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2000 outback limited
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My outback ran out of gas. I brought fuel to the vehicle which started right up. I drove directly to a fueling station an fueled up the vehicle. When my wife went to start it the battery appeared dead. We jumped the vehicle and got it started. When it was started my wife asked me to drive it home . When I got in I noticed th tach was not registering and the odometer was flashing upon driving the ABS lite came on and the check engine lite came on. The vehicle made no strange sounds and seemed to run fine. When I got home I turned off the vehicle and could not get the key out of the ignition . After some fussing I turned the key on (withot being able to start the engine, the battery seemed dead again) put it in gear and put it in park, the key turned to the off position and came out of the switch. I tried to reset the computer by disconnecting both battery terminals an touching them together. I was then able to start the vehicle right up. Everything appeared to be normal until I went to test the drive the vehicle. I drove 50 feet and the gauges and lites began to flash again. I returneed the vehicle to the driveway where the key became stuck again. What happened? I would appreciate any advice.
 

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Nate - I'm no mechanic, but let me offer a couple points.

What kind of Outback is it? (year, model, mileage, etc.) That will probably greatly assist others in offering insight.

Common car wisdom says it's genreally a bad thing for a car to run completely OUT of gas because you end up drawing sediments and other crap at the bottom of the tank into the fuel system. I guess that's why there's a fuel filter, but this is what I've heard on many other car forums.

It's been my experience with other cars that when the battery is about to die or on it's last legs, you can get some rather strange behavio(u)r, like random warning lights, wipers that have a mind of their own, stray chimes, etc. So it may be a complete coincidence (running out of gas) - based on the age and mileage of your battery, perhaps it's just time to get a new one? Maybe it was right on the edge and and running out of gas was enough to tax it into the battery version of Alzheimer's? :)

my 2c, such as they are...
-Peter
 

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2013 XV Crosstrek
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665 Posts
You can always measure the DC voltage across the terminals, a car should have around 12.5 vDC when the car isn't running and is charged.

Not sure what else you can check, but that's a start. If you have an OBDII scanner, you can see if you get a code.

Also check your fuel pump too, if you can get access to the fuel pump (not sure where it is on a Subaru, my BMW's fuel pump is easily accessible under the rear seat cushion. you can see if you can get +12v at the fuel pump and also if the pump is still OK...

Jay
 
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