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I made up my mind before I received the 2018 Limited Outback with Eyesight. I checked out the engines (2.5) CC compared the CC's to the battery (stock CCA 490) did the math and found that the battery just fell into the bottom of the acceptable range. Perhaps, my research was faulty (I don't think so) but what happens to the battery when you add the electronics, Eyesight cameras, and the season called winter?
Of course, all that is written in this post is my opinion, If you believe different, by all means go with yours.
I wanted the best bang for the money. I did more research and came up with group 34 AMG Batteries. To make a long story short, I narrowed the search down and ended up with a DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery. I purchased the DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery group 34R on Amazon. I paid $185 delivered.
Installation would be tight; I measured and remeasured. Without the stock batteries jacket it should just make it. Please note the "R" in group 34R was for reversed post; the red is where the negative post on the stock battery. Would the cables reach? I measured again. That will also work.
Why purchase the "R" version over the 34? Simple, The specs are the same and it's cheaper. I'm laying out money that Subaru is making me do for piece-of mind.
The install went fine. Fit is excellent. I cut a small piece of the red post cover to better fit over the cable in the back ( flap that hangs down). I also pocked a whole in that cap and used a ty to tie it around the cable so it won't get lost.
Why the group 34 and not the group 35 which so many people went for?
DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery: CCA 775, RC 120 minutes, 55 AH rating $185.99 @ Amazon
Optima Batteries OPT8020-164 35 RedTop Starting Battery: 720 Cold Cranking Amps, Reserve capacity of 90 minutes $232.99 @ Amazon.
CliffordS
 

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I made up my mind before I received the 2018 Limited Outback with Eyesight. I checked out the engines (2.5) CC compared the CC's to the battery (stock CCA 490) did the math and found that the battery just fell into the bottom of the acceptable range.
What math?

Perhaps, my research was faulty (I don't think so) but what happens to the battery when you add the electronics, Eyesight cameras, and the season called winter?
Of course, all that is written in this post is my opinion, If you believe different, by all means go with yours.
Eyesight operates only when the engine is running (or the key is in the 'run' position, anyway), so its draw is moot. If you're worrying about current draw due to all the electronics in the car, the reserve capacity and amp-hour rating of the battery are the ratings you should be most concerned with. The CCA rating of a battery only tells part of the story. A limited part, but it's the one most people seem to obsess over.

I wanted the best bang for the money.
Wouldn't at least seeing how well the battery you already paid for and received performed, despite your math, be the best bang for the money? Did you have any problems with it before spending almost $200 more, or was your mind already made up and you didn't want to be confused by facts?

I did more research and came up with group 34 AMG Batteries. To make a long story short, I narrowed the search down and ended up with a DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery. I purchased the DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery group 34R on Amazon. I paid $185 delivered.
$186, but what's $0.99 between friends. ;)

Installation would be tight; I measured and remeasured. Without the stock batteries jacket it should just make it. Please note the "R" in group 34R was for reversed post; the red is where the negative post on the stock battery. Would the cables reach? I measured again. That will also work.

Why purchase the "R" version over the 34? Simple, The specs are the same and it's cheaper.
How much money did you save?

I'm laying out money that Subaru is making me do for piece-of mind.
No, you're laying out money because you decided you wanted to do it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that - it's your money and your effort - but you did this on your own for your own reasons.

Don't claim that Subaru "made" you do it, though.

The install went fine. Fit is excellent. I cut a small piece of the red post cover to better fit over the cable in the back ( flap that hangs down). I also pocked a whole in that cap and used a ty to tie it around the cable so it won't get lost.
I'm glad it worked (and somewhat surprised, TBH), but was fretting over whether it would work and hacking up your brand-new equipment really worth, what? A few bucks?

Are you going to end up being charged for some of what would normally be fully-covered warranty work because of the battery that is in a non-standard configuration? I doubt there would be any fuss at all over a battery a bit larger than stock, but the first instruction in a vast number of service procedures is "disconnect the negative battery terminal." If that negative terminal not where they expect it to be, it could be dangerous (there's a reason they specify negative instead of positive, or either), or at least will slow the mechanic down compared to routine work. My guess is, if he's never seen something like this in this car before (and probably hasn't), a typical mechanic will call over his supervisor and say "take a look at this..." Whether they pass this along to you is an open question. In my opinion, they would be justified if they decided to.

To me this seems like a case of trying to save money at any cost. That's just my opinion, though.

Why the group 34 and not the group 35 which so many people went for?
DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery: CCA 775, RC 120 minutes, 55 AH rating $185.99 @ Amazon
Optima Batteries OPT8020-164 35 RedTop Starting Battery: 720 Cold Cranking Amps, Reserve capacity of 90 minutes $232.99 @ Amazon.
CliffordS
Comparing batteries of different sizes, with different designs, from different manufacturers and attributing everything to the different size is futile. The only relevant comparison would be between the different sizes for otherwise identical (or at least substantially similar) batteries from the same manufacturer.

I can't say I'm particularly impressed with the specs for the group 35 Red Top batteries. Others in that same group have much better ratings, but they do list for more.
 

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Twilight Blue 2015 3.6R with Eyesight
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I'm sure the DieHard is an awesome battery.
I went with the Optima, like the last 4 car's I've owned. I have an Optima Blue Top battery that's 12 years old, and STILL works!
 
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... the "R" in group 34R was for reversed post; the red is where the negative post on the stock battery.
Very bad idea. Why complicate things unnecessarily by installing a reversed-polarity battery when straight BCI Group 34 batteries (with proper polarity) are readily available? Reversed battery terminal polarity also vastly increases the chance of electrical system damage in the future due to human error.
 
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No, you're laying out money because you decided you wanted to do it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that - it's your money and your effort - but you did this on your own for your own reasons.

Don't claim that Subaru "made" you do it, though.
Considering the number of threads here about the undersized stock battery that Sub starts you off with, I'd have to say that his money was well spent in preventive maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The positive post has a LARGE red cover with a large + on top. If my mechanic was drunk....
 

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Very bad idea. Why complicate things unnecessarily by installing a reversed-polarity battery when straight BCI Group 34 batteries (with proper polarity) are readily available? Reversed battery terminal polarity also vastly increases the chance of electrical system damage in the future due to human error.
Pretty sure reverse polarity isn't the proper term in this case. But fair point about the possibility of someone messing up a future connection. But unless the battery cables are changed the positive and negative are still going to be in the same relative position under the hood, the battery with the reversed position terminals will just have to be turned 180 degrees when installing so the terminals are closer to the fender rather than to the engine, but still in the same position front to back.

I could be wrong though.
 

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Pretty sure reverse polarity isn't the proper term in this case. But fair point about the possibility of someone messing up a future connection. But unless the battery cables are changed the positive and negative are still going to be in the same relative position under the hood, the battery with the reversed position terminals will just have to be turned 180 degrees when installing so the terminals are closer to the fender rather than to the engine, but still in the same position front to back.

I could be wrong though.
IIRC, the positive terminal cable isn't long enough to reach if you turn a "R" battery 180 degrees.
 

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IIRC, the positive terminal cable isn't long enough to reach if you turn a "R" battery 180 degrees.
I have no idea; I was just guessing. But I can't imagine the cables would reach without turning it.
 

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I will still argue that a plain old flooded cell Walmart Group 24 battery for $95 delivering 130 minute RC is still the best bang for the buck.
 

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I will still argue that a plain old flooded cell Walmart Group 24 battery for $95 delivering 130 minute RC is still the best bang for the buck.
Or the same from Costco - they will exchange the battery without any trouble should it fail.
 

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Pretty sure reverse polarity isn't the proper term in this case. But fair point about the possibility of someone messing up a future connection. But unless the battery cables are changed the positive and negative are still going to be in the same relative position under the hood, the battery with the reversed position terminals will just have to be turned 180 degrees when installing so the terminals are closer to the fender rather than to the engine, but still in the same position front to back.
IIRC, the positive terminal cable isn't long enough to reach if you turn a "R" battery 180 degrees.
@SnowGo is correct. The terminals have to be toward the back to make this work, and a 34R battery places the positive on the outside in this configuration, such that the cables have to cross over. Hence the chance of error from someone not paying attention.

The positive post has a LARGE red cover with a large + on top. If my mechanic was drunk....
Many have taken that cover off. Plus it's night, dark, raining, your flashlight is dead, and you've hooked up your old Outback hundreds of times with the correct configuration.

I think the point made in this thread is appropriate - which isn't whether human error should be possible from someone reasonably paying attention, but why intentionally override a built-in safety factor for just a few dollars of savings on a brand new car under warranty? The cost of reversed polarity can be pretty severe (ruined batteries, spewed battery acid, damaged paint, and possible loss of eyesight).

And there's one more factor involved: When the cables cross over, they can touch - especially when they're pulled tighter because of crossing over. So there's a greater chance of a direct short from worn insulation and abrasion as the cables age. Yes, the positive cable can touch lots of grounded surfaces, but why make one more? I don't like it for this reason.
 

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The cost of reversed polarity can be pretty severe (ruined batteries, spewed battery acid, and possible loss of eyesight).
Add the likelihood of extensive damage to vehicle electronics.
 
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Pretty sure reverse polarity isn't the proper term in this case. But fair point about the possibility of someone messing up a future connection. But unless the battery cables are changed the positive and negative are still going to be in the same relative position under the hood, the battery with the reversed position terminals will just have to be turned 180 degrees when installing so the terminals are closer to the fender rather than to the engine, but still in the same position front to back.

I could be wrong though.
The OP is not clear whether he rotated the battery 180° so that the terminals are closer to the fender with negative toward the front of the vehicle, or put it in the tray with terminals away from the fender, positive toward the front, and crossed the cables. Either way, I'm surprised the cables reached.

I'd be interested in seeing a picture of the installation.
 

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The OP is not clear whether he rotated the battery 180° so that the terminals are closer to the fender with negative toward the front of the vehicle, or put it in the tray with terminals away from the fender, positive toward the front, and crossed the cables. Either way, I'm surprised the cables reached.

I'd be interested in seeing a picture of the installation.
I think what I was remembering was people using the 34R battery in previous generation Subarus and it worked better to flip it around. There are also some batteries where the posts are more in the middle of the top of the battery rather than at the edge and those may have worked better turned around as well. I can't remember how much slack, if any, there was in the cables when I changed my battery but it seems like it would be a shorter distance to install on the rotated battery than crossing the cables and trying to reach across the length of the battery.

I would like to see a photo of this install as well.
 

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I think what I was remembering was people using the 34R battery in previous generation Subarus and it worked better to flip it around. There are also some batteries where the posts are more in the middle of the top of the battery rather than at the edge and those may have worked better turned around as well. I can't remember how much slack, if any, there was in the cables when I changed my battery but it seems like it would be a shorter distance to install on the rotated battery than crossing the cables and trying to reach across the length of the battery.

I would like to see a photo of this install as well.
Here's what the DieHard 38188 Advanced Gold AGM Battery (GP 34R) looks like:



Note that the terminals are definitely close to the side and nowhere near the center of the battery.

There is almost no slack at all in the positive battery cables in the '15 OB, and there is already little room between the battery and structure toward the outside of the car with the "puny" Gp. 25 (LWH 9.1", 6.9", 8.9") stock battery, so, presumably even less with the physically longer Gp. 34 battery (LWH 10.3", 6.8", 7.9"). I looked.

I just don't see how he did it. I'd love to see a picture.

Side note:
According to specs, the outside volume of those "puny" group 25 batteries is actually larger (gasp!) than those "bigger, more manly" group 34 batteries. 9.1" X 6.9" X 8.9" = 558.831 cubic inches. 10.3" X 6.8" X 7.9"= 553.316 cubic inches. A difference of about 1%. Obviously there's more to battery construction than the sheer size of the case, but it's certainly a constraint. I thought this was interesting considering what most people seem to think.
 

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Side note:
According to specs, the outside volume of those "puny" group 25 batteries is actually larger (gasp!) than those "bigger, more manly" group 34 batteries. 9.1" X 6.9" X 8.9" = 558.831 cubic inches. 10.3" X 6.8" X 7.9"= 553.316 cubic inches. A difference of about 1%. Obviously there's more to battery construction than the sheer size of the case, but it's certainly a constraint. I thought this was interesting considering what most people seem to think.
Correct. I posted this along with the approx 100 cid advantage of the Group 24 battery last year in the other huge battery thread. That gives room for more plates, longer (higher surface area plates) plus more silt room at the bottom to help prevent shorts from shedding. It's why even the most basic G24 offers more total energy and reserve capacity.
 

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I will still argue that a plain old flooded cell Walmart Group 24 battery for $95 delivering 130 minute RC is still the best bang for the buck.
I totally agree. The OEM battery in my '13 lasted 3 months shy of 5 years. I went with a Group 25 640 CCA, and iirc 110 reserve capacity. Cost me under $85 and has a full 42 month warranty. I don't have any major aftermarket sound system or such, so a battery of this capacity is more than enough for my car. With proper maintenance, I'm confident that this battery will also last about 5 years.

To get the same "bang for the buck" out of a $185 battery as I did out of the OEM battery, it's going to need to last you over 10 years. Actually longer than that if you figure the time value of money of the $100 savings between the two batteries.
 
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