Usually manuals are not the first things to read. At least this is familiar if you are working on IT industry. I have to admit that in earlier days if I had a new car, it was quite nice night reading to go through the user manual. However if you’re too busy to read all pages of the manual, here is 10 tips picked for you. One from each subcategory, in the same order as they appear in user manual. However I recommend you to read manual book, to take the most of your new hybrid Forester.
#1 Seats, seat belts and airbags
First tip from the first category is the memory function for seats and mirrors. Even the car is equipped with the Driver Monitoring System, which actually does the same – adjusts seats and mirrors for you (at least when it detects driver correctly). Handy part of this comes that settings can be assigned to the keyfob too! So if there is few different size of drivers for the car, seats are adjusted to right position right when unlocking doors. No need to wait till car detects driver. There is two memory slots available for this. It is good to know that also tilting mirror while reversing is adjustable. To store these settings, here’s the process
- Press Brake pedal all the time!
- Select Reverse gear
- Adjust right mirror angle
- Select Park
- Press Set and M1/M2 to save settings
#2 Keys and doors
Key plate number. Keep this safe! This small metal plate with the key number is meant for situations if you need to order spare key. Lost your current keys or lock keys inside the car. According to the manual, it is possible to lock car inside the car in certain situations. E.g forgetting keys to front door side pocket.
Manual mentions that it is possible to unlock doors using PIN code. This must be configured beforehand and select unique 5 digit code. If someone tries to input wrong PIN codes, after 5th try there is 5 minutes “cooldown time”. That means that 5 minutes needs to be waited before a new try. My recommendation is to keep keys with yourself all the time.
Bonus tip at this category: It is possible to open and close front windows just using the keyfob. Keep lock or unlock button pressed down and front windows either closes or opens. Engine must be shut off during this operation. This is handy on hot days, if you want to cool car a bit before going in.
#3 Dash and dials
All warning lights needs to be taken seriously, if car flashes any of those. I had 2013 Forester and it flashed low oil level warning before the first 15 000 km service. It was real warning, there was really need to add oil. That never happened since. Although I drove car at German autobahns on that time. Maybe it was bit more consuming for the engine. Autobahns are calling e-Boxer too!
Gasoline Particulate Filter, not DPF but GPF
It is not nice to see any warning lights but particularly this is something that I don’t want to see. Diesel Particle Filters were introduced around 2007 to diesel cars. These filters didn’t like short distance driving. Reason for that was that car needed long enough regenerating time. This basically meant that it burned all smoke out of the filter. At short trips car does not have enough time to warm up and then start the process.
Reason for the warning light is that e-Boxer is equipped with GPF and it needs this regenerating sessions too. In my understanding gasoline cars does not emit particles as much as diesels. Therefor it should not be as prone as diesels. Although DPF systems has improved greatly since their times when those were first introduced. Even Boxer Diesel had one. There were many reports of problems but we trust Subaru has done their homework.
update: GPF light did lit quite soon after all!
Never forget your anniversary
Now your e-Boxer takes care of your anniversary of the new car…. err… wedding anniversary I mean! Car can take up to 5 anniversary days so both can be set there. But also 5 different birthdays. What a polite Subaru!
#4 Air conditioning
Manual is quite thin at this category. Most interesting part here is that there is 4 predefined settings available for Auto air conditioning.
- Normal mode
- Mild mode
- Power mode
- Economy mode
These modes affects how the Auto setting will try to achieve target temperature. Economy mode is the most mildest and tries to save fuel over passengers comfort.
#5 Navigation and audio system
There is own book for the audio and navigation system. Book has over 200 pages. One of my very favorite things is the Apple CarPlay support (I believe same goes for Android Auto as well). It is so intuitive to use. However one thing I liked to adjust from the audio settings to get system right. I like more if the sound comes from the front. So I decided to set bias towards front notch or two. Not too much, just like it sounds like voice comes from front.
12V power outlet
Forster is equipped with 3 different 12V outlet. It is important to remember that if two or more those is used at the same time, ensure that combined power consumption does not exeed 120W. This is also a maximum consumption for a single outlet.
Front USB sockets are meant to connect audio device to the car’s sound system. However there is 2 extra ports available for the rear passengers. These ports are meant only for recharging purposes. So you are not able to connect devices to the audio system via these. Each USB port operates at 5V / 2.1A. Combined output 4.2A
Front side view camera
Unfortunately European models does not have front view camera but front side view camera is available. This helps driver to estimate how far/close obstacles are from the right front corner. There is several guidelines also in the camera image. Vertical line shows where the side of car is, including mirrors. This is handy feature.
Intelligen and Sport modes are useful in practices too. Even manual says that sport mode is meant for drivers, who want to make every driving experience as unique adventure. I would recommend to use S mode e.g. when passing slower traffic or merging to highways. It seems to keep RPM bit higher, which helps to accelerate when needed. Then also hybrid system is prepared to support acceleration when needed. From 0 to 100km/h times are probably the same with both modes but the idea is to help acceleration situations in everyday life.
X-Mode is not only to enhance AWD capabilities. One very handy feature is to utilize its hill decent control. Which at least is important feature for us, since our home is next to very steep hill. One good tip regarding hill decent control is that you can actually control speed as well using accelerator/brake pedal. Then other note is that X-Mode works also while reversing. X-Mode is possible to enable when speed is maximum of 20km/h and system disengages if speed over 40km/h.
#8 Driving Tips
This section of the manual is bit odd in my mind. In general it is a good idea to provide driving tips. For some reason I think that these tips presented on the manual is rather basic ones and therefor does not offer real value for the readers. So I try to avoid underestimating blog readers and save you from these tips.
#9 Emergency situations
Following items comes with your car
- towing hook
- nut key for the tyres
To following list, please add on your own
- good flashlight
- safety vest
There is no spare tyre with your Forester. Instead of this you have a repair kit. This is due to the battery size, which takes all room from trunk. Then other reason is that there is less weight, when no extra stuff fitted to the car. Repair kit is located in the trunk. Should you ever need this kit, there is quick instruction card inside plastic bag.
Process to use kit (see manual/quick guide for more detailed instructions)
- Path material and air is pumped using the compressor to the flat tire
- Drive ~10 minutes and check faulty tire (pump more air if needed)
- Maximum allowed range to drive 200km (top speed 80km/h)
This is not directly from the manual but keep your car clean. Even it might sound quite basic thing, in reality it is not. I tend to compare that dirty car is same as dirty underwear. Washing car can be close to art to do it in right way. Reason for this is that, if you wash your car with wrong methods, you can easily scratch the valuable paint. Few tips to do it right way. Use two bucket method. This means that once you have used sponge clean it in bucket where is plain water. Then sink it to other bucket with car wash shampoo. Other critical thing is to use right type of sponge. Otherwise you end up moving dirt back and forth on the paint surface.