Subaru Outback -MPG readout

Resetting the MPG indicator - Pressing and holding the trip reset button resets it to ---- dashes. After about 10 miles it shows MPG numbers but they continually cycle around without actually stopping on a number. Letting off the gas pedal shows 99.9 mpg and applying pedal drops it to various numbers like 0.00 if accelerating rapidly. I’ve tried resetting every way I can think of but after ten miles it returns to doing the same thing. Any ideas?

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Sounds like it’s showing instantaneous MPG.
Review the Owner’s Manual to see if you can change it to an average.

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Quit resetting it, 10 miles isn’t far enough for it to get a good average, it could take 100 miles or more before it starts to settle down.


While it might be fun to play around with the “instantaneous MPG” readout, the OP needs to reset it to the “average MPG” readout. Instructions for this–like almost everything else–can be found in the Owner’s Manual.

On my 2011 Outback the button for this type of MPG readout function change is on the right side of the instrument cluster–essentially on the opposite side from the trip reset button–but yours might be different because you didn’t tell us the model year of your Outback.

In any event… the Owner’s Manual will show you where this button is located.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll see if I can find it in the manual.

There are two buttons on the instrument panel, one for selecting/resetting the trip odometer, the other for the MPG display. Pressing the button on the right side of the dash cycles the MPG display through OFF - instantaneous MPG - average MPG on the trip odometer selected since last reset - miles left to go in tank.

You have two trip odometers, Trip A and Trip B. I reset Trip A each time I fill up and Trip B when I change the oil so I can get my average MPG for each tank and average MPG between oil changes. I also compare the readout to the actual amount of gas bought and miles since last refill. I find that the readout is typically about 1.2 MPG higher than actual measured MPG.

Thanks for the tips. I haven’t had a chance to try any of the suggestions I’ve received yet. It was mentioned that I didn’t tell the model year and don’t know if it matters, but it is a 2015. So, I need to locate the buttons to push. lol. I’ll post the results. Thanks again!

Your manual will have a diagram showing where all the controls are and what they do. That is how you locate buttons.

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It’s amazing what one can learn about one’s own car by simply opening–and reading–the Owner’s Manual.


Bit it’s always more fun to learn by having someone do the reading for you. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Hey, I think some people might not have known the difference between the two. People are here to ask questions and learn.

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Yes that is correct. Maybe this will help people learn that many times just looking in the vehicle manual will explain what settings and features the vehicle has.

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Understood, but there’s a way to tell someone s/he can check the manual, and not make it sound like the person is too lazy. In fact, you all did it further up the thread. :slight_smile:


THE FOLLOWING (paragraph below) I wrote yesterday and tried to post it last night. According to the website, it wasn’t posted. If it was, then this is a repeat. But here it is. I just want to make it known that I am not ignorant of the value of the owner’s manual but I have failed to find an answer in it. This isn’t my first time out. I am 75 years old and have owned a lot of cars. I have also owned a lot of factory and after market manuals. Very few of those vehicles ever went to a mechanic as I have always done my own maintenance except in times when I knew I was in over my head. In this day of computerized everything I expect and often have problems with devices containing computer chips that likely have a simple solution but I can’t find it. So, I ask for help. (BTW: I also made my living for 50 years in electronics.)


I guess I just don’t get it. My manual only shows one button and THAT is the “trip reset” button located just to the left of the steering column on the dash. Just to be clear. I have owned this Outback for 3-1/2 years and 42000 miles. In the past I have reset the trip odometers A and B many times. With that ONE button, here is what has always happened, until now, at least: ---- Press “Reset” - window trip mileage(s) clear - it shows some dashes where numbers were and the MPG that had been displayed is cleared - after a short while the MPG window begins reading instantaneous MPG and of course the numbers change constantly for 10 miles (+/-) - at that time it goes to Average MPG and slowly arrives at a good average after some miles of driving. ----- such is not the present case. After the numbers reappear they continually read the instantaneous MPG, which of course, is pretty useless info. I cannot find, and my manual doesn’t show (as far as I can find out) any other button to press. Maybe I’m overlooking something in the manual. If anyone else has a 2015 manual, could you PLEASE tell the page number I need? Otherwise, I guess I give up…which really goes against my grain.

Anyway, I appreciate the suggestions. A great big THANK YOU to all for your input.

I just saw a video on YouTube showing how to reset MPG avg - Miles to empty and other functions so apparently it can be done. The only thing I can think of now is for Lee to stop by the dealer and see if there is a problem with his vehicle.

Here are the relevant pages in the manual. Although you do not state which version of Outback you own (engine, trim level) I went and looked at the lowest and highest and they seem to have the same information in the manual.

According to this, you only have one option. Resetting the trip meter also resets the average and it is simply displaying the current consumption against the historical (since last trip reset). It won;t even be functional until 0.6 miles have elapsed-

Are the trip meter and odometer readings working as expected?

I hae a 15 Forester, and it works as follows. There are three different displays (out of the 7-8 you can cycle through). One shows the MPG starting from when you hit that reset button. (there is an A/B switch, so there are two settings here). Another shows the MPG from when you started the engine; this one resets when you turn the engine off. All three are cumulative from when reset.

There is also the third one of the 7-8 displays that shows a bar chart of the instantaneous MPG. That one is not too useful.

your model may be different from mine, don’t know your year. The trim level may also change this.

It’s supposedly an Outback and those are images from the User Manual for a 2015 Outback. The Forester must be significantly different based on your description.

The ECO gauge looks kind of simplistic and limited information to me but I’d also want to know why it’s not functioning the same as before if it were mine.

It looks like there was a change between the 14 and the 15 model. The manual is not very clear on this but start on page 3-33 and 3-34. It looks like you press one of these two buttons. I’m guessing you will have to play with it for a while.

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Some years ago I was helping someone who had a problem with some computer software acting up. I downloaded the most recent version of the pertinent technical document , and under that particular problem there were 47 pages of various restrictions and tests to consider . So you are not alone OP … :wink: