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2002 forester
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14 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited by Moderator)
2014 2.5. 75k miles

This vehicle is giving these symptoms
Loss of traction control
0500 code speed sensor
Traction lite on dash
Vehicle on incline dash light

All this happened at once. Similar to same thing happened on a 2010 I have that was resolved by sanding the battery terminals. Tried that on this vehicle but it didnt seem to resolve anything.

Whats going on and what do I need to do to resolve it? Thanks so much !

Oh and I should add that it idles a bit low and runs rough at idle

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2009 Legacy
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602 Posts
According to my schematic, there are several speed sensors fused by 7.5 amp. It is a bit vague where this fuse is located or what its designation is, tho. Check your fuses. Start there.
 

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #3
Oh and one more thing. A while before this all transpired it seemed to be automatically limiting engine revs to like 3000 for a period of time. I feel like this is related

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2009 Legacy
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Oh and one more thing. A while before this all transpired it seemed to be automatically limiting engine revs to like 3000 for a period of time. I feel like this is related

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I don't know what that car does when one speed sensor isn't working. It has several.
If I had to guess, it probably goes into some sort of limp mode if whatever it measures isn't in jive with the other sensors. Traction control and ABS are definitely disabled when the CEL is on.

Is your speedo working?
 

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2004 FXT 4EAT
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407 Posts
One thing of note: Cleaning the battery terminals likely didn't solve the problem (as in: the battery terminals were fine) but removing the clamps long enough to clean the terminals, the codes were cleared from the ECU.

Each wheel has a speed sensor. These sensors together (+ the steering wheel angle sensor and brake sensor) are used to determine whether the wheels are rotating at the expected speed. The stability control/ABS/traction control systems all use this information to decide whether the driver needs help controlling their vehicle. If one of the sensors provides information to the system that the systems considers to be "impossible", you will get the warning.

An example: If all your wheels send the same speed signal for several minutes, but your steering wheel angle sensor says that your steering wheel is turned a quarter turn, he system will go "No, that's not possible!" and will throw an error.

Another example: If there is metallic dust or debris on one of the sensors (or the area it is reading from is not clean enough) and tells the system that the wheel is rotating at an inconsistent rate, but you're not braking and you're not accelerating and the steering wheel isn't turned, the system could conclude that there's something wrong. (and you get an error/CEL)

Most code readers won't tell you anything about the ABS system. It may tell you there was a code and which code, but not which wheel :-(
 

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2009 Legacy
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602 Posts
Solid synopsis, @GuusV. I'm sure that's how the ECU makes decisions.

There's yet another speed sensor ("Vehicle Speed Sensor A") that throws his particular code. It has a common supply with several other speed sensors, fused with a 7.5A fuse. It sits on top or on the side of the transmission, depending on the model CVT.
If it is the one that sits on top of the transmission, it looks like a real bear to replace because the transmission needs to drop.

I'm sure it uses this sensor in conjunction with the wheel speed sensors to determine whether the system has run amok, throw a CEL and code, like you suggested.
 

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #9
Does anyone know the numbers of the fuse I should check? I cant seem to find that info.

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #10
Ok I checked the abs and vehicle dynamics control unit fuses and they were ok. I replaced the stop lamp switch (youtube advice) cleared the 0500 code.

Nothing changed. Still have the 0500 code vehicle speed sensor. And traction control hill assist and abs lights lit up. Whats next?

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #11
Other clues. Rear brake light is out and the front passenger hub may have been heated up this summer due to caliper or bearing issue. Would that have damaged a speed sensor?

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2009 Legacy
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602 Posts
Just one brake light? That's likely just a bulb.
I'm not saying that your wheel speed sensor isn't damaged - P0500 is a different speed sensor, the one mounted on the transmission.
Why did you replace the brake switch? was it bad?

Do you have a test light?
 

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #13
@Remco Alot of videos on youtube suggest that the brake light switch is the fault of hill assist...traction control...and abs simultaneous failures. I have a good assortment of test lites and meters and experience using them. Right. The 0500 speed sensor on the trans is evidently a bear to change.

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2009 Legacy
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@Remco Alot of videos on youtube suggest that the brake light switch is the fault of hill assist...traction control...and abs simultaneous failures. I have a good assortment of test lites and meters and experience using them. Right. The 0500 speed sensor on the trans is evidently a bear to change.

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Limp mode turns on when the car throws a cell. ABS and traction turn on when a CEL is thrown. Not sure about hill assist but it stands to reason that warning is part of limp mode. It is never a good idea to just start swapping parts just because youtube or the internet says so. Diagnose the problem first. Lights and OBD codes are just a starting point.

It may not be the actual speed sensor. You could diagnose whether it is with a test light - that's why I asked.
Forgive my Dutch straight-forwardness (it is our national pride) and it may make me sound like a dick (which isn't my intent) but don't want to give details on how to possibly diagnose the problem if you are incapable of doing it for not having the tool or capability or wanting to do it your own way.
527209

527210


I'd check pin 6 on the TCM with a test light and slowly turn the wheel. You should see the test light blink.
Check to make sure you're getting power and ground on the speed sensors pin 3 and 1.

527211


Should that module truly be busted, It looks like you can get to it from the side. It is up a ways but maybe you can get a wrench in there without having to drop the transmission. Don't get any dirt in that hole, once the sensor is removed. CVT's are very picky when it comes to cleanliness.

Good luck.
 

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2015 2.5i Premium CVT
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Other clues. Rear brake light is out.
Did you fix this issue? I had a loose brake light bulb and it lit my dash up like a Christmas tree. Also brake switch was recall issue on many SJ’s - check to see if you were covered and can get reimbursed by SOA if you paid out of pocket.
 

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2002 forester
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Discussion Starter #16
Did you fix this issue? I had a loose brake light bulb and it lit my dash up like a Christmas tree. Also brake switch was recall issue on many SJ’s - check to see if you were covered and can get reimbursed by SOA if you paid out of pocket.
Havent addressed it yet but seems a good place to start. It seemed suspicious to me

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