Okay, I did it and now the flashing/blinking AT Oil Temp light is very concerning. Is that caused by such improper towing? If so, what would I expect to happen or to have fixed?

It’s a 2.5l CVT over 110k. The AT Oil Temp light blinks 8 times rapidly and have not able to decode. Took to a shop to diagnose with TCM scan, no code or was previously reset. Told to continue driving if any light comes on. Anyone with blinking codes would help.

  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Sep 28, 2018 at 11:41

3 Answers 3


You may need someone with access to the Subaru Select equipment to get this resolved.

The service manual states for the ATF light blinking 8 times in 2 seconds.

Step 4 - CHECK TCM.
Read the data of «ATF Temperature Lamp» using the Subaru Select Monitor.
Is “ON” displayed?
If yes, Go to step 5, else Perform the self diagnosis of combination meter.

Step 5 - CHECK TCM.
Read the data of «ATF Temp.» using the Subaru Select Monitor.
Is the display 125°C or more?
If yes Go to step 6, else Check the TCM.

Check the real fluid temperature from the transmission case surface temperature.
Does it clearly differ from the «ATF Temp.» displayed on Subaru Select Monitor?
If yes, Perform the diagnosis according to DTC P0712 procedure. If there is no problems, perform the diagnosis according to DTC P0713 procedure, else When ATF temperature can be judged as actually high, perform the diagnosis again after the ATF temperature lowers.


Crucial is for you to confirm if it has a manual or auto transmission - I know you mention the AT light but that may just be the label from the owner's manual.

Most manual transmissions can be towed like that for at least 5 miles and maybe more, some trucks / cars have to have the propshaft removed first

An auto box however, is a different proposition - there is usually an oil pump that is driven by the engine and if this pump is not providing oil, then the bearings and mechanisms in the auto box can easily be damaged through lack of lubrication.

It will need checking as the damage can be severe, it will reduce the lifespan of the box and will probably be expensive.

  • I suspect the OP is worried about winding his differentials up too. Sep 28, 2018 at 13:02

On your 2014 Outback, you have a CVT transmission. The flashing light means that the car is not happy with the transmission for some reason.

If you're still under 100,000 miles, the transmission should still be under warranty. Take it to a Subaru dealer to get the code read. If you're lucky, it's a simple fix or under warranty. If not..

  • 1
    Not all 2014 Outbacks have CVTs. The 3.6 versions still have the 5 speed auto trans.
    – B540Glenn
    Sep 28, 2018 at 14:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .