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Subaru Electrical Mayhem

Hi! I have a 2007 subaru outback ll bean addition with 67,000 miles. For the past year and a half my gas pedal has intermittently become unresponsive. The engine is running just fine but the check engine light and cruise control light start blinking and boom-no gas. After turning off the engine, the car won’t start until the gas pedal has magically started working again. The dash lights continue to blink for several starts but then stop. Prior to this problem, I have noticed that sometimes the console lights for the radio and AC blink and sometimes go dark at which point the controls are ineffective. As if this wasn’t enough, just yesterday when trying to start the car, the engine was having trouble turning over with a rapid clicking noise. It eventually started but now the seat belt buckle alarm is out of whack and the speedometer displays “ER U1.” Can you help me diagnose the problem? Is there one or more issues? This is my first car and I’m almost done paying it off. I would like it to last because I’m a poor, poor grad student. Helpful advice would be helpful! Thanks!

Dirty battery posts and or cable terminals. Or if the battery is original from 2007 you need a new one.

Take both terminals off and clean them with a wire brush and be sure the battery is at full charge.


Also, clean the grounds for the motor and chassis.

Guys, come on. The first thing to do is pull codes from the computer. I’m not saying battery terminals and grounds are not good advise, but the car is trying to tell us there is a problem and is most likely storing codes that will tell us what the computer is trying to say. With the CEL blinking, the computer feels it is very important.

With everything glitching, I did not think that the codes would be valid. I just would start with good power and grounds and then pull the codes.

As a poor grad student, you can take the car to an auto parts chain store and ask them to read the codes for free. Write the codes down in P0123 format and report them back here.

Pull the codes and look at a wiring diagram and see if all the components that have problems have a common ground point. This sounds like a ground or communication issue.

Thanks for all the responses. From yalls comments, Im starting to think this may be two different problems. I think I need to clean my battery connections and perhaps get a new battery. The code for the gas pedal issue is P2138, which is the throttle position sensor. Does anybody know if there is a common electrical ground between the throttle and console lights?

Here is a link for Subaru ground problems and the fix.

Thanks, knfenimore! This link addresses the ground problems, but doesn’t specifically mention the throttle issue. I haven’t been able to find a fix related directly to that. Help a lady out?

Your question was answered. Cleaning battery cable terminals …including the ground…and getting a new battery in there should clear up the problem.

The link did mention this “it has had flat spots right through the rev range and serious hesitation around 3000 to 3500 rpm.” Maybe the terminology was beyond your mechanical understanding.
The OP in that link kind of went overboard on the ground issue. The battery ground should run from the battery negative post to the engine block.
There should also be a braided, flat, uninsulated wire that grounds the engine and body. It should be from the engine block to the firewall. Sometimes this wire gets removed to do other repairs and is forgotten about, or it gets broken somehow.