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!