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2018 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 with EyeSight
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Folks,

First time here in search of a fitting answer to the scenario number of us have seen thus far.

I got a 2018 Outback Limited 2.5 with EyeSight back in November of 2017, and during the first 6K, the ride has been more or less smooth.

Now, after reading number of threads regarding MTE instances, I still was not able to find a definitive answer to the perennial 'ran-out-of-gas-at-30-miles-to-empty' situation. And yes, that precisely had been the case - first two times inadvertently (within first 1K), and then two more times more-or-less out deliberately/testing (once at 3K and once at 5K).

At first, I thought the system must take time to "learn" how to accurately calculate the remaining mileage, but now at 6K, either it will never learn, or perhaps I won't :).

I test-drove the 2017 Outback Limited before purchasing the 2018 model; I hit the 20 MTE mark and then drove an additional 10 miles without any issues, although the calculation eventually stopped after the 20 MTE mark. However, with my 2018 Outback - within first 6K so far, I have NEVER reached the 20 MTE, and have literally ran out of gas at 30 MTE every time it happened. Each time following the running-out-of-gas instance, I have fueled 18.4 gallons of fuel twice, 18.3 once, and 18.5 once.

I have informed the dealership of this situation and was told that only one other customer with the 2018 Outback Limited 2.5 w ES has reported the same situation. In addition, the service said that they are not aware of any possible solutions to this instance, and that I am best left to wait for a recall if it ever happens...

So yes, there it is folks. I will certainly appreciate any additional insight into this problem and, in a way of beforehand-gratitude, let me be the first one to wish you a Happy 2019, cheers!

PI84
 

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2018 OB 3.6R Touring Dark Blue Pearl
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85 Posts
I know from experience to fill up at around 1/4 tank, or when that little light comes on at the very latest. However, young and/or inexperienced drivers will probably look at the MTE and assume it to be reliable, or at least not come up short.
It seems that it would be a good idea for Subaru to tweak the MTE settings to avoid these situations. Better to err on the safe side, IMHO.
What harm would there be in having half a gallon left in the tank at 0 MTE. Running out of gas is certainly inconvenient but also potentially unsafe. Plus it can damage expensive components according to warnings in the Outback owner’s manual.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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971 Posts
Another thing to remember is that the DTE uses your most recent MPG calculations to determine remaining range. And that calculation is roughly 5-6% high. So the car itself thinks it's using less gas than it is. The dealer can adjust that MPG calculation, and I will be asking for it when I get my first service. After that, the DTE might be a little more accurate, but I would never trust any car's range calculation to that level.

My personal guideline is to fill up at 100 DTE, and that's only because I want to maximize my savings when using my Kroger fuel points. I use the same number of points regardless of gallons purchased, so I may as well get as much as I can. If I was just paying pump price, I'll fillup at a half tank. I haven't run out of gas since the 70s, and don't ever intend to again. :)
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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903 Posts
It seems that it would be a good idea for Subaru to tweak the MTE settings to avoid these situations. Better to err on the safe side, IMHO.
What harm would there be in having half a gallon left in the tank at 0 MTE.
Which is how every other manufacturer seems to calibrate their DTE function. Some (Toyota/Lexus) to the point it's laughable when it tells you you're out of gas. Which means the motoring public (in general) has become accustomed to conservative programming. Subaru has tripled in size over the last few years so obviously more and more new Subaru buyers are showing up and not used to the peculiarities.

Regardless, hindsight is 20/20.....those of us on these forums knew in advance that Subaru means 0 even if it says 20-30 miles....everyone else will learn it the hard way if they press their luck at all. I'll guarantee my wife would have run out of gas if I had not discovered this tidbit of info before we bought the OB.
 

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Not a whole lot to understand. Page 3-21 of your owner's manual spells it out nicely. When the low fuel light comes on, get gas.

I've been driving 50 years and have never ran out of gas. Not all that difficult to prevent from happening.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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1,108 Posts
Hello Folks,

So yes, there it is folks. I will certainly appreciate any additional insight into this problem and, in a way of beforehand-gratitude, let me be the first one to wish you a Happy 2019, cheers!

PI84
Uhhh... fill up when you get to 1/4 tank?

You let yourself run out of fuel not just once, but 4 times? Title of your post should be "Operator Headspace Error". :)
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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2,511 Posts
Another thing to remember is that the DTE uses your most recent MPG calculations to determine remaining range. And that calculation is roughly 5-6% high. So the car itself thinks it's using less gas than it is. The dealer can adjust that MPG calculation, and I will be asking for it when I get my first service. After that, the DTE might be a little more accurate, but I would never trust any car's range calculation to that level.
While this observation is correct, it's not terribly significant. At 30 miles estimated range, 5% optimistic amounts to 1.5 miles. The actual fuel consumption going into the estimate will likely vary a lot more than that because of differences in driving and traffic conditions.

My personal guideline is to fill up at 100 DTE, and that's only because I want to maximize my savings when using my Kroger fuel points. I use the same number of points regardless of gallons purchased, so I may as well get as much as I can. If I was just paying pump price, I'll fillup at a half tank. I haven't run out of gas since the 70s, and don't ever intend to again. :)
That's my strategy, too, although I'll typically take it down to 60 or 70 miles indicated, and occasionally lower, since the stations that honor the discount card are seldom more than a couple of miles away.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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971 Posts
While this observation is correct, it's not terribly significant. At 30 miles estimated range, 5% optimistic amounts to 1.5 miles. The actual fuel consumption going into the estimate will likely vary a lot more than that because of differences in driving and traffic conditions.
Yeah, I knew it wasn't much. But for people that are placing their trust in that number, every little bit helps! :grin2:
 

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2019 2.5i Limited Forester (hers) (4th Subie), 2014 Impreza Premium (mine)(#5)
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2,298 Posts
Uhhh... fill up when you get to 1/4 tank?

You let yourself run out of fuel not just once, but 4 times? Title of your post should be "Operator Headspace Error". :)
Standard survival thing that we learn in Indiana, especially due to winters. In winter, you get to half a tank, you fill it up. You never know when you're going to find yourself unexpectedly stranded.

Down here in Oklahoma, it gets to 1/4 tank in the summer, I fill up the next morning. Winter time, still fill it up at half a tank. Seems to avoid all the worries about distance to empty and running out of gas concerns...

Note that I have filled up a brand new Outback before, which have an 18.5 gallon tank, and put 18.7 gallons of gas in it, according to the pump - and that's NOT over filling it up the filler neck.
 

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I just did the first post purchase fill up of our 2.5i.

360 miles, 65% city short stop and go would be fair. 17.5 gallons. Fuel gauge registered 1/8th tank. Light on for about 15 miles.

Edit: Sorry - also same 50 mile to MTY was what the dash read.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Apropos this entire discussion:
"There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin'. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." ~ Will Rogers
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Whoa! I had no idea this was a problem with the Outbacks. I just blindly trust what the dash display tells me.
It's a digital display. It must be both precise and accurate, or it wouldn't say it, right? Just like the Internet is a digital medium, so everything on the Internet has to be completely true.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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It's a digital display. It must be both precise and accurate, or it wouldn't say it, right? Just like the Internet is a digital medium, so everything on the Internet has to be completely true.
And if the TPMS light isn't on then the tires must be at the correct pressures right? No need to check those.
 

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2018 Touring 3.6R
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Actually got to try this out a bit tonight on a trip. I'm not usually one to press a tank but sometimes it happens. Due to various excuses, we were down to 1/8 tank (50 on DTE) by the point we could stop.

Pump auto-shut off at 17.6 gallons. So.....1 gallon remaining and 50 miles to go. Right on! 1/8 tank on the gauge probably should be more than 1 gallon too, but maybe I just can't math. SAD!
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 with EyeSight
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Discussion Starter #18
Well, hello again folks,

I'm back to see how hang them hammers in these woods.

Some people certainly do have time and patience to offer what is often witty yet constructive advice, and that is much appreciated.
Others, however, cannot appreciate the fact that someone took time to search for answers, register, and post what is arguably accurate and honest description of a problem that number of us face, all while doing it self-deprecatingly in the spirit of good fun and learning.

Look, I am back simply to point out that I was, however stubbornly (given the number of times I indeed ran out of gas) essentially on the right track. That DTE (I inaccurately used MTE abbreviation) calculator was serially off, and as all of you know by now - to the point of a full-fledged recall being issued for all 2018 Outback and Legacy models...

So yes, all those wisdom-laden suggestions you offered my dear forum denizens, are well taken. You might be amused to hear that I did in fact run out of gas three more times since posting, all in a conscious effort to push every tank of gas to its absolute limit and see if the calculations change substantially. Rest assured, I've been hauling a spare gallon of gas with me and made sure I "ran out" every time in a safe place without endangering myself or any other drivers...

Now, will this reflect poorly on my fuel pump remains to be seen. I am not convinced, but ready to be proven wrong...

I also ended up fueling the car two times past the 19.5 gallons mark, even though the limit is presumably 18.5... Who knows, maybe it 'grew' on me...

Additional pros and cons given the first year of ownership: Pros - comfort, headlights, eyesight, cargo+terrain capability, etc; Cons - gas guzzling, inadequacy of a 2.4 engine, especially compared to the Ascent's 2.4 turbo of course, mediocre seat-heaters...

Lastly and sadly, I have been without the car for a month now, courtesy of Caltrans's 680 expansion in the South Bay... But that is a story for another post. All made it alive is what matters; now it's on Caltrans to do right by all...

Happy Holidays

PI84
 

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2015 Legacy 3.6R ES, 2014 Forester Touring ES, 2005 Jeep Liberty Limited
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You are a gluten for punishment!
Why not quit your day job and try stand-up.
 
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