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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
Yes I stole the topic title. I own a 2015 Subaru Forester 2.5i Touring Model with about 32k miles. I've had minor issues with it before but nothing crazy. Today I was driving to work and about 4 lights came on. Check Engine Light, Eyesight, Vehicle Dynamics Control System (Car w/ skidding marks), and Hill Start Assist (car pointing up a hill). I called Subaru and was told to bring it by as soon as i could. A 5th indicator came on just this afternoon and it looks like a car riding over several bumps. Needless to say I am flabbergasted. I lack the tool needed to diagnose fault codes and am also not really car savvie so I am definitely taking it to the dealer. I am forced to pay the diagnostics fee of $99 no matter what, but they are telling me it's not covered under manufacturer warranty (expired in April) I've still got the 60k powertrain, and extended CVT warranties so hope it's covered by one of those. If not I am probably going to have to come out of pocket with some serious $$$. My questions are as follows:
1. Does anyone have a similar experience and if so how was it handled?
2. Is there anything I can point out to the dealer that may expedite repairs so they don't have to keep my car overnight?
3. Should I really have to come out of pocket if this isn't covered by warranty? For example if this is a common problem shouldn't Subaru cover it.
4. Can I still purchase an extended warranty to cover the repairs?

I appreciate any tips or feedback. I don't want them to tell me I am good, just to come back in a week. I've heard numerous horror stories where Subie owners were told by the dealers that there is no problem or there is nothing that can be done. If that's the case I will demand a buyback. Thanks everyone!
 

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2015 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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Welcome, @budnik03 !

See if anything in this thread sounds familiar:

http://www.subaruforester.org/vbulletin/f68/abs-dynamic-control-hill-assist-all-light-up-new-forester-237081/

Which "Subaru" did you contact? The local dealer?

If they do need to keep your car overnight, you could ask for a "loaner." I've never had to do this, and I don't know what your dealer's loaner policy is.

From different posts on this forum, Subaru has at times covered certain repairs if the vehicle is no longer under warranty. I'd find out what the problem is first and then find out whether they will cover it.

If the dealer says they will not, you could always contact Subaru's corporate customer service. Here's a copy/paste from a previous post:


If you do decide to contact them, here's how:

You'll need your VIN.

If you go to subaru.com, there's a "Customer Support" link on the upper-right of the page. Click on that and you see options to call them (1-800-SUBARU3 (1-800-782-2783)) or email them. The email option opens up a web-form you can fill out online. I've used this option a couple of times and it works well. Might take a day or two to get a response.

I prefer email because then I have a "paper trail."


My understanding is that the extended warranty is only available for the first three-years of ownership - assuming you bought it new. You can get a definitive answer from Subaru's customer service desk.

Keep in mind that the extended warranty does NOT cover everything.

Mike
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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A quick quick thoughts: Yes, it should be a warranty issue. Why would it not be?

You should get the tool to diagnose CEL codes. An OBD-II reader/eraser is not that expensive - ~$30 for a basic tool. All you need is a 'basic tool' - read, erase. You don't need a bunch of extra features. This should be a must-have for any Subaru owner.

Meanwhile, with the vehicle running, turn on all of your exterior lights. Then, walk around the vehicle and make sure every light is burning. If a light bulb is out, replace that bulb or at least wiggle the bulb in the socket to see if it lights. See if this helps your light show ;-)
 

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2017 VW GTI Sport
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This doesn't sound like the common brake lamp switch issue, otherwise you'd have to use the shifter-override method to get out of Park.

Eyesight, Vehicle Dynamics Control System (Car w/ skidding marks), and Hill Start Assist (car pointing up a hill)
All those will come on with a check engine light, so no need to panic yet - a CEL can be set by something as simple as a loose gas cap.

What is the fifth light you mentioned? Can you take a picture? Or pick it out of this list? I don't really see one that looks like a "car riding over several bumps". Is it this one??



If so, that's the low engine oil light. I wouldn't drive the car anymore until you check your oil (actually, do that anyways) and top off.

Lastly, once you think the car is safe to drive, you can take it to an Autozone and get the codes pulled for free. Once you have the codes, we can start to try to help some, but until then we are flying blind...
 

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2015 Forester
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Subatron and Dave. Update to my previous post. The local dealer where I bought the car took two and a half hours but discovered that an OBD2 module was left installed in my car. Who knows how long that had been there. I guess my Forester finally had enough of it because the module was causing cascading faults. Long story short, the indicators reset and besides a problematic brake light switch that was replaced, there are no issues. Now I'm beginning to wonder if the dealer isn't trying to cover their butts. This dealer is the only place I've been besides the tire shop. The customer agent says the OBD module is not theirs because apparently they use only certified Subaru OBD modules, not aftermarket like the one they found in my car. How do i know one of their mechanics didnt use the aftermarket OBD as his own personal device? I still think I never would have had to replace the break switch if the OBD wasn't left installed but they said it had nothing to do with it. Wasn't charged for the initial problems, and spent $101 on parts and labor for the brake light switch so guess it could have been worse. I just wish I knew more about cars so i wouldn't have to get gouged by Subaru. They are great cars but have the most expensive service departments. Toyota charges half what Subaru does.
 

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So it was the brake lamp switch? I guess disregard my previous comment, then.

I'm sure a dealer tech is going to use their Subaru Select Monitor, I can't for the life of me see one of them putting in a personal ODBII scanner - it doesn't give nearly the same information or controls. Was it wireless? I can't imagine you wouldn't have noticed a wired one with a big module hanging down below the dash...

Also, brake lamp switches go bad, some people have been through more than one. I don't see how it could be caused by an OBDII scanner being left plugged in. If they said it was a problem, I think they are just trying to come up with a reason instead of admitting that this is a known/common part failure.
 

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2015 Forester 2.5 Premium CVT
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I'm a bit confused here about the actual resolution.:nerd:

The OBDII module story is really strange...

Also, @budnik03 , PLEASE break you text up into multiple paragraphs. It's really "painful" to read when it's just a big blob of words. :grin2:

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the brake switch was in fact the problem and not the OBD 2 module? It seems like the OBD 2 being left in and corresponding story by the tech and service agent were just a convenient fallback then. This is definitely a common problem based off of reading some of these threads and now my recent experience. I feel like Subaru should be covering the costs of repair.

The OBT 2 module didn't have any wires by the way. It was just a plug with what looked like a cable port which is presumably hooked up to a computer or other device. I am clueless as to who put it there or why.

My last question is why does the brake switch failing cause the lightshow? Seems like too many components are wired into the same circuits if this is in fact the case.

Thanks for your tips. Learning more everyday.
 

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The OBT 2 module didn't have any wires by the way. It was just a plug with what looked like a cable port which is presumably hooked up to a computer or other device. I am clueless as to who put it there or why.
Could be a wireless ODBII device. Did you say this is a pre-owned car? If so, are you sure it wasn't there when you bought the car? I have one on mine (although it's not hooked up now, it usually is)...

My last question is why does the brake switch failing cause the lightshow? Seems like too many components are wired into the same circuits if this is in fact the case.
My guess is that EyeSight and VDC need to know that the brakes (or related components like lamp switch and relay) are not malfunctioning because they can control the brakes automatically.

Out of curiosity, I'd still like to know the DTC's they pulled if they put it in your paperwork...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Could be a wireless ODBII device. Did you say this is a pre-owned car? If so, are you sure it wasn't there when you bought the car? I have one on mine (although it's not hooked up now, it usually is)...
I have had my Forester since it was brand new which has been about 3 1/2 years now. In that time have taken to the dealer and few other places. Tire and Autobody shops once or twice. Like I said I have no idea where it came from.

Out of curiosity, I'd still like to know the DTC's they pulled if they put it in your paperwork...
The code on my paperwork is C1531 with "multiple high speed can error".

Here's a factory pic of the OBDII interfacd module. Any idea if this thing is worth some money still? ;)
 

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That's a TPMS reset tool, so most likely the tire shop you mentioned. Looks like it goes for a pretty penny!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
That's a TPMS reset tool, so most likely the tire shop you mentioned. Looks like it goes for a pretty penny!
Wow! You know a lot.

Talk about a costly mistake by the tire shop mechanic. I see this model sells for $600. I'm not the gearhead type so have no idea. Could I possibly sell this?
 

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My 2015 2.5 Limited was about 2 1/2 years old with 45k miles and I got the same lightshow, eyesight, abs, skid control and check engine. The dealer found the same code yours did C1531 and replaced the brake light switch at no charge. I'm pretty sure they said because it was part of the OBD it was still a warranty issue. I have had no problems since then.
 

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Wow! You know a lot.

Talk about a costly mistake by the tire shop mechanic. I see this model sells for $600. I'm not the gearhead type so have no idea. Could I possibly sell this?
Just a thought with no intention of maligning your integrity; In many shops the mechanics have to furnish their own tools. If that module is as expensive as claimed I'd bet the guy that did the work on your car might like to have his module back?
 

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^^^^ Well said, applicable even if the shop owns the device.

Mike
 

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The code on my paperwork is C1531 with "multiple high speed can error".
Just saw this, thanks for the detail - C1531 is "BLS Off Fault - Stop light switch malfunction", which explains why they replaced the brake lamp switch. I'm not really sure what "multiple high speed can error" is supposed to mean. The CAN is the communication network between the various modules on the car. I guess having that TPMS tool plugged in made network communication unstable or something...? Maybe it also stored something like code U1201 "CAN-HS Counter
Abnormal - Detected when CAN data is abnormal". I'm not really sure...

Anyways, I don't think these two issues were related. I think you had the common BLS issue, and then during the diagnosis of that, they found that module plugged in, and possibly other stored or pending codes from that.

On that TPMS tool, if you know which shop it came from, you could probably get some free work (tire rotations or an alignment or something?) if you decide to return it. Plus, I'm pretty sure you only have half the tool (just the part that plugs into the car - basically just an accessory to the main tool), so I don't think it's going to be too useful or valuable to you...

https://www.ateq-tpms.com/en-us/products/vt56-tpms-tool/
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Just a thought with no intention of maligning your integrity; In many shops the mechanics have to furnish their own tools. If that module is as expensive as claimed I'd bet the guy that did the work on your car might like to have his module back?
If i can still find him i will. This was awhile ago.
 

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What is the fifth light you mentioned? Can you take a picture? Or pick it out of this list? I don't really see one that looks like a "car riding over several bumps". Is it this one??



If so, that's the low engine oil light. I wouldn't drive the car anymore until you check your oil (actually, do that anyways) and top off.
Meh. That one is usually always lit for us M6 drivers. >:)
 
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