Subaru Outback 07 won't start, dealer says they have no idea

I went to start my 07 Subaru Outback 2.5i yesterday morning with both kiddos in the car and it seemed to begin to start and then just seemed to stop the starting sequence. When the key was in the ignition in the on position, the lights work, the radio works, everything thing besides the engine seems to work, BUT above the odometer there was an error reading "Er HC’, and the temp gauge was as high as it would go on H but the car had not been run for over 24 hours at that point. The fan to the engine seems to be running also when in the on position which I do not remember happening normally, maybe it is always on when the engine is on but b/c the engine is not on I can now hear the fan? Tried over and over again to start it but the engine never made another sound and every time the lights would turn on and the error message would appear over the odometer.
I ran a scan for any engine problem codes but it said it was clear. We tried jumping the car, but the battery is fine (all lights come on, radio works etc). The car has never missed any maintenance and has always had its oil changed every 3000 to 3500 miles. The car has 62000 on it and just (in the last 1500 miles) had its 60000 mile tune up at the dealership. We had the front two control arm bushings replaced at Les Schwab (b/c it was less then 1/2 the price of the dealer), they were cracked, but all the other stuff was normal and really they were changing fluids etc. at the dealer and didn’t replace anything. Our car has never had any problems besides the control arm bushings just being replaced and now this. We had to have it towed to the dealership and it has been there now for over 24 hours and they have told us ‘we have never seen this problem’ & ‘we are contacting Subaru headquarters to see if they have a solution’ (b/c they have no idea how to fix it).
Any ideas would be GREATLY helpful! Thanks!

It’s really distressing that a dealership specializing in this make of car claims to have no clue, and it really makes you wonder about their competency.

In any event, here is what I suggest that you tell them at the dealership:

Look at the connectors going into the Engine Control Module (ECM), which can be found underneath the foot board in front of the passenger seat. More than likely, they will find that one or two of the electrical connections have worked their way loose. Once they fix the loose connections to the ECM, the problem should be resolved.

We had a similar error that related back to a weak battery from a bad alternator. Basically the computer-computer communication system picked up an error.

Here is a TSB that explains it a bit however really is just an assist on how further to resolve it.

Please note if the vehicle runs and you do about 4 restarts it may just go away.

Definitely find a new dealer.
Did they suggest you buy a new car?

You did not need new control arm bushings. All rubber bushings check with age, checking is when small cracks appear around the edges, but the bushing itself is good. Control arm bushings last 20 or more years, but they check after just a couple of years.

If your AC button was pressed, then the fans would run, even if the engine is cold. Since the “Er HC” is on the dash display, its meaning should be in your owners manual, I’m surprised the dealer didn’t look there first.

Tell the stealer they might start by googling er hc. That’s what I did.

Just a long shot, but they might check for rodent damage to the wiring or water damage to a “sealed” component…

Dealer is going on the 3rd day of having our car. Would love to send it somewhere else but we live in a smaller town and the next dealer is an hour + away. Battery was checked and is fine, has not restarted since it died (probably tired 30+ times). The dealer is still clueless in what to do.

Here is what most dealerships would do…First, inspect the wiring, including the hidden wiring for damage. Then start replacing parts until it starts and runs. Then charge you for all the parts they replaced…Good Luck…

The reason it’s taking them so long, they don’t have the correct parts in stock…When they arrive, they will start changing them…

After looking at the link that MG McAnick gave it appears one of the posters gives a clear solution to what is causing the trouble with the CANBUS data. Checking for a connector problem to the ECU may help solve this trouble. His problem even had the same trouble with the temperature gauge. That is a good clue as being the same problem.

Good research MG.

@Cougar T’wern’t nothing. Just a few key strokes.