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No. I haven't used the projector lights, but LEDs draw considerable less current then the equivalent factory fitted incandescent globes, therefore there is less drain on the battery.

The puddle lights should switch off as soon as the front doors close, you can check this by opening the driver’s door & operating the door switch to see if they switch off as soon as you press the door switch. Do the same with the passenger front door. That will prove the door switch operation. If the interior lights are timing out after the user pre-set time when the doors close (the default should be 30 seconds but it can be reduced) then the doors are operating the door switches correctly & the BCM is dimming & switching the interior lights off correctly (you may not see LEDs dim though).

Jump starting a battery won’t charge a battery up (well it will a bit but hardly at all), it will only supply current to allow the modules to control the start sequence & to supply the starter motor with enough current to turn the engine over & therefore start the car. After jump starting, the battery will need to be charged, either by driving the car a considerable distance or by charging it with a quality smart charger like a CTEK. Did you do this?

I would suggest monitoring the battery voltage with a voltmeter (if you don’t own one a reasonably cheap digital multimeter will do the job). Leave the bonnet unlatched & measure the voltage at night & again in the morning. See my earlier posted voltage graphs in this topic to get an idea how slow the battery voltage falls overnight. When you say “it was fine until about two weeks ago when it went dead”, how much was the Outback driven prior to this? Enough to keep the battery in a good state of charge?

You probably know this, but make sure the cargo hatch is closed, that can discharge a battery overnight if left open. Make sure the interior lights are off but with LEDs fitted that isn’t as much of a problem. But using the infotainment unit without the car running takes a considerable amount of current.

You can monitor the volts via the Factory Setting screen on the infotainment unit (which is good when you are driving), but when the vehicle isn't being driven it requires opening/closing the driver’s door. A voltmeter is better, or if you want to go the extra mile I can highly recommend a battery monitor similar to what I have posted about in earlier posts.
Thank you so much. I appreciate your detailed suggestions!
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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379 Posts
So I guess moral of the story is a $2.99 voltmeter is adequate to get you in the ballpark, but obviously not terribly accurate.
This may sound a bit harsh, which isn’t my intention. :) But I wouldn’t like to rely on any of those three voltmeters for measuring the battery condition trend. But at a price of $2.99 that is what I would expect. I would suggest a better quality & more accurate multimeter.

There is one test you could do if you didn’t want to buy a more expensive & more accurate multimeter. To find out which of your three voltmeters is the most accurate, you could compare them to the battery voltage reading on the infotainment unit’s Factory Setting screen. But keep in mind the reading on the Factory Setting screen could read slightly lower than the true battery voltage (on my Outback it is a fraction lower than all four of my multimeters & the battery monitor I have connected permanently to the battery). Use the meter that agrees closest to the reading on the Factory Setting screen (with the Factory Settings screen possibly reading a touch lower) & put the other two well out of the way.

One other option is to fit a CTEK Indicator to your battery like I mentioned in this post. I have two of these on my boat batteries & while they don’t give a voltage reading, the LED’s give an indication of the battery condition.

But IMO, the Century BM12V battery monitor is the best thing since sliced bread for monitoring the battery.
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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This may sound a bit harsh, which isn’t my intention. :) But I wouldn’t like to rely on any of those three voltmeters for measuring the battery condition trend. But at a price of $2.99 that is what I would expect. I would suggest a better quality & more accurate multimeter.
Oh I know for $2.99 I'm not getting a Fluke quality meter. But for what I use them for they are fine. Seeing if outlet is hot or not, is battery dead, etc.

Anyway I bought a nicer one at Lowe's last night Right after turning car off it was 12.81 volts. This morning it was 12.39.

However, I then went and checked my 2017 BMW, which I also drove yesterday, and it is sitting at 12.11. So I'm not overly concerned about the OB being 12.39 unless it starts dropping hard from there.

For grins, my 2015 F-150 that's been sitting for a week reads 11.8! It always starts fine but I wonder if after almost 6 years I shouldn't be looking at replacing that one soon.

And my 2003 TJ, which has sat for 4 days reads 12.5. The old TJ probably has the least parasitic loss though as it's got no telematics or anything on it - it's really basic.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, No Eyesight, No Navigation
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I cannot remember if this has been discussed already, but where is the voltmeter inside the Outback applying its probes for measurement? For example, is there any component (even just lengthy wire) between the battery and the probe? If an external meter is not probing at the same spot, then there is no point in wanting the readings to match. In fact, in such a case and if both voltmeters are accurate, then the two readings should NOT match.
 

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2012 2.5 Outback Manual
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64 Posts
I'm jumping in here after 9 pages and I can't read all of it. But if parasitic drain through long periods of inactivity is an issue, perhaps a solar trickle charger would help?


If the car is parked in a garage with no sunlight, I'm sure a similar mains-powered trickle charger exists. I use one myself.
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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379 Posts
Right after turning car off it was 12.81 volts. This morning it was 12.39.

However, I then went and checked my 2017 BMW, which I also drove yesterday, and it is sitting at 12.11. So I'm not overly concerned about the OB being 12.39 unless it starts dropping hard from there.
I hope you don’t have a problem with your Outback or the battery. May I suggest taking your initial reading after driving the car or charging the battery about two hours later (one hour minimum). ;)
 

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(Australian spec) 2019 MY19 Outback 3.6R CVT.
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I cannot remember if this has been discussed already, but where is the voltmeter inside the Outback applying it's probes for measurement? For example, is there any component (even just lengthy wire) between the battery and the probe? If an external meter is not probing at the same spot, then there is no point in wanting the readings to match. In fact, in such a case and if both voltmeters are accurate, then the two readings should NOT match.
I don’t know where it gets the reading from, but I haven’t spent any time trying to find out. I wrote more in the second & third paragraphs of my earlier post here, which agrees with your thoughts. BTW - our Outback’s average dark current is a lot less than the average dark current of 70mA I mentioned in that post.

Over the past three weeks I’ve done a lot of battery voltage trend & load current testing under various conditions in our 2019 Outback 3.6R, & the voltage displayed on the Factory Settings screen in just about all instances is usually a bit lower than the permanently connected battery monitor that lines up with my other multimeters.

When I complete the remaining load current tests that I intend to do I’ll post all results in a separate topic so they are all together, probably over on the gen5 Outback forum.
 

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I have one of the older batteries (just as another data-point), and my car has gone for 2+ weeks now, twice, with zero issues starting (didn't check my voltage), no struggle to turn-over, nada.

I bet there are a batch of batteries with bad plates out there, it happens, battery manufacturers aren't perfect, just like any, as others have mentioned here.
A dealer (or any auto-parts shop that's a real shop) will have a load-drain tester, so you can test the battery isolated, at various current-draws. I've used/seen them used a few times, and it's VERY obvious when you have a bad battery, the voltage sinks like a ship, almost immediately.
Simple fix, they put in a new battery, and the chances of getting a 2nd bad one is pretty low. I can't see any dealer load-testing and then not putting in a new battery, in this circumstance.

The battery really isn't terribly pricey though (about 150-200, depending on where you live), you can get a really nice AGM from the same parts-store, or Costco or wherever, I find the pricing is pretty competitive these days. I've never had an Optima (AGM, usually red-top for most cars) go bad on me, and I've installed maybe 10-12 of them, over the years (they tend to last 4-6 years, on average, for me).

Are dealers really refusing to replace batteries, after testing? Unless this is a VERY high failure rate, coupled with refusal to replace, I don't see where this would come into the category of a class-action anything?
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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155 Posts
The battery really isn't terribly pricey though (about 150-200, depending on where you live), you can get a really nice AGM from the same parts-store, or Costco or wherever, I find the pricing is pretty competitive these days.
Just got an AGM at Costco for my F-150, was $179 for reference. It's a BIG battery too, the size for an OB probably is a little less expensive :)
 

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2020 touring XT
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167 Posts
Just checked again this morning and it's around 12.42. HOWEVER, this is with a $2.99 Harbor Freight voltmeter. I actually have 3 of them. So I tried all 3

Voltmeter 1: 12.42v
Voltmeter 2: 12.61v
Voltmeter 3: 12.70v

So I guess moral of the story is a $2.99 voltmeter is adequate to get you in the ballpark, but obviously not terribly accurate. Based on the last 2 readings I am good :) Maybe I'll get a better voltmeter for S&G sometime.
I got three of those for free....
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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Totally sucks. Questions and suggestions in order, i.e., try #3 in house before moving on to #4.
  1. Did they give you a free loaner?
  2. Keep meticulous records because the clock is ticking in terms of lemon law; hopefully it won't come to that, but just in case.
  3. Talk to the GM at the dealership and nicely ask for another car.
  4. Talk to SOA and nicely explain your disappointment. They can help with putting you in a new car, or as a minimum offer you a free extended warranty to restore your confidence in the brand.
  5. Above all, be nice to everyone you deal with. We have been through this process with Honda and Subaru and they both are very supportive and interested in happy and loyal customers, especially the ones who are nice and not nasty. Cars are just machines, people have relationships and feelings. They would much rather have a customer who has worked through an issue with a positive outcome than one who goes away frustrated.
Thank you for all the great suggestions. I had a few computer issues and was not sure on how this app worked.Just returned from a family emergency so was away from computer)
May 22, 2020 - car STILL at dealership - day 31. On May 20th was called & told "car ready" I asked if it was reliable. Rep asked to keep it 1 more day. Rep called a short time later to tell me the car had a scratch in door and would not be ready as it had to go to the body dept for paint fix.

1. Yes we were given free loaner which we had to take on 3500 mile trip for family emergency
2. I looked up Lemon Law in Nebraska and have kept all call info
3. Yes I have already told the nice service rep. lady that when/if the car is ever ready than I want to talk with GM. I told service rep (you have been wonderful keeping me informed, but a new car of 17 miles should not need a total electrical rehab with company specialist brought in) I really want to unwind the deal because I'm just not confident in this product. In March 25 2020 and April 16, 2020 class action lawsuit on 2016-2020 Outback and 2019-2020 Ascent due to defective battery and electrical
4. I had not thought to call Sub. Of America, great suggestion. I had to go through SOA at the start to get a battery jump because contract too new for paperwork to get to roadside assistance. And yes SOA was friendly and helpful.
5. I totally agree on always respecting people. But I really like your reminder. We have 3 friends who all swear by Subaru. I thought I had researched & found a great, safe car.

I will keep you posted. Looks like it will be after Memorial Day, May 26th at earliest (Day 34 at dealership)
Thank you Daniel,
Debra Cuts
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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Totally sucks. Questions and suggestions in order, i.e., try #3 in house before moving on to #4.
  1. Did they give you a free loaner?
  2. Keep meticulous records because the clock is ticking in terms of lemon law; hopefully it won't come to that, but just in case.
  3. Talk to the GM at the dealership and nicely ask for another car.
  4. Talk to SOA and nicely explain your disappointment. They can help with putting you in a new car, or as a minimum offer you a free extended warranty to restore your confidence in the brand.
  5. Above all, be nice to everyone you deal with. We have been through this process with Honda and Subaru and they both are very supportive and interested in happy and loyal customers, especially the ones who are nice and not nasty. Cars are just machines, people have relationships and feelings. They would much rather have a customer who has worked through an issue with a positive outcome than one who goes away frustrated.
Good suggestions, but I don’t know why there is an emphasis on being nice. OK, be nice to start, but sometimes being nice does not work. And the dude just dropped $35k for a pain in the ass.
Jake
I have tried to be nice...my husband is seething mad. So we are trying to give the dealership a chance to "Make it right" but as time goes by, making it right seems to be "GIVE ME MY MONEY BACK"
Thank you for the reminder to be nice BUT carry a big stick
 

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2020 Outback Limited
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Just checked my 3/20 build, I have the 620 CCA battery. Only had car since Saturday so don't know if battery issues will plague me yet or not.
My Outback also built 3/20. Not sure which battery I had car 72 hours and battery died and the car has been at dealership for a whole hosts of attempted fixes. Going on day 31 at dealership on this brand new lemon car. Good luck but I will check my battery type if I ever get the car back or not
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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2,850 Posts
I cannot remember if this has been discussed already, but where is the voltmeter inside the Outback applying its probes for measurement? For example, is there any component (even just lengthy wire) between the battery and the probe? If an external meter is not probing at the same spot, then there is no point in wanting the readings to match. In fact, in such a case and if both voltmeters are accurate, then the two readings should NOT match.
For Gen 5 (and likely Gen 6), I'm quite confident it's simply the head unit reporting what voltage it's receiving - so, you have whatever voltage drop it suffers from the harness wiring, plus any voltage sag due to the load you've placed on the battery in order to get the head unit powered up (which is not insignificant).
 

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2020 Outback Limited Abyss Blue Pearl 2.5
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Had my Battery fail about 1 month after buying my OB. I made the mistake of Driving the car to the dealer after jump starting it. It recharged during the 50mi trip, and the Dealer blamed it on the rear cargo light switch which I never touched since owning the car. the next morning the car was dead again. This time I called Subaru Road Service and had it flat bedded to the service dept. They called later to tell me that the Battery failed the load Test and they replaced the battery with the new type. It's been ok for the past couple of months now.
 
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