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08 Outback XT Limited MT
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Figured I might as well start a thread on this one too if I'm here about the swaylinks.

Two days before I took the car in to the dealer for them to tell me I should replace my whole new aftermarket sway bar with a stock one to fix my noise 馃檮 I also picked up a CEL. Of course they wouldn't even read the code without an hour diagnostic, so after I picked the car up from them I swung by autozone and pulled the code. P2096 which according to them is lean post cat.

The code stayed on for about 30 miles, went off for 5 miles, came back on, and then went off again 5 miles later. It's been over 100 miles since then and it hasn't come back.

One of my last two gas top offs before the code occurred I pulled away from the pump and suddenly was unsure whether I had actually put premium in, and seemed like I might have grabbed the handle on the wrong side from being used to a different gas station, but I didn't get the receipt and I can't be sure at this point. Could a partial tank of regular cause that code? I'm running the tank down to about 1/8 before I fill it again, just in case.

There were no drivability issues or signs of trouble from the car other than the light, but it's hard to be totally sure because it also happened right when I was driving like a granny because of a not yet diagnosed suspension clunk.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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914 Posts
Code P2096 stands for 鈥減ost catalyst fuel trim system too lean (bank 1)." Lower octane fuel wouldn't cause that. With a turbo engine, there is concern that a lean condition can do damage. Lean combustion under boost is much hotter than normal, which can burn valves. I suggest driving the car very gently, at lower speeds, and as little as possible until the issue is resolved. The cause might be something like a bad injector.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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1,326 Posts
You might want to put a can of this in the tank.


Walmart has it for a little less money.
I do that in the Fall for my cars. It helps keep the system clean and dry.

You can drive the car on the highway at normal speeds to help use up the gas, if needed. Both my turbocars have custom tunes for 93 octane, there are states near me that only have 91 octane. I just drive a little easy until I can get back to fill the tank with 93 when I travel to those states.

Not sure if you've owned the XT for a long time ? These cars need TLC to stay running well.

There are some easy things you can do that don't cost much to help it run well.
Clean MAF sensor yearly and keep the air filter clean.
There are two ground wires under the engine that tend to fall apart over time. They can be replaced with any homemade ground cable.

Anyways, try a can of fuel system cleaner and maybe reset the ECU. After that tank full if that CEL is still there.

Lot's of help here so keep us updated.
 

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08 Outback XT Limited MT
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The CEL hasn't been on in 100 miles. It was only on briefly. I'm trying to determine if it was an intermittent problem such as inappropriate or contaminated gas, or if it's something I actually need to worry about and track down.

It probably is time to clean my K&N again and the MAF again though, I should do that this weekend.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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2,861 Posts
If the code is no longer active then the condition that set the code is no longer active.

As this happened after filling up at an unfamiliar fuel station then like you, I would be suspect of the quality of the fuel.

Drive the vehicle and if the DTC code returns you will need to diagnose further. In the mean time cleaning the air filter, adding injector cleaner and cleaning the MAF will do no harm.

Seagrass
 

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08 Outback XT Limited MT
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
If the code is no longer active then the condition that set the code is no longer active.
That's true, but my concern is whether a condition is still present, just under the threshold to set a code.
I suppose to learn that I'd have to pick up a cable and hook phone or laptop up to log data while I drive around...probably something I should own anyway.

As this happened after filling up at an unfamiliar fuel station then like you, I would be suspect of the quality of the fuel.

Drive the vehicle and if the DTC code returns you will need to diagnose further. In the mean time cleaning the air filter, adding injector cleaner and cleaning the MAF will do no harm.

Seagrass
Agreed, just put a bottle of lucas and almost 14 gallons of fresh fuel in. Hopefully this is a one off occurrence.

Edit to add:
I'm also a little leery since the last couple of fillups, the reported fuel economy has been different than my calculated fuel economy. They're never exactly the same but, for example, on the last fill the 'average fuel economy' display for the trip odometer read almost 20mpg while my calculation of mileage / fuel replaced was in the low 18s. (I wrote down both numbers but they're in the car at the moment.) I don't remember it usually being that far off.
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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1,326 Posts
Make sure you only lightly oil the K&N filter.
 

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Figured I might as well start a thread on this one too if I'm here about the swaylinks....

One of my last two gas top offs before the code occurred I pulled away from the pump and suddenly was unsure whether I had actually put premium in, and seemed like I might have grabbed the handle on the wrong side from being used to a different gas station, but I didn't get the receipt and I can't be sure at this point. Could a partial tank of regular cause that code? I'm running the tank down to about 1/8 before I fill it again, just in case.
I'm just thinking.... wouldn't it be better to put in high-octane fuel as soon as possible to raise the level of octane in the tank rather than using up the entire low-octane fuel, that is, running the tank down to 1/8 full?
 

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05 GT wagon, 09 Spec B, 18 3.6R Outback
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I'm just thinking.... wouldn't it be better to put in high-octane fuel as soon as possible to raise the level of octane in the tank rather than using up the entire low-octane fuel, that is, running the tank down to 1/8 full?

I think in the overall average, it's better to run all the lower octane fuel out first.

I'm sure some "math" person will come on now and say I'm wrong.

But in the real world...does it really matter as long as you just drive it easy until you can fill the tank with 93 or 91 octane.
 

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08 Outback XT Limited MT
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71 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Given that the questionable fill was only a partial fill up anyway, and I was also concerned about possibly low quality or contaminated gas and not just whether I put the right octane in (I may have - or I may not have - I couldn't remember for sure 5 minutes later, much less now ;) ) I figured it made more sense to minimize how much of it I used going forward into later tanks of gas. I ran it down and refilled now. Probably had about 3, 3.5 gallons in the tank when I refilled.
 
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