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Discussion Starter #1
I was literally in the middle of an 8 hour drive and on the George Washington Bridge in crowded NYC traffic when my ABS light came on and stayed on, the BRAKE light blinked, and the traction control light came on. Naturally panic set in but I continued driving and made it through the city no problems. A quick glance at the manual during the trip told me the ABS system was disabled but conventional brakes were fine, which was true. Cruise control was disabled which was kind of a pain on the highway, but I frankly was afraid to turn the car off. Nothing felt off so I continued on and made it home safely.

A few hours later, I got back in the car and now the lights were all off. Today, they're still off and the car is driving normally, no issues whatsoever.

So two questions: What does this combination represent (blinking BRAKE light, ABS and traction control lights fully on) and should I be concerned and take my Outback to the dealership?
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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How old is your battery? Dying batteries often cause the onboard computers to throw spurious codes and warning messages than can point to anything from the ABS system to the transmission. Then at the next start-up, all the warnings magically disappear. Until the next time it happens.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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there might also be pending codes stored. Parts store should be able to retrieve any pending codes, maybe freezeframa data (write that down too if possible), and have the battery/charging system tested.

any squealing sounds or hard steering?
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, Crimson Red Pearl
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It would help if you posted what Subaru you have (should we assume it's an Outback?), model, year, engine type....
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How old is your battery? Dying batteries often cause the onboard computers to throw spurious codes and warning messages than can point to anything from the ABS system to the transmission. Then at the next start-up, all the warnings magically disappear. Until the next time it happens.
It's the original battery, 2013 Outback. Never been changed.

there might also be pending codes stored. Parts store should be able to retrieve any pending codes, maybe freezeframa data (write that down too if possible), and have the battery/charging system tested.

any squealing sounds or hard steering?
No unusual sounds or hard steering. The lights were on, but the car drove normally aside from cruise control being disabled.

It would help if you posted what Subaru you have (should we assume it's an Outback?), model, year, engine type....
2013 Outback.
 

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Could be the o2 sensor
Mine had a loose connection. It disabled everything but I learned as long as the engine light is not flashing it's OK to drive...according to the service guy. My question at the time was something like this;
"Why oh why would so many things be disabled for one sensor" ?
He had no real answer accept. "That's how it's setup"
Now I know. Thanks
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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get the battery and charging system tested, consider a new alternator belt.
 

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2014 Outback 3.6L Limited w/eyesight system
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I bought a 2014 3.6 Limited w/eyesight. The car has all of your problems but they do not come and go like yours. It never occurred to me until now that all three issues could be from one problem. Makes a lot of sense, all of these higher level functions require their respective ECM to know wheel speed. There are several things that can happen to wheel speed sensors which are easy to check. For the sensors themselves you take a multimeter in AC mode and test each one while manually spinning the wheel (jacked up off the ground obviously). If you read any voltage move to the next one. Other things like bad connections or a damaged/chipped rotor/hub (not sure the real name for that toothed sprocket which provides the sensors their input) Did you recently get a brake job done? I think brake jobs on these cars may also have BCM electronic resets?
 

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It could be that your wheel speed sensors just need cleaning. My wife's 2006 Jaguar XK8's wheel speed sensors tend to collect road grime. Once enough grime is present on the sensor, the amber-colored ABS and/or DSC warning lights illuminate on the dashboard. The well-known fix is to remove the wheel speed sensors and scrub them with an old toothbrush using a mixture of water and Dawn dishwashing detergent. I perform this service on her car at every oil & filter change / tire rotation (6,000-mile intervals). Since the wheels are already off the car as part of my tire rotation, pulling each wheel speed sensor takes about 15 seconds (one 8mm bolt). Scrubbing it with the toothbrush takes about 30 seconds. I have been doing this routine since March 2013. She has not reported seeing any of the dashboard warning lights since then.
 
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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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It's the original battery, 2013 Outback. Never been changed.



No unusual sounds or hard steering. The lights were on, but the car drove normally aside from cruise control being disabled.



2013 Outback.
degrading battery making 95% power gives multiple lights on the dash, although the car may run fine. (systems are complaining as they are not getting 100% power that they are use to)

you have the same crap battery that they use in the 2018s,...this forum is litered with bad battery posts from 2013 - present.

here is the barn burner sticky thread on it from the gen5 section.
https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-2019/391217-gen5-replacing-original-lame-battery-better.html
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Could be the o2 sensor
Mine had a loose connection. It disabled everything but I learned as long as the engine light is not flashing it's OK to drive...according to the service guy. My question at the time was something like this;
"Why oh why would so many things be disabled for one sensor" ?
He had no real answer accept. "That's how it's setup"
Now I know. Thanks
That seems to be the case. I've googled a little bit and even a misplaced gas cap can cause weird issues like this.

get the battery and charging system tested, consider a new alternator belt.
I do believe a new battery is in order yes. I'll have those systems looked at during my next service.

It could be that your wheel speed sensors just need cleaning. .
I wouldn't discount something weird like that causing the issue because it's probable, only that the lights havent come back on since the incident. It has rained recently so maybe they got cleaned? lol Some sensor somewhere went haywire though.

Did you recently get a brake job done? I think brake jobs on these cars may also have BCM electronic resets?
No recent brake job or anything. The only unusual thing going on inside the car was an ipad plugged into a cigarette lighter adapter. I suspect it's the car battery but I'll have those sensors looked at soon.

degrading battery making 95% power gives multiple lights on the dash, although the car may run fine. (systems are complaining as they are not getting 100% power that they are use to)
Yea I'm inclined to agree it's a battery issue and frankly if that's all it is, that's fine by me. 85,000 miles on the current one seems decent anyway.
 

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SAME PROBLEM WITH MY 2010 OUTBACK,250 000 MLS -ALL LIGHTS IS ON- BRAKE,TRACTION,ABS. MY MECHANIC FIX IT . SOMEONE SAID -COMPUTER,GAS CAP,ENGINE,ETC... HE REPLACED ALTERNATOR 400$LABOR,PARTS AND PROBLEM SOLVED. CAR RUNS WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM NOW., IF YOU HAVE SAME PROBLEM I THINK THIS ALTERNATOR
 
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