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2004 Subaru Outback Wagon 2.5L 4 cylinder Automatic 194K Purchased March 6,2013 at Salem, NH auction.
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I just got a used 2004 Subaru Outback Wagon about 8 days ago. I have been less than impressed with its fuel consumption, it seems to be a pretty thirsty little fella. I have been to the gas station almost daily and seem to be averaging only 17 MPG combined city and highway driveway. Granted I don't fill it when I gas up but that should not make that much of a difference I would think?
I didn't think the Outback was supposed to be close to getting 29-30MPG per Subaru but I was expecting at least 21-22PMPG anyways.

Even my cherished 2001 Subaru Forester was getting about 21MPG.

2004 Subaru Legacy/Outback Wagon AWD



2001 Subaru Forester AWD
 

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2005 LL Bean
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138 Posts
You can do a few things to improve the mpg. Make sure the tires are all set to the proper psi (and the same), run synthetic oils, make sure the maintenance items are in good shape (plugs, air filter etc.) Also, they are still pumping Winter gas up here, so I expect that will lower it a few as well. My H6 is listed at 20 or so hwy and I only get mid 18's. (according to the onboard display) However, I love the car and it is what it is. I am not one to stress over it. In the long run, it is not a huge expense and I think many people make too big a deal out of it. It's an AWD wagon, not a civic, lol.
 

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2003 LL Bean Outback H6 and 2019 Outback Base
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514 Posts
Is it the H4 or H6 ? When was the last tune up ? AIr pressure as mentioned above.....I would not run synthetic....its a " thinner" oil and not good for cars with " high " mileage with known HG issues. It could leak earlier. I had/ have 2000, 2003, 2006 Outback LOVE THEM !!!.......Mileage is about 23 mpg in the 2000......21 in my 03.....and 19 in the 06 ( my wifes car )....PLUS wintr fuel mix is crap for our cars !!..It should be gone within the month though...Fuel filter replace ? plugs ?

enjoy your awesome car !!!!
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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17,708 Posts
possible knock sensor or Engine Temp sensor problem.

and general maintenance as suggested. maybe run some SeaFoam or other (Techron) cleaner through a tank of fuel. Maybe a SeaFoam Spray treatment for the throttlebody.
 

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2004 Outback Wagon, 2.5, 4EAT, All weather package.
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1,040 Posts
I run synthetic through mine, I wouldn't be worried. And your economy sounds just about on par with mine. Around town I get 16-17 mpg. Highway 22-23 mpg. This last tank was mostly highway and I got about 20mpg. I am overdue for a basic tuneup, though. Also, your car will get much, much better fuel economy at 55-60 mph than 70-80mph, thanks to our extreme gearing.

As the old saying goes, you don't buy a Subaru for the fuel economy!
 
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