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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 24806
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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Subaru Outback 2.5I: my 2011 Subaru Outback has had 2 episodes

Customer Question

my 2011 Subaru Outback has had 2 episodes of the engine warning light plus brake light flashing. On the second episode in addition the cruise light was flashing and the traction light. When hooked up to the diagnostic machine nothing definite was found
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.
Hi there,Was the check engine light out by the time it was connected to the diag machine?Does the vehicles running change or anything when the lights are on? Engine run rough, hesitation or anything of that nature?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The engine light was still on. There has been no problems except for some slight hesitation upon exceleration. Two mechanics checked it out. The first one said it could be the throttle body (?). But the lights went off after he flushed the engine. Now one month later they are back on with more stuff flashing!
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.
Ok,first, when the check engine light comes on the cruise is suppose to be disabled and the traction control. It's perfectly normal for these lights to come on to be honest. Subaru has it built into the system for safety with the electronic throttle body.As for the engine being flushed, I am confused as to what that would have to do with a possible throttle body issue. That bit doesn't really make any sense. Since it's been a month you could have a check engine light on for a totally different reason. There are over 500 reasons for the check engine light to come on. The flashing brake light is a bit odd, so I would first check your brake fluid. If it's fine, then we are going to need to know the actual code that is being stored in there. Most parts stores will read the codes for you free of charge. If you want to try and get it read, it will start with a P, for example P0420.If you can get it read and post the code with me I can tell you what is going on. At the moment I can tell you that the car is safe to drive even with the lights flashing, but to help pinpoint the issue we need the code.Please let me know if there is any more I can do to help you from here.What happens next:Just Answer will now charge you for the full amount of your question.My goal is to provide you with 5-star service. If you cannot rate me at least 3-5 stars, we will keep working on this.Just Answer does not compensate me for my time and effort; you do with a 3-5 star rating.Follow up questions are included in your question price even after rating.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the mechanic didn't flush the engine he cleaned the throttle body by running a cleaner through the components with the engine running... I find it very strange that lights not associated with one another come on at the same time (eng light, brake light, anti-skid light), this seems like a computer glitch to me???
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
also the first mechanic did find a code that he indicated related to the throttle body but couldn't explain the brake light as the fluid level was fine and no leaks indicated in the brake system... I believe the code was N0308 but no positive
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.
When the engine light comes on, the traction control, and the cruise are disabled this is no glitch. The odd man out here is the brake light. This is not a valid code sorry to say, but it does sound like there may be an ABS issue happening. If it's full of brake fluid then the brake light could be signalling an issue with the abs, and that would likely tell the check engine light to come on which would set off the chain of the other lights coming on.One other possible issue could be the alternator not charging enough, although normally you would get the battery and brake light on at the same time. A throttle body code would normally put the car into limp mode. This means the throttle will only open a small amount, enough to get you home but it would not be responsive at all.I think we really need the code here to pinpoint the problem.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.
Do you need further assistance with this?