Subaru Outback 2018 Learning Experiences
Last updated January 15, 2018
Bookmark this page as
Stuck in someone's frames? Click here to break out.

This is a web page of miscellaneous things I have learned from experiences with my 2018 Subaru Outback. They are roughly in the chronological order in which I learned them.

Adaptive Cruise Control with Eyesight

Adaptive cruise control with eyesight is really excellent on the freeway. For the most part, all you have to do is steer while the ACC takes care of dealing with stop and go traffic. It makes a long trip must less physically demanding.

But it has led to some scary stops. For example, coming up an exit ramp where there is no car moving ahead of you but there are cars stopped at an intersection, the ACC does not pick up the obstacle until it is almost too late. (In fact, it might not pick it up until it is too late. I hit the brake as my car sped rapidly toward a car that it was not detecting, so that I am not sure if it would have been able to stop in time once it detected the solid unmoving object in front of it.) This was not the experience when driving in stop and go traffic when the car is going slow and does detect the moving and then stopped vehicle ahead.

Another problem is when following a car that turns ahead of you at an intersection when driving on high speed (45+ mph) limited intersection roads. The cameras no longer detect a car ahead, and then the ACC speeds up, even though what I want to do is to follow the car ahead and make the same turn. The cameras point only forward. So driving where the road turns or curves significantly leads the cameras to lose sight of the car ahead. So this is another situation in which I have to take control from the ACC.

Another problem on such high speed roads is when you are in the left lane and the car ahead of me slows as it pulls into a left turn lane. My car comes almost to a stop, still detecting the other car and not realizing it is moving out of the lane. My car does need to slow, but it does not need to nearly stop. It just needs to slow until the other car has left the lane and I can drive past it. So this is another situation where I have to take control from the ACC.

Cargo Light Switch, Physical Key, Drained Battery, Subaru Roadside Assistance, Cargo Door, Window Reset

I thought that I had figured out the three different positions of the cargo light switch. But they are almost impossible to read, and it is not clear from the owner's manual what the orientation of the image in the manual is. The center position is off. The two extreme positions are on, but one of them is on only when the cargo door is open. (It turns out that the permanent on position is the one closest to the door, while the one associated with the door is furthest from the door.) So I set it to what I thought was the conditional position, the one in which the light comes on only when the cargo door is opened. But instead I set it to be permanently on. And since I did not use the car for 3 days, the battery was stone cold dead when I next tried to open the door.

So I had to use the physical key. I had already taken the physical key out of the key fob, so that I knew how to do that. And I was easily able to unlock the door with the key. But then I wanted to lock the door, and turning the key the opposite direction in the lock failed to lock the door. It took some experimenting until I finally realized that the same easy motion turning the key to the right was not the motion needed turning to the left. Instead, this motion comes to a halt, and you then have to exert more torque on the key in order to physically push the lock closed.

So I was then able to leave the car and call Subaru roadside assistance. This was a VERY bad experience. First, I had to wait on hold for 25 minutes before anyone answered. Things then seemed to be on the right track. I was told that I would receive a text message very soon from the company that woud be coming to jump the battery. An hour later, no text message had come. So I called back, this time as an existing case. The wait on hold was only about 10-15 minutes, and the guy who answerred really made a commitment to have someone come out and help me -- now 90 minutes after I first called. And sure enough I did receive a text about 5 or 10 minutes later, saying that the service vehicle would be out in yet another hour. And over the course of that hour, I received 2 more texts, each one pushing back the arrival time even further. Fortunately, these were out of sync with the guy in the truck. He arrived about 3 hours after I first called Subaru roadside assistance and quickly jumped the battery with a portable jumper.

I then began to learn the impact of the battery being discharged or disconnected.

The first thing I learned was that the cargo door would not open all the way. Resetting this is done from the driver's seat. You push the button on the lower part of the console to close the cargo door. You also make sure that no white is showing on the top of the cargo door set switch is not showing (white shows when that button is pushed). I forget exactly ... you may have to hold the cargo door close button til the chime beeps to indicate it has been reset. Then you are able to fully open and close the cargo door from its handle in the back. (I am doing this from memory and may have left some part out, but this is all in the owner's manual. It is just that when you are out somewhere the last thing you want to have to do is to be reading the owner manual.)

The second thing I learned was that the dashboard display of gas mileage was reset. This was a minor problem.

Eventually, I realized that while I could control the driver's side window from the driver's console, I could not control any of the other three windows from the driver's console, even though each one worked fine from its own position. The owner's manual (2-37) tells how to reset the one touch control for the driver's window. But it makes no mention of the other windows. The solution is to use the control for that window on that door to do the same thing that the manual says for the driver's window.

I have read some online posts about the ECU learning being wiped when the battery discharges fully or is disconnected. I have no idea if that happened (nor even how to tell it happened), but the car seemed to drive normally.

I will raise the battery discharge next time I have the car in the shop, so that they can deal with any other consequences that I have not discovered.

Copyright © 2018 by Wesley Johnston
All rights reserved