Subaru Outback Forums banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of this month's Ride of the Month Challenge!

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, I have a new outback with roughly 1500 miles on it. I've noticed lately, in this sub 20 degree weather, that the outback struggles a little bit to start in the morning. Anyone else having a similar issue? It always gets started, but it cranks noticeably more slowly than when the weather is a little warmer. I know this is normal behavior for a cold start, but I'm surprised at how significant it is on a brand new car.

Is my battery excessively weak, or are the stock batteries underpowered when it comes to cold cranking amps?
 

·
Registered
'11 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
7 Posts
Is my battery excessively weak, or are the stock batteries underpowered when it comes to cold cranking amps?


I am curious to this as well. I have a 2011. I noticed last week that the "Chime" that goes off as soon as you start the car sound funny...not the same chime noise.
 

·
Registered
2013 2.5i Premium 6mt, Twilight Blue
Joined
·
2,370 Posts
My 2013 also has a pretty weak cold start. One morning when it was about 10 degrees out it took a second crank to start up. I'm not too concerned about it...you could always go for the OEM battery or engine block heaters if you really want to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,802 Posts
I noticed this right away with my late 2010 vs our old 2001 which always caught on the first crank even in cold temps. Both our 2010's do this both have almost 50K on them. My suspicion is that this is fuel vs emissions related in how the cars systems manage the cold start. The result gives you the impression of a weak not so snappy starting effort. Though so far I have not had a single case where the car fails to start or turn over etc.

Pretty sure this is related to the fuel management and emissions system impacting how it starts.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback 2.5i Premium
Joined
·
232 Posts
We had -25 this morning, and the Outback started, a little slower than normal, but without any problem. Our VW and Audi started a trifle quicker, but that might be due to the fact that each of them have more than 30k miles on the clock and thus are a little "looser" than the Outback with 6.5 k?
 

·
Registered
2013 OB 3.6R Limited, Black Silica
Joined
·
383 Posts
Just to add my piece. I haven't bothered lately plugging in my car but it was -42 the other day with wind chill and it fired right up as usual. One difference however is I have synthetic oil in mine which significantly enhances cold starts ( I mean significantly cold). I think it's a Canadian thing but the mine (3.6r) was shipped with synethetic due to the regular cold winter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I wondered if the factory break in oil has anything to do with it. By the time I'm ready for my first oil change, the weather will be warmer and the battery will be totally fine. If the battery feels weak next winter, though, I'll swap it out for something better.
 

·
Registered
2013 OB 3.6R Limited, Black Silica
Joined
·
383 Posts
I wondered if the factory break in oil has anything to do with it. By the time I'm ready for my first oil change, the weather will be warmer and the battery will be totally fine. If the battery feels weak next winter, though, I'll swap it out for something better.
I haven't hit my first oil change yet either.
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback Premium 6 speed, AWP, Deep indigo and 1996 Buick Roadmaster Estate (old school wagon) 2015 Outback 3.6R, Venetian Red, moonroof, keyless and navi, 2006 Lincoln Town Car Designer
Joined
·
76 Posts
Same here. We have had a few cold morning here in Boston and the 2013 cranks slower than I've been used to (always had V6 Toyotas or V8 GMs). I'm assuming it's just the nature of the trusty Subaru boxer!
 

·
Registered
2013 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ Sunroof
Joined
·
58 Posts
I haven't hit my first oil change yet either.
On my 3.6R, it has exhibited a labored/slow cold start both before *and* after I changed out the break-in oil. I'm running 5-30 conventional right now. Will go to synthetic at 7500mi.
 

·
Registered
2011 Outback 3.6 Premium
Joined
·
721 Posts
Our 3.6 is a bit slow to crank over in sub-zero weather. Bus so were our older Chevy & Audi. When it's time to replace the battery I'm getting one with the highest CCA as possible.
 

·
Registered
'15 Forester 2.5 CVT
Joined
·
198 Posts
Hey all, I have a new outback with roughly 1500 miles on it. I've noticed lately, in this sub 20 degree weather, that the outback struggles a little bit to start in the morning. Anyone else having a similar issue? It always gets started, but it cranks noticeably more slowly than when the weather is a little warmer. I know this is normal behavior for a cold start, but I'm surprised at how significant it is on a brand new car.

Is my battery excessively weak, or are the stock batteries underpowered when it comes to cold cranking amps?
Get synthetic oil in it. It makes the whole difference.
Last week, we got a chilly -20 morning. My OB started fine but growled a lot while starting. Life is hard in winter for everybody...(SIGH!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
If it helps, I test drove 3 different 2013 outbacks Wednesday in the cold before picking one and each one seemed slow to start to me compared to other rigs I've driven, around 2 seconds of cranking before it caught. A new Forester was the same way.

Once the OEM battery dies I will be stuffing in the biggest battery possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
84 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
If it helps, I test drove 3 different 2013 outbacks Wednesday in the cold before picking one and each one seemed slow to start to me compared to other rigs I've driven, around 2 seconds of cranking before it caught. A new Forester was the same way.

Once the OEM battery dies I will be stuffing in the biggest battery possible.
That's good to know. Just wanted to make sure it's nothing wrong with mine in particular. I had an Optima red top in my last car for about 8 years and it never let me down. I'll be putting in a quality battery once the stock one feels unreliable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
814 Posts
Weird my '11 2.5 Outback always cranks right up, no delay or struggling, hot or at freezing temps. Now my '13 WRX has the struggling start up when cold, almost as if the battery is really low or something. Grant it, that is my weekend car and not my daily driver so I don't know if sitting for a week or weeks at a time are the reason for it.

As a test I've been using my trickle charger on it while it sits in the garage for days without moving. Seems like when I keep a trickle charger hooked up to it, there is no stumble or delay when cranking on cold start ,in fact its almost an instant start. Since my WRX has basically the same EJ series motor, my guess are that the starter & battery are the same as the units installed on the '13 2.5 Outback or '10-'12 models as well.

You guys having the slow cranking start up should try putting a trickle charger on it overnight and see if that makes a difference. Just a side note my '11 Outback has 29k miles on it, I've been using fully synthetic oil in that car since 1k miles on the clock. My WRX with just 1700k miles on it should have fully synthetic oil from the factory so I'm not sure if the whole synthetic or not debate is legit.
 

·
Registered
2012 Impreza Sport Ltd 2013 Outback Limited SAP
Joined
·
1,495 Posts
If one only drives a very short distance every day, then the battery may not come up to full charge. When this happens in very cold weather some bad things happen - slow starts being the least and Frozen battery being the worst. Trickle charge will overcome this.
 

·
Registered
2016 Legacy 3.6 w Eyesight
Joined
·
112 Posts
It's a Subie thing. I had an 07 that always sounded weak while starting in the cold, but never failed to start. The 2011 I have now still sounds weak, but not as weak as the 07 I had.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
I found this post interesting, my 2012 Forrester did the same thing the first cold morning we had it. I have a theory that a heavier gauge cable between the starter and the battery and also the battery to ground connections would improve cold weather cranking. The OEM cables look like some $8 jumper cables at a flea market. What got my attention right away was how slow the starter turned, in my case it did not appear to a fuel delivery programming problem.
 

·
Registered
2018 Outback 2.5I Limited with nav/eyesight
Joined
·
5 Posts
I have a 2013 OB and it cranks slowly as well. I'm getting the 1st oil change done this weekend, so I'll see if the dealer has any insight on this issue. (I'm sure they'll say they all do it)
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top