I had to drive the Outback today. For the past 6 months, I have just driven it to church on Sunday, just to keep the seals lubed and the battery up. But today it felt like I was pulling a boat. I went through 1/4 tank of gas on my 50 mile commute. During the last few miles on the way home I got a CEL.
So after parking it in the garage, I smell a strong brake lining material odor from the front driver side wheel. I felt the rim and yikes it was hot. The other three were not nearly as hot. So I figure I have a stuck caliper.
Anyone have another possibility? How do i fix it? Would the CEL be caused by that. UGhhhh
Best Guess, it might be the caliper is hung up, from rust and stuff and won't retract, properly. If you work on it, i'd suggest spinning the hub, to check the rotor. I wouldn't be surprized if it's warped, from the heat. Pit's!
Well I jacked up the front end and tried to turn the tire by gripping the outside of the tire. It took quite a bit if force to make it move. Then I remived the wheel and could not budge the rotor. Then I took a standard fiberglass handled claw hammer and beat the crap out of the caliper, about 8-10 whacks. I tried to turn the rotor again but to no avail. Then I gave it 15 more whacks and viola! Rotor turny! Then I reinstalled the tire, lowered the jack and started up the engine and put it reverse. Chaching! The car moves under impulse power, a feat that it couldnt do before the whackathon. I still have the CEL however. Im considering whacking the ECU a few times to see it that fixes the CEL. If not I can always get out the electrical tape and cover the CEL.
I don't know how to do that, on this vehicle. If you had a 94 Chrysler, Town & Country, you do it by turning the key on and off 3x in a row, then the check engine light blinks a 2 digit code out. However, you have to have the code descriptions to know what's what.
I give up. How do i know what code it is throwing?
There's a service port under the right side of the glove box. There will be two ports, you need the one with two sockets.
- Turn the ignition off.
- Insert a paper clip or wire and join the two sockets of the connector.
- Turn the ignition to on (don't start the car)
- The check engine light will blink, long blinks = 10 and short blinks = 1. So one long and five short would be 15.
- Refer to the service manual to see what each code means.
- After you fix the problem or record the code you can reset your ECU by pulling the ECU fuse in the underhood fuse box for 20 seconds or so.
I'll see if I can find the chart that shows which code equals what.
I actually have a switch wired up so I can check my codes by simply flipping a switch. It also helps when setting my timing and idle.