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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
While taking our 2 week old Ascent to a service appt. for the rear passenger door not opening issue (mentioned in another thread), the fuel gauge showed 1/8 tank...plenty of fuel to go the couple miles to gas station, right? wrong! The center dash computer showed an estimated 40mi left to travel, and we have been getting 19.4mpg on that tank (see image). So, with a 19.3gal fuel tank we should have had at least 2gal in the tank (alternatively based on the gauge itself, 19.3*(1/8)=2.4gal in the tank). The radio screen first popped up a warning message saying we were low on fuel and asked if we wanted to be navigated to a gas station, but there was NO low fuel indicator illuminated on the main dash yet. Then LESS THAN A MINUTE after the message on the radio appeared the car simply died in the middle of a busy street (and note it was a flat road). You might think, well it ran completely out of fuel... but no. A minute later the car was able to be RESTARTED and continued driving normally to the gas station a mile away.



Subaru of America's feedback thus far was to simply keep more gas in it. However, No guidance was provided about what fuel level is guaranteed to keep the car running, and thus safely moving down the road without the engine deciding to shut off. If 1/8 tank is not adequate per Subaru, then what level is: 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2, etc?! The point of a large fuel tank is to carry more fuel so that you can use it. Also, the point of a fuel gauge and low level warning light is to actually notify you (with plenty of margin) to get fuel. No vehicle should ever decide to turn itself off when its simply low on fuel (e.g. 1/8 tank) and not actually out of fuel.



In my opinion, this is a very serious safety issue.
 

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Doesn't sound good. I would hate that happening to me.

There is probably something wrong with your gauge. I would have the dealer look into it.

In my case, when I picked up my Ascent, the fuel gauge was literally on empty so my dealer rode with me to a gas station about 2 miles away to have it filled up. So, it is highly possible that there is some issue with your fuel level sensor.
 

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Definitely a safety concern! Your situation will make me hesitant of darting through traffic or in front of an oncoming vehicle now in fear of the engine might turning off.
 

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Page 212.


The driving range on the remaining fuel is only a guide. The indicated value may differ from the actual driving range on the remaining fuel, so you must immediately fill the tank when the low fuel warning light illuminates.


Page 315


Immediately put fuel in the tank whenever the low fuel warning light illuminates. Engine misfires as a result of an empty tank could cause damage to the engine. Continuing to operate your vehicle at an extremely low fuel level may result in a reduction of engine performance.
 

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This is interesting.

When you filled it with gas, how many gallons did you put in?

Who else is going to test this issue...with their Ascent? ;)
 
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I think I remember posting on another thread about this, but it might have been the Outback forums. My wife drives a Honda Pilot and nearly had the same experience. She left work with around 40ish miles to go according to the range on her car, and then I guess because of traffic and climate it went down to 30, then 20, in about 3 miles of driving (work is about 7 miles from home...), and she pulled into the first gas station she could find and it was at 10.

Never replicated the issue.

I will say even on my 2011 Outback, I notice that the range will change a LOT and quickly if you do the first 1/2 to 2/3rds of a tank on "highway" (getting 30+ mpg) and then get off the highway and do stop-and-go traffic.

I always go by the fuel gauge, not by the range remaining. The distance-to-empty is convenient, but I don't put all my fait in it. I usually always fill up on Fridays just out of routine, and I try to never let it get below a 1/4 tank.
 

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As someone who has taken those distance till empty gauges to 0 miles in multiple vehicles this worries me a bit. I'll have to make sure I fill up more often.

On those vehicles I typically found that they still had at least a gallon left based on filling up the tank at that point. None of them stalled out.

Vehicles I did this with are a '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee and an '05 Nissan Xterra.
 

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As someone who has taken those distance till empty gauges to 0 miles in multiple vehicles this worries me a bit. I'll have to make sure I fill up more often.

On those vehicles I typically found that they still had at least a gallon left based on filling up the tank at that point. None of them stalled out.

Vehicles I did this with are a '94 Jeep Grand Cherokee and an '05 Nissan Xterra.
I definitely would not run the tank down that low - you risk burning out the fuel pump because it needs fuel for cooling.
 

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I definitely would not run the tank down that low - you risk burning out the fuel pump because it needs fuel for cooling.
Only reason this happened is I was coming home late at night and a bunch of the gas stations on the road closed for the night. Also I was coming back from skiing so with it being below freezing I doubt I would have had issues with the fuel pump.
 

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I wish the wife would stop doing that to my Jeep. She loves to take it to empty and I have told her repeatedly not to do that because its harmful to the car... she used to do it on her (now my commuter) 08 Elantra. I pray she doesn't do this on the Ascent. I may take it for the first 1k miles and do the break-in myself. 100 miles a day driving to and from work will chip away at it fairly quickly!
 

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I wish the wife would stop doing that to my Jeep. She loves to take it to empty and I have told her repeatedly not to do that because its harmful to the car... she used to do it on her (now my commuter) 08 Elantra. I pray she doesn't do this on the Ascent. I may take it for the first 1k miles and do the break-in myself. 100 miles a day driving to and from work will chip away at it fairly quickly!
I know it is a pain, but 95% of weekends I take both our cars to the car wash and gas station. Usually one on Sat and one on Sun. Even my wife rolls her eyes about it sometimes. But, she has never complained about a dirty car or an empty gas tank...its the little victories :tango_face_wink:
 
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The issue should be reported to Subaru for calibration. In the MPG thread, I suggested that people should do hand calculation to provide valid and precise MPG value, especially if you're on the record.
 

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The issue should be reported to Subaru for calibration. In the MPG thread, I suggested that people should do hand calculation to provide valid and precise MPG value, especially if you're on the record.
I'm on Fuelly and I see a few others are tracking. I track all my expenses including car cost so I can see the actual cost per mile my cars actually cost. My Xterra was around 40 cents per mile and I'm hoping this car will end up around 35 cents per mile or less if I keep it for around 200K miles.
 

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I just took mine to just below the "E" line and had 1.8 gallons still left. That's my fifth low tank test. I suspect you need to have them take a better look at your car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is interesting.

When you filled it with gas, how many gallons did you put in?

Who else is going to test this issue...with their Ascent? ;)
Unfortunately we didnt fill it afterwards. we were en route to the dealer for another issue and were just thankful not having been steamrolled by the multiple cars that swerved to avoid us as we were stalled in the middle of the road.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I just took mine to just below the "E" line and had 1.8 gallons still left. That's my fifth low tank test. I suspect you need to have them take a better look at your car.
Thanks for this info. The behavior of your ascent is what I have experienced from every other vehicle I’ve ever owned - they still run down to and even below “E” and they give a low fuel warning on dash well before it ever dies.
No car should even stop running with gallons of fuel in the tank and having never illiuminated the low fuel indicator for a fair amount of time before hand.
 

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Subaru of America's feedback thus far was to simply keep more gas in it. However, No guidance was provided about what fuel level is guaranteed to keep the car running, and thus safely moving down the road without the engine deciding to shut off. If 1/8 tank is not adequate per Subaru, then what level is: 1/4, 1/3, or 1/2, etc?! The point of a large fuel tank is to carry more fuel so that you can use it. Also, the point of a fuel gauge and low level warning light is to actually notify you (with plenty of margin) to get fuel. No vehicle should ever decide to turn itself off when its simply low on fuel (e.g. 1/8 tank) and not actually out of fuel.

In my opinion, this is a very serious safety issue.
In my opinion, you should fill your car up when it's at 1/4 of a tank so that you don't end up with condensation in the gas tank and so you don't run out of gas.

I've seen this argument many times over the years on the Outback forums - people who want to wait until the car gets to the last two drops of gas in the tank before they stop, versus those of us who don't run out of gas because we grew up in the era where you could get stranded in the winter and NEED half a tank of gas just to stay alive while your car is stuck in the snow.

Keep in mind that it takes at LEAST three tank fulls of gas for your car to get used to your driving habits, if you end up with a LOT of highway driving and then finish up with in city driving, you won't have nearly the range you think for those last couple of gallons, and one other minor detail. It's called slosh. The actual spot on the tank where the fuel goes into the fuel pump is not mounted flush on the bottom of the tank, otherwise you'd end up with debris getting into your fuel lines. So you go around a sharp turn, even on flat ground, and the fuel level in the tank will slosh around inside. You briefly starved it, it died, then when sitting still the fuel had a chance to get back to the fuel lines so you got some gas back in. Same thing happens in every other car when you get down to the last little bit of gas in the tank.
 

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These type of posts always crack me up. The fuel tank was basically empty and surprise the car stalled. Its called user error folks.

Just be happy your not a pilot and the FAA isn’t investigating why you crashed. Umm ran out of gas is not considered an acceptable reason.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I don’t appreciate the previous message. Would it crack you up if your family almost got creamed on the road when your new car decided to stop running? THERE WAS NO LOW FUEL WARNING INDICATOR ILLUMINATED. And as mentioned before, it restarted and drove to a gas station with no issue, thus there was fuel in the tank.

Per the service dept, The car has been confirmed to have thrown an error code in the computer indicating it actually STALLED out but with no other reason indicated. A factory service engineer has been dispatched to come look at it. It’s a real issue, thank you. You all should be wary and concerned.
 
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