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Discussion Starter #1
Scammed Outback

I didn't know it when I bought it but I just found out my '06 Outback had its check engine light tampered with. Scammer cut the wires that connect to check engine light on instrument panel. Obviously done for a reason but I need to get it resolved first before tackling code errors.

1) Can I buy a new check engine light indicator to plug/put back into panel and remove tampered one?
2) Insult to injury, cruise control also tampered with (same way). I am learning that both lights work in unison when there is a problem.
3) Do I purchase a new panel and if so, what about existing odometer miles?

I'm angry at myself and scammer but need to move forward and get this problem resolved.
Any help is appreciated!
 

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2008 Outback 2.5
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Sorry to hear about your situation.
Is there any way to resolder the wires? That would be the easiest way to solve the problem.
You don't show your location, but there may be some state laws to protect you (as a recourse) but also prevent you from replacing and transferring the mileage legally outside of a dealership or some other certified service place.

You can certainly chase down MIL codes by buying a code scanner. For your situation, a cheap Harbor Freight scanner would be a good choice. Yes you could get by with an ELM327 Bluetooth or Wifi dongle for as little as $20, but then you'll need to get an App, make sure it works, yadda yadda.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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merged duplicates.

never make such things, really mucks up the board and gives you worse responses .
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sorry. It is a 4 cyl with auto trans., non turbo. I am all for tracking down the codes but I think I need to figure out how to reconnect the check engine light. So there in lies my dilemma; can the dash light be extracted or do I need a new instrument panel and then is my odometer not accurate?
 

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'17 3.6R Touring Brillant Brown Pearl
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It all depends on how the light was cut. It might be repairable, and it might not be. Depends on how resourceful/creative you are.
 

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a new or used one should be 85023AG03A (06, plain H4 automatic). if the rest of your cluster is working probably don't need a different one. (new thats $360,...plus whatever the dealer would want to put the right miles in it).

I wonder if the ODBC port under the dash is working.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Update:

After taking the instrument cluster out, I have been able to determine that my scammer pried the LED lights out for the check engine and cruise control. The LEDs are tiny and I am guessing, the instrument cluster is junk. No way of putting those tiny LEDs back in to complete the circuit.

I could be wrong and hope somebody can point me in the right direction.

Thanks
 

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Update:

After taking the instrument cluster out, I have been able to determine that my scammer pried the LED lights out for the check engine and cruise control. The LEDs are tiny and I am guessing, the instrument cluster is junk. No way of putting those tiny LEDs back in to complete the circuit.

I could be wrong and hope somebody can point me in the right direction.

Thanks
is the on board diagnostic scanner working? I linked it before. it will tell you what the codes are that they were trying to hide.
(that lights right up in the odometer digits).
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I went to my local auto store and had the following codes show up;
P0700-auto trans control module
P1718-refer to owners manual
P1714-throttle position sensor
P1709-
P0134-O2 sensor

Quite honestly, the car runs great. No hot smells. Shifts fine, throttle response is good, no rattles.

Also, the undercarriage looks good too. No loose or hanging wires or drips
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I did try the sequence of the on board scanner but didn't have any luck, thus my trip to the parts store.
 

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the on board diagnostic system can break that p0700 and p1718, and the other p?7?? type trans codes

into more definitive codes then a parts store code reader, and might show more.

___

subarus can also be read by other subaru specific software on a windows laptop with a $11 VAG cable or dongle.
(notably FreeSSM, and fancier RomRaider, each of which I have in my own laptop).


______

good news. seems easily fixable, vs. what the jerk who had it did to the cluster. ...taking the time to pull the dash,...pull the cluster damage the little lights, and put it back in .....seems like a whole lot of busy time consuming work vs. just selling the car with the check engine light on.
 

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I did try the sequence of the on board scanner but didn't have any luck, thus my trip to the parts store.
that sometimes takes 5 tries to get the sequencing right. (not that the human is doing something wrong,...just that the car is not paying attention and listening for reasons like temps)

sometimes I have to try connecting rom-raider 3x.
but I am the one using a great = cheap $11 cable for passive reading vs.
a ritzy $168 tatrix like the turbo nuts NEED to use for their beloved chase of more power..
 

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Do you have emissions tests wherever you live. (hint: finish your profile-year, trim level, location)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
No emissions in the county where I live. However, I am one of those people who wants their stuff functional. I get where your question is going and believe me, it's crossed my mind a lot. I like the car and my wife already has a 2011 Outback. I am Subaru convert. If I can make this work and the original problem is a gremlin someone wasn't willing to put forth the effort to fix, I can deal with that. But I am also anal and don't want a 'duct tape car.'
 

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My first thought was maybe this was a flood damaged car. If the car seems to drive fine maybe water shorted something out and tripped the engine light without a physical problem. Seems like it must have been something either hard to find or expensive to fix to be worth messing with pulling the dash apart and messing with the lights.
 

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Pull a car fax to find out reasons for recent changing of hands. If an insurance co or the like shows up could indicate flood car or the like.
 

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My first thought was maybe this was a flood damaged car. If the car seems to drive fine maybe water shorted something out and tripped the engine light without a physical problem. Seems like it must have been something either hard to find or expensive to fix to be worth messing with pulling the dash apart and messing with the lights.
I would think the previous owner was scared of a handful of nebulous wimpy electrical transmission codes would stop anyone from buying the car.

(this thing is in the PNW,...where the price is high for used subarus,...and subaru parts. ...easy to get quoted $1500 for a rebuilt or used trans for this,...although it probably does not need one).
 

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You can replace the instrument cluster, but you will have to pay Subaru to do it for you.

The cluster, body integrated unit (a computer) and ignition key RFID chip are all linked together for security, including odometer integrity.

The car won't run without its own instrument cluster. Subaru needs to use their special computer to change which cluster the car "owns." That same procedure is how the new cluster inherits the odometer reading of the old cluster.
 
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