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VDC light and ABS light on 01 Subaru 6.0 Wagon

I’ve had ABS and VDC lights come on intermittently for a couple of months, turned the car off, back on, it’d go away and not come back on for a while. After inner tie-rod replacement and alignment, both lights come on and stay on. Any ideas? Anyone else have this problem?

Just to clarify your question, do you mean the VDC indicator (a pictogram of a car skidding), or the “VDC OFF” warning light? I suspect that it is the VDC OFF light, but I will leave it up to you to confirm this.

The only time that the VDC OFF light showed up on my dashboard ('02 VDC H-6 3.0), it came on along with the Check Engine Light. A scan of the OBD II system indicated that an evaporative emissions control valve had failed. While I was skeptical that this failure would have triggered the other light in addition to the CEL, the warrantied replacement of the evap emissions valve did resolve the issue, and the VDC (and the ABS) has worked flawlessly for the 6 years following the repair.

In your case, I suspect that a wheel sensor was damaged or the wire leading to this sensor was disconnected by whoever did the front-end work. The same wheel sensors are used to instruct the ABS and VDC systems what to do, so there is a commonality here. This needs to be investigated, and I would start with the shop that did the front-end work. If they are no help, I suggest that you go to the Subaru dealership’s service dept.

Thanks, VDCdriver for your response. The VDC warning light (“VDC” only) came on with the ABS light. According to the dealership, the code showed from the steering column sensor, and couldn’t have resulted from the front-end work. I’m still skeptical because that is just the most amazing coincidence in the world.
I will find out tomorrow if that is indeed the cause.
Again, thanks for your response.

Now Let’s Hear From ABSdriver!

Coincidental, perhaps, but not impossible. About 5 years ago, while my '02 car was under warranty , they did have to replace a VDC sensor in the steering column, so it is certainly not impossible that the same or similar part needs replacing on your car after 8 years or so.

And, since you had intermittent warning lights showing up prior to the front-end work, it really is likely to be a mere coincidence. Just for the record, it is never a good idea to ignore warning lights, even if they are intermittent. Deferred repairs have a way of being more costly than repairs that are done on a timely basis.

I have a '02 VDC H-6 3.0 and today had both the VDC OFF light and the CHECK ENGINE light come on for the first time. I also have a front left tire that was slowly losing pressure, but for the past 2 days has been losing pressure quickly (it had a puncture repaired >6 months ago and obviously needs to be looked at again).

Here is the interesting part of the story, the VDC OFF light will go off if I inflate the tire from 20 psi back up to 30 psi. In the past two hours I have been able to do this twice, the Check Engine Light remains on regardless.

I am bringing the car into a local shop to be diagnosed and will mention the evaporative control valve. As another related side-note my steering column has had “the” clicking noise for a while too, which sounds like a connection to the steering column sensor (literally and figuratively).

I hope I am not looking at too many CEL diagnostic codes tomorrow!