My 2004 Outback now has 120K, has always been maintained and repaired at the dealership (except tires and battery), and has always run great! I’ve had the plastick-y parts replaced over the last few years including head gaskets when one cracked and made smoke. In July I got a jump from a AAA tow truck, who said my battery tested as needing replacement. In September my check engine light went on, and the dealer found the code PO420-catalyst system efficiency. They charged $135. and didn’t seem to look any further into causes. The cat converter replacement was to cost $2521. They reportedly tested the battery as OK as part of their routine checkup. I declined the new cat converter till learning more. Meanwhile, my check engine light seemed to cycle on, then off, then on, then off . . . every several days.
In December I had the battery checked at Sears, who replaced it under warranty. So I guess it wasn’t okay after all. After that my check engine light stayed off for somewhat longer than usual, then back on for most of January. I was just about to give in and get the repair done when it cycled off briefly a few days ago.
I’ve lost trust in the dealership because of their battery check which differed from others before and after theirs; and for their lack of specific diagnostics. The light is back on and I don’t know what to do next.