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Blinking brake light just to get your attention? P1449

I realize that unless you work in the industry, most at a dealership, or buy a new car every year, you may not be aware of all the new technologies, but this one is really new to me (and I suspect maybe a little BOGUS).

I pulled out of my driveway yesterday (2014 Subaru Legacy 2.5 H4 engine, CVT) and about a half mile from the house, I noticed the brake light blinking. Along with it, the traction control icon was on steady, the cruise control icon was blinking (CC off) and the check engine light on steady. I turned around and went home. According to the owners manual, the blinking brake light meant a defect in the electronic parking brake. The car may not be safe to drive.

I pulled the code P1449 which according to the code reader means “air filter clog”. The car has 33k on it and I changed the filter at 30k. I pulled the snorkel and checked it and it was clear.

Since it is under warranty, I called the dealer to schedule the repair. I asked the service advisor if it was safe to drive and she told me that the blinking brake light was only to get my attention that the check engine light was on. BTW, the parking brake seems to be working just fine, setting and releasing normally.

I have sent an email to the Subaru technical center at to see what they say. I’ll let you know when I get a response.

It’s an EVAP code.

I pulled the code P1449 which according to the code reader means “air filter clog”.

There’s no fault code anywhere that means you have a clogged air filter. Where did you get that info?

Many carmakers disable traction control, stability control, cruise control, and ABS systems when there is an engine fault. Nothing unusual or bogus about that.

Henny Penny strikes again…

?? Henny Penny ??

“There’s no fault code anywhere that means you have a clogged air filter. Where did you get that info?”

I got this from, the makers of my code reader. I wonder if there is a separate air filter for the evap system.




BTW, I got a reply from Subaru and all it said to do was to go back to the dealer and ask again. They would get involved after the repair if I wasn’t satisfied with the dealers performance.

Anyone know where the evap canister is on this thing? I can’t find it.

OK, I have all the answers to my questions. The P1449 code does turn on those other lights and icons as described in order to get the drivers attention.

There is a separate air filter for the evap canister. The evap canister is located above a shroud in front of the passenger side rear wheel, but there is a gap at the edge of the shroud where the little air filter is located, and it is exposed to any dust, dirt, ice and snow that gets kicked up.

This isn’t well know on the Legacy, it is much more common on Outbacks and Foresters MY2013 and newer but it can affect all models starting in 2012. The Outbacks and Foresters are more likely to go off road. It is also a bigger problem in areas with deep snow.

I am going to let the dealer fix this as it is under warranty.

Edit: I added a tag for P1449 and edited the title to include the code. I suspect that we will see this as the newer Subaru’s with this design start getting a little older. I don’t like this design.

The evap canister grabs hold of the raw fuel vapors from the tank to prevent them venting into the atmosphere. Then when you drive those vapors get sucked into the engine. Fresh air has to enter the canister to replace the gas fume for that to happen, otherwise a vacuum would be created in the canister. That’s the purpose of the evap system air filter.

Using the brake light to draw att’t to another type of problem is a common technique. It’s a back-up in case the main dash warning light burns out.

The UPS truck dropped off a package today. I haven’t ordered anything lately. It was addressed to me and it was from Subaru. The card inside says in part “To show our gratitude for the recent opportunity to improve your Subaru experience, we hope you’ll enjoy this useful Dyson in your Subaru and in your home.”

They sent me a Dyson V6 cordless vacuum cleaner. The appointment to repair my car is tomorrow.

Are they trying to bribe me for a good review?

Years ago banks would give out freebies like that if you opened a new account. I got a bunch of good stuff that way, some of which I still using like a small portable radio. Banks these days are very cheap and don’t give out anything, you are lucky if they’ll give your own money back without complaining. So now maybe we’ll have to get our freebies from the Subaru dealer instead of the bank … lol …

Small portable radio is a whole lot different that a $300 vacuum cleaner.

Wow, a $300 vacuum cleaner? Much more pricey than the gifts I got from my banks. Since they said you could use it in your car, I thought it was one of those small hand-held vacuums for cleaning up bread crumbs you spill on the kitchen counter. But no, it’s a real vacuum cleaner for floors. I looked it up on google, it is quite the machine indeed. The prices I see are more like $400 than $300. That’s a valuable gift. Good for you.

Took it in today, the service advisor told me they found the filter full of water. They dumped the water and ordered a new filter. I’ll have to bring it back when it gets in. The CEL came back on with 7 miles after leaving the dealership on the way home.

Are they trying to bribe me for a good review?

It would work for me…glowing review… :wink:

A vacuum cleaner? That sucks. :smile:

but why was the filter full of water? What reason did they give for that?

@“the same mountainbike” yeah it sucks, and in a good way. I did a small area of the living room rug just to test it and within about 10 sq ft, (20 seconds) it filled the cup with a very fine dust that my CR top rated vac has been missing.

@BillRussell I don’t know and no. I do think it is in a bad location.

I’m feeling a little cheated. I got a bottle of touch up paint and the wife got a travel mug. Things are tight I guess. I got my first power saw from the bank for depositing $50. Then we got our first set of dinnerware from the bank in the 70’s. I think it was Twin City Federal. For every $50 you got another place setting. It was nice stuff too and still have it. I wonder what happened to the money though? Must have spent it on something.