Check engine

Asked by Mar 24, 2016 at 06:51 AM about the 2006 Subaru Outback 2.5i Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

So ive had a check engine light on, when I got it
plugged in it said it was a catalytic convertor
issue, coukd be my O2 sensor or the convertor.  
Went with replacing the o2 sensor first ($315 later)
. Now its the next morning and the check engine
light is back on. I guess my question is, could it
possibly be anything wrong with my CEL?
Someone was telling me their subaru CEL came
on quite often and no one ever found anything
wrong. Trying to avoid shelling out an arm and a
leg. And is the convertor something thw average
person can do? Does it need specailized tools or
anything? Saw that there are bolt on ones that
dont seem too labor intensive, but im not a
mechanic.

8 Answers

83,665

You should get the code and post it back here. More than likely it will be the cat. and if it is bolted on, the only thing you would have to fight is rusted bolts to get it off, if you were to attempt doing it your self.

1,175

also the the check engine light must be reset, I work at auto zone and we do a "check engine light" service for free and I always tell my customers please do not start throwing parts at the car until you actually know what is wrong and suggest getting a complete diagnostic , There are many different issues that could cause the check engine light to come on so do some research before replacing any parts this could run into big money and still not solve the problem

83,665

Kinker your post did not come threw but I received it in my e-mail, so I posted it:-A CarGurus user (kinker) answered a question you are following: "Check engine". They wrote: "also the the check engine light must be reset, I work at auto zone and we do a "check engine light" service for free and I always tell my customers please do not start throwing parts at the car until you actually know what is wrong and suggest getting a complete diagnostic , There are many different issues that could cause the check engine light to come on so do some research before replacing any parts this could run into big money and still not solve the problem"

1,175

ok thanks Rowefast sometimes it takes a while for the things to post on here i think the post has to be ok'ed by the moderator

8,040

Sigh.... 2006-2009 2.5i have a fairly easy to diagnose emissions system, in that the OBD scanner usually doesn't give false positives for O2 sensors as in 2004-2005 PZEV systems with 5 O2 sensors! So unless you actually had an a bad O2 sensor code someone ripped you off by charging so much for a sensor you didn't need. Nothing new here.... The great majority of CELs for the 2006-2009 simpler system are the PO420: "insufficient cat conv efficiency", for which Subaru blames rich or bad fuel, and SOMETINES will offer an ECM reflash or cat conv gratis for some VIN numbers. Otherwise you just live with it or fork over $1200 for a new front cat conv. Given the age of yours I'd live with the CEL PO420.... Lastly, NO...the CEL doesn't flag false positives, and is robust. Just stop replacing O2 sensors unless you get a specific code for them! Your wallet will appreciate it.

83,665

I'm seeing just a cat. for under $100 but up to $550 for header pipe & cat. for that one. So it all depends on what you need. Now the ones I have ben looking at are not legal in California, although they meet Federal EPA standards. Not sure what is up with that.

8,040

BE CAREFUL! Aftermarket cats for the '06-'09 PZEV are notorious for NOT quenching the PO420!! All of us have learned this the hard way! Finally there's an aftermarket cat that works, but it's up around $900 + labor, so still a $1200 job. Don't learn this the hard way!

83,665

That is good to know, glad I put that out there, thanks.

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