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2015, Outback, 2.5 Limited
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Ok, few weeks ago my car shows me SRVD disabled. I checked the owner's manual and made an appointment with my dealer last Friday. After 3 hours of waiting, service agent told me that they don't know what exactly is the problem, but possibly the left sensor is broken, or the bracket is misaligned. Because the technician saw a damage on my rear left bumper. And their diagnostic system (presumably SSM3/4) was unable to communicate with my cars, because my aftermarket LED light bulbs and HID headlights. Hence, they are unable to fix it under my extended warranty.

Therefore, they told me if I was to fix it, I would have to pay $2000-$12,000, and it would take 4 hours to disassemble the rear bumper, and replace the sensor, with additional 3 hours for sensor calibration. And for the calibration part, they have to take my car to a different shop where there is no sunlight. blah blah blah. Yea sure, they seriously think I would believe them with all the BS, and spending $2000-$12,000 to fix it. I mean I'm not an expert on radio frequency, or any of related field. But I highly doubted the part of have to calibrated without sunlight and 3 hours of time. So, I paid the $200 service fee for nothing, and went back home. Think about it, if there's interference from the sunlight, would the calibration including both sunlight and no sunlight conditions? We don't just drive the car at night right? Anyway, below is the picture of what their technician claimed, rear left bumper damage.

IMG_0393.jpeg

When I got back home, I used my own VCX interface box and SSM4 2018.01 to access my car. Guess what, I am able to pull out all the information, DTCs without right a way without any problem. The first DTC B14A1 is because I was doing it at the night. As you can see the Blind Spot system did have problem with DTC B2329, with SRVD System fail flag set to fail in the detailed monitor data on the right side of the sensor, the opposite of what dealer was suggested.

IMG_0322.jpeg
Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 9.58.48 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 9.59.46 PM.png

Ok, now I have the identified the DTC code is time to Google. After an hour searching about related issues and potential fixes, I got no luck. However, I did found out the Subaru Technical Information System (STIS). I created an account and paid 3 days subscription of $34.95, then searched everything using my VIN number and downloaded everything, the service bulletins, service manuals, etc.

According to the service manual, First step, I need to check the sensor physical condition to make sure the sensor is electronically working, and the bracket is attached firmly and properly to the chassis. After taken out of the rear bumper and close inspection, there is no physical damage to the sensor and bracket is firmly attached.

IMG_0381.jpeg
IMG_0382.jpeg

Next step, following the service manual is sensor alignment. Which require a radar reflector, and some positioning and measuring steps. The radar reflector tool kit number is [SOA321103] with a price tag of $216.61, you can find it on Bosch Automotive Service Solutions website.

Side track, I had to create an aftermarket account to order from the website. I received an email from them the next day after I placed my order. Apparently their system is having a glitch, they didn't get my payment information. I called them and provide payment information again as instructed in the email. But wired things just kept happening. I checked my bank statement, they charged me for the parts, and refund me right after. First I thought maybe is because i am using an international credit card which was not issued by US banks, with a US billing address. Then I ordered again using my US bank debit card, the thing happened again. Maybe I am not qualified to place an order from them.

At this point, I assume I had no choice but getting the radar reflector somewhere. So I bought it on Amazon, a marine radar reflector. I am assuming that sensor alignment just need a controlled distant with a reflector to bounce the signal back to the sensor to set a base measurement. All but simple mathematic equation. I can do the calculation on any distant, if I have the base measurement by myself too. I received the reflector today, and immediately assembled it and put it on test.

The tricky part is to find the correct position to put the reflector, and because I don't have space in my garage, and sloped driveway. I have to calculate the height and distant of the reflector relative to my cars position. Thankfully all the numbers I need is on service manual.

IMG_0387.jpeg

After placed the reflector to the right location. I went back to the car where my laptop and interface box is connected. On SSM4, I started alignment process. The process took about 10 seconds and IT WORKED! [I made mistakes during the first few tries. In order for the alignment process to run properly, you have to make sure that your rear gate is closed, and your ignition to ON position, Engine cannot be running. Press ignition button twice with out pressing on the break.]

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 4.47.49 PM.png

As instructed on SSM4, I turned off my ignition, and turned back on. Then I ran SSM 4 DTC scan again, the alignment DTC code is no History category, instead of Current. I saved all the DTC information and did a test drive, everything is working fine. Now, I have confirmed everything working as expected. I cleared memory of all the previous DTC code.

Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 4.58.09 PM.png
Screen Shot 2018-10-09 at 5.12.06 PM.png

At the end, it took me total of 3 hours with to do everything, including positioning and figuring out things. Because I am not skilled mechanic and had no experience on how to fix a car problem like this. It is indeed my very first time doing such thing. Before I started all this, all I have is service manual, some common knowledge of how things works, and Google, that's it.

Here is the breakdown cost of the necessary equipments and tools:
VCX interface box ~$400
Radar Reflector ~$70
STIS Subscription =$34.95
In Total ~$505

Now think about what dealer told me about the repair process. It will took an experienced mechanic 4 hours to disassemble, replace, reattach the rear bumper, and another 3 hours to calibrate the sensor. With a service price up to $12,000.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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what dealership / stealership was this.?

I see you are around the bay area,...where they all seem to suck,....and suck the $$$. (one poster said he found one that has a labor rate of $300 per hour out there.)
 

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2015, Outback, 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #3
what dealership / stealership was this.?

I see you are around the bay area,...where they all seem to suck,....and suck the $$$. (one poster said he found one that has a labor rate of $300 per hour out there.)
The dealer I went is Putnam Subaru Burlingame. I actually bought my car there in cash, and they gave me a really good deal. Afterwards, I did all my first year paid maintenance there without problem, and it was alway fast. But after my 1st year done is where the problem started.

I wish there is something we can do as customers.
 

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On the Super Mod Squad
2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
Joined
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25,975 Posts
The dealer I went is Putnam Subaru Burlingame. I actually bought my car there in cash, and they gave me a really good deal. Afterwards, I did all my first year paid maintenance there without problem, and it was alway fast. But after my 1st year done is where the problem started.

I wish there is something we can do as customers.
we have a section for such thoughts.

https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/5-dealership-reviews/

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and here is a current thread about someone looking for a nice shop for head gasket work on a H4 2007
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/109-gen-3-2005-2009/498959-2007-outback-ll-bean-82-000-miles.html
 

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I had a similar problem with my 2015 Outback. After the SRVD disabled, I pulled the bumper cover to see of there was any physical damage. None. I went on Google and did a search for 87611AL00A (Subaru part number for the RADAR units) and found that 87611AL01A or 87611AL03A was a replacement. A place on Ebay had two of the 87611AL01A units from the same car which I bought for $60 each (it was hard to refuse a money-back guarantee). With the bumper cover still removed, installation and testing was simple. The replacement parts worked perfectly. I was so happy not have to do an alignment per above. I also bought all new bumper clips from an on-line Subaru parts place. Most of the old clips were damaged during removal.

The reason the car is on jacks and the tires removed was because this car has factory mud flaps which were difficult to remove with the tires in place. Having the tires off also made seeing what needed to be done to remove the bumper cover easier.
 

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I had a similar problem with my 2015 Outback. After the SRVD disabled, I pulled the bumper cover to see of there was any physical damage. None. I went on Google and did a search for 87611AL00A (Subaru part number for the RADAR units) and found that 87611AL01A or 87611AL03A was a replacement. A place on Ebay had two of the 87611AL01A units from the same car which I bought for $60 each (it was hard to refuse a money-back guarantee). With the bumper cover still removed, installation and testing was simple. The replacement parts worked perfectly. I was so happy not have to do an alignment per above. I also bought all new bumper clips from an on-line Subaru parts place. Most of the old clips were damaged during removal.

The reason the car is on jacks and the tires removed was because this car has factory mud flaps which were difficult to remove with the tires in place. Having the tires off also made seeing what needed to be done to remove the bumper cover easier.
Hey Jander, is there a unit per side? Or is it just one unit? What is the part number for each side? Thanks in advance.
 

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I’M trying to do the exact thing...

1) which specific radar reflector did you buy from amazon? how was reflector mounted?

2) your screenshots show SSM4 software running but the vxdiag only supports SSM-III software what did you do to get past the “enter activation code” when SSM4 starts?

thanks In advance!!!


update:
just bought a $25 radar reflector and the vxdiag, then just cleared the LH and RH Radar memories and did the calibration. Worked like a charm. Dealer wanted $1500 to replace both sensors at $450 each and labor... there was nothing wrong with either of them. Just because it through a code that ”lost contact with slave” once. Pulled the wiring Harness off and re-seating the harness did the trick To enable communications. Did this without removing the bumper
 

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Registered
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I’M trying to do the exact thing...

1) which specific radar reflector did you buy from amazon? how was reflector mounted?

2) your screenshots show SSM4 software running but the vxdiag only supports SSM-III software what did you do to get past the “enter activation code” when SSM4 starts?

thanks In advance!!!


update:
just bought a $25 radar reflector and the vxdiag, then just cleared the LH and RH Radar memories and did the calibration. Worked like a charm. Dealer wanted $1500 to replace both sensors at $450 each and labor... there was nothing wrong with either of them. Just because it through a code that ”lost contact with slave” once. Pulled the wiring Harness off and re-seating the harness did the trick To enable communications. Did this without removing the bumper
Hey IdahoPat,
Could you do a quick step by step?
&
What do you mean the wiring harness and re-seating the harness?
 
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