2005 Outback Check Engine Light on after running out of gas

Asked by Jun 27, 2017 at 07:42 PM about the 2005 Subaru Outback 3.0R L.L. Bean Edition Wagon

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

Ran out of gas several months ago which immediately triggered the CEL (code
PO 420). Have reset it several times but the light keeps coming back on. Car
has 208,000 miles on it. Have always used premium fuel as recommended by
the manual. I am wondering if the sediment at the bottom of the gas tank got
sucked into the system when I ran out of gas and is clogging the fuel injectors.
One Autozone employee suggested using Lucas fuel treatment with every tank
of gas, while another said to only put fuel treatment in every 3,000 miles or so.
Any ideas as to what my problem could be and how I could fix it?

6 Answers


If it was caused by the gas, fill it up at another station, clear the code and see what happens. Fuel system cleaner can't hurt. Changing the fuel filter might also be a good idea.


This is probably a coincidence. PO420 is a catalytic converter problem. https://www.discountconverter.com/catalytic_converters_news/new s_page.cfm?Key=catalytic_converter-&News=120

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

So you are thinking about taking advice from an $8.00 per hour Autozone employee? Running out of gas likely caused the issue.

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

I got a raise Bob. Now I make $8.50 selling fuel system cleaner ;)

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Sounds like the cat is no longer within the efficiency limits. Running out of gas won't cause that, it probably jus happened at the same time by accident. Also if you have any other issues like misfires or car running rich. Fix them first

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

Clear the computer and see if the code comes back. My S-10 Pick Up did that a few years ago. The code never came back. I agree that running out of gas has nothing to do with the trouble code appearing. If the code does come back you'll need a catalytic converter. HTH. -Jim

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