Subaru

Asked by May 05, 2016 at 10:23 PM about the 2005 Subaru Outback

Question type: General

My computer in my 05 Subaru Legacy outback is
out and my air won't work. It's a 5 speed, California
emissions. My question is if the computer is
interchangeable? Do I have to get the exact same?
Nonturbo 5speed California emissions or can I use
the federal or Canadian one?

7 Answers

12,625

Simple, to obtain ANY Computer and yes it must be exactly the same as your current PCM power train control model, name given by the SAE Society of Automotive Engineers. CARB or the EPA might place you on the WATCH list if you "tamper" with a vehicles emission system! Really, Ok with me it's a FREE COUNTRY?

20,445

Its my understanding that the Subaru Legacy and the Subaru Outback are essentially the same car, so, I would say yes.. If you live in California, the emissions standards are very clear.. Good luck...

1,730

I would call those who sell them and talk to them, they will to you what to look for. Always try to go to the source! All of us are probably only guessing.

22,705

Woah, hold your horses Caballero- why do you think your "computer" is bad? What does that have to do with the AC? I'm confused- better get a pro to look at it- before you just go spendin' money-

4,950

I'm gonna guess that Bforst is referring to the climate control panel as a "computer". If he really means an ECM then these are VERY specific for year and app, especially in the "mongrel" 2005 year between the sinpler 2000-2004 emissions and the subsequent variable-valve PZEV introduced in 2006. Yet it's easy to decipher: just peel back the passenger side floor carpet, remove the cover, and read the CODE printed on the ECM's cover. Match it up and it'll be fine. Salvage yards know this, so that helps. Re: the AC Subies have a low pressure cutoff switch among their AC components to that the system doesn't operate poorly. Yet simply adding a can of refrigerant is NOT a good idea, and illegal in many states. Do it right and have the system evacuated, tested, and refilled after any leak is found and remedied. But a dozen years is a LONG time for these compressors, so I suspect you'll be chasing one...or an evaporator or hard line.

20,445

I'm thinking that the "computer", is monitoring and controlling every system that's operating in the car, including the HVAC, so, maybe this is affected.. In any case, an independent qualified mechanic can run the codes and find out what's really going on. My old 1995 Honda Accord needed to have the computer replaced and it affected many systems in my car.. It can certainly have an effect on the performance, fuel economy, emissions, and other vital systems.. Yes, be certain that the computer really needs replacing, they are NOT CHEAP. If you intend to keep the car for an extended period of time, you might consider a refurbished one over something unknown at the salvage yard.. You really are taking a shot in the dark when you purchase an 11 or 12 years old product there as important as this is to the car's operation.. If you were just picking up an old replacement tail light or something, yeah, the salvage yard would be a perfect solution.... I would not take the risk of getting it used for the computer.....

4,950

Boneyard used ECMS are usually quite reliable, Mark. In the Subie's case it does NOT affect the vent system...just the rad fans operation in an indirect manner.

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