2006 Subaru Impreza Fuel Surge Problem.

A few months back, I purchased a 2006 Subaru Impreza 2.5i. I wanted something that was cheaper, more reliable and better built than my previous Audi. Up until this morning, I hadn't had a single problem with it.

I've still been trying to figure out how many miles I can get per tank of gas. I've been averaging about 24 mpg, which isn't fantastic - but isn't terrible either. AWD is a drag on the powertrain, but it's worth it.

This morning, I was running somewhat behind and didn't want to be late to work. The problem was that the fuel light had come on in my car the previous night on the way home. I sat down and looked in the manual. Supposedly, the Impreza has a 15.9 gallon tank and the low fuel light comes on when there is around 2.3 gallons left. So, milage wise, 15.9 - 2.3 = 13.6 gallons x 24 mpg = 326 miles for the low fuel light. This seems to be about right. The most I have ever put in my car before this was 14.6 gallons.

The light came on last night with about 8 miles left on my drive home. It's a 15 mile drive to work. I figured that 2.3 gallons x 24 mpg = 55.2 mile range. 55.2 - 8 = 47 more miles to go. My 15 mile drive to work should be easily within that range, right?

About 10 miles into the drive on the freeway, the car seemed to stumble. It's an eerie feeling. You press the gas and the car just stutters, and the speed drops. Then it shakes a bit and picks back up. It did this a few times and I decided "Uh oh, I'm almost out of gas." So I jumped over a few lanes, got off the freeway and pulled right into a gas station. It was dumb luck that I found the gas station - I'd never exited there before.

The car only took 14.9 gallons. I should have had 1 gallon left, or at least another 20 miles to drive. A little research on the internet shows that this problem is not uncommon with Subarus. I guess it has something to do with the shape of the gas tank and isn't fixable. The solution is fairly weak. "Keep your car filed up with gas."