check engine light with flashing cruise control light

submom
90

Asked by submom Oct 29, 2011 at 02:08 PM about the 2005 Subaru Forester XS

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Checked codes at Auto Zone:  catalyst efficiency low-bank 1 probably cause: CC failure possibly due to: (1) engine misfire or running condition (2) large vacuum leak (3) engine oil leakage into exhaust-valve guide, seals, piston rings.
Less than 52K mis -- shouldn't be CC, right?  Likeliest cause?  A mechanic said they'd have to due a smoke test, service meter, and induction test (for $70 each).  Also said there are 3 CCs on the Forester.  Any suggestions would be welcome.  

31 Answers

submom
90

I found an answer on another post. This seems to be an ongoing problem for the Forester. People have had lots of work done at Subaru without fixing the issue. I'm going to try to following suggestion: plug in MAF sensor after replacing air filter with an after market. Unplug battery for 1/2 hour. If that doesn't work, I'll try replacing the oxygen sensor and resetting the computer.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
albalegume
195

Two foresters 06 and 08, both do this periodically, engine and check cruise control lights. Dealer can find nothing, they stay on for awhile then go out after a couple weeks. I ignore it now. Nothing has happened to the cars since. The 06 did it within a year of buying the car, the 08 started within about the same time period.

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
dianala62
140

2005 forester, just recently had blinking cruise, solid lit CEL, going into dealership this week, posts were extremely helpful to a single, 62 year old female, THANKS...will post outcome, and if not guaranteed to resolve issue, will take advice and do nothing...when I did call dealership, they did say "no worry" if CEL is solid and not blinking as if they are quite familiar with this sort of problem...will post at later date..Diana

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
Scott Malefyt
175

My 2007 Forester had CEL come on with blinking cruise (and cruise dosn't work either) about 35 miles after i filled up at a non-mainstream gas station. I turned to the owners manual and i guess the Forester can be picky. The manual (see 7-2 in 2007 owners manual) states that some gas stations put an "...octane-enhancing additive called MMT (Methylcyclopentadienyl Manganese Tricarbonyl). If you use such fuels, your emission control system performance may deteriorate and the CHECK ENGINE warning light/Malfunction indicator lamp may turn on." That being said, i currently have a FULL tank of crappy gas...does any have a recommendation of what kind of additive i should put in to make the gas better.

17 out of 17 people think this is helpful.
fastrunner
140

not sure if this will help anyone but our 2007 2.5 turbo had the blinking cruise light and engine light on. we have found out its the fuel cap, it has a small sensor on it, and when released to put fuel in and replaced it can set the lights off up to a day later?? yes the forester can be picky

14 out of 14 people think this is helpful.
NotHappyJan
20

I had the same issue with my 07. $5200 later it was rectified. Bent valves, compression leak.... The list went on. apparently its a know fault with is model. Anyone else in the same boat??

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Smith
965

Bent valves? That really only occurs if the timing skips, and is not common at all.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
jmarie220
60

Glad to report that the solid check engine and the blinking cruise lights shut off this morning. Three days of anxiety over! Thanks for this forum and the above answers. Undoubtedly saved me hundreds of dollars. The dealers here in South Jersey just love to take us for a ride.

6 out of 6 people think this is helpful.
jasmina
40

jmarie220, how? how did it turn off? it bugs me for months now, the computer has allegedly detected secondary air pump error. when replaced, it was off for some 200 km, then went on again. (same thing - cruise blinking , CEL constantly lit). i do have gas built in on my 2.0 2006 forester, though, with oil droppers (maybe it is another expression, but lubricating the valves)

4 out of 4 people think this is helpful.
Madison02
10

I have a 2006 Forrester L L Bean model and the check engine light went on causing the cruise to blink. Young Subaru charged me for hundreds of dollars for DX could nt fix it, after $900.00 worth of work, problem still persists. Now my headlights and tail lights stay on even when the car is off....frustrated. Have to disconnect battery to turn them off, anyone have any ideas?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Smith
965

Did you check the parking light on top of your steering column?

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Madison02
10

I was cleaning around that area yesterday, I didn't realize there was a switch there. I went out connected the battery and checked the switch and fixed the problem. I don't know why you would use them, I never have cos I didn't know I had them. I'm not blonde I'm a red head......lol. THANK YOU all who helped me with this question you were all helpful!

Jeff Smith
965

No problem, that's a rite of passage for every new Subaru owner.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Noynek
90

I too had the Check Engine Light/Cruise Control flashing problem happen on my 2009 Forester. My yellow traction control light (squiggly tire marks behind car) also comes on. I went to a tiny garage in east Tennessee and they guy did a diagnostic and said that it is caused when you haven't had an oil/filter change in over 7000 miles or so (he checked a "code" database to find out). He changed my oil and reset the computer. All better. Then 7000 miles later (I drive a lot and sometimes miss my oil changes), the same thing happened. Got the oil changed again and reset the computer, fixed again! Happened a third time and again got it fixed, but this time they forgot to reset the computer. Lights came back on quickly, but I went back and they reset the computer and all has been fine. Since I've had my oil changed regularly, no repeats of the problem.

9 out of 9 people think this is helpful.
Subaru_Jim
45

Ii has to be something with the transmission or front differential fluid from what I can tell. I've had it happen many times, and it has gone away on its own in some cases, but other times, the "fix' was to add fluid. The first time it happened, I had parked my car sideways on a steep hill for a couple weeks. Shortly after leaving, the car bucked and heaved if I accelerated too much, and those lights came on. Since then, I have had it happen after long periods without any problem when I hit the accelerator hard for whatever reason. My only remaining questions are (1) is it the transmission fluid or differential, and (2) why is it getting "low"?

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
albalegume
195

My 2008 just stopped running 1 month ago. It continually had these lights come on when driving over 100 miles at a time on the interstate. Then it would jerk when accelerating. When it died, it jerked and just lost power. For a 2008 it should have lasted much longer and was regular maintained.

3 out of 3 people think this is helpful.
subidoo
10

I don't think there's an easy answer. My 2009 Forester does this intermittently (CEL, blinking CC, TCL stays on). The number of possibilities listed in this forum tells me there's a lot of things that could be involved, but no single consistent finding. I've maintained the vehicle properly & it runs fine; I've quit worrying about it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Dallas_Subaru
20

A 10mm wrench, undo negative battery terminal. Wait 5 min. Reconnect, turn switch to run, but do not start. Wait about a minute while fuel injection brings pressure back on line. Start car. May have to crank it a bit. Reset radio and cruise on. Repeat as necessary.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.
Subaru_Jim
45

OK.. one more time.. I found that I had overfilled both the transmission and front differential. I brought both back to the right level and still had the idiot lights come back on. FINALLY, it occurred to me that I haven't changed the oil filter in a while, and changed that. BINGO! Lights out!!

Tanya Vanderhoeven
10

I have a 2005 Subaru Impreza, Solid CEL and blinking CC light, cruise does not work. I've had the oil changed regularly. 143K. AutoZone gave me an error code of #2937. It's running just fine. I change the spark plugs. They needed changing anyways. No change. Dash light still on. Will unhook battery and see what happens - for now - black electrical tape covers annoying lights.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Jeff Smith
965

The code 2937 is not a valid code, I would have them check it again. A word of warning on the check engine light: that same light is used for minor as well as major issues. If you get used to ignoring it and a major issue comes up, you won't catch it in time and can do damage to the engine. Much like the poster several posts up who had a check engine light and then the car simply "stopped running." The light is triggered for a reason.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Tanya Vanderhoeven
10

But Jeff, it says right on the little ticket they handed me - #2937. And it says OEM number to Po420. Is that the correct code? It also says - Catlyst efficiency below threshold bank 1, prob cause rich a/f ratio, ignition system malfunction, faulty catalytic converter. Thank you for the help and advice.

jmarie220
60

My 2007 Forester CE light turned on for a third time in a year a few weeks ago. I checked the code with a device I purchased from Amazon. Turns out it was "engine misfire." Took it to a reliable local mechanic; oil was leaking into one of the cylinders. They couldn't get the valve cover off (?), and they now have to approach the problem from underneath. I'm at $748 and counting, but it will probably be near $900 before they are done. Car only has 77K miles on it...bummer. Can bad gas start this cascade?

BenBen7
10

I get in on a acceleration up a tight on ramp - not sure if its the incline or hard turn with the acceleration. It'll turn off after 3 starts w/o doing it again. Always worth checking your oil level and for any loose tubes, ducts, wires when you get lights on.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
JMM111
20

From what I understand, this is common with Foresters, 2005 on. The first time this happened I panicked! Had local mechanic change oil, since it was about 1000 miles overdue, which made sense. Problem solved. Three days later CEL solid, and CC flashing light returned. I returned to local mechanic, and he reset. He told me if this happens again, I have to take it to the Subaru dealer, to fix. He said my engine was in good running shape, and drivability was also fine. The reason is, only a Subaru dealer can communicate with main console, to find the source of the problem. Since my Subaru dealer "rips me off", every time I take my car in, I will take my chances if the problem re occurs. If the CEL light goes from solid to blinking, then you really have a problem. Stay Tuned!

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
You think this is helpful.
RobsSubaru
10

My 07 Outback has 136K miles on it. For the past year the cc light starts flashing, and CEL illuminates intermittently. Except for 1 time when this ouccured when accellerating from a stop, the problem consistently occurs when travelling at hwy speed and while using cruise control. However, it doesn't happen every time I use the cruise control. The dealer read the code and then replaced the mass air flow sensor. That didn't work, so they replaced the same sensor again. I got tired of paying for the same repair so now I just carry a wrench with me to disconnect the battery terminal to reset the code. This happens about once a month for the year. There does not seem to be amy other performance problems with the car. Any suggestions?

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
ginapineapple
0

2006 LLBean Forester with 75k, properly maintained. My CEL is solid, CC flashing for 5 days. Car runs great. The dealer wanted 400 to replace the MAF and I walked away. Reading up on it and going to see this fixes itself over time. I was ALSO told at my last oil change a few months back that both head gaskets were starting to leak and I needed to replace at a cost of $1600. Again, this car drives fine. No misfires, obvious leaks, or spikes in temp. I'm just keeping an eye on the car and my wallet. I might disconnect the battery and see if the lights return. Great thread, thank you!

JMM111
20

In reading above answers, I have concluded there is no common denominator that causes CEL solid/CC blinking. Looks like even Subaru dealers don't have definite answer. I, like I think some here, am afraid to take my 2005 forester back to the dealer's service department. They will charge me a lot of money, and it only might, fix the problem? We all have paid good money for our Subaru's, and they are good cars, but should not have to deal with a glitch like this! We should not have to be traveling with wrenches to dis connect our batteries, at least not for the $$$ we paid. Unfortunately, I am pessimistic, that Subaru, would do much to fix this glitch, but sometimes going to the top works. See below. Subaru of America Inc. has named Tomomi Nakamura as CEO effective April 1, taking over from Takeshi Tachimori. Tachimori will return to Japan, where he will be responsible for global sales, including those in the United States, for Subaru's parent company, Fuji Heavy Industries. Subaru of America names Nakamura CEO - Automotive News www.autonews.com/.../subaru-of-america-names-nakamu... Automotive News

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
Noynek
90

It appears to happen when the oil gets low. It happened again to my 2009 forester and the mechanic said I was low on oil. He reset the computer and changed the oil. All better. I have 114K and minor head gasket leaks that don't affect compression. I spent $35 on an oil change and now I'm back in business.

Subaru_Jim
45

OK... now some time has passed since I *simply* changed oil filters, and I have had no more problems So THAT was the answer - at least for my car. I suspect that there are other things that could cause this, but a clogged, dirty, or poorly designed oil filter that impedes oil flow might be the ridiculously simple cause for most of us. The oil pressure must be monitored after the oil filter, and if its too low, on come the lights. CERTAINLY it is such an easy and cheap fix that everyone should try it before spending hundred$ at some shop for some "repair" that does no good at all.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.
obare
0

I had the same problem, I unplugged the battery for about 20 minutes, then plugged it back, then opened the fuel cap and closed it. Started the engine and let it run for about 10 minutes (the CEL and CC lights were still on), then switched of the engine and switched it on and the problem has disappeared. When opening the fuel cap, it looked like it had not been tightened properly, so I dont know which worked, that is, unplugging the battery or opening and closing the fuel cap.

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