Diagnosing Subaru Problems

Subaru Select Monitor

Through the years a lot has changed about diagnostic procedures and more importantly the tools in which are used to help a Technician reach the right conclusions.   Pictured below are the three different Subaru Select monitors that have been in use.  The current version is part scan tool and part pc based platform that also gives us the ability to re-flash a Subaru vehicles ECM (Engine Control Module).  This is an important distinction between us and some of the other shops around, we believe in staying current with the diagnostic tools and procedures to keep you Subaru running its best.

Some Subaru problems pertaining to performance and check engine lights have been addressed with a logic update much in the same way a bug in a pc is resolved with a software update.  This is true of some of the other systems in the car as well.  We believe this is a very important service to offer our customers and a great way to truly fix problems other shops may not be able to take care of.

The Subaru Select Monitor “the original” was capable of reading codes, and one line of data could be read at a time as well as a series of lights to indicate function of various components.

Subaru Select Monitor I

The Subaru Select Monitor II came out in time for OBD II (On Board Diagnostics two) and is a big step up from the Select monitor, being able to read multiple lines of data, tap into other systems the ability to graph sensor readings and it has a built in volt ohm meter with digital oscilloscope.  The Subaru select monitor II has the ability to re-flash the ECM as well with the proper flash cartridge.

Subaru Select Monitor II

The Subaru Select Monitor III is part Pc and part scan tool or pass through device.  The Scan tool has a built in flash memory card and can be used as a “flight recorder” meaning sensor readings can be recorded over the course of a test drive and later uploaded to the PC where the data can be looked at by the diagnosing technician. The new version of the Select Monitor also allows the technician to graph sensor data,  look at multiple lines of data (more than ever before) Reflash the Vehicle’s Computer, program remotes and is a great needed tool to diagnose modern Subaru problems.

Subaru Select Monitor III

We believe one sign of a great repair shop is staying current to offer the best service possible.

Thanks for reading


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17 Responses to Diagnosing Subaru Problems

  1. DEEDEE June 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm #

    Thanks for explaining the differences in the scan tools used. You have demystified the system and added a new level of respect that I feel for what you do, for me and my beloved Subaru!

  2. Dave July 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm #

    Hey Justin,

    Thanks for sharing, I wondered if independents could work on the newer cars thanks for showing me its possible.

    Dave Dubois

  3. Camellia Verkamp January 17, 2011 at 7:13 pm #

    Hello, I found your web site @ google and i have read a few of your other posts. I like what u wright! I simply added you to my Google News Reader ;). Keep up the good work . Look forward to reading more from you within the future.

  4. Paul October 6, 2013 at 9:49 pm #

    I had a rear wheel hub replaced on my 2008 Outback with 175,000 a few weeks ago.Shortly there after the ABS light came on, then I noticed the err 55 code in the odometer window. I cleaned and repalced the speed senser thinking it had a bad ground. Code came back. repaced the sensor.The code is back again.Today I desconected the batt.and depressed the brake peddal a few time and reconected the batt.In an attempt to reset the ECM.I would be to concerend about the ABS light on but my wife screams about the fact the cruse doesn’t work then the light is on. She drives about 35,000 miles a yr.Where do I go from here if that code comes back.Thanks Paul

    • Justin Stobb October 7, 2013 at 9:57 pm #

      Hello Paul,

      You never mentioned what ABS code was set?

      If its related to the same corner the hub was installed maybe something has gone wrong with that install?


      • Paul October 9, 2013 at 12:08 am #

        err 55 shows up in the odometer.when my mech. ck for any other codes , there were non. He said he had a fuf time getting the hub off. It showed signs of getting real hot. Discolored.When my wife gets back in town I can have him ck again. Thanks Paul

  5. Cliff February 15, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    Hi Justin My 2002 legacy 2.5 has a problem that my mechanic can’t figure out.When you pull up at a stoplight the car dips in rpm’s and begins to run rough,then you have to put it in neutral to smooth out the engines idling,any suggestions what this might be?thank you very much for being the SUBAGURU

    • Justin Stobb February 17, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      Hello Cliff,

      Thee are so many possibilities its tough to narrow i down to one thing it may be.

      Sticky valves or drooped guides would be the things that Techs that dont know Subaru to well would overlook or not know about however.


      • cliff February 23, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

        Thank you for your help. Sounds like I will drive down to see you guys during the week.This is one of the last problems to solve.Bought it used as per your very sound advice, and am fixing it up.Next time I will just buy one of your AWD used cars and save myself alot of worries.

  6. Nick Massaro February 24, 2014 at 7:11 pm #

    Hi Justin I just got a code 1093 on my 04 Baja Turbo, # 2 TGV stuck open. Is that the drivers or passengers side? Thanks in advance for your help! Your the best!

    • Justin Stobb February 24, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

      Bank 2 is drivers side

      • Nick February 25, 2014 at 1:37 am #

        Thanks Justin! I’ll start on the sensor and hgo from there

  7. john March 26, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    What does a clutch duty solonoid circuit mean

    • Justin Stobb March 26, 2014 at 5:57 pm #

      That there is an issue with the Clutch Duty Solenoid circuit, that will need to be diagnosed locally by someone who has the car in front of them and the ability to perform tests.


  8. Marc January 7, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    So my Girlfriend just bought a 2008 Subaru Legacy but about half way home from the dealer her AWD light came on. it goes out whenever she shuts the car off.
    she has taken it into a few places to get diagnostics done but no code ever comes up.
    everything seems to run fine but after driving for a few minutes it will come back on.
    any suggestions?

    • Justin Stobb January 15, 2016 at 11:58 am #


      To take it a shop that knows Subaru and can perform a proper diagnoses including but not limited to having the proper Subaru Select monitor that can actually communicate to the Control Module.

      That’s just the only advice that will yield any type of results.



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