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2019 Outback Premium, White with black cloth.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For the first time since I bought my 2019 2.5 OB, I ran the tank down to almost empty. I was at 60-miles-left per the low fuel warning, but I was 35 miles from home after a 400 mile trip. Pulled into the driveway with 30-miles-left for fuel. This morning the warning still read 30-miles-left. My first stop was a gas station which is about 1 mile away and down hill.
About halfway to the gas station, the miles left indicator went from 30 to zero. Actually the indicator was just 4 hyphens.

Has anyone else with a Gen 5 or specifically a 2019 experienced this moment of being perplexed by lack of info? The question loomed in my head; How far can I go before the engine dies?

I can leave it to chance given that the night before it indicated 60 miles of gas left with 35 miles to home.
Shouldn't we expect a bit more accuracy ? Is this a know problem with the fuel gauge or tank sensor?
 

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2017 OB Premium 2.5 CVT
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142 Posts
You probably have about 2 gallons left when the low fuel light comes on solid. How much fuel did it take to top off? That should give you an idea of how much fuel was left in the tank.
 

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MY19 Outback 3.6R Premium
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The guesstimate to empty is just that - a guess. The car cannot possibly predict how much actual distance you have left given you will not be able to drive the car constantly at the same throttle during that time, hence why the guesstimate to empty only goes down to 30 kilometres (18 miles) left. As soon as the guesstimate dips below that, it will only show hyphens.

This doesn't mean you are in imminent danger of stalling, however you should refill as soon as you can because you run the risk of sucking up the crap at the bottom of your tank. You likely have less than 3 litres (0.973 gallons) left in the tank at this point.

My 2019's tank capacity is 60 litres (15.85 gallons) as per below - yours might be different since it's a different market.

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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... you should refill as soon as you can because you run the risk of sucking up the crap at the bottom of your tank.
The fuel pump is always sucking from the lowest point in the tank. It's designed that way.
 

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2018 Outback Limited, 2.5 litre, automatic
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The fuel pump generates a lot of heat when it runs because is spins at pretty high RPM. It's designed to be cooled by being submerged in fuel. When you run your tank low, the pump runs hotter. It's not going to fail the first time you run your tank low... or even the hundredth time. But the more you allow it to run hot, the more you increase the likelihood it'll fail.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6r touring //// 2004 Wrx wagon 5mt SOLD
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108 Posts
Dont run it that low unless you absolutely have to. I dont trust the computer to correctly estimate how much farther I can drive under 60 miles. My car reads high on the milage gauge, so I would assume it's reading higher on the estimated miles until empty. Also, you're just asking for condensation to form in a tank that low.
 

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2019 Outback Limited, 3.6R, Abyss Blue
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For the first time since I bought my 2019 2.5 OB, I ran the tank down to almost empty. I was at 60-miles-left per the low fuel warning, but I was 35 miles from home after a 400 mile trip. Pulled into the driveway with 30-miles-left for fuel. This morning the warning still read 30-miles-left. My first stop was a gas station which is about 1 mile away and down hill.
About halfway to the gas station, the miles left indicator went from 30 to zero. Actually the indicator was just 4 hyphens.

Has anyone else with a Gen 5 or specifically a 2019 experienced this moment of being perplexed by lack of info? The question loomed in my head; How far can I go before the engine dies?

I can leave it to chance given that the night before it indicated 60 miles of gas left with 35 miles to home.
Shouldn't we expect a bit more accuracy ? Is this a know problem with the fuel gauge or tank sensor?
I have at least one gallon left after the computer says I have 0 miles left to drive! Subaru calibrates their fuel gages VERY conservatively. This has been my experience with multiple Subarus over the last 13 plus years.
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Limited
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2,104 Posts
My experience with my G4 is similar.
When the miles-to-go drops off and reads "---" there is about 1.5gal remaining.
I make a quick mental note when the fuel light comes on what the miles-to-go is reading and add that to the trip odometer for a "do not exceed" point. e.g. the low fuel light comes, MTG=70, trip odo=420 => Do not exceed 490 miles.
Overall, I'd say it is pretty good for accuracy but the lawyers want lots of margin built in so Subaru owners are not stranded all over the highways after running out of fuel.
 

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‘19 3.6R Touring
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354 Posts
The fuel pump is always sucking from the lowest point in the tank. It's designed that way.
Thank-you!

& if you rally your car a bit,’whatever’ grit in there is sloshing around and will make its way to the pump, @ the very least, get trapped in the fuel filter. I’ve dropped a few tanks in my lifetime & have been amazed how clean they are inside.
WRT the Eco-meter in a $25K-$40K USD car, I’m amazed how close it can approximate & very happy with it.
A $5B USD space shuttle has 4 redundant IBM’s…
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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The low fuel warning comes on with approximately 10 liters (2.4 gal) remaining.

As noted, '---' on the distance to empty display is not the same as zero. Once the fuel level gets that low (4 liters?), all DTE will tell you is "all bets are off".

Be advised that I have found that the DTE estimates are based on empty, as in "empty empty", as in no fuel whatsoever left in the tank. Realistically, your car will stop running before the tank can be run completely dry. Which reminds me... it seems like it's been a long time since seeing a post here complaining "in my previous <other brand of car>, I could go a long way after the DTE said zero. This car is defective." Maybe people are getting smarter? I don't really believe that, but one can hope!

Also, I gather that the notion that the fuel pump is cooled by being immersed in the fuel is an urban legend. It's cooled by the fuel moving through it, not surrounding it.
 

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I have at least one gallon left after the computer says I have 0 miles left to drive! Subaru calibrates their fuel gages VERY conservatively. This has been my experience with multiple Subarus over the last 13 plus years.
There was a recall on the 2018 to reprogram the fuel estimates. I ran out of gas in my 2018 on the first tank when it still said I had 30 miles remaining. I was headed to the gas station at the time.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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The fuel pump ... [is] designed to be cooled by being submerged in fuel. When you run your tank low, the pump runs hotter.
No. The fuel pump is cooled (and lubricated) by the fuel running through it. Cooling is independent of fuel level in the tank ... right up until the pump starts sucking air.
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'19 Premium, 2.5
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My 2019 - man'f early Aug, 2018 - was over calculating my MPGs. I never ran it to empty, but by logical extension, estimated distance to empty was too high.
After many fill-ups / mileage calculations by hand, I took it in and had the computer reprogrammed -4%. The computer's very accurate now. There is still a small variation from hand calculation (-5% would have been acceptable too), but at least now I trust it.

For anyone "worried" about it, I highly recommend having the computer reprogrammed by the dealer. I looked in my documents for the instructions to post here, but apparently deleted them after my adjustment was done. Search for it here in the forum or in your FSM.

(edit, 1 day later to add)
OK, went in to see if I could find it easily & did, so here it is: In the 2019 FSM, follow the path for Engine 1, Body Section>Combination Meter (Diagnostics) MET(diag)>12. User Customizing. So the page # is MET20. In my FSM pdf, it's pg 5586 (out of 7434).
 
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