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Last week, my '98 Outback (58,700 miles) started to flash the ATF Temp light 16 times on startup. The light then went out and would not flash again until the next startup. I did a search on this, read the threads, and prepared myself for an expensive repair.


The AT fluid had last been changed at about 37,000 miles and was pink with no burned smell. I did not notice any torque bind, but I put the FWD fuse in as a precaution. I took the car to GrandPrix Subaru in Hicksville NY. (Thanks to Nipper for his offline recommendation of this dealer).

When I picked up the car, the dealers' work order reported "ran diagnostics, found torque signal code out of range with rear speed sensors. Removed FWD fuse, roadtested vehicle OK". Cost $110 for the diagnosis.


I am not sure if the code was cleared by the dealer, or the computer reset itself upon removal of the fuse. In any case, the ATF light has been acting normally for the last few days of driving.


Any ideas on why this happened or the likelihood of the fault reapearing in the near future? I plan to have the tranny fluid replaced next month at inspection time.



Jim Kasper

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They are great people at Grand Prix. If thats what they found, thats what I would go with.


Why did it happen? things break.


You are a bit confused on operation of things.


The tranny light will flash on startup to indicate a fault when the car was last operated.


The light went away because they fixed the problem.


Drive and be happy :)




You know your due for a timing belt either 106,000 miles or 8 years (ish)



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My 98 outback AT temp light flashes 16 times on every startup.

When stopped and idling in "drive", forward creep seems very strong...must brake firmly to remain stationary.

When I turn off the key in either "park" or "neutral" the vehicle lurches.

In reverse, it acts as if brakes were on and will stop unless considerable accelerator is applied.

What is going on?

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Welcome to the USMB. 


BTW, it's best to start a NEW  topic vs. 'bumping' a 7 year old one....but not a big deal.


What RPM is your  car running when it's 'creeping' forward?


There is a procedure to obtain the CODEs in the transmission which the 16 flashes are indicating is present. This is separate from the Engine codes. 


Look on here to find out how for the '95-'98 models - I know how for the '90-'94, HERE, but likely different for your '98. You can also take it to a Tranny shop, but you're likely looking @ a min. Diagnostic charge.


Once you get the codes you can post back here for advice....w/out the code we can't help much.




Edited by wtdash

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Yes this one sort of caught me by surprise :)


What is the idle speed. Creep in D without any application of the brake is normal. In modern cars they will build up some speed too given enough room.


The lurch might be the unloading of the driveline.


What happens if you drive in a tight circle (I think I already know the answer to this).

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