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2014 Forester 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everyone! I am new here, and kind of new to the subaru life - i am not mechanically inclined so please be easy on me 😅
I bought my first Subaru, a 2014 Forester 2.5i premium three years ago with 100k miles on it. Nothing was wrong with the car and she ran and drove great. My mom ended up being diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer and I spent the better part of a year and a half driving back and forth from Minnesota to Arizona/Oklahoma/California where she was receiving treatments before she passed, and now have 207k miles.
Just recently I got in my car and turned it on and the entire dash lit up with all sorts of lights. The car didn’t drive any different, oil temp wasn’t reading high like it says it is with the “at oil temp” light flashing and also it now only has FWD 😥

Lights that are on:
Check engine
ABS
Hill start assist
Vehicle dynamics control system
At oil temp (flashing)
The screen on my dash also reads: “at oil temp: transmission system needs to be checked, abs needs to be checked, check engine: emission control system needs to be checked, vehicle dynamics control system needs to be checked, hill start assist system needs to be checked”
I had brought it to the closest Subaru dealer to me - which is two hours away (only important that I mention how far away because I can’t just pop in and ask questions or easily pick up parts etc.) and they said it would cost me 4K to fix it and that I ultimately need a new motor (edit: correction they said transmission not motor)?! 😨😱 but they also said i could keep driving it until my motor transmission* gives out and then get a new one too - I left feeling very confused, and opted for a second opinion but in my small rural town the local shop didn’t have many answers for me either - I just don’t know what to do really and I’m still so confused about what is going on…since my mothers treatment was last chance kind of thing since chemo didn’t work and insurance wouldn’t cover the new treatment we had to pay out of pocket and I just don’t have the funds for dropping 4K into my car right now unless I’m sure it’s absolutely necessary, but even then it’s going to be a kick in the gut to do so.
If anyone has any input or has had a similar problem I would love to hear from you.
Thanks in advance

edit to add: this is what dealer said
“tech scanned vehicle for codes, found code p0971 Pressure control solenoid C control Circuit high. Transmission wiring all good. Faulty transfer clutch solenoid. Recommend replace valve body and TCM with fluid change. Parts and labor estimate to replace valve body TCM with fluid exchange $3725 + tax. Alternative option is replacing with good used transmission.”

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2017 Forester XT Touring EyeSight
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You'll see lots of other comments on this forum indicating that odd combinations of warning lights can turn on together, that don't give you any intuitive interpretation as to what is actually wrong. So do NOT literally think you have hill-start + VDC + transmission oil temp + antilock brake + emissions system problems as five independent broken things. That said, I have no more knowledge to help you other than to indicate that if I had a far-away Subaru dealer who simply said "get a new engine eventually", and a nearby independent mechanic who was little help at all, I would immediately search for some OTHER local, much more competent independent mechanic to see what they thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
@whobodym Thank you for the reply! Yes I’ll have to find another mechanic - I kind of figured that it wasn’t each individual problem going on with each light and maybe one problem making all lights come on, I did just briefly scan through some forums and read about something called a TCM/TCU problem, so I will have to read more on those and see if it fits!
 
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2011 Forester
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I can tell you that Subaru warning light sequence appear to be a money making scheme for them. My 2011 had three lights on for an O2 sensor fault.
ABS, Tracks and check engine light.
Once I dig into with code reader, there was a phantom transmission code as well.

I was told I had to replace ABS module, G sensor, MAF, O2 and AFR sensor and I potentially had a leak in an intake.

It turned out to be $70.00 O2 sensor.

Don’t despair, I’m sure it’s not all that bad.
As you indicated lack of mech aptitude I’d research for a good independent Subaru mechanic. Check you tube videos for similar issue and see what others have done.
I’m almost positive I’ve read similar posts here as well.

Good luck and please report back on root cause of all this.

P.S what’s your fuel consumption like?
Also, what’s the battery voltage and is you alternator running ok ?


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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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806 Posts
If you are going seek help in this setting, people are going to need more specific information to give pertinent answers. You should get yourself an OBD2 scanner, take some readings, and share the information you find.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i Premium
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can tell you that Subaru warning light sequence appear to be a money making scheme for them. My 2011 had three lights on for an O2 sensor fault.
ABS, Tracks and check engine light.
Once I dig into with code reader, there was a phantom transmission code as well.

I was told I had to replace ABS module, G sensor, MAF, O2 and AFR sensor and I potentially had a leak in an intake.

It turned out to be $70.00 O2 sensor.

Don’t despair, I’m sure it’s not all that bad.
As you indicated lack of mech aptitude I’d research for a good independent Subaru mechanic. Check you tube videos for similar issue and see what others have done.
I’m almost positive I’ve read similar posts here as well.

Good luck and please report back on root cause of all this.

P.S what’s your fuel consumption like?
Also, what’s the battery voltage and is you alternator running ok ?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
My fuel consumption went up - mileage down. My alternator is running perfectly fine too.
I just found the paperwork from the dealer too, it states: “tech scanned vehicle for codes, found code p0971 Pressure control solenoid C control Circuit high. Transmission wiring all good. Faulty transfer clutch solenoid. Recommend replace valve body and TCM with fluid change. Parts and labor estimate to replace valve body TCM with fluid exchange $3725 + tax. Alternative option is replacing with good used transmission.”

my mistake in my original post they did not say replace the motor, they said transmission. I will be updating the original post if im able to

If you are going seek help in this setting, people are going to need more specific information to give pertinent answers. You should get yourself an OBD2 scanner, take some readings, and share the information you find.
Thanks for the input, I'm not entirely sure what that is, I will look into it! I did find paperwork from dealer and they said it was code p0971, and recommended valve body + TCM replacement.

on my 14 that combo was a Transmission valve body. Was barely under 100k so got lucky with warranty replacement. What specifically did they say needed to be fixed for 4k?
THanks for replying, I actually just looked at the paperwork and they said “tech scanned vehicle for codes, found code p0971 Pressure control solenoid C control Circuit high. Transmission wiring all good. Faulty transfer clutch solenoid. Recommend replace valve body and TCM with fluid change. Parts and labor estimate to replace valve body TCM with fluid exchange $3725 + tax. Alternative option is replacing with good used transmission.”
 

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2011 Forester
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If it is indeed the valve body or solenoid any reputable transmission shop can fix this for a lot less. Key word is a reputable!


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2010 X Limited, 2.5L NA, 4AT. Purchased as the second owner in 2020 with ~126K miles.
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And the least you can do to try and repair this is to change the fluid and filters in your transmission.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5i Limited CVT
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A new valve body costs around $700
Replacement requires a relearn procedure.
Im sure you can find an independent Subaru mechanic that can replace the VB for way less than $4k. Ask for a breakdown of parts and labor. $3k for labor?? It’s around 3 hours of work.
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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Parts and labor estimate to replace valve body TCM with fluid exchange $3725 + tax
That price seems way over the top. Based on what I've read here most dealers charge $2,000-2500 to replace a valve body with independents asking around $1,500-1,800. To see what is involved see a previous post here (the rest of that thread may also be of interest). An independent workshop near you with Subaru experience should be able to work out how to replace either the solenoid, or the complete valve body as the older 4/5EAT conventional automatics are also controlled by solenoids in valve bodies.
 

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2012 Forester 4 speed auto
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In short, there isn't a noticeable problem with the engine or transmission. The only problem is the warning lights! Check that all the fluids are up to specification and make sure your battery is good, terminals free of corrosion, and grounds connected. Try to find out who and why the car was worked on before and what they did.
 

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2020 Limited - Crystal white pearl
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THanks for replying, I actually just looked at the paperwork and they said “tech scanned vehicle for codes, found code p0971 Pressure control solenoid C control Circuit high. Transmission wiring all good. Faulty transfer clutch solenoid. Recommend replace valve body and TCM with fluid change. Parts and labor estimate to replace valve body TCM with fluid exchange $3725 + tax. Alternative option is replacing with good used transmission.”
I tossed all my old paperwork but pretty sure thats what mine was. At least you got 100+K more miles than i did! I would mirror what others said and see if you can find an independant subaru shop maybe? I know you said you are pretty far out so may not be an option
 

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2015 Forester Xt
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I would run to a AutoZone or any auto parts store and get a free scan of your codes just to confirm what it is. I've heard of plenty of dealer horror stories to just trust them. Sorry for your loss.
 
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