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2005 outback check engine light


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HI All , 

new to here although not new to subarus and i've been hiding in the forester forum for 6 months but just couldn't get on with it so have returned to an outback

Anyway - 

I have the check engine light after a 30 mile drive , stopped at shop, started it back up and the CEL stayed on.

I've seen a lot of mention of it being to do with the fuel cap not being tight enough or leaking pressure, is this an urban myth or fact?

I've opened it closed and tightened until a good couple of  clicks but the light is still on.

Car drives totally unaffected

Going back to where i bought it tomorrow so they can plug it in and clear the memory then see what happens


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On some manufacturers if the cap isn't on the evap system won't be working at full efficency so can throw codes, or the carbon canister is saturated (if applicable) the same happens, do you have a Bluetooth dongle ? The generic ones are cheap as are the apps you'd be able to read the code and have some idea of what's coming up before taking it back for the garage to sort

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The way I understand it, cat efficiency bank 1 codes can be triggered by a number of causes, most not directly connected to the cat or the lambda sensor. These include;

  • A damaged or failed oxygen sensor (HO2S)
  • Downstream oxygen sensor (HO2S) wiring damaged or connected improperly
  • The engine coolant temperature sensor is not working properly
  • Damaged or leaking exhaust manifold / catalytic converter / silencer / exhaust pipe
  • Retarded spark timing
  • The oxygen sensors in front and behind the converter are reporting too similar readings
  • Leaking fuel injector or high fuel pressure
  • Cylinder misfire
  • Oil contamination
  • Poor fuel quality
  • Vacuum leaks

You might want to try a little sleuthing before changing parts.

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If you get an OBDII cable or Bluetooth dongle ( easiest)  from the bay, and the torque app,  


Set them up, then look at the lambda setting & fuel settings,  then run the car and observe the readings,   then clear the CEL using the app. Drive the car again until it fails, then look at the readings,   You should see what is returning the error message.


If the car has stood, it may be crap on the lamda sensor, or the cat has become contaminated  with unburnt fuel.


Try a tank of cataclean and see what values are returned.


Do you have an exhaust blow at all? that can also upset the fueling / lambda values. Check vacuum lines,  if any are perished, they too will have an effect.



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