How do I Connect OBD-II to a Subaru Outback?

by Patrick Hutchison

As of 2010, OBD-II refers to the type of engine diagnostic system employed by most modern car manufacturers, including Subaru. Subaru Outbacks have used the OBD-II system since 1996. OBD-II allows users to connect a computer diagnostic tool directly to the Subaru Outback computer for quick and easy diagnosis of engine codes. When your Subaru Outback's check engine light comes on, connect an OBD-II device to your diagnostic system to find out what is wrong.

Remove the lower dashboard panel on the driver side of your Subaru Outback. It is the panel located in the space between the bottom of your steering wheel and your gas and brake pedals. The panel should simply pull off.

Look for the OBD-II data link connector (DLC). The connector will have 16 pins arranged in two rows of 8. It will be unplugged and should resemble the connection on your OBD-II scanner.

Plug your OBD-II scanner into the DLC on your car and turn the scanner on and your car on. You do not need to start your car; simply turn the key to the "On" position.

Read the code displayed the scanner and record it. Some scanners will evaluate the code for you, while others require cross-checking with a full service manual made for your specific year of Subaru Outback.

Tip

  • check Keep your OBD-II scanner and an extra set of batteries in your car at all times. Most often, check engine light problems are minor, but diagnosing a serious problem immediately may save you hundreds of dollars on car repairs.

Warning

  • close Always be careful when accessing the wiring on your Subaru Outback. Do not disconnect or alter any wiring beyond your OBD-II DLC.

About the Author

Patrick Hutchison has been doing freelance work since 2008. He has worked as a physical therapy aide and as a writer for various websites including Destination Guides and several travel-related companies. Hutchison has a Bachelor of Arts in history and anthropology from the University of Washington.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera on board diagnosis connector image by Albert Lozano from Fotolia.com