Subaru Outback check engine light flashing, Cruise Control, and Traction Control on? If yes, here are the possible causes and fixes for these three common dashboard warning lights;
1 . A Bad Wheel Speed Sensor
Your Subaru Outback comes with 4 wheel speed sensors, one sensor per wheel. These sensors detect the speed of the wheels, sharing this information with the ECM.
In some cases, they also “sense” the direction of rotation of the wheels, which goes a long way in making traction control work effectively.
That means if there’s a problem with one of the sensors, the traction control system won’t have information on the direction in which the affected wheel is rotating.
So, it will assume that there’s a loss of traction on that particular tire thereby triggering the traction control light.
When it comes to Cruise Control, again, your speed sensors play a critical role, providing this system with a precise speed reading at any point in time.
It requires this information to work correctly. That means if a sensor is bad, Cruise Control will also be affected, and this may cause the Cruise Control light.
As for the check engine light, it may come on and start to blink or remain constantly illuminated. This is because this dashboard warning light is designed to behave that way if there’s any sort of problem with your engine whether that be a faulty speed sensor or any other.
Even though the wheel speed sensor is located in the wheel of a car, it’s also connected to the engine. So, a problem with it will also register in the engine, triggering the check engine light.
to address your check engine, traction control, and cruise control lights that have been triggered by a faulty wheel speed sensor, you’ll need to replace the affected sensor.
To find out which sensor is bad among the 4-wheel speed sensors, scan the car for a speed sensor error code, using a recommended OBD2. The device will tell you the precise location of the affected sensor, which you can then replace.
2. A Faulty Brake Light Switch
The brake light switch on your Subaru Outback serves an important safety function. Whenever you put your foot on the brake pedal, it switches on the brake lights at the rear of your car, warning other drivers that you are braking.
In modern Subaru Outback models, these brake lights and Cruise Control often use the same switch. That means if the switch is faulty, the Cruise Control system will be affected. This will cause the Cruise Control light, to warn you about a potential problem with this system.
As for Traction Control, this secondary safety system works closely with your brake system. So, if there’s generally a problem with your brake system such as a faulty brake light switch, it may also be affected. Again, this can trigger the traction control light, warning you about a potential problem with the system.
As for the check engine light, this primary dashboard warning light, as said earlier, is designed to come on whenever there’s a problem with your engine or its related systems. These can include the Cruise Control and Traction Control systems.
A possible fix
To address your check engine, traction control, and cruise control lights that have been triggered by a faulty brake light switch, you’ll need to replace that particular switch.
Just to be sure that this is the root cause of the problem, scan the car for a brake light switch error code, using the OBD2 scanner. If satisfied with the results, you can then replace this switch.
3. A Blown Cruise Control Fuse or Traction Control Fuse
Fuse control and traction control systems normally work together. That means if there’s a problem with your cruise control system, your traction control system will also be affected, and vice versa.
That will cause both the cruise control and traction control lights. The check engine light may also be triggered. Remember that this warning light is designed to behave this way if there’s a problem with the engine or its related systems such as the above.
To address your check engine, traction control, and cruise control lights that have been triggered by a blown fuse for the Cruise Control or Traction Control system, you’ll need to replace that fuse.
Just to be sure that it’s the root cause of the problem, scan the car for a Cruise Control or Traction Control error, using the scanner. If satisfied with the results, replace the fuse.
Normally, a lot of Subaru Outback owners don’t know what causes the check engine light, Cruise Control light, and Traction Control light on this particular midsize SUV car model.
They also have no clue about what it takes to resolve this problem. But a bad wheel speed sensor, brake light switch, or Cruise Control fuse, if not, Traction Control fuse are normally the three major causes. The best remedy is to replace any of these components that are bad.