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SOLVED: ECS Light - How to read code? (1985 Subaru GL)


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17 replies to this topic

#1 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 02:53 PM

PROBLEM SOLVED: The light that flashes codes was on a module that had been dislodged/pointed up behind steering column. I could not see the flashing light. LIGHT IS NOT ON THE ECU MODULE, BUT ON A SILVER COLORED MODULE DIRECTLY UNDER STEERING COLUMN. Light points forward towards driver.

Green test connectors should be unplugged, black connectors plugged together for normal/factory-default configuration. With this configuration drive car till ECS light comes on, leave car running after light comes on and look at light; note the code flashes - then look them up here on the link posted further down this thread.

THANKS TO ALL FOR HELPING AND BEARING WITH ME!

READ BELOW FOR ORIGINAL ISSUE:

I have a carbureted 1985 Subaru GL I just bought (I bought the 5sp manual instead of the automatic! I like the lever for 4WD instead of push button!)

I was cruising it around today seeing what all I need to fix and everything seems in order HOWEVER the ECS light is on? It wasn't on when I started the car, came on about 5 mins after I started it up.

Is there a FAQ or Walk-Thru for reading the codes on this vehicle? I would really appreciate it!

It wasn't overheating, it had good power, all the fans come on - it seems like a good buy at $400.

Edited by Sierradump, 26 September 2008 - 08:44 PM.
Problem solved!!!


#2 Turbone

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 04:13 PM

http://www.ultimates...highlight=codes

#3 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:09 PM

Hey thanks for the links to the codes, but I can't figure out how to get the car to flash the codes to me?

Right now I am only concerned with the "read memory" codes, or the codes that are stored...

With my old car (ford) I just had to use a paper-clip to short out two circuits and the check engine light would flash? Do I do something similar here with the Subaru??? Where are the connectors located? I have some wires/connectors on the engine side of the firewall on the drivers side that don't have anything attached to them - are these the diagnostic ports/connectors????????????


Is the check engine light supposed to flash, or is there another light under the dash somewhere?



THANKS IN ADVANCE!

#4 Turbone

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:29 PM

The procedure for reading the codes are at the top of the page.
It tells you where and how to read the codes. It also tells you where the test connector is.

#5 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:13 PM

Ya I saw where it mentioned that but I am a little confused...

On Carbureted and Single-Point Fuel Injected 1989 Models, the test connectors are located on the engine side
of the firewall, on the driver's side.


Is that for ALL carbureted models, or just the 1989?

So if that is just for 1989 mine should be under the dash then?

What about the light? It says it flashes the codes on the oxygen monitor light on the ECU? Is that a light that is on the actual computer? Where can I find the computer?

Sorry if this has been asked before but I have been searching and can't find it. I even went down and bought the chilton manual - it has wiring diagrams, but doesn't show the location of the ECU...

Thanks again!

#6 Turbone

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:33 PM

The computer is located under the steering column. Theres a hole where a LED will flash from. Your green test connector is located in the engine compartment, drivers side, between the wiper motor and hood hinge.

#7 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:47 PM

Haha okay now I am really confused...

Thanks for bearing with me. I know how to read the flashes, I just need help figuring out how to get it to flash!!!

I have a 1985 Sub. GL. So according to the instructions, my connectors should be under the dash. When I look up under the dash I don't see any wires - do I need to remove the lower covers on the dash to see these "connectors"...

There are self diagnostic connectors on all models which, when
connected together with the key in the ON position (engine off) flash
diagnostic codes through the LED light on the Oxygen Monitor on the
ECU.


Also you mention my green connector is in the engine compartment - I see that, but what do I do with it? Do I short out some terminals? It says to "plug connectors together" in the instructions - but there is only a male connector and no matching female connector?

Thanks again for helping me figure this out and sorry if I am not understanding something that is apparently easy for everyone else!!!

Edited by Sierradump, 25 September 2008 - 10:03 PM.


#8 Turbone

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 09:58 PM

Dude, I cant help you anymore :-\
If I was standing next to you, I would be kicking you in the rump roast and banging your head against the fender :eek:
You need to figure some of this stuff out yourself, it really isnt that hard.
Its a Subaru.

#9 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 10:09 PM

Sorry if it sounds like I need spoonfeeding, I just don't see these connectors? I just need to know where these connectors are!!!

Iv'e already been banging my own head against the fenders!

Can you just let me know if there are supposed to be male and female connectors? Like the green one for instance, Do I need a paperclip to short out terminals on the connector like I did in the ford??? There are no other connectors in the vicinity that would plug into that green terminal.

#10 Sierradump

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 10:18 PM

Okay so for anyone else that might buy a Subaru and is interetsed in finding their connectors, I found this to be very much informative!

http://www.troublecodes.net/Subaru/

#11 brokebill

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 09:44 AM

you ever figure it out?

on my 86 GL, when the ecs light comes on :

1. i leave the motor running with the light still on(once the key is turned off the code is cleared)

2. with the motor running and ecs light on just remove the screws holding on the cover below the steering wheel.(i can just emove a couple and kinda pull down on it a little, just enough to see the flashing O2 light)

3. take note of what it flashes and thats it.

what kept messing me up was the thought that the trouble codes would be stored after the key was turned off. they are not.

also on mine, there was no need to plug or unplug any test connectors before reading the O2 light.
just leave it running(when the ecs light comes on) pull down the cover and read the codes.


ps: my ecs light always comes on after a few minutes of driving due to the speedometer being unhooked. it gives me a speed sensor code.

good luck, Bill

#12 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 10:15 AM

-- CLEARING CODES ---

Codes will clear only when the faulty system or circuit is repaired.
After making the repairs, codes can be cleared by connecting TWO pairs
of connectors, the "Self-Diagnostic" connectors, and the "Read Memory"
connectors that are usually located right next to the diagnostic
connectors. To begin, start with a warmed up engine, turn the engine
off, connect both pairs of connectors, then start the engine. This
should clear the codes. If this fails to clear the codes, consult an
Authorized Subaru Technician.


:-\

#13 TheSubaruJunkie

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 10:16 AM

Okay so for anyone else that might buy a Subaru and is interetsed in finding their connectors, I found this to be very much informative!

http://www.troublecodes.net/Subaru/


The diagram they show is the dashboard of a Legacy. And the connectors they describe in that diagram are for the OBD1 & OBD2 EJ22's.

Not sure if the codes they list are compatible with the EA82.

#14 Sierradump

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:09 AM

Ya I am still confused and haven't successfully gotten any flashing lights... I looked all over the ECU and did NOT see any hole or led where a light would be flashing? Can someone describe where on the ECU of an 1985 Carbed GL I would find this LED?

Also I found 2 connectors under my steering column that were ALREADY connected? There was a pair of green connectors (1 terminal in the connectors) and a pair of black connectors ( 2 terminals in the connector ). BOTH OF THESE CONNECTORS WERE ALREADY CONNECTED? So I didn't assume they were the diagnostics connectors? Is it possible the previous owner didn't know what they were and connected them together? Does it sound like these are the diagnostic connectors?

I unplugged both of the connectors and the ECS light is no longer coming on - but I think it is because by unhooking both of those connectors I disabled it?

Sorry if it sounds like I need spoonfeeding - but this is my first subaru and I have no experience with the ECS light or trouble code system on this vehicle...

Thanks for any input!

#15 brokebill

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:21 AM

:-\


thats what i kept seeing too and then wondered why after cutting off the key the only code it would flash was the model designation code.

i believe it was GD who correcty informed me that the engine must remain running with the ecs light still on to retrieve the code and that it cleared when the engine was switched off.

as far as the test connectors and all that to clear the codes, it must be a broad statement that covers various make and models, but did not apply to my carbed 86 GL wagon.
the engine has to be running with the ecs light still on.


the ecs dash light does not flash the codes.
remove the panel directly below the steering column and you will find a small box with flashing red light.
i have not had to connect or disconnect anything to get and clear my codes.
hook things back up the way you found them first, and once you have found and read the led light under the dash, you'll be suprised how simple it is.

thanks Bill

Edited by brokebill, 26 September 2008 - 11:38 AM.


#16 Sierradump

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:51 AM

Thanks for the info...

I have turned my attention away from flashing codes, and just want to get the wiring back to factory default - I think the previous owner has hooked up a bunch of cables that were not supposed to be hooked up (probably looked under dash there and plugged everything together that he could...)

Does anyone know if the green connectors AND black connectors are supposed to be plugged together when NOT diagnosing the system? Just factory default? I think part of my confusion was not seeing any wires that WERE NOT connected? Looks like previous owner was digging around under dash and hooked all the connectors up to each other...

#17 Flowmastered87GL

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 11:55 AM

i dont recall where the connectors are on this particular model... but nothing on a subaru ever is supposed to be shorted out. They were smart and put matching plugs in instead :banana:

#18 Sierradump

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Posted 26 September 2008 - 12:09 PM

Right I realize that the plugs are male/female, but are all the connectors supposed to be connected???

In the diagram on trouble codes - it shows several pairs of connectors that are NOT connected - I assume this is the factory default? I.e. the green connectors disconnected, the black connectors disconnected etc... And to get the codes to flash the numbers you simply connect a pair of these connectors and turn the key to the "ON" position...

EVERY pair of connectors under my dash are currently connected?

Can anyone confirm that they are either supposed to be connected, or left unconnected for regular driving around - not diagnosing?

Thanks!!!

Edited by Sierradump, 26 September 2008 - 12:40 PM.





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