metal on metal. There are times on start where the car sits at around 2k rpm idle to warm up, and then out of the blue it will drop in rpm almost to the point of dying unless I step on the gas a little bit while its in park. The newest thing that has started to happen is sometimes when I am off the gas and beginning to break, the engine starts to rev up and down by a good 250-500 rpm until I fully come to a stop.

Now seeing all of these codes, especially P0011 and P0021, I am wondering if my timing chain has or will jump. It seems possible with the 4 codes that apply to both banks for the crankshaft and camshaft.

The other possibility is that the incorrect oil was put in on the last oil change, or I'm low on oil. I will pull the dip tomorrow and report back here.

Thank you for the help.
 

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Has any work been performed on the car recently, prior to it acting up?

I am going to assume a typo on the codes. P0011, p0021, p0026, p0028 all deal with oil control and the variable valve timing. Usually with the 26 and 28 codes the oil diagnostic switch is leaking, or the engine is low on oil. The 11 and 21 can be low oil, oil flow restriction or bad solenoids, but not both banks at the same time, unless there's a lot of carbon build up in the engine.

If it was p0016 and 18 with the 11 and 21, then first check is the electrical system starting with the battery and cabling.

The P0442 is generally a loose or bad gas cap. If you find the gas cap bad, get one from Subaru, not the part store.

With the slow starting, this is a sign of a bad battery, cabling or both. The main ground cable from the battery to the block by the starter is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing on the car along with a battery supplying sufficient ampere flow. A weak battery with bad grounding will cause all kinds of issues, including the code setting you have posted. Start with the battery and cabling, move to oil level and condition, maybe run an engine flush and change the oil; I'll go more in to that in a bit. Look at the oil switches for the VVT, they have white connectors with a single wire and are mounted on the heads; right head at the rear, left head up front, both next to the oil control solenoids which have blue connectors.

Checking the cabling is easy with a multi meter. You want 0.0 ohm between the battery negative post and the lug on the other end of the cable by the starter. You ideally want 0.0 ohm between the post and alternator case, but you can get by with .02 ohm. Any weak ground needs to be fixed.

If the tensioner or guides were bad on this engine, unlikely unless it ran really low oil a lot, it would make a rattling noise while the engine is running. My assumption based on mileage is it's more likely carbon and the system isn't bleeding off the oil like it should, or the solenoid is sticking.

Now on the engine flush - there are three ways you can go about this and it work. One is to put in a full bottle of Sea Foam in the engine and run the engine for about 15 minutes at idle, then drain the oil and change the filter and oil. Second way that is more affective is to add a bottle of Sea Foam and drive the car for about 10 minutes in stop and go driving without putting a heavy load on it, drain it, change the filter and oil. Third way, and this will do a lot more than the previous 2 methods, is to add in 6 oz of Sea Foam and drive the car 500 miles, then change the oil.

The last 2 methods will move the cleaner through the VVT system and clean it out prior to draining the oil. The 3rd method will clean the engine, VVT, rings and all the journals really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Has any work been performed on the car recently, prior to it acting up?

I am going to assume a typo on the codes. P0011, p0021, p0026, p0028 all deal with oil control and the variable valve timing. Usually with the 26 and 28 codes the oil diagnostic switch is leaking, or the engine is low on oil. The 11 and 21 can be low oil, oil flow restriction or bad solenoids, but not both banks at the same time, unless there's a lot of carbon build up in the engine.

If it was p0016 and 18 with the 11 and 21, then first check is the electrical system starting with the battery and cabling.

The P0442 is generally a loose or bad gas cap. If you find the gas cap bad, get one from Subaru, not the part store.

With the slow starting, this is a sign of a bad battery, cabling or both. The main ground cable from the battery to the block by the starter is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing on the car along with a battery supplying sufficient ampere flow. A weak battery with bad grounding will cause all kinds of issues, including the code setting you have posted. Start with the battery and cabling, move to oil level and condition, maybe run an engine flush and change the oil; I'll go more in to that in a bit. Look at the oil switches for the VVT, they have white connectors with a single wire and are mounted on the heads; right head at the rear, left head up front, both next to the oil control solenoids which have blue connectors.

Checking the cabling is easy with a multi meter. You want 0.0 ohm between the battery negative post and the lug on the other end of the cable by the starter. You ideally want 0.0 ohm between the post and alternator case, but you can get by with .02 ohm. Any weak ground needs to be fixed.

If the tensioner or guides were bad on this engine, unlikely unless it ran really low oil a lot, it would make a rattling noise while the engine is running. My assumption based on mileage is it's more likely carbon and the system isn't bleeding off the oil like it should, or the solenoid is sticking.

Now on the engine flush - there are three ways you can go about this and it work. One is to put in a full bottle of Sea Foam in the engine and run the engine for about 15 minutes at idle, then drain the oil and change the filter and oil. Second way that is more affective is to add a bottle of Sea Foam and drive the car for about 10 minutes in stop and go driving without putting a heavy load on it, drain it, change the filter and oil. Third way, and this will do a lot more than the previous 2 methods, is to add in 6 oz of Sea Foam and drive the car 500 miles, then change the oil.

The last 2 methods will move the cleaner through the VVT system and clean it out prior to draining the oil. The 3rd method will clean the engine, VVT, rings and all the journals really well.
The most recent work was a break line that popped about 6 months ago.

Thank you for the good information I will definitely try some testing tomorrow as well as get a bottle of sea foam.

The code was indeed P0016.
 
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