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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,
There has been conversation about inadequate batteries in 2015 and 2016
outbacks. Owners are saying their batteries only have a cca of 365 and that some are experiencing flat batteries after the car has not been used for
three days.
My outback is an Australian spec.2.5 2016 build.
I checked my battery and a yellow label reads:
CCA 620A D23 J1S
20HR 62A
I assume it has a cold crank capacity of 620 amps and a capacity of
62 amp hours. Can anyone shed any light on what D23 JIS 20 hour means.
A CCA of 620A would seem to be reasonable.
Is it possible that Subaru has woken up and is addressing the problem of battery failure?
 

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08 OB 3.0R Beaner
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413 Posts
D23 is the group, describes size and post type location.
JIS = Japanese Industrial Standards
20hr 62A means it can supply 3.1A for 20hrs at which time it would be completely discharged.

CCA is a rating to describe cold temp performance under heavy draw. So 620A at -18c for 30 seconds to complete discharge.

The specs also give an idea of how the battery is constructed. High CCA suggests open cell grid with lots of surface area to supply current. High 20hr rating suggests denser cell construction, heavier battery.

Those specs are to complete discharge. In practice we do not do that as it dramatically reduces the life of the battery.

I've noticed that to protect the battery and systems my Outback will not operate even though the battery is not fully discharged. Nice feature but I'm pretty sure the car would have started without it because I have used a little charger that only increased the voltage a bit to get the car started.

Maybe there is both a battery and setting issue?

Either way I cannot lie, I like big batteries.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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1,107 Posts
They haven't addressed the battery issue on USA made Outbacks. I can speak for my '17 Outback 2.5i Limited - it came with the wimpy 365cca group 25 battery. Trying to decide if I want to go with an Optima Red Top or save $30 and get the WalMart Everstart Max.
 

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Tungsten 2017 2.5 Limited w Eyesight SOLD!
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1,043 Posts
I'll get a marine grade battery as the plates are thicker and they're built to resist vibration better too. Most OEM batteries are barely capable to start the engine for long as the car companies need to save $$ and weight to get better CAFE numbers. So a cheap POS battery is what we end up with..:surprise:
 

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Super Moderator
2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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3,170 Posts
I'll get a marine grade battery as the plates are thicker and they're built to resist vibration better too. Most OEM batteries are barely capable to start the engine for long as the car companies need to save $$ and weight to get better CAFE numbers. So a cheap POS battery is what we end up with..:surprise:
The He\_\_, you say!
 

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Premium Member
Twilight Blue 2015 3.6R with Eyesight
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5,055 Posts
They haven't addressed the battery issue on USA made Outbacks. I can speak for my '17 Outback 2.5i Limited - it came with the wimpy 365cca group 25 battery. Trying to decide if I want to go with an Optima Red Top or save $30 and get the WalMart Everstart Max.
Red Top for sure! And order it direct from Optima! That way you're getting the freshest battery possible, and shipping is free!
The problem with getting them from an auto store is the fact, not too many people want to spend that kind of money on a car battery, so they sit, and sit, and sit...

I've been an impressed customer since 2000. In fact, I purchased a Blue top (Deep Cycle) battery paired up to a LARGE inverter, for location lighting in my photography business back in 2008. Since then, due to my health issues, the business went into the ground, and the inverter/battery setup has sit, collecting dust, and not used since then. Flash forward 7 years.

I needed power out in the yard for some electric yard equipment, i.e. Chain saw and hedge trimmer.
My gas generator needs some work on the carburetor, so I thought about pulling the battery thing out of storage.
Naturally, when I did, the battery was flat as a pancake.
I decided to put my charger on it. Because it's a smart charger, there wasn't enough current to turn it on...
So I grabbed a 9v battery, and tricked it into thinking there was a battery hooked to it, so it would start charging.
I really wasn't expecting much. In fact, I figured there was NO WAY I was bringing a flat, 9 year old battery, that had been stored for the last 7 years.

After a few min I took the 9v battery away, and the charger stayed on! So, I left it to trickle charge for the next 2 days.
I figure the shock of high current charging on such a flat, as well as old battery, would definitely ruin it.
After two days, I unplugged the charger, crossed my fingers, and turned the inverter on. I have to say that for the inverter to work was even questionable, because of the capacitors.
Well, the lights came on, and it started working!
I plugged the chainsaw in and started using it. Between my wife and I, we used it for about an hour, and it was going strong!
I brought it back to the house and plugged the charger back in. It recognized and started charging it automatically!
It took about 2 hours to fully charge it, then it went into automatic trickle charge mode.
I was a fan before, I'm a true believer now!
For a 9 year old battery, to sit 7 years unused and flat, then be brought back to life and work is, AMAZING!

Are Optima battery's worth it? Heck yes!!!

P.S. Just for you doubters. I included some pics of my Battery Thing...
 

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2019 sprinter 4x4, 2021 xt touring
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Anyone who really uses and relies on batteries for anything but starting will agree dont get an optima

If you are JUST worried about starting, its fine.
But if you want to run more accessories etc, just go to batteries plus and get an X2. It a rebadged Norstar which is an amazing battery.
 

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2019 sprinter 4x4, 2021 xt touring
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1,450 Posts
Two completely different uses

Optimas are a starting battery
The norstars are a starting/house battery. They are designed to be able to handle stuff like lights, and charging things without ignition on much better.

https://www.batteriesplus.com/battery/marine-and-boat/deep-cycle/bci-group-31m/sli31agmdpm

but choose your size.


Get off amazon for stuff like this. Too many fakes. I don't know about you, but I rely on my batteries. Im out for a days at a time, if it fails im screwed. You drive to and from work? Just get an upgraded advanced auto battery.



And yes. A fresh battery is worth the 80.00
 

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@KentuckyOutback: Optima Red Top (group 25) directly from Optima: $220. Optima Red Top (group 25) from Amazon: $140. The Amazon listing states the battery is coming from Optima. Not sure if getting a fresh battery is worth another $80. :)
I bought an Optima on Amazon in July 2016 and it was manufactured in July 2016. I had a great experience and saved money as well

Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
 

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08 OB 3.0R Beaner
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Red Top for sure! And order it direct from Optima! That way you're getting the freshest battery possible,
That is yet another great thing about AGM batteries, they have a much lower self discharge rate. As a result they do not need to be as new or fresh as flooded batteries, and they can be recharged faster.

Which makes them great as a back up battery. Get an easy to carry one, charge it up, and it will be good for months with a self discharge of 1% a month compared to 1% a day with some flooded. And since they are sealed handling them is much cleaner and easier.

Of course you do have to pay for that, they are more expensive per amp/hr, but there are some applications where no other battery can do the job.

Very nice batteries indeed, just ensure your charging system and container is designed for them. Having seen the results first hand of a thermal runaway and by first hand I mean clean up, rewire and bring cabinet up to battery spec, I like to use chargers with a battery temperature probe option.
 

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2015 Outback 3.6R Package 23
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That is yet another great thing about AGM batteries, they have a much lower self discharge rate. As a result they do not need to be as new or fresh as flooded batteries, and they can be recharged faster.
I have a 35 amp-hour AGM scooter/wheelchair battery I use on the boat to save the house batteries and in the house for power outages. You just reminded me to plug in the little Battery Tender Jr charger since I haven't charged it since May. My battery only weighs 25 pounds and has a plastic carrying handle so it's really easy to toss in a canvas bag to bring aboard the boat. I've never used it to jump a car but it's in my bag of tricks along with a jump box, jumper cables, and a decent old Sears battery charger.
 

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Finding this morning a dead battery in a 2015 2.5 Outback (17 months old, 17,000 miles) I seemed to recall that someone on this forum had mentioned that for Subaru battery warranty replacements on the 2.5 they were putting in the larger capacity battery that's standard in the six cylinder models, because of recurring problems with the smaller battery. I've just finished talking to three dealers in this vicinity and they acted as those I was crazy when I suggested that they make warranty replacement with the larger battery. Can only put in what's original equipment. Just for info...


Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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2016 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited with Tech & Eyesight
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52 Posts
Based on my monitoring, this "battery controversy" seems to affect primarily 2.5 owners. I think b/c the 2.5 OB have a smaller capacity battery. Wouldn't be surprised if Subaru change the batteries on future 2.5s.

My 3.6R went over 3 weeks without running and turned on fine.
I also left a small light on for 2 days and no problems (although in the latter case, I hear modern cars have auto shut off after a certain time period lapses - not sure if my OB has this)

I guess the savings that comes with buying the 2.5 OB can be used to buy a better battery down the road.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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@Overcomer: it's not a big deal to spend $140 on a aftermarket battery. I found the improved fuel economy, top mounted oil filter, and active grill shutters that make the 2.5i the better choice for my driving needs.
 
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