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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
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    Amherst, Mass.
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    Subaru Legacy: Check Engine Light + Cruise Control Light = ?

    Quick summary:
    Check engine light came on (solid, not blinking)
    Cruise control light started blinking
    Cruise control no longer works
    Question = wait until bringing car in for regularly scheduled maintenance, or bring in ASAP? (i.e., could something else be on the verge of going wrong?)

    Details, a la Car Talk:
    Subaru Legacy sedan, 2007, purchased Oct 06
    about 56,000 miles (almost all of which are for skiing of course)
    color is blue
    first name is Jonathan (Jon, not John, and "an" at the end, not "on")
    no last names, please!
    calling from Amherst, but previously lived in Our Fair City

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Up on the hill where they do the boogie
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    Vacuum leak. First place I'd check is that little black canister. On your car I think it's on the looker's left side of the engine bay against the firewall. Make sure one of those hoses didn't come disconnected.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    crown of the continent
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    Right after you got gas? Gas cap tight? Sounds like all Suby's around that year automatically disable cruise when CEL is on, along with flashing the cruise light. Quick search leads to sensor picking up funky air/fuel mix, thru loose gas cap, alterations, etc...
    Neil Young said Harvest put him right in the middle of the road, so he headed for the nearest ditch. I think we've kind of just gone ditch to ditch to ditch a lot of the time.

    Patterson Hood of the DBT's

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tye 1on View Post
    Right after you got gas? Gas cap tight?
    Toward the beginning of a drive, after a longer drive earlier that day. Haven't gotten gas since before I flew out west in late June. Gas cap seems fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by BSS View Post
    Vacuum leak. First place I'd check is that little black canister. On your car I think it's on the looker's left side of the engine bay against the firewall. Make sure one of those hoses didn't come disconnected.
    I just checked, and here are some pics of a crack in a small-diameter accordian-style hose/tube.
    Implications beyond cruise control?






  5. #5
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    That's a wire loom. No offense at all, but you'd better bring it to a mechanic.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Seattle
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    BSS, ha ha ha. But hey, they guy knows his Dynafits!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    My Happy Place
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    Just had this happen in my 06 impreza. It was an o sensor. Some weird thing subbie has connected those two warning lights, plus the cruise stops working... I don't remember all the details, it was 4 months ago. Have a mech read the codes, fix and reset. Wasn't a big deal.

  8. #8
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    Dec 2004
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    The dealer said it sounds like it's related to emissions (which would match up w/ Tele'ndaboat experience), and that I can keep driving it if it's otherwise okay. (Made an appointment for Friday.)

    So a wire loom, is, uhh, something that just keeps a bunch of wires together and protected?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    275
    Obviously the cracked hose = problem.

    But to corroborate Tye's point and for benefit of other Subaru owners - the check engine / cruise control light can go off on that vintage Subaru, and stay on for a ridiculous length of time, if you don't fully tighten the gas cap to the point where you hear a couple of clicks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
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    REno
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    Quote Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
    Obviously the cracked hose = problem.
    cracked hose like BSS said is wire loom, and a non-issue.

    in your case, ask friends or co-workers for a auto Code Reader, or sometimes called an Auto Scanner.
    the plug will be under your steering wheel to the left, might even have a little door to open it. Read the codes yourself and you can determine the problem. cross-check them against the table listed on the website below. If you'd like to double-check the error, make sure it's not a glitch, then disconnect your battery all the way to clear the memory for the ECU and re-connect it. If it comes back, there is actually a malfunction.

    this is the easiest way to determine the meaning of the Check Engine Light. You can decipher it yourself if you can't find anyone with a Scanner, check this out. tells you how to connect the test connectors to themselves and read out the flashes of the CEL. good luck.

    http://legacycentral.org/library/literature/codes.htm
    I have a 1997 subaru legacy GT sedan, just hit 162,000 miles. this car is bomber. if i drive under 65 mph, still clear 30 mpg. w00t.
    Last edited by Spew; 07-14-2009 at 04:57 PM.

  11. #11
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    Oct 2003
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    Same thing happened to me on my 08. It was a "loose" gas cap. I guess I didn't tighten it with enough clicks. Dealer reset it in about 5 minutes.

  12. #12
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    Sep 2007
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    [QUOTE=Spew;2447003]cracked hose like BSS said is wire loom, and a non-issue.

    OK, duh. I thought Jonathan was ruling out the gas cap ... and a couple of seconds on google taught me that a "wire loom" is a cable organizer.

    And so, score one for BSS and Spew in today's round of "do you know more than a couple of liberal arts grads"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
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    das heights
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    Quote Originally Posted by ts01 View Post
    Obviously the cracked hose = problem.
    You are wrong, that's just a housing for an internal hose.

    First things first, plug in and get the codes read. I believe that pep boys ( or any store of the like) will do it for free-- call them before you drive there; some stores require a min. purchase before they will scan ur car. You will then know exactly what is causing the cel and cc light to stay on-- and can go from there. Don't waste more of your time self-diagnosing on the web- go get your codes.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    [quote=ts01;2447141]
    Quote Originally Posted by Spew View Post
    And so, score one for BSS and Spew in today's round of "do you know more than a couple of liberal arts grads"
    This game suitable for maggots age 5+.

    Quote Originally Posted by pointedem View Post
    First things first, plug in and get the codes read. I believe that pep boys ( or any store of the like) will do it for free-- call them before you drive there; some stores require a min. purchase before they will scan ur car. You will then know exactly what is causing the cel and cc light to stay on-- and can go from there. Don't waste more of your time self-diagnosing on the web- go get your codes.
    Do this. Odds are the dealer will charge (if they haven't already) something like $80 for "diagnostics". Then whatever ridiculous amount to change a simple sensor that you can buy for a few dollars. At the very least you can re-set the codes and see if it comes back.

  15. #15
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    That sure is a nifty device -- thanks for the suggestion! (So easy to use, even a liberal arts college graduate can operate it.)

    So, plugged it in and said something about emissions, along with 8 of 8 readiness indicators checking in.
    Pressed the clear code function. Lights went away and cruise control became operational again.
    However, drive was only half a mile or so, and only 4 of 8 readiness indicators were checking in so far. I'm going on a longer drive tomorrow, so I guess then I'll see whether the code reappears (and indeed there is some emissions problem) or whether it was just a temporary something-or-other...

  16. #16
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    Dec 2004
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    Drove to Boston, light stayed off.
    Drove back from Boston, and toward the end . . . light came back on?
    Hmm. Checked gas cap again. Yes, it was turned down all the way, but, hmm, seems to be easier than usual to twist off, despite being turned down all the way. Checked the rubber gasket (?) inside the cap -- ah hah, it had popped out of place, and hence wasn't seated correctly when screwed on. Problem now solved -- many thanks for all the feedback!

  17. #17
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    Oct 2003
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    Seattle
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    Why didn't you ask me about this? I have the code reader and everything! CEL timing is a fine art, especially around inspection time.

  18. #18
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    I was thrown off by all your ailing Subaru stories about visiting that mechanic west of here -- I didn't know you were into any DIY aspects!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonathan S. View Post
    I was thrown off by all your ailing Subaru stories about visiting that mechanic west of here -- I didn't know you were into any DIY aspects!
    That's the best part about a legit mechanic, he tells you when not to bring it in.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Aberdeen
    Posts
    1

    CEL+cruise flashing

    Thanks for the tips. I had the CEL on constantly and the 'cruise' flashing (& disabled) since last night when I was stick in snow in Scotland and worked the engine hard to get out. Had the ABS light on as well but that went off shortly after. Anyway, I topped up the car with gasoline (only 10 litres), tight closed the gas cap, and all was fixed - the CEL went off and the cruise works!
    I hope this lasts....

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