All Wheel Drive Auto: Independent Seattle Subaru Service


Subaru FAQ # 3 My Check Engine Light Came On And Or My Cruise Control Light Is Flashing, Can I Drive My Subaru?

Q. My check engine light came on and or my Cruise control light is flashing, is My Subaru ok to drive?

A. The check engine light can come on for one of many reasons, as such there is really no way to know if its for a loose gas cap or something much more serious without at a minimum a code scan. Starting in 2005 Subaru commanded the Cruise light to flash as well as disabling the cruise control to get your attention. As long as the light is on steady and there is no apparent change in the way your Subaru is performing its most likely ok to drive however we suggest contacting us through email at or if you prefer calling us 425 828 3600 and trying to get it in as soon as you can. If the check engine light were to begin flashing that is an indication that the engine is misfiring and really should not be driven and rather should be towed to our repair facility. This may also be a good time to consider purchasing a Code Scanner (pictured below) to keep in your glove box for just these type of situations, if you are able to scan it yourself you could contact us with a code number and we will be in a better position to help you.


So Remember

  • The light is yellow, it means proceed with caution.
  • If there is a change in how the vehicle is performing, get it in asap.
  • If the Check Engine light flashes tow it in.
  • The Cruise control light will flash on 05 and newer models, that does NOT mean you need to tow it in.
  • Contact us when you can.
  • If you have a Scan Tool, scan it and let us know the code.

If you want to learn more about the check engine light and your Subaru you can try these two articles.

Check Engine Light Subaru Part 1.

Check Engine Light Subaru Part 2


25 Responses

  1. MY12 XV. Woulda faulty valve body cause “DYnamic Traction Control needs checking” warning. Thanks

  2. Hello,
    I have a 07 Legacy Outback Sedan. The other night when I was driving home the “Check Engine and Cruise Control (CC blinking) lights” came on. I have taken it to two different places to have it troubleshoot to get the codes and nothing comes up. I also checked to see if it was the gas cap and nothing. Would you have any other suggestions?


    1. Hi Claudia,

      There would have been a code set in correlation to the check engine light coming on. What have you been told about the code number?


  3. Hi,
    I notice on the 05 and newer outbacks that CEL will disable cruise control. I have an 03 outback limited with a CEL for HO2 sensor 1 heater circuit. Will replace the sensor when I can but I was wondering if this could also cause the cruise control to be disabled on my 03, or if I should start troubleshooting for another issue. Light comes on on the button on the left but the steering wheel switch does nothing (except I managed to get it to set one time). Car is new to me so any advice is appreciated. Thanks!

  4. We experienced same lights codes are:

    PO335 Cranckcase Position Senor A circuit Malfunction

    C0057 VDC Controller interruption because of engine instructions
    C0041 Electrical Control Module
    C0071 Steering Anti Sensor
    C0025 Rear Right ABS sensor circuit open or short

    B1101 Battery Power Supply Malfunction
    B1102 Battery Power Supply Back up
    B1104 All Power Failure

    Now Justin you have the codes what do you suggest is issue?

    1. Hi Greg,

      You haven’t mentioned any of the vehicles symptoms to go along with all of those codes?

      The first thing that needs to be diagnosed is the P0335 CRANK SENSOR circuit malfunction, especially if its stalling. If its stalling the top two VDC and possibly all of he BCM codes may appear.

      That’s the place to start..

      From there it most likely the right rear abs sensor has failed.


  5. with an issue like this is it expensive to get it fixed? My Subaru Tribeca has been doing the exact same thing with the tire traction, cruise control and engine light on. I need it to pass emission soon

  6. I am the original poster from August 3, 2014. I have an update in that this happens when the gas tank has 1/4 tank of gas remaining. This is consistent in all the times the check engine light, traction control light are lit with the blinking cruise control light.

  7. I have the same problem on a 2010 Subaru Impreza. Traction control and Check engine light solid, and blinking cruise control. This is the third time. My friend has a scanner and the code is P0453. When I took it to a mechanic, he cleaned up a sensor by the gas tank. Also, when this happens, I cannot fill the gas tank like there is too much pressure.

    This just happened again.

    What I’ve noticed is this happens on hot days, 80 degrees and up. When the weather cools, I can fill the tank with no problem.

    Please help!

    1. Hello Lester,

      Sounds like either the vent solenoid has an issue or the charcoal canister is full. Not sure how cleaning a sensor will help, and what you need is to have a knowledgeable technician perform a proper diagnoses. we see this symptom here and there each situation is different as such there is no part I can tell you will fix it, only that testing is required.


  8. On returning from lunch today my 2012 Legacy (4-cyl) started flashing both cruise control and brake lights in the dash. At the same time I got a solid CEL and the traction control light in the dash is also on (solid). This all happened when I started the car to return from lunch. No noticeable difference in the performance in the 2 mile trip from lunch back to the office. I don’t have a code reader and will get to the dealership to have it checked out. In the meantime, hoping someone can let me know if this is urgent and what could possibly be the cause – hopefully just the bitter cold temps or a loose gas cap! Thank you in advance.

    1. Did you find out what it was. My daughter is driving home from work and the exact same thing is happening. Dealers are closed right now so she’s worried about driving.

  9. Had the same problem usually driving between Adelaide and Melbourne, generally around Horsham. The computer indicated the engine was running rich. This was obviously a generic description of a number of indicators. Did everything at other places including replacing all oxygen sensors then it was diagnosed with a loose fitting in the fuel tank (which balances the movement of fuel between tanks on either side of the drive shaft…as I understand it). Had a second hand one installed, all up cost me $500, and now I’ve driven between Adelaide-Melbourne and Adelaide-Canberra without a problem.

  10. I have a Subaru Impreza 2005.

    My check engine light comes on solid (with cruise control light blinking) and it seems to be linked to my gas tank level. The car seems to run fine. At first, I retightened my gas cap and the CEL disappeared after a few days.

    This is the behavior I’ve been seeing (this has been going on for a couple of weeks now).

    The CEL comes on at 3/4 of the tank full and disappears at 1/4 tank full (or seems to be the case).

    Has anybody seen this behavior?

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