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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #1
I'm trying to learn and test if the EGR valve is good. There's no check engine light though spark knock is present and the service manual recommends checking EGR among other things here.

With the green test mode connectors joined there's a lot of action under the hood when the ignition (not engine) is turned on. The EGR test in FreeSSM can be started via a laptop with the car in test mode. When the EGR test from FreeSSM is started I don't notice any noise from the EGR area. Also removed the metal pipe feeding the valve entrance and watched inside carefully with a flashlight but saw no movement on the valve as far as I know, a pic should be attached.

To be sure FreeSSM and the laptop connection was Ok I ran tests for the radiator fan relays which worked fine, spinning the fans on and off every couple seconds.

Photo attached shows the EGR valve looks to be closed and it didn't change from that state during the FreeSSM tests. Could be that the FreeSSM EGR test wasn't running properly or that I was looking in the wrong place. As always any advise appreciated.
 

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With the green test mode connectors joined there's a lot of action under the hood when the ignition (not engine) is turned on. The EGR test in FreeSSM can be started via a laptop with the car in test mode.
As you noted, when I hook up the green connectors and turn the ignition On, all the test cycles begin on their own. How do you start an individual test (e.g. EGR, or Radiator Fans) using FreeSSM if the system is already in test mode and going through all the cycles? (Are you able to get FreeSSM to connect to the ECM when the system is already in test mode?) I've not managed to use FreeSSM for the forced tests, but it's something I'd like to have working (and be glad to provide you with a comparison regarding the EGR valve!).

The EGR valve is a stepper motor, with a number of different positions. Consequently, I'm not sure if there would be a distinct sound, or significant movement coming from the valve during the forced test.

Also, when the ambient temperature is below ~ 5C, the EGR is disabled (at least, that's the pattern for the North American models). But, of course, this shouldn't apply to the test mode.
 

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2005 Legacy GT wagon 5MT Limited
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I don't understand why you're going through all this rigmarole, beyond the vague statement that "spark knock is present." Can you post your learning view snapshot?
 

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I'm trying to learn and test if the EGR valve is good. There's no check engine light though spark knock is present and the service manual recommends checking EGR among other things here.
Might be recommending something that's not available.

With the green test mode connectors joined there's a lot of action under the hood when the ignition (not engine) is turned on. The EGR test in FreeSSM can be started via a laptop with the car in test mode. When the EGR test from FreeSSM is started I don't notice any noise from the EGR area
Looked at my 07 FSM and also 08 FSM. Both indicate that the EGR solenoid valve is one of several that "will be displayed but not functional" in Compulsory Valve Operation Check Mode. (These are North American model FSMs; it could be different elsewhere, but the symptom seems to fit.)
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the posts as I'm learning about EGR and seeing if it's working OK. I'll update my timing thread soon when the tune is setup.

I've just read up on the JDM 2007 Subaru Legacy Outback service manual @ Service Manual regarding system operation tests. Interestingly my USDM service manual purchased from techinfo.subaru.com for MY07 outback only makes any mention of EGR for the H4 engines.

( to get to the test mode information from the JDM website click Index and find 'System Operation Check Mode' links using the alphabetical index )

From the JDM service manual it seems there are compulsory tests that are started in test mode with the ignition on and then further tests may be requested with SSM, some of which require the engine running (for my MY these are Fuel Pump, Idling Ignition Fixed Timing, Idle Speed Control, Injector Control, EGR valve control).

Perhaps this is how the manual describes the SSM screen showing 'displayed but not functional' as some tests are not part of the compulsory start up tests or not available for all models or have to be manually started.

The System Tests menu on FreeSSM offers some of these actuator tests including EGR. If other checks are running they are stopped before starting the requested test as it seems to cycle the required test until you press the stop button on FreeSSM.

Tonight I'll retry the EGR test with the engine running and report back
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #7
No luck with the EGR actuator test on FreeSSM. With ignition on the test could be started and said it was running but nothing seemed to happen and the valve didn't seem to move (same as the first post). With the engine running (per the service manual) FreeSSM refused to start the test until the engine was off.
 

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2009 OB 2.5i 4EAT
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Could you not just apply 12v and see if it moves? That would atleast let you know if the actuator itself is dead or alive. If it moves, then you'll want to figure out if something is telling it to move or not, maybe use something like this in conjunction with a voltmeter while running the test? You'll need a buddy.

* I barely know anything so I might just be making **** up haha*
 

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( to get to the test mode information from the JDM website click Index and find 'System Operation Check Mode' links using the alphabetical index )
No luck with the EGR actuator test on FreeSSM. With ignition on the test could be started and said it was running but nothing seemed to happen and the valve didn't seem to move (same as the first post). With the engine running (per the service manual) FreeSSM refused to start the test until the engine was off.
I noticed that the page you directed us to, entitled 'System Operation Check Mode' is not same as the FSM page related to testing the various solenoids and fan controls. The latter page is entitled "Compulsory Valve Operation Check Mode" which is the tests that FreeSSM is, apparently, capable of initiating (and which run automatically with just the test mode green connectors attached). When I went to "Compulsory Valve Operation Check Mode" in the linked on-line manual (under "C" in the Index), the page for your H6DO makes no reference to those odd tests with the engine running, and it does indicate that the EGR Solenoid "will be displayed but not functional."
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #10
Appreciate working through this. I figure there are two modes with the green test mode connectors joined. One is Compulsory Valve Operation Check Mode that automatically starts when the ignition is turned on. Then there is System Operation Check Mode where individual checks can be triggered via SSM. Both the FSM and online JDM manual documents describe these tests in separate sections and that some system operation checks require the engine to be started.

A Google search found the software development of FreeSSM project continues thanks to username Comer352L. This is really good news and I took a quick look at the source code for FreeSSM actuator tests and found it requires the engine stopped for all system operation actuator tests which is likely why I couldn't start the EGR test. I contacted the developer for advise over on the GitHub project page. It could well be that the original code from 2009 was designed for a different vehicle or ECU configuration.
 

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The FSM reference to the EGR valve appearing listed but not functional is in relation to the Subaru Select Monitor III, i.e., the tool that Subaru supplies to dealers for diagnostics. If it's own tool cannot run the EGR valve in a "compulsory operation" then I doubt the FreeSSM developer will. (I suspect that's because the EGR valve solenoid is not a simple on/off device. Look at the wiring diagram -- there's six wires, of which four are duty-cycle signals from the ECM that are used control the position/opening of the valve. The control of the EGR is not at all like the other solenoids, and that might well preclude it being tested this way.) Of course, I'd be happy to be wrong in this case.
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #12
I asked the developer of FreeSSM on the actuator this is his response;

Two types of EGR valve test exist.

The first one is a simple actuator on/off test, which is supported by most engines.
The original SSM offers this test under "System Operation Check Modes" / "Actutor ON/OFF Operation" / "EGR Solenoid Valve".
This test is supported by FreeSSM and and requires the engine to be NOT running (original SSM checks this condition, too).

The second test is an enhanced test, which allows to control the number of EGR steps.
It has been introduced ~2007 and is not supported by older models.
The original SSM offers this test separately as "System Operation Check Modes" / "EGR Valve Control".
It is not (yet ?) supported by FreeSSM an indeed requires the engine to be running.
 

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I asked the developer of FreeSSM on the actuator this is his response;

Two types of EGR valve test exist.

The first one is a simple actuator on/off test, which is supported by most engines.
The original SSM offers this test under "System Operation Check Modes" / "Actutor ON/OFF Operation" / "EGR Solenoid Valve".
This test is supported by FreeSSM and and requires the engine to be NOT running (original SSM checks this condition, too).

The second test is an enhanced test, which allows to control the number of EGR steps.
It has been introduced ~2007 and is not supported by older models.
The original SSM offers this test separately as "System Operation Check Modes" / "EGR Valve Control".
It is not (yet ?) supported by FreeSSM an indeed requires the engine to be running.
So is the reply saying that FreeSSM should still be able to run, at least, the "simple actuator on/off test" of the EGR valve control in your 2007?

Or is it saying that as of ~2007, the EGR control system is different, and FreeSSM cannot (yet?) run any test of it, as was your experience?
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #14
So is the reply saying that FreeSSM should still be able to run, at least, the "simple actuator on/off test" of the EGR valve control in your 2007?

Or is it saying that as of ~2007, the EGR control system is different, and FreeSSM cannot (yet?) run any test of it, as was your experience?
If my car has the stepped EGR as you say Plain OM this would explain why nothing appeared to happen on the FreeSSM test.

I've read that the EGR being stuck closed can cause higher combustion temperature and pinging which might explain the higher than expected feedback knock correction reported by the ECU since buying the car. Although if it is stuck closed I'd expect DTCs to be reported.

I did take the intake manifold off last weekend to clean the valve and replaced the 6 intake o-rings and 3 EGR gaskets with new OEM parts and torque settings that the service manual recommended.

Today ran a smoke test into the brake booster vacuum hose with my newly home made smoke machine and there is smoke leaking out from the EGR area under the manifold.

I'll take the intake manifold off again to see if the smoke is coming from the valve itself as there's not a clear view with the intake manifold in place. I'll try to run the smoke test in the exhaust direction too to see if it still leaks.
 

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2008 JDM Outback 3.0R, 5EAT
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Discussion Starter #15
I changed out the EGR valve a month ago with new Subaru part 14710AA710 and gaskets. Kept an eye on it the engine doesn't seem to run quite as hot and ignition timing has stabilised a little. To double check on the smoke test situation with the new valve some smoke is seen when introducing smoke into the brake booster vacuum hose so I guess that's normal.
 

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Because it's an OBD-2 car, on it's own it tests the operation of the EGR valve at periodic intervals while it's going down the road.

When certain conditions are met, it will briefly open the EGR valve for the purpose of testing it's operation. During the opening, it ensures that it sees a proper drop in manifold pressure. If it doesn't respond with the proper amount of pressure drop, it will set a EGR DTC and turn on the CEL.
 
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