Apologies in advance for the long post: My spouse and I are the original owners of a 2004 Subaru Outback. The car was rock-solid reliable and judiciously maintained by us through ~165K. Then we moved to a new area and had to deal with a new mechanic and a new dealer — at which point things became complicated.
I’ll start with my question and then back into the explanation: Is it possible for a Subaru Outback 2.0L, AT (EJ259, CA engine type) to throw a P1092 code?
We’re stuck between two conflicting diagnosis: An independent repair shop claimed that this code is for a tumble generator valve in a Subaru WRX. The shop owner says we need to install a new electronic control module because that part doesn’t exist on our Outback engine. Our local Subaru dealer has a completely different take. In February, before pandemic lockdowns were in effect, the dealer claimed to have attempted to install what the service advisor called a “tumble generator valve”. They apparently broke the replacement part — an “AY Motor Assembly” per its actual part name — so they took it off and reinstalled our old one. They then ordered a replacement and claimed that upon installing it, the CEL did not clear. At that point, the dealer diagnosis became a “dirty intake manifold” — but they do not guarantee that cleaning the manifold will correct the problem!
Shortly after the dealer advised us to clean the intake manifold, the pandemic lockdowns struck and they abruptly told us to take our car back. In July we attempted to pick up where we left off. Some five weeks at the independent mechanic’s shop later, the shop owner was still reporting he was unable to source the part (a used ECM). In August, we were evacuated for a wildfire — at which point we called and asked “When?”. Without even pausing to apologize for the delays, the owner of the shop simply told us to come get our (still not repaired!) car. Since the next nearest Subaru dealer is ~80 miles away, spouse decided to approach dealer management about what we hoped had been a fluke (our first experience with this particular dealer since moving to the area). We learned that the service manager we were dealing with back in February had been let go and were hopeful that the car would be properly diagnosed after the current service manager claimed he would take care of us. That was a month ago and now we’re right back to square one — calls to the service manager routed directly to voicemail, with no clarification on whether the P1092 code was relevant to our car or whether or not cleaning the intake manifold would be guaranteed (our service tickets earlier this year actually say they won’t guarantee the repair).
Although we wanted to hit the 200K odometer mark with this car, we threw in the towel and bought another car while evacuated from a recent wildfire. Because the car was still tied up in the shop — some 9 weeks between the independent shop and the Subaru dealer so far this year — we were unable to trade it in. It’s due for a smog check but in CA a check-engine light for any reason precludes a smog check. We’ve poured too much money into this car within the past year — head gasket repair and a slew of suspension repairs that inexplicably became necessary while in the care of the same independent mechanic — to junk this car. Ideally, we’d like to donate the car to someone who can use it — assuming there’s any hope of fixing it without throwing another $800 into it. Any suggestions?