steering wheel controls and trip odo on '13 - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums

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Old 01-08-2013, 02:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default steering wheel controls and trip odo on '13

Just got a new '13 Outback in December. We got the Limited with Nav and EyeSight. Love it so far.

I have a question about the steering wheel controls. on the lower left of the steering wheel (about 8-o'clock), there's a 3 button cluster of Up, "i/set", and Down. So far, the only thing that these seem to do is if I push either of the up/down buttons, it displays or hides the "how much time have I driven since restarting the car?" display on the small screen between the speedometer/tachometer. The "i/set" middle button seems to do nothing at all.

The rest of the controls for the radio, Bluetooth, voice, and cruise seem to work fine.

Also, is there a trip odometer that automatically resets and displays every time I drive? My previous car had a nice one that would keep track of the miles driven, but would reset if the car was turned off for more than about two hours or so. It had a separate one that only reset when commanded to.

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Old 01-08-2013, 03:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The up/down arrows select different items that can be displayed on the dash, and the "i/set" switch pulled towards you will select and set that display.

Also, if a warning or vehicle information pops up on the dash display and then disappears, the "i" symbol may remain there and if you pull the "i/set" switch towards you, it'll display the information again.

I don't believe there is an odometer that will reset each time you drive..but you could do it manually pretty easily. Look through your owner's manual and get acquainted with your car :-)
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Those controls really befuddled me when I got my '13 as well. They are pretty dumb and could have been used much more effectively.

If you don't have Eyesight, the only thing those buttons do while the car is in D, M, R, or N is toggle the time since the car started on and off.

You can do some other dumb things with them when the car is parked like tell the system not to sweep the gauges or show the little picture when you start the car, or tell it to not say "Goodbye" when you shutdown.

I didn't decipher the manual fully but those buttons control some of the Eyesight features if your car is equipped with Eyesight.

I would have loved if those buttons could control which trip meter is displayed, reset the trip meter, and swap out which reading is shown on the upper dash LCD panel. (MPG, range, etc..)

My only other complaint.. boy is the owner's manual confusing the way Subaru writes it "For Type A dash, This!", "For Type B Dash This other thing!" In this day and age it'd have been awfully nice if you got a manual that just explained how your car worked, or at least substituted "Limited" "Standard/Premium" or "Harmon/Kardon", etc.. for "Type B", "Type A", etc..
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks beninma. I couldn't figure anything out from the manual. We've got the EyeSight, and it doesn't seem to do much with it either that I could discern. That toggle you mention was the only thing I could seem to find. I had been hoping that they would do exactly what you'd described with the upper dash trip computer as well.
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Old 01-08-2013, 03:54 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The MPG reading showing in the center of the car below the windshield is reset every time you reset the trip odometer to zero. There are two trip odometers - A and B - and each of them computes its own MPG since last reset. So I reset A every time I get gas and leave B alone. A then shows my MPG on this tank, and B shows MPG since I got the car two months ago. I will probably reset B at the beginning of a long trip and continue to reset A at each refill.

The MPG that shows in the display is the one that goes with the trip odometer currently showing on the dash. So if you want the MPG that goes with trip odo B, just change the trip display to B by pressing the knob on the left of the dash once.
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Old 01-08-2013, 05:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Budaru my beef with the way the trip computer stuff works is Subaru put 3 buttons on the steering wheel which are very safe & easy to operate without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road..

And then they didn't use them for the trip computer, they make you stick your hand over the wheel and find 2 tiny black buttons that blend in with the dash display.

If this all was tacked onto an old instrument panel that would be one thing, but they redesigned the entire instrument panel for 2013 when they added these 3 buttons to the steering wheel, so it's just a bad design.

One of the few nitpicks I have with my car. If these buttons can't actually be used to toggle eyesight features while driving either, they really serve no purpose. If something is dangerous enough that they don't want you doing it while the car is in "D", there is no sense in putting the controls on the steering wheel.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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As far as I can recall (don't have the manual in front of me and am not sitting in the car), the eyesight controls are as follows: two buttons on the roof which let you turn on/off collision warning and lane warning and 1 button next to the regular cruise buttons (three parallel lines) which lets you adjust the following distance/time when in cruise control (i.e. rotate through ~ 3s, 2s, 1s). We haven't used cruise after the test drive as we're still in the 1000 mile break-in period, so I guess it's possible that they do something with that engaged.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beninma View Post
Budaru my beef with the way the trip computer stuff works is Subaru put 3 buttons on the steering wheel which are very safe & easy to operate without taking your hands off the wheel or your eyes off the road..

And then they didn't use them for the trip computer, they make you stick your hand over the wheel and find 2 tiny black buttons that blend in with the dash display.

If this all was tacked onto an old instrument panel that would be one thing, but they redesigned the entire instrument panel for 2013 when they added these 3 buttons to the steering wheel, so it's just a bad design.

One of the few nitpicks I have with my car. If these buttons can't actually be used to toggle eyesight features while driving either, they really serve no purpose. If something is dangerous enough that they don't want you doing it while the car is in "D", there is no sense in putting the controls on the steering wheel.

I couldnt have said all this better.

Seems MOST of what those buttons do on my Limited SAP - is something you cant even do while driving - so pointless to put on the wheel. Those levers/buttons, whatever are not exactly out of the way when you have big hands like me, so they better be serving a good purpose to be there.
Very good point that trip odometers and the gas mileage are still buttons you have to reach around for but those are things more likely to be done while driving.

yeah - the more I think about it the stupider those three buttons seem to me.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I agree with you Sequoia225 - some of those steering wheel gismoz are an overkill; there are more "overkills" on our cars, needles to say! But then again, some people may find those usefull. You can't please everyone, when it comes to designing a new car!
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:06 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you leave the key in the "ON" position without starting the car and press the middle "i/set" button it brings up a menu and you can change some minor settings like the auto headlight sensitivity.

I agree and think the buttons are a little large and out of place on the steerting wheel. I wish they would have designed them to be a little more hidden like the bluetooth buttons on my wife's car:



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