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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 25166
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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I'm driving a 2012 Subaru Outback. As I was driving my purse

Customer Question

I'm driving a 2012 Subaru Outback. As I was driving my purse slid off and it's handle dragged the gear shift. Now the emergency parking break light is on and break won't engage, the check engine light is on steady and won't clear, there's a light indicating a car driving off with wavy tire marks displayed and the break light keeps flashing on and off. Should I keep driving? The engine sounds fine and drives smoothly.
Should I continue to drive it home.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there

What do you mean by the brake won't engage? You can't set the parking brake?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My emergency break light was on continually, it wouldn't clear, the flashing break light is flashing continually, I have a check engine light, there's a symbol of a car driving away with wavy tire marks. I couldn't get your answer yesterday so I drove it home for 26 miles. The emergency light cleared and I was able to set it and clear it. That happened before I left to head home.
Oh, I also had a symbol of the oil can. That has also cleared.
What happened is as I drove from a complete stop, my purse slipped and shifted the gear shift to neutral. I was driving slow and immediately pulled over.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

I see,

I am glad to hear all the lights cleared. It sounds like the check engine light got all the others going, with the exception of the parking brake light. Normally when the check engine light comes on the traction control (skid marks) and cruise control lights will flash or come on. They are disabled as a safety feature since the car has an electronic throttle body.

More then likely when it slipped into neutral a code was set off in the transmission control module asking that the check engine light be illuminated.

At any rate, glad you decided to drive it, I would have told you to go ahead. Sounds like the system reset itself after you cycled the key. Actually it slipping into neutral likely fooled the computers!