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Old 05-17-2017, 07:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ABS Light

Hello, we recently took our 2008 Subaru Tribeca in for the airbag recall and 2 other recalls. When we picked up the car, the ABS light was on. They hooked it up to the computer and said that there we no errors coming up.

Since it took them 6 days to do the recall (standard hours = 3), we decided we didn't need to wait another week for a diagnosis.

Anyone have any ideas what could be causing it? The dealer wants us to bring the car back to them but not thinking they are too competent. I have been Google'ing and there is a bunch of info on the light going on when car starts and then turning off after a little time or when you hit 25 MPH. Neither of these solve the problem so it sounds like we actually have an issue. I've seen stuff about it being a wheel sensor but I'm no mechanic.

We will probably just bring it to our local mechanic but wanted to see if anyone had any feedback first.

Thank you!
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it comes on before moving, check the fuse and the relay. If it illuminates after the self test, check the wheel sensors and the speed sensor
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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i would give them the car back, who knows what they had don to it? If recall took 6 days instead of 3 hours then something is fishy there. oh and if they need the car for a few days then ask for a loaner from them. its their fault and they probably know it too.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Thomasmryan View Post
If it comes on before moving, check the fuse and the relay. If it illuminates after the self test, check the wheel sensors and the speed sensor
thanks- I will check the fuse when I get home. Not quite sure how to do those other things as I am mechanically inclined.

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i would give them the car back, who knows what they had don to it? If recall took 6 days instead of 3 hours then something is fishy there. oh and if they need the car for a few days then ask for a loaner from them. its their fault and they probably know it too.
Yeah I guess this is the best fix- I just feel like they did do something to car and they will make up some reason why this happened and how I have to pay a bunch of money for the repair.

But maybe I just get the diagnosis from them, see if they comp the repair due to the aggravation, and if they don't, I take it to my local mechanic and let him know what to fix
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:59 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The fuse panel is under the hood and is labeled. When a car throws a code, read it and reset it to see if it returns. Generic scanners are pretty cheap these days or your mechanic can probably do it in 5 minutes. Throw him a twenty spot and see if it returns.

Relays do age on these cars and OEM blue ones are eight bucks or so.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:06 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The fuse panel is under the hood and is labeled. When a car throws a code, read it and reset it to see if it returns. Generic scanners are pretty cheap these days or your mechanic can probably do it in 5 minutes. Throw him a twenty spot and see if it returns.

Relays do age on these cars and OEM blue ones are eight bucks or so.
Would this scanner work? If not, can you point me to a good cheap one.

https://www.amazon.com/Diagnostic-Scanner-Wireless-Smartphone-Protocol/dp/B01N4HHK7R/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1495040696&sr=8-2&keywords=Subaru+Scanner
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Also, I just read online that sometimes the ABS light would come on due to dead battery (or low charge). My wife is driving the car around town today so I would assume battery will charge up so we can see if this is the issue.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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i have borrowed an actron unit that is wired but , knock on wood, i only have one car that will occasionally throw a negative fuel trim code if i use 100% fuel. she's old.

the actron units get discounted when newer units hit the market. there are some cabled ones in the $60 range. simple is better so i wouldn't want to deal with the different versions of Bluetooth compatibility or iOs if it isn't needed.

personally i have never had voltages issues but there are plenty of threads on codes thrown by voltage problems. the can system on these cars are based on voltage levels instead of HEX addresses so well maintained charging system is best...ie OEM alternator for the H6 only and a relatively fresh battery.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:54 AM   #9 (permalink)
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No, that is an OBD II system reader. That would be the part of the Engine computer system that is dictated by the Federal government.

You need a scan tool with the Subaru protocols in it to access the other systems.
Many shops will plug there tool in a read it for a minimal cost, just remember that these tools are very expensive. (Mine cost 11K and cost me 120 a month to keep updated)

Last edited by Jeffytune; 05-17-2017 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There are plug-in readers that can retrieve ABS codes on vehicles that use CAN bus. They start at about $100 which still beats going to a dealer.
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Old 05-17-2017, 01:08 PM   #11 (permalink)
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There are plug-in readers that can retrieve ABS codes on vehicles that use CAN bus. They start at about $100 which still beats going to a dealer.
It's kinda hit and miss, depends on the tool. Some will say they do ABS, and for a Honda or a Toyota, maybe, but a Subi....maybe yes, maybe no.

But going to your local tech and having them plug in and read it cost 30-50, and sometimes it's free.
depends on the shop.
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Old 05-17-2017, 03:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Here in NJ, they charge $100 just to look at your car askance for two minutes!
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Dealer here has a $150 diagnostic fee, but they may indeed check it for you if you are in for a service. There is a freessm available subaru that can probably check alot of the systems and only requires a laptop and obd2 dongle.
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Old 05-17-2017, 04:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Call AAA and get a recommendation for a quality Indy shop.
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Old 05-17-2017, 05:58 PM   #15 (permalink)
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http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...ad.php?t=39426
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Old 05-19-2017, 03:22 AM   #16 (permalink)
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So I spoke with the "service manager" of Subaru and they are not taking ownership of the ABS Light issue.

He told me last night that there is nothing mechanically wrong with the car and that it would be 'pulsating' if we really were having an issue. Not sure how he knew this since they only did a visual inspection of car when we dropped off along with hooking up to CPU (and seeing no error codes). He's like "We changed the airbag, it has nothing to do with the ABS Light"

And if the ABS Light is on, I have to believe there is something that caused it. We are going to take to our local mechanic tonight to see what he finds.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:15 AM   #17 (permalink)
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have you checked your tire pressures?
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:20 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
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have you checked your tire pressures?
No, I haven't. I can try that today. Normally that (!) comes on with bad tire pressures (have never has ABS light come on for that).

Only time I have had ABS light come on is when car puts that light, cruise control light and some other light. It normally then just needs car turned off and started a few times and that all goes away. I had read that was a common issue with Subaru (not sure why).

Thanks for all the help! So glad I found this forum. Living in South Florida, the Subaru dealerships are a joke.
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Old 05-19-2017, 06:29 AM   #19 (permalink)
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ah...that smells like a failing wheel sensor. I am on set three for the front.

when you turn the steering wheel, the wires are twisted and pulled which does take its toll. there is about 12" section of the lead between the fender liner and the strut that is being manipulated at every turn and bump. my failure rate may be higher living in the land of twisty roads vs straight roads like you have down south.

each side is about forty bucks and it takes about 15 minutes to change them....which is a million dollars at the dealer.
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Old 05-20-2017, 07:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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So I took it to the local mechanic and they said they can't get the car to show any error codes. They also show all wheel sensors are working properly. They also show the brakes and everything is functioning fine.

They think it's a "ghost code" -- I feel better about that, except it's a bit annoying to drive around constantly with the ABS light on. I feel like Subaru dealership must of done something to cause this.
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