Subaru Outback Forums banner
1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Speedometer Vehicle Plant Tachometer White


Hi all,

my wife has a 2012 Subaru Outback. She noticed that when Idling for a few minutes, her low tire pressure light will blink 4 times and then 5-10 seconds later 4 other lights blink once. It’s the abs light, traction control, traction control off, and the brake light. It blinks once only. The process release about 5-10 minutes later.

I’ve searched high and low, but haven’t seen others with this issue. Any ideas?

also, she just informed me her sunroof only opens halfway and it takes 4 pushes if the button to close. Icleaned and regressed the track, but no luck. Anyone know if there is a reset process I could try?

thanks!

Doug Esper in Cleveland

Speedometer Vehicle Plant Tachometer White
 

·
Super Moderator
Outback 2011 3.6R Premium (sold Jan 22)
Joined
·
3,180 Posts
I suspect one or all of your tyres have low pressure.

Once this is detected by the vehicle I am guessing it is trying to advise you that the other safety features can or may be compromised by an under inflated tyre. Once you are moving and the tyres warm up, the tyre pressure increases enough to turn off the warning light.

First thing to do is check your tyre pressures with a known good pressure gauge.

Seagrass
 
  • Like
Reactions: cardoc

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

sorry, I was too brief. I have filled up the tires and took it to an oil change place to fill them in case the gage at my gas station is off, but they said the tires were good.
min going through this forum it’s pretty wacky to see the massive amounts of people with unexplained lights without Subarus clearing things up to prevent people from getting swindled on needless repairs.

thanks for the reply!
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,650 Posts
Let me clear it up for you.

Go to your battery and the grounding. The lights coming on, the sunroof operation, there's probably some other things that your wife hasn't noticed with the car and it's probably all related to the battery being weak or the ground is bad or both.

And no matter what Subaru puts in their service materials they cannot control what the dealership service personnel or independent shops do to screw people over. That's just all there is to it. So you don't blame Subaru for the crooked shops and service centers. You blame the people that are running them. Because they either train their people to screw people over, or it's because they don't train their people to properly diagnose a vehicle when it comes in with problems. Guess work and throwing parts at a car is common practice in majority of shops around the world. It's up to you to find the shop that's not going to screw you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
hi,

thanks. I’ll check the battery. We have always had our car serviced at the Subaru dealership. As for blaming Subaru, if I had a few very common/very well known issues with my cars, I would put it in the cars handbook/on our website and arm the dealerships with the proper knowledge to handle it. ****, they could email info or call…lots of easy ways, so yes, I blame them as well as the folks at the dealership.
Thanks

Let me clear it up for you.

Go to your battery and the grounding. The lights coming on, the sunroof operation, there's probably some other things that your wife hasn't noticed with the car and it's probably all related to the battery being weak or the ground is bad or both.

And no matter what Subaru puts in their service materials they cannot control what the dealership service personnel or independent shops do to screw people over. That's just all there is to it. So you don't blame Subaru for the crooked shops and service centers. You blame the people that are running them. Because they either train their people to screw people over, or it's because they don't train their people to properly diagnose a vehicle when it comes in with problems. Guess work and throwing parts at a car is common practice in majority of shops around the world. It's up to you to find the shop that's not going to screw you.
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,650 Posts
@SilverOnyx can probably back me up on this. There are things that any manufacturer will put in an owner's manual and things they will not. They are not going to put repair and diagnostic information in an owner's manual because they prefer owners not touch the car because majority of people barely check their oil levels between oil changes, so why would you print a book that's a few hundred pages to let the same person try to work on the car. Subaru (SOA in the states) has a number for owners to call when they believe there is an issue with service at the dealership. You utilize that number when necessary. If you use an independent shop, then it's up to you to make sure they know what they are doing. Ask questions at either service shop, otherwise you open yourself up for them to talk you into anything. When you ask questions that make them prove their point, ask them to show you. If they can't, take your car and leave.

When I say that the materials are made available to the service departments, I mean all the information is made available to the service departments. You too can have the same materials. Peruse here: Subaru Factory Service Manuals (FSM) - Every Model - USDM/EU

Subaru designs and builds cars. The dealership is a subsidiary that is given permission to sell their products and service them with the service materials Subaru provides. If I build an engine and give you a schedule of maintenance and checks and you don't follow it, it's not my problem, it's yours. If you want specific information on the engine I build, I'll give it to you, or make it available to you so you can do as you please. Subaru has done that. Subaru as a builder is not the issue.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
15,396 Posts
I don't know if @cardoc ever needs backup - but owner's manuals are definitely not mechanical full disclosure and there are numerous reasons why information may be withheld, some of it legal, or other considerations that aren't necessarily made for the sole benefit of the owner. It's why sometimes the owner's manual in one country will differ from that in another country even though they are the same exact engines (mechanically).

You'll notice that owner's manuals from decades ago will show you different oil viscosities for different weather conditions. New owner's manuals only list the specific oil viscosity used in EPA cycle testing - this seems to be across-the-board for all manufacturers (if I'm wrong let me know) so I think it's a regulatory issue.

And I am certain that dealerships do not always follow Subaru's instructions for many reasons - this applies to almost any organization where management insists on high work volume and doesn't compensate staff for doing mundane things like reading notices. Not to say they're all that way, but it's very very common. I suspect that's why when the second set of ECU flashes for the 2020 Outback came out, dealerships were doing it wrong - they didn't bother to read the updated instructions, or if they did, they just skimmed it and since it "looked the same" they did it they way they did it the last time, which was wrong for this time. They're being paid by the procedure so it's in their self-interest to just do as many things as they can quickly. Time consuming diagnosis may not pay as well as simply throwing parts at a problem as long as the customer is willing to pay.

That's why finding an independent trustworthy shop is super important for any vehicle that's out of warranty. Dealerships are increasingly owned and operated by large dealership groups that attend seminars on how to increase revenue, put service advisors on commission enticing them to rack up charges, etc. Even the "free multi point inspection" isn't for your benefit - it's to give them opportunities to upsell you to unnecessary services.

Stopping here before it becomes too much of a rant.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cardoc

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yep, all of what you said is valid. No one is arguing that dealerships are shady.
I’ve been in business a longtime myself, so what I’m saying is that it would take Subaru almost no effort at all to create a page listing some common warning light combos to help their customers diagnose problems/fix it themselves/or at least avoid getting swindled. That’s good business and the least they could do.
 

·
Premium Member
2020 Onyx
Joined
·
15,396 Posts
Unfortunately I don't think there is a list of comprehensive light flashing sequences that substitute for a thorough diagnosis using their proprietary SSM4 and other diagnostic test.
 
  • Like
Reactions: cardoc

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,650 Posts
There are hundreds of faults that light up the dash. The lights are there to get your attention and let you know something is wrong in one or more of the systems on the car. The next thing to do is to perform a full scan of the systems and see what faults are there. Sometimes the fault is spot on to the problem, other times it takes a skilled person to determine what is really the core issue. Look at my P0420 Diagnosis thread and you'll see a perfect example. There's not always a spot on repair for a single fault code or series of lights.

If you want to be proactive in diagnosing you car when things pop up, it takes more than a list of possibilities. First you need a good diagnostic computer with the proper software to communicate with the car. These run from $650 up to $5k or more plus update costs. One of my Autel units was $1k and updates are $500ish annually. (It's capable of communicating with every car manufactured in the world and can also perform active testing and programming.)

Next, you need to understand first and foremost electricity and electrical flow. With that, you have to understand how the computers communicate using voltage signals and how the computers determine issues using resistance or voltage feedback on top of knowing how the computers operate outputs based on input. Then there's how to check voltage, resistance, conductance and how it's connected to supply; the battery. Everything has its place in an electrical diagram as well as the CAN and LAN communication networks so you need to be able to read and understand these diagrams.

Next comes everything mechanical from the engine to trans, suspension and steering, bearings and brakes, seats, wipers, switches, etc. You would need to know how a combustion engine operates, how that trans or CVT works, the design of the differentials, hydraulics, geometry, the dynamics of air flow and pressure, and the list goes on. Knowing these things is part of problem solving when a noise pops up, vibrations start at different engine speeds, loads or gear ratio, fuel consumption increases, or the car just doesn't feel right.

It also helps to know how the interior and exterior are put together because sometimes you have to take things apart to get to the problem.

And everything has to work in conjunction with limited room for error. Especially on a Subaru, and a few other manufacturers that operate the same, where the engine, trans and braking systems, and on more recent models, the electric steering, work together to correct for road surface issues or the driver's faults.

So from a loose gas cap, low or dirty oil, or worse a part failure in the drivetrain, any fault in one area affects the operation of the whole and you have to know how to find it. And as @SilverOnyx posted, guesswork and laziness vs actual testing determine whether the real issue is repaired. Sometimes I find the problem in a couple minutes while sitting in the driver seat, other times I'm taking things apart to get to where I need to check and verify the fault source. For me it's a daily and when someone posts a question I can point them in the right direction that is sometimes spot on and at other times requires a bit of investigation.

You cannot repair a car with a pair of pliers and a screw driver any more. Those days are long gone. And things are not always what they appear to be which means there's not a single answer to a singular fault majority of the time.

You either engrose yourself in learning everything about the car bumper to bumper and invest in the various tools to do diagnostics and repair, or, as things come up you come back here and post a thread on it and someone will give you direction on the possibilities so you can either do it yourself or at least understand what may be at fault so you don't get screwed at a repair shop.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Cardoc,

Go back and read what you wrote and then ask yourself: are there a couple small steps Subaru could take to help their customers avoid trouble and extra bills?

I’ll help you, the answer is yes, which is why I mentioned it in my post. It’s okay if you disagree, pal. You are in here trying to help more than they are.
have a great weekend.

doug
 

·
Premium Member
01 VDC, 05 R Sedan, 06 BAJA EJ257
Joined
·
16,650 Posts
I'm having a busy weekend starting the move into the new house. 😁

They do give you information to avoid trouble and extra bills. It's called a maintenance schedule.

The point I'm attempting is the manufacturers are not going to openly publish all the information about their cars. It's proprietary and keeping the information limited helps to keep their systems closed to theft. Take Toyota and their hybrid systems as an example. There are some things in the operation of the cars that you will not find anywhere unless someone that's had access to that information posted it up on the web somewhere. And if someone did, then they've essentially broken an agreement with Toyota and have opened themselves up to litigations. These systems are patent and kept hushed for many reasons, but the basic of it is to do what they can to keep their systems theirs.

If you have any input as to what you would like Subaru and SOA to accomplish with the availability of information for the owner, then I suggest you contact them directly. Most of the Subaru engineers are open to discussions; to a point. Depending on what you ask will depend on whether you get a straight answer or the run around.

Something else to consider is the cost associated with making materials available, whether just a small amount or vast. Someone has to organize the data, build the presentation so it's understood by lay persons, and then either print or make it available on a website. And when I say lay person I mean someone who is not familiar with the name or description of a part or system, so that means building a definitions list as well for all the systems, explain the concepts of electricity and communications networks, and providing a diagnostic tree for whatever it is you are trying to diagnose This cost will be transferred to the buyer increasing the price of a vehicle. Manufacturers aren't going to eat costs. No business would.

That's why there are schools people go to in order to learn these things. It's the reason for OTJ training. It's the reason there's a whole industry based solely on automotive technology, engineering and science.
 

·
Registered
2021 Premium
Joined
·
110 Posts
Low tire pressure light....takethe car to a reputable tire shop, they should have a tester to see check the output of the tire pressure monitor inise the tire. The reason I say this is my tire shop broke one of mine and a few days later the low tire light came on...took vehicle to them and yep they replace that tire pressure monitor in the tire, problem solved.
As far as your flashing lights....disconnect battery for a while and reconnect and see what happens.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top