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2014 Diesel with very low mileage and well housed and looked after... but not necessarily confined to Gen 4.

Issue: Suspected flaky computer issues.

Why raise it here? Of course, there is the hope that someone can help put a finger on the problem. However, I suspect flaky, common enough, computer issues. These may be misleading many owners to expensive "repairs" (i.e. leading them to fix things that are expensive to fix but do not really need fixing) while the owners/repairers remain none the wiser. That is, I also want to raise awareness. There is a real possibility this is an issue to which Subaru is turning a blind eye.

Symptoms: Simultaneous light indications of a fault, being amber engine light, amber brake warning light, flashing cruise control light. Also, the cruise control really cannot be activated. Happens shortly after starting but the cars runs OK. The symptoms disappeared after stopping but only after several restarts.

Curiosity: Only happened twice but did so in proximity to the same location, six months apart, without going anywhere nearby between the two occurrences). What the locations have in common is a power substation in between (suggesting electromagnetic wave interference is the issue ... i.e. the circumstances give it a low likelihood of it happening in the same location being mere coincidence). The first time it happened it prevented the car from starting a few times, after having driven it away from the site of origin, but not the second time.

Other possibility: May be the issue initiated by flattened battery some time before the initial event. The battery was removed, recharged and replaced. This should not initiate the issue, but it is a 'flaky' issue.

Other symptoms: On the second occasion roadside assistance (of which I am a member) was available. Roadside assistance read the computer code which indicated something to do with shaft location. Roadside assistance could not clear the error but said it was safe to drive but recommended getting the sensor replaced. Roadside assistance also said the sensor was a diagnostic tool rather than a safety issue. However, roadside assistance also the engine should not start with this fault. In addition, roadside assistant agreed that the flashing cruise control light is irrelevant to the 'issue' indicated by the code. Also, noticed occasional weak acceleration.

I cannot fault the help and advice of my roadside assistance given the situation as it presented itself. However, consideration of all the circumstances make it highly likely the computer diagnostics are flawed.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
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age of the battery? age of the battery wires? old batteries and old wires make for a "christmas tree" effect of flashing lights on the dashboard. (typically phantom check engine codes that mean nothing, ...just that all the systems are complaining.).

________

did they give you any codes ? or a print out.?

when you say "roadside assistance" is this just some person with a tow truck,?

or a actual subaru tech from the dealer that knows something about subarus and diesel subarus. as they work with them all day long.

_______

edit: and for those playing along at home, this is a aussie car in summer now, vs. a european one enjoying 6 more weeks of winter
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Roadside assistance in this case is a well known and reputable motoring organisation.

I am sorry if you mean well but it is obviously not a "Christmas tree" effect, which happens for low voltage, for example, and your comments do not apply.

I have since discussed it with a 'subaru tech' but the problem has gone. Given the nature of the problem it is not worth spending lots of money on a fishing expedition. The tech did, however, appreciate the problem and offered to read the problem if I come in when/if it happens again and if I get there with a 'live' problem. As for the 'actual subaru tech' I hear you but if you are trying to suggest that an 'actual Subaru tech' will necessarily be better equipped than other reputable service technicians I am not buying it; at all. Reputable non 'Subaru techs' are the equal of 'Subaru techs'.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
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If you're gonna ignore any commentary offered on this site, why bother posting?

Also, you're wrong. "Christmas tree effect" where everything lights up is NORMAL for anything that triggers a Check Engine light. Auto makers have been doing this for years to get people to pay attention.

And maybe not in Aus, but there are big differences between Subaru folks and general mechs in the US. If that is not the case for you, consider yourself very lucky.
 

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1. as mentioned above, most new cars will disable cruise control, braking assist, traction control and other systems when any fault triggers the CEL .

2. I have had a failing battery cause spurious codes to be set so, the question about the battery is pertinent

the posts above are based on knowledge and experience and shouldn't be dismissed.

If you own a smartphone, you could investigate the many ELM327 BT adapters and an app like Torque - you could scan the ECU for DTCs immediately following illumination of a warning light.
 

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AWDFTW,

"If you're gonna ignore any commentary offered on this site, why bother posting?" I am not ignoring commentary. Your comment is arrogant and hypocritical (ignoring what I wrote in the first place). I do not have a "Christmas tree" effect, unless your idea of a "Chistmas tree effect" is an utter misnomer.

Also, if "Auto makers have been doing this for years to get people to pay attention." then that is very poor design. It may be forgivable in the low battery voltage situation but only because such a situation is easy to decipher and fix, without computer assistance.

"If that is not the case for you, consider yourself very lucky." OK, I am lucky, but that does not make you right.

If you are not going to be helpful then do not bother commenting.
 

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1 Lucky Texan,

I know a failing battery can cause spurious codes but that is not helpful, unless the cause is actually a failing battery already in quite poor condition. I do not have a failing battery and that should be clear.

I am not dismissing the comments. I am pointing out why the comments do not apply in my circumstance. Perhaps the experience and knowledge to which you refer makes those commenters presumptuously inattentive. If that is the sort of experience and knowledge I can expect then maybe I am wasting my time here.
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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Nah, your attitude is wasting our time here.

Good day.
 

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why -
...snip...Symptoms: Simultaneous light indications of a fault, being amber engine light, amber brake warning light, flashing cruise control light. Also, the cruise control really cannot be activated.
this is NOT unique to Subaru nor is it 'flaky'. The 'shaft location' code is lkkely the 'actual' problem, but there can be 2-3 other issues at work. Even rodent damage can cause a fault to be set. (it would be helpful if we had the actual DTC, the format is likely ' Pxxxx ' , like P0420)

Codes can be set in multiples, a single code will usually cause the other systems you mentioned to be disabled BY DESIGN.

it seems you may have a failing/intermittent cam or crank position sensor, but it's also quite possible there is a ground or wiring/connection problem, or a failing battery. Batteries in my part of Texas rarely last more than 3 years - even less if they have ever been totally discharged.

we don't get that engine here in the States, but we get plenty of cars with OBDII/CANBUS ECUs . being remote from the vehicle makes offering help tricky as well.
 

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A few weeks ago my check engine light came on along with a handful of other lights. Car was still running fine with no apparent problems. I pulled over and checked the codes and P0000 came up, which isn't supposed to come up at all from what I have read. It basically is a code saying no codes were found. I reset it and all the lights went out and all has been fine since then. If it doesn't occur again I'm not going to lose any sleep over it but it did seem a little strange.
 

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A few weeks ago my check engine light came on along with a handful of other lights. Car was still running fine with no apparent problems. I pulled over and checked the codes and P0000 came up, which isn't supposed to come up at all from what I have read. It basically is a code saying no codes were found. I reset it and all the lights went out and all has been fine since then. If it doesn't occur again I'm not going to lose any sleep over it but it did seem a little strange.
this was a long time ago like 1998.


I remember a ford mechanic telling me about a P0000 on a then new ranger manual trans. owner was kicking it out of gear on a local hill on a 4 lane highway and coasting down (hill is really big and straight). ford dealer guys went with the hand helds hooked up to the truck with the guy to make it pop the code.

the dealer guys called ford corp mechanics to ask them what P0000 would mean ? took them a day to get back and they asked
"how big is that hill, and can the truck go 60 plus miles per hour out of gear going down the hill for more then 45 ? seconds, without anyone touching any pedals"

Michigan being flat no hills like that to be had.
but they said the ECU was looking for data and its posting a P0000 for lack of input, and is kind of timing out and popping the check engine light.

and they at ford corp just recommended the guy put it back into top gear sooner.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
1 Lucky Texan,

So, let me use your quote of me get the notion of a 'Christmas light display' (all lights flashing) out of the way. The notion a “Christmas light display" does not apply to my circumstance.

I appreciate what you say about the difficulty of helping but that is part of the point. The shaft location could be the real problem, but you obviously acknowledge that code could be misleading. It is unconvincing that is the actual problem with reasonable likelihood to justify the expense of replacing the sensor.

I understand the point about battery failure. However, my battery was checked after the first incident and other indications are that my battery is fine. Comments about the battery being the possible cause are fine but there seems to be a preoccupation to blame the battery. (By the way, given that it does respond with a “christmas light display” on low battery voltage, the fact that I do not get a christmas light display is indicative that it is not a battery problem. I am not ruling out the possibility that it still could be a problem; only that fault indication could be much better handled).

I understand the point about loose wires but there are contraindications to it being a loose wire.

"Codes can be set in multiples, a single code will usually cause the other systems you mentioned to be disabled BY DESIGN." which is only a good thing if implemented thoughtfully, comprehensively and properly.

Computers can be very helpful but can also be more of a hindrance than a help when not implemented with due forethought. I stand by my comments about the possibility that the computer is flaky because the system has not adequately coped with contraindications. It should not be this hard.

It would be nice if someone had some particular insight, but I appreciate the need for disciplined fault finding. It would be nice to get a quick solution, but I am not expecting one. As I originally wrote, part of my purpose is to raise awareness and I stand by my comments.

In summary, I appreciate your conciliatory response and the validity of what you say. At the same time, my comments remain valid.

...
By the way, lights that provide useful feedback to the driver but unnecessarily cause the driver to worry and stop driving the car should be displayed in a more thoughtful way. Unnecessary and inappropriately displayed warnings are unhelpful. If drivers come to ignore such indications, then the manufacturers have themselves to blame. Flashing all lights is an inappropriate and self defeating response which only reinforces the attitude of ignoring lights, which then becomes a reasonable attitude. Whether all manufacturer's do it is irrelevant.

False alarms cannot be eliminated, and the driver needs to be understanding of that. If a driver ignores a reasonable indication of a fault, then the driver is culpable. If faults are unnecessarily or inappropriately displayed, then the manufacturer is part of the problem.
...
 

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Discussion Starter #16
eagleeye,

"still waiting on actual codes of any kind" I am not in a position to provide them and you should be aware of that. That is, part of the problem and you should also be aware of that. In addition, that I am not in a position to provide that information part of the problem and you should also be aware of that. Furthermore, I am making a point, which you fail to acknowledge, that does not require me providing a code.

"in the meantime lets learn about interesting Australian wildlife. (wombats make cubes ...really)." your point being? I do not mind a bit of fun but it is only serving as a distraction.

Some people on this forum may well be knowledgeable and with good intentions, but at the same time their overconfidence and **** sureness in themselves is clearly on display in black and white (and not just in my thread).
 

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eagleeye,

And the **** in my comment is an automated substitution that implies inappropriate bad language. However, in this instance that is not the case (keep that in mind when defending Subaru as if there could not possibly be fault with their system).
 

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1 Lucky Texan,

So, let me use your quote of me get the notion of a 'Christmas light display' (all lights flashing) out of the way. The notion a “Christmas light display" does not apply to my circumstance.

I appreciate what you say about the difficulty of helping but that is part of the point. The shaft location could be the real problem, but you obviously acknowledge that code could be misleading. It is unconvincing that is the actual problem with reasonable likelihood to justify the expense of replacing the sensor.

I understand the point about battery failure. However, my battery was checked after the first incident and other indications are that my battery is fine. Comments about the battery being the possible cause are fine but there seems to be a preoccupation to blame the battery. (By the way, given that it does respond with a “christmas light display” on low battery voltage, the fact that I do not get a christmas light display is indicative that it is not a battery problem. I am not ruling out the possibility that it still could be a problem; only that fault indication could be much better handled).

I understand the point about loose wires but there are contraindications to it being a loose wire.

"Codes can be set in multiples, a single code will usually cause the other systems you mentioned to be disabled BY DESIGN." which is only a good thing if implemented thoughtfully, comprehensively and properly.

Computers can be very helpful but can also be more of a hindrance than a help when not implemented with due forethought. I stand by my comments about the possibility that the computer is flaky because the system has not adequately coped with contraindications. It should not be this hard.

It would be nice if someone had some particular insight, but I appreciate the need for disciplined fault finding. It would be nice to get a quick solution, but I am not expecting one. As I originally wrote, part of my purpose is to raise awareness and I stand by my comments.

In summary, I appreciate your conciliatory response and the validity of what you say. At the same time, my comments remain valid.

...
By the way, lights that provide useful feedback to the driver but unnecessarily cause the driver to worry and stop driving the car should be displayed in a more thoughtful way. Unnecessary and inappropriately displayed warnings are unhelpful. If drivers come to ignore such indications, then the manufacturers have themselves to blame. Flashing all lights is an inappropriate and self defeating response which only reinforces the attitude of ignoring lights, which then becomes a reasonable attitude. Whether all manufacturer's do it is irrelevant.

False alarms cannot be eliminated, and the driver needs to be understanding of that. If a driver ignores a reasonable indication of a fault, then the driver is culpable. If faults are unnecessarily or inappropriately displayed, then the manufacturer is part of the problem.
...
I don't think I have used the phrase "christmas tree light display" in this thread. Even if I had, it is a somewhat descriptive slang term used occasionally to refer to the appearance of the combination meter when a DTC is set on cars newer than about 2005/2006 (about the time CANBUS was implemented?) here in the USA. Before that time only the CEL would be illuminated, or possibly flashing for continued misfiring. And again, other makes of cars nowadays will disable cruise control and traction assist and other systems when any DTC is recorded by the ECU. Indeed, some cars will go into 'limp' mode and limit rpms to 3000 or similar. It may be annoying, it may be overkill, it may be distracting, but it is quite common across manufacturers. We commonly advise people to visit a car parts retailer to have them read stored or pending codes so they can post specifics here. It's easy to find definitions for the codes on-line. Also, we have several members who are professional mechanics and they often have intimate knowledge of more common failure modes.

We are not just defending Subaru, indeed we have encouraged people on occasion to report failures both to SOA (Subaru of America, they frequently push dealers to do more extensive testing/repairs) and NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, they instigate mandatory recalls here). I have also read posts where people were encouraged to pursue State 'Lemon Laws' to get satisfaction when a car is frequently in the shop for the same unsolved problem. Perhaps you should pursue any similar avenues available in Oz.

At this point, we just do not have enough information to offer anything other than the general ideas mentioned.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
"I don't think I have used the phrase "christmas tree light display" in this thread." Not directly but you leapt to the defence of another that did. In particular, AWDFTW misrepresented me and was wrong when he wrote "Also, you're wrong. "Christmas tree effect" where everything lights up is NORMAL for anything that triggers a Check Engine light."

"We are not just defending Subaru". Who are "we"? Some of the responses and the course of this thread suggest otherwise. It has reinforced my suspicion that computer handling of problems is less than satisfactory and deserves the description 'flaky'.

"At this point, we just do not have enough information to offer anything other than the general ideas mentioned." As I have already explained, that is reasonable, I get it and I do not expect otherwise.

I will further add that eagleeye has a style that can reasonably thought of as intimidating and/or offensive, although eagleeye may be oblivious to the fact. That is something I encourage others to stand up to. Chronic failure to properly read what I have written and assuming they necessarily know better has been the problem here. Not a good look for the Super Moderators.

I do not have an issue with you and having made my point, which I anticipate some others may appreciate, I will make no more comment. There may be a silver lining to this dark cloud.
 

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Gentlemen,
This diagnostic is about as simple as it gets. Despite providing no usable info or clues other than 3 warning lights on the dash came on, a mystery shaft and an unknown sensor, efforts to explain why the lights came on and a few other suggestions have all been summarily dismissed with prejudice. It is obvious then that the OP is looking to have his diagnosis of a flaky computer being the problem confirmed by someone else. So OP, consider your diagnosis confirmed; the computer is flaky.

This issue is actually more common than many folks think and great efforts, time and money have been expended on solving the problem.
1) By far the most effective solution is to wrap the entire vehicle in aluminium foil. This has proven time and again to 100% cure a flaky computer as the result of electromagnetic wave interference. The downside though is one can't see through the windscreen to drive the vehicle.
2) Another cause is that there is too much smoke in the wires. To solve this problem, wrap just the flaky computer in aluminium foil. The trick here though is to ensure that the insulation of each wire has been cut back a bit and that the foil touches every bare wire. Powering up the system will now rid the wires of any excess smoke.
3) Of course, replacing the flaky computer with another computer (which may be just as flaky) would just eventually result in having to perform solutions 1 or 2 again.
4) Set the bloody thing alight and toast some marshmallows with friends.

:rolleyes:
 
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