GPF software update – still issues

Bad news ahead! I was about to drive my weekly highway driving routine to prevent GPF warnings from coming again. But here it was when I started my car.

GPF software update was done in January. ODOmeter had then 13221 km on the clock. Now in March I had 17977 km. So it is exactly 4756 km after the software update. In comparison before the update the longest interval was 5929 km but that was done in summer. Summer time should be easier anyway as the outside temperature is much higher.

In February I had some longer trips, which explains why I got GPF warning this much later. And of course hopefully that software update has something to do also.

Last week I had my typical amount of short distance driving.

GPF software update – does it help

Probably it helps. At least a bit. As seen above. I had now a longer interval before the warning came again, compared time prior to the update. Interval between warnings was only less than 1000km. Sometimes even only 250km.

But clearly we see that e-Boxer is not free of GPF issues. It is very likely that you will get orange light at some point, especially if you have short distance driving involved. Got the software update or not.

Soot levels

Adventureforester blog reader sent me insight of his case. His car seems to have even more GPF issues than I do. Local dealer revealed something interesting. Forester has values from 0 to 15 regarding soot levels. When exceeding soot value of 5, GPF warning will illuminate on the dash. Light will go off once the threshold value is 3 or less. Dealer’s advice was to continue the forced regen cycle even light goes off. It will continue burning soot and you will get value to closer zero. Otherwise when the light goes off but it might be still close to the threshold, the car will light it again soon.

On the other hand if the driver does not care and soot level continues to accumulate, the car will go to limp mode when soot level exceeds 15. 

It is unclear what unit this soot level is or how fast it will accumulate. Unfortunately it is impossible to observe from the dash. Only information the driver gets is this orange informative warning of the GPF filter.

In theory that is 33% full when light is lit and there is plenty of time to take care of the warning. My advice is still to take care of that warning in the first place.

How serous the GPF warning is

Subaru classifies warning as informative message. Even the color of the message is orange, which means typically something that driver needs to pay attention rapidly. In this case message means that the soot threshold value has exceeded but it looks like there is plenty of time to before it will actually impact to the driving. However as advised above, better to take care of it sooner than later.

Message is annoying but it looks like it is as Subaru classifies it. Does not really harm as long as you are able to take care of the issue promptly.

Subaru, if you are reading

It would help really much if the driver could observe soot levels from the dash. There are customizable icons on the Multi Function Display. Soot level could be easily there for those who are interested. And maybe a symbol to see when regen is in operation. It would help so much to understand GPF behavior better.

Other e-Boxer owners

Please comment here or send me insight of your car through the contact form. Have you had issues with the GPF or not? If not, that would be interesting to know as well. Also what type of driving you typically drive.


  1. Thank you again for sharing your precious experience.
    Actually, the GPF issue was the major one why we chose Outback instead of Forester a month ago. Having in mind purchasing a second car in the closest future, we would rather refrain from E-boxer due to the same problem. Our local dealer had expressed that they could fix the GPF but for money even during first-3-year-warranty-period. As I asked my wife (she is city driving just 35 km daily) whether she would be making the forced regeneration and she replied – definitely NOT. Therefore, if we go for Subaru, then only pure petrol driven without any underdeveloped GPF
    On the other hand, I’m uncertain if they put the underveloped GPF on every and each Subaru car model. E.g., do they set it on the new Outback 2021, XV e-boxer and XV 1.6 liter in Europe? So, we are currently driving the Outback 2020 not worrying of any GPF indicator but following carefully your epic endeavor.
    Hold your Forester E-boxer Fort and good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can fully understand your view. At the moment I think that even GPF warning is annoying, it something that I can live with. Definitely not looking any alternatives for the Forester. I got hint that regen procedure is doable also in the city. This is something that I need to try myself too. Makes things even easier.


    2. The GPF is installed only on direct injection engines, this means on the E-Boxer (Impreza and Forester) and … drumroll … also on the new Outback MY 2021 ready to be launched this spring in EU.
      On the other hand, all the “old” engines like the 1.6L (Impreza or the DIT on the Levorg), the 2.0L on the Levorg and the 2.5L on the Outback (up to MY 2018) there is no GPF, since they have indirect injection.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you, Maurizio. Your information makes us be lost in thought. Regarding those driving just short distances whether in city or forest – that’s a sort of compelling them to regenerate… or forcing to travel. A new invention in auto industry by Subaru, though conceived for adventure trips. Especially, regarding the E-boxer/ hybrid vehicles economical driving (not on highways I mean). Can I see a misconception there? They must at least provide a special training and warning course for atechnic buyers.
        Thus, I may leave the Outback for my wife and become a compelled adventurer myself either on the Outback 2021 or E-boxer.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hello , i really like your blog, good job ! How is the GPF issue now ? Are you still getting the regeneration messages so often or have you found a fix for this situation ? I have an e-Boxer XV with 8000 km and the same thing has started happening last month. Dealer and owner manual says it’s normal and i should drive the car outside town more often. Very strange as on my 2 previuos diesel BMWs I never experienced any dpf warnings or issues yet on a brand new hybrid Subaru i get this message every few weeks…Japanese quality seems to have become just a myth nowadays

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you for the feedback! I do still have GPF issues. It seems to appear more often during cold weathers (i.e. during winter time). Though I do not stress too much of the warning. When it comes, I go for 30 minutes of highway driving. I totally agree with you. This could be designed better.


  2. Hi mate, I have had no warning issues at all. The subie drives smoothly, averages about 7.9/100 and does what it should do. I have driven long stretches of 1500km-plus, and recently only trips between 10 and 200 km. No glitches, just super driving. I rarely go faster than 110km. That’s all the info I can give you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kees! Good to hear that you are free of any GPF issues. Also a good reminder that not everybody are facing these things. Besides me, there is at least one other driver who has reported of these.

      Any trips planned for the spring / summer time?


  3. So, after March last year, this year the GPF light turned on in February (yep, pretty cold winter).
    While last year it was pretty easy and quick to drive respecting the regeneration procedure (it took me really about 10 minutes), this time was a bit more a pain in the neck.
    In fact, while last year I drove the car immediately after the GPF light turned on (that is, engine already warm), this year I had to do it only the day after, hence engine definitely cold as well as outside temperature around 0 degrees C. Therefore, it took me at least 25m to get the light off driving on the motorway.
    Nevertheless, good suggestion about following the regeneration procedure even if the GPF light turned off.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi, after receiving the software update in January, the GPF light turned on in February after some 80 km city driving and turned off after some 200 km highway driving. In February it was really gold (living in Finland). Later and until now same kind of city driving without problems.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Sorry accidentally pressed enter…
    I do tend to put Unleaded Premium (Octane 99) every second tank… Also once in a while I kick go sport and give a little revs up… Not sure why, but as mentioned no GPF warning yet…


    1. Give it a ride on the highway. Switch transmission to “manual” and keep rpm between 2000-2500. GPF light should switch off in less than 30 minutes. Also a good advice is to drive similarly even the light goes off. Car keeps regenerating filter.


  6. Forester Sport, E-Boxer, GPF light on first around 6k km, now again at 7k km. I also own a A3 TDI and am oh too familiar with the regen procedure.
    Both times happened in winter, when as you mentioned, it takes the engine longer to warm up… And we also reduced our longer trips considerably.
    I’m still unpleasantly surprised tbh… It took my Audi 90k km to see that light for the first time 😒


  7. Hello people,
    8400 miles (~13500km) on the clock. GPF warning light is yet to be seen… Go figure… FORESTER e-Boxer Premium.


  8. Had the gpf indicator light up on my XV. I managed to get it to go out after approx. 35 km (at temperatures below 3 °C) spread over 3 drives using the instructions in the manual: with a warm engine, speed at 60 kph or more, manual shift to 2600-3000 rpm and keep it for a few seconds (even rev higher), then release throttle for a few seconds. I tried to get it at that rpm as much as I could, I did not switch to full manual but just downshifted using the paddles with the car in D. I was surprised to see it worked so fast – the dealer told me to be sure it does not switch to EV mode, as then it does not regenerate much; when it did I touched the gas again. Still, annoying that you cannot see that you are doing it well, some indicator that it is working are would be nice.

    Liked by 1 person

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