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Discussion Starter #21
They checked out my car today and as I suspected they found nothing wrong. The only thing they did was reset the computer system which I can't imagine will have any effect whatsoever. The next step is they want to have my car overnight a week from Monday to do a fuel efficiency test. Basisically they'll drive the car around to verify the gas mileage. They claim they can't call Subaru until they have done this verification (I guess I'm an idiot and can't calculate MPG). Tune in for more- same bat channel.
 

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Discussion Starter #22
I dropped the car off today and told the guy at checkin that I'm consistantly getting 13.5mpg local driving and when I did some highway I got 15.5mpg. He says "well that sounds about right!" I said "well if that sounds about right then you guys are misrepresenting your cars because the sticker says 19 city/27 hwy" He says they'll look into it. They have my car for a couple of days and we'll see what happens.

I'd like to hear what sort of fuel efficiency you are getting if you have the Subaru Outback Llbean model.
 

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Hey, our situations are pretty similar. I'm in State College & I bought my 03 Outback H6 sedan 10 weeks ago with 7500 miles on it due to the sales manager using it.

My powertrain is identical to yours (unless there was some difference in the center differential on LL Bean?) & similarly "broken in" by the time I bought it.

I am also miffed about gas mileage (OK, we all are :)) as my driving is an even mix of city & highway, I use premium like the book says, I go easy on the throttle, yes I do let it run for a few minutes to warm up, yes we are getting "winter" gas here in PA, I do reach full engine temp during my trips, & still I'm getting 18 mpg at best. 18 is disappointing, but if I was getting 13 I'd take it back, too.

These guys are right about engine warmup & "open loop"- until the computer senses that you're fully up to operating temperature (usually a narrow band around 195 degrees) fuel injection will go rich. This is the case for pretty much all cars these days. Even if its summertime & your "cold" engine is at ambient 80 degrees & you start up & drive 2-3 miles, you may not reach full engine temp.

Can you prove your MPG to them? The odometer is easy to check, do you have gas receipts? I can understand their position- I currently have a user with an intermittent laptop problem. I believe him 100%, but until he can reproduce it to me, I can't turn it in for warranty work :) ...at the same time, they shouldn't use that as an excuse if you sense they just don't want to help you.

A fresh set of NGK spark plugs is good advice, even on your young car- I'll be doing this as soon as time permits. I always like NGK "EKN" plugs (with the dual electrode)- no need to gap them (look at one, you'll see) & they last longer.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Geesh. 18mpg highway at best seems very low to me. The sticker says 27hwy. How can they advertise 27 if you are getting 18? I understand that you are driving a mix of highway and city but you are supposed to get 19 for city and you aren't even getting that!
 

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You will never get the same gas mileage they advertise to sell the car, that is done under ideal conditions and only meant as a guide, normally you'll get AT LEAST 10% or more worse, depends how/where you drive etc etc. Thefigures they publish are really only so you can compare between different cars.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
They drove my car yesterday and today for a total of around 105 miles and they filled my car (which was about half full before with 92) with 87 octane. They drove it for about 50 miles at a time. They did mainly city driving with a little highway and got 20mpg. They coudn't find anything wrong with the car. He said that in the winter you are better off using 87 even though the manual says 92 because higher octane can have more alcohol. He also said since I am always driving for mostly short distances that 13.5mpg is not unexpected. I think I may have my husband drive the car for a while and see what he gets. I'm also planning a 7 hour car trip soon and I'll see what sort of fuel efficiency I get.
 

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I think that 7 hour trip may be your best way to find out. Have a brand new tank of gas at an octane rating that your car calls for. The go on your merry way. Then check out the highway mileage with the straight through driving. That may give you and all of us a better idea of what is going on. Oh, and what size gas tank do you have? Brian
 

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1997 Outback 134Kmiles

I'm new, just registered. I don't actually own the outback, it's my grilfriends, and we experience very spuratic gas mileage. Sometimes on the highway (usually in the mountains) we get about 30MPG (as much as 33) on the plains through Oklahoma and texas we'll get about 23 (highway again) cit we'll get anything from 15 to 20. I don't know if anyone here has done this, but months ago I read somewhere that there is a vacume sensor, or just a part of the vacume system ( I don't remember ) that can go out and cause bad/random MPG. Has anyone else heard of this? I can't find the website I read that on again. Oh, and we always use 87 octane gasoline - college students can't afford the nice stuff.

We just drove from Norman OK to SW colorado. We towed a uhaul trailer back from durango that was pretty full (it was an 5'x8'). Her dad was driving, and part of the way we got 19 MPG towing that great, aerodynamic trailer. ;) Well, he was really heavy on the gas after that, and then would just let it off, then repeat. the tranny was shifting about every 30 seconds (I timed it). The MPG dropped to 13. I'm afraid for the car, going to get it checked out this week.

Anyway, just thought I'd throw that in there.

Enouen
 

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my mileage on my legacy has always been bad, from a low of about 16 to a high of 24 or so (highway). this am when i filled up, it was at about 20, mostly highway driving but with some traffic jams in there. the dealer tlld me i should expect 17 or 18, but this thing realy does guzzle, especially for a 4 cylindar. any ideas?
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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my 2 cents worth

clogged air filter will produce really crappy mileage, often without other hugely noticeable drivability problems, just genl lack of power, which you won't notice if you've never driven same car with clean air filter. even if you're not mech inclined, you can change it yrself in 5 min with no toools but a flat-blade screwdriver to pop clamps off. i've found that K&N filter in stock airbox seems to give me abt 1 mpg increase as well as slightly better power and throttle response compared to stock paper filter.

the dealer is full of it. the EPA mpg figures have changed over the years as they've refined the test procedure, but the one they're using now is a pretty good approximation of real-world mileage. if anything, it's slightly pessimistic judging by my results on my various vehicles. the fact that they;d even give you such BS answers implies that they have a pretty bad attitude towards their customers; time for a new dealership.
 

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02 OB sport, 2.5, 5MT, WRX seats/catback/rear bar, Hellas, Home Despot CAI and roof rack
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and FWIW

i have an 02 OBS with the SOHC 2.5 and 5M trans, abt 35K miles. i get 25-28 in town with the A/C on, and abt 28-29 hwy at indicated speed of 82-84. my ex' 95 Legacy L wagon (2.2 DOHC, 5M) gets 24 hwy cruising at indicated 95-100 and 27 cruising at indicated 80-85.

your #s are possible, but i don't think that even with super short trips it shd be THAT bad. esp in July.

Brian, thanks for reminder. gonna stop and get some new plugs on way home; hadn't done much to it yet as i just bought it.
 

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MPG

Don't change plugs temperature! You car is new and it takes some time to break in. A lot of people get poor gas mileage with a new car and it takes about 7500 mi before it goes to spec.

Go to the dealer have them inspect your plugs and inspect them as well with your own eyes. Make sure the look normal. As far as 91 octane you are fine with 87 the subaru manual states 87 or higher (mine does at least 4cyl. 2.5L 2000). If you live in a hot climate up the octane (burns slower) if it is cold lower the octane (burns quicker). I got the octane info from a BMW engineer that works on boxer engines for their motorcycles.

Anyways octane rating from 87 or 91 is not going to make you lose 7 mpg.

But I would go to the dealer and get it documented as a complaint (protect yourself and your warranty). Again, I would make them inspect your plugs (this tells them how the combustion is doing in each cyl.). If you dont know how to read plugs learn here is a link with good descriptions and color pictures:

http://www.centuryperformance.com/spark2.asp
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Well I did all of that and I still get 13.5 locally. They say it is because I drive short distances mainly and that it is to be expected. False advertising if you ask me. My manual states to use ONLY high octane also.
 

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REPLY Poor gas mileage in new Outback

If they say it is fine then you are ok. Give it some time the engines are tight when they are new and the gas mileage will go up. The pistons and other moving parts are still meshing that is why the first oil change is so important because little pieces of metal is in the oil from this meshing process. The tighter the engine the more friction it has to overcome from a stop. Once it is broken in there is less friction for it to overcome. My outback when it was new was down 5.5 mpg from spec but overtime (6mos.) it went to spec.

kpgclark said:
Well I did all of that and I still get 13.5 locally. They say it is because I drive short distances mainly and that it is to be expected. False advertising if you ask me. My manual states to use ONLY high octane also.
 

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Is it manual or auto? What engine 4 or 6? Is it turbo? Is your around town driving in a place San Francisco (a lotsteep grades)?
 

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ahh, that's the problem...someone swapped in a Chevy 4.3 V6 drivetrain where yr Sub motor oughta be. :)

i knew this creeping GM-ization was not going to be good for Subaru....
 

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Ok. If you have not changed your air filter do so. I use a K&N not because it is suppose to give you better gas mileage or HP, but because it is better than any paper or foam element. The are $$$ ($50) but it is good for 50,000 miles (no kidding), wont void your warranty, and filters are better than paper. After 50K just wash it and spray fresh K&N oil on it (use their recharge kit about $11) and it is good for another 50K (after that toss it - so you get 100K out of it)!

Considering you should change your air filter every 10K-15K at $13 for a OEM air filter it turns out not to be a bad price.

Changing your air filter can surprisingly help by 3-5 mpg depending what condition your filter is in now. If it is the original air filter at 9500 miles it is clogged even if it doesn't look dirty.

Tire pressure 0.5 psi difference can affect you gas mileage by 2 mpg. But this is not to say every 0.5 psi = 2 mpg it is to say that just a 0.5 psi can affect you gas mileage greatly (fact from the EPA). This is especially true if all four wheels are off greatly and unevenly in regards to each other.

How is your alignment? Does it pull when you brake? Bad alignment can greatly affect gas mileage and prematurely wear your tires.

Do you have a rack with a roof carrier? An empty roof carrier reduces mileage easily by 3 mpg at highway (45 mph and plus)because of wind resistance.

Extra weight that you may be carrying can affect your mileage (but this nominal).

Check and see if your brakes are dragging, sometimes the emergency brake cable is to tight and needs adjusted (no indicator would be displayed on the dash) .

You might find a combination of things that will equal your 7 mpg loss.

Good luck feel free to ask me any ?'s
 
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