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Help! Suite of Four Simultaneous Warning Lights! 2015 Limited

508 Views 6 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  JohnneeO
Help! My Outback instrument panel is exploding with four simultaneous warning lights. "Brake"; "AT OIL TEMP"; "SRVD" , and the Vehicle Dynamics Warning Light. This happens when I am driving. With these lights on, the car can be driven without issue. If I let the car sit long enough (anywhere from an hour to overnight), it will operate without issue for a few days, and then the lights pop on again. It seems unlikely to me that all of these systems are all repeatedly failing simultaneously, but I am understandably nervous about continuing to operate the vehicle without knowing and resolving the underlying issue.

Has this happened to anyone before? I am looking for some guidance on how to figure out what is actually happening before I take it to my mechanic for a $150 diagnostic session.

Here is some relevant very recent background about the vehicle. These lights came on once before exactly like this while I was driving the car on an extremely cold (single digits Fahrenheit) day about six weeks ago. When that happened, I pulled over, turned the car off for a minute and then back on, which "reset" and turned off the lights. Nothing else happened with the warning lights for over a month and I just assumed that the lights on that day were just a one time "glitch" caused by the extreme cold.

Fast forward one month later after the extremely cold day, and the car is at my mechanic to install four new tires,. My mechanic called me to report that suite of lights came on for him while he was moving the car. The temporary spare (donut) was on the car, so once again I assumed the lights the mechanic encountered were a different (but similar) one-time "glitch" caused by the issue with the tires (the low tire pressure light was on, etc.).

As of today, it has been two weeks since the new tires were installed. Over that time, the lights have come on sporadically. Each time, I have pulled the car over, and sat with the engine off for a short time. When I turned the car on and started driving again, the lights would not come again until a few days later, and the sequence repeated itself. In total, this happened 3 or 4 times over a two week period.

Today, the lights came on again, and as before, I pulled over, and sat with the engine off for a short time. This time, when I started driving again, the lights came back on again after a few minutes. I stopped multiple times to "reset" the lights, but the difference today is that they were always coming back on. I was eventually able to drive home without issue.

And in the interest of full disclosure, I have inadvertently drained the battery 2x in the six weeks since the first occurrence of the suite of lights. Both times, AAA gave me a jump to start the car, and I drove around for 30-40 minutes to recharge the battery. The first time, the AAA mechanic checked the battery and alternator, and deemed them both to be in good shape. The second time I needed a jump was the day after the new tires were installed.

So there you have it. Thanks in advance!
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Thank you for the replies so far. I watched the video. It all seems pretty straightforward. It's funny how he showed looking for generic codes with a reader, b/c that was one of the things I checked, and of course there were no codes detected.

My one concern if I follow the advice on the video, is that I might be masking a real issue by draining the accumulated hidden error codes. I assume my mechanic will have the "$5,000 tool" that reads all the codes. OTOH, if I drain the codes, and the lights come back on again, that will generate fresh data to be evaluated (and it would be far more likely that I have real problem to be fixed). If the errors don't pop up again, then I guess that I would safe to assume there is no issue.

In the meantime, I will check the battery connections.
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Hi everyone, I have updated my Original Post. The fourth light is the Vehicle Dynamics Warning Light.

Battery connections look secure.

And after the car sat for 24 hours, I drove down the block today, and the lights came on within a minute (and I immediately drove home). So while this began as intermittent issue, I have no doubt that now this is an issue I can duplicate on demand. That was part of the reason I did not have it looked at earlier, since I was not even sure the issue would occur if I brought it in.
I found this meandering thread that describes, at a high level, the same problem I have having, but in a variety of different models, model years, and different combinations of lights.

My take away is that many Subaru owners have had this issue where multiple lights come on simultaneously, and there is a variety of different causes and solutions. Not sure this really adds any value to my circumstances, but I am coming away from reading this with a different perspective.
Thanks all. Mechanic determined that the valve body in the CVT needs to be replaced for $2,400. This type of issue actually came up in my research over the last two days. I know that SOA extended the CVT warranty to 10 years and 100K on this model, so I imagine it might be related. I am beyond the mileage limit. but I recall seeing isolated reports of SOA covering (or partially covering) out-of-warranty situations like mine. Going to research that, and drop this thread.

Edit: I have called SOA and opened a case, I am supposed to hear from the specialist in 2 business days.
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