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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all,

Not a car guy and may post this a few different places so please forgive me if I leave out something pertinent or you see this posted somewhere else..

So I have a 2005 Subaru Outback 2.5L Limited, the CEL is on and is for the P0420 code. This is the only code the car is throwing. It first appeared about 2-3 years ago, and would come off and on again, I took it to a dealer and they informed me it is a common issue with the car and it meant my catalytic converter was going out, but that it wouldn't effect engine performance and was something I could live without taking care of until the CEL started staying on.

Fast forward to about a month ago, it came back on for the first time in a while (about 6 months or so), and this time it stayed on. I am due for a smog this month so I knew I had to get it taken care of. I started with just clearing the codes using a cheap reader I bought thinking maybe that would at least keep it off long enough for me to get it smogged and give me sometime to get it sorted out for real this time. However I only let it idle for about 5 minutes after clearing them (may be helpful info for later on in this saga). I had cleared the codes at night, and the next day I took it out to run it through a few drive cycles, the first start after the initial start post clearing the codes, it took the car about 5 or 6 turnovers to get going which is not normal, I thought it was strange but it seemed to run fine after and so I just drove around town and on the freeway for a while to get some mileage for the monitors and see if the light stayed off. It ended up coming back on about 20 miles after clearing them so I figured I was boned. I made an appointment with a local mechanic but had to wait a few days and continued to drive the car for normal errands and stuff (including a short road trip home for mothers day) and on my way home, I was going about 65-70mph on the freeway and hit traffic and had to come to a complete stop, not a sudden stop or anything like that but when I did so, the car died. Engine just shut off, all my dash lights started flashing, and both my ABS and power steering went out. Radio, AC however stayed on. I tried restarting the car however it wouldn't even try to turn over. I pushed the car to the side and waited about 10 minutes and it started right up, however I only made it about 300ft or so and it died again. Same thing pushed the car to the side and waited about 10 minutes again, started right back up. I drove off the freeway into a parking lot and let it idle about 45 minutes or so, drove in circles in the lot, started and restarted it a few times, and everything seemed fine so I drove the rest of the about 45 minutes home without incident. I had been driving for about 45 minutes when this occurred by the way, and it happened about 100 miles since clearing the engine codes.

So that brings me to where I'm at now, I took the car to a local mechanic and they informed me that my model actually has 3 catalytic converters and all 3 are toast, this amounts to 6-7 thousand dollars in repairs which is more than the car blue books for. The parts they said I needed are 44101AG17A & 44101AG19A, as well as a few bolts and gaskets (I live in California so I guess it requires a specific cat with higher emission standards or something).

I know the P0420 code is very common on this car, my question is, in your guys' experience, what are the odds all 3 of my cats are bad? Is this the most likely cause for the stalls as well? If so, why hasn't it happened since? Are there any other explanations? All of my sensors were in working order according to the mechanic as well.

The mechanic also explained that the stall was likely caused by my engine getting choked up from not venting properly, I has suspected this but also might have been due to my not letting it relearn its idle properly after clearing the codes, however he deemed that unlikely.

Sorry for the short novel, I just wanted to make sure I included everything. I've read countless forums on this site, as well as many others and have heard similar stories but nothing quite like this. My pickle here is just that with the cost of these repairs, 90% of which are just in parts, my car is technically totaled and I'm not sure it's worth saving, but it is special to me and I'd like to. It also does also have the infamous head gasket leak but I check oil and coolant levels regularly and it isn't too bad of a leak, the mechanic also confirmed this. I change the oil every 3000 miles or so, and typically have to add a quart at about the 1500 mile mark.

Thanks again in advanced.

Hope all is well.

- Justin
 

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Super Moderator
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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2,713 Posts
Justin you need to check out the following topic as it is where you will find how to correctly diagnose the cause of your problem.


If you need specific help about P0420 that is the topic to ask in.

Hope this helps,

Seagrass
 

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Super Moderator
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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2,713 Posts
Justin you should check your fuel filter "O" ring as I believe your vehicle is fitted with a fuel filter that can have the "O" ring fail which results in poor fuel pressure and then the vehicle stalling as you ahve described.

Seagrass
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Justin you should check your fuel filter "O" ring as I believe your vehicle is fitted with a fuel filter that can have the "O" ring fail which results in poor fuel pressure and then the vehicle stalling as you ahve described.

Seagrass
I will look into this!

Thanks so much, I replied to your other message, and am going to remove this post as I posted in your suggested thread instead.

My apologies for replying to you on different posts as well, I am new to this site.

Thanks so much,

- Justin
 
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