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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wife had the Outback (sorry.. haha..) but she called me on the phone saying that:
  • Engine light was on (solid)
  • "slipping car" light was on (solid)
  • Cruise control light was blinking
  • "BRAKE" light was blinking
(.. and from what I can see the above stuff is fairly common...)
but (when I had the car later I also noticed that) something under the hood makes a fluttering/rattling sound when you accelerate gently.
Noise does not happen when in idle and pushing the gas gently.

Anyone any idea what this could be? (no time anymore today to run it by autozone or anything for a code)

Outback 2010 with about 91k miles
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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codes 'usually' help quite a bit.

any service or wrecks recently? did this begin immediately after refueling?

fluttering could be a partially shredded accessory belt I guess.......have you listened under the hood? is the sound left/right/center, etc.?

I suppose you could write down you radio station presets, then, do a battery disconnect reset. The may be 2-3 ways to do it successfully, one way would be to disconnect the negative (black) terminal from the battery, wrap it in a piece of old toweling or a coupla layers of rag, secure it away from the batt. terminal, step on the brake pedal (in case some component stores a residual charge - unlikely really) then, reconnect. See if the code comes back and/or if the problem is better. Might even require 2-3 'drive cycles' to happen again.

You can get an ELM327 BT device or similar for a very reasonable price. It and an app for your phone (Torque Lite or Piston) will allow you to retrieve codes yourself.(and get more detailed data)
 

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2013 3.6R Limited
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Gotta read the OBDII codes first. We're all just guessing until you do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright time for more info! Codes: P0171 (system too lean (bank1)) and C0057 (engine system)
As far as p0171 they (autozone) had more info: probable causes: 1. Faulty MAF sensor, 2. Large vacuum leak, 3. Low fue pressure, 4. Plugged injector or cylinder misfire.
No info on C0057.

thank you all for the quick responses.. very much appreciated and encouraging to see people involved and caring!

I hope to post some videos of the noise later..
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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Given the sound reported earlier, I'd search for a vacuum leak.
 

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I concur.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just curious.. after checking out all kinds of video's.. is this rod knock? (I certainly hope it isn't)

A family member (used to be mechanic) did a quick look over and he didn't think it would be a vacuum leak.. but he was able to listen to it (stethoscope kind of thing) and it came from the engine, left and right side..
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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used oil analysis can often pin-down things like rod/bearing/piston slap produced metallic wear.

Weak timing belt tensioner can also mimic rod knock. (you probably saw that Youtube video too?)

rod knock seems to get louder and more 'aggressive' sounding with rpm increase. Weak timing belt tensioner knock may 'come-and-go' at different rpms.

maybe someone with more experience has better ideas for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you, 1 Lucky Texan, appreciate the feedback.
The "knock", even though it sounds more like a chirp, is sometimes worse with rpm increase. BUT.. and that's the weird thing: Sometimes it's barely noticable. It's always different, no matter how much I've been in the car. It can be pretty bad starting after 5 minutes when the motor was cold.. and after driving for another 10 minutes, stop the car and go shopping.. and half an hour later, while driving back there hardly isn't any noise. I would expect with rod knock, that it would be consistent when the motor is warm. So perhaps it is a weak timing belt tensioner..

I did an oil change already and didn't ask for an analysis unfortunately. I did this oil change about 5600 miles after the previous oil change; Right before the oil change my family member checked the oil and told me that there was too much oil (on the rod)... Yes, "too much".. not what I expected; So it's not like the oil was too low.

Unfortunately no one in my area seems to be having experience with checking out Subaru's.. the closest dealer is about an hour drive. I'll probably have to give them a call to have them check it out..
 

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(formerly) 03 H6 OBW , (presently) 06 WRX Sportwagon & 2021 Honda CR-V
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dutch, in a new thread, ask for a recommendation for a soob-friendly independent mech. near your town. Someone may know of a shop you could try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Alrighty.. time for a 'final' response:
1. There was a bug on the mass airflow sensor:

.. removing that fixed all the lights on the dash...

2. Two idler pulleys were going bad and were replaced. After that (and a tank of good gasoline) took away the weird fluttering. My guess is that most of the issues came from bad gasoline.. weird, but it's the only thing I can think of. The mechanic said that they weren't able to reproduce the noise.. and since they are over an hour away I wasn't able to simply hop over and show them.

The noise is gone (for 98% at least) and no more flashing lights on the dashboard. Onward!
 

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Great to hear you got it worked out. Weird though. I can see the MAF causing the P0171 fault. But the ABS items? I have the same warning lights with the C0057 code and a P0031 (H2O sensor) on a 2010 model. Did the shop confirm that they fixed the ABS (VDC) warning light or did they just clear the C0057 code?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Great to hear you got it worked out. Weird though. I can see the MAF causing the P0171 fault. But the ABS items? I have the same warning lights with the C0057 code and a P0031 (H2O sensor) on a 2010 model. Did the shop confirm that they fixed the ABS (VDC) warning light or did they just clear the C0057 code?
As far as the ABS items goes.. absolutely no clue. From what I can see, it's "normal" for Subaru's to start a Christmas lights show on the dashboard for just one "information mismatch". Normally you'll see 1 light show up on the dash for most car models, but not Subaru's. Hence looking up the codes. As far as the C code goes.. my guess this had to do with the bad gasoline and perhaps the idler pulleys.. Other than that, yes, I was not able to find anything on the C code anywhere online. Nothing ever indicated it was an Engine code (except the readout by Autozone).
The shop did their own readout of the system. Not sure if they had it reset first, then a test drive till the lights come back on and then do a readout.. not sure. But they did NOT get the C0057 code.
They went over the engine, cleaned the bug off of the sensor and reset the code. Nothing came back after that..
 

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Thanks for the feed back. Making me think I should pursue the H2O sensor and consider the ABS faults as nuisance.
 

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Think you're right. However part of my trouble is the codes won't clear. Tried with 2 different scanners and battery disconnect.
 
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