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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We've had the 2019 Outback about 8 months, and the battery is randomly dead. As in 0 volts. The car is still covered by the factory warranty, plus we've purchased an extended warranty. The intervals the battery is dead may be a few days to a month. We've taken it into the Subaru dealership shop we've purchased it from several times for the issue, and until the last time we took it in (over 6 weeks ago), they didn't see the problem. We took it in on a Thursday, and they kept it over the weekend. Tuesday morning, it started fine. They asked to keep it a while longer, and that Thursday morning, the battery was flat dead. They charged it and said the capacity was significantly degraded, so they replaced the battery (3rd battery since we've purchased the car). Initially, the tech felt there was a draw on door controller and ordered a new one. That wasn't the issue, and since then the battery has been flat dead another time at the dealership. We found out that this car was randomly dead on the dealership lot before we purchased it. We have to call them for updates, and they sometimes don't call us back for over a day. They gave us a loaner and now want us to hand it back (don't like to keep one tied over longer than a month) and take the broken car back and document when the dead battery happens. They said it will help them track down what's causing the problem. Yeah, right. I don't buy this at all, and I guess they don't want to spend any more time on it. They can't seem to find the problem.

We contacted Subaru of America who contacted the service manager. The manager stated he's tried to coordinate service with us, but we've "not been able to make any of the appointments". Meanwhile, it's been sitting in their shop for a month. After confronting the manager, he stated he got the customers confused and corrected that in an email back to the Subaru corporate office. I'm not sure about this.

We live in Oklahoma City. Can anyone offer options? We are so disgusted with the inability to resolve this issue. Maybe take it to another dealership? Maybe to some repair shop that only deals with electrical issues? In the meantime, there was a chip in the windshield of the loaner car, and it's since gone to a crack and we're expected to pay to fix this. The chip is documented. This is just overall a really bad experience, and we're not sure what to do.

I'll take any ideas and advice. Thanks
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,877 Posts
It would frustrate me to no end if the Service Manager reports to SOA that I have "not been able to make any of the appointments" .... WHILE THE CAR HAS BEEN IN THEIR SHOP FOR A MONTH. This tells me that he does not have the proper focus on MY problem.

One approach would be to CALL THE SERVICE MANAGER EVERY DAY asking for a "status report". Perhaps this would help him focus on your problem with more clarity.

Many states have "Lemon Laws" inwhich a 'lemon' is defined as having the SAME PROBLEM more than 3 times.

Based on your description, your car would be considered a lemon in my state. I would be seriously considering that avenue. (In other words, this may put a fire under their a$$)
 

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2015 Outback
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87 Posts
It would frustrate me to no end if the Service Manager reports to SOA that I have "not been able to make any of the appointments" .... WHILE THE CAR HAS BEEN IN THEIR SHOP FOR A MONTH. This tells me that he does not have the proper focus on MY problem.

Many states have "Lemon Laws" inwhich a 'lemon' is defined as having the SAME PROBLEM more than 3 times.

Based on your description, your car would be considered a lemon in my state. I would be seriously considering that avenue. (In other words, this may put a fire under their a$$)
In many states, lemon laws only apply to new car purchases. Sounds like the OP bought used.
 

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Outback 2011 3.6R Premium
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Sounds like these techs need to learn how to properly find a current draw on the electrical system.
When you pay in peanuts you usually only get “monkeys” doing the work

Seagrass
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Convenience
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1,388 Posts
When you pay in peanuts you usually only get “monkeys” doing the work

Seagrass
Some wacky monkeys there! Should at least get bananas!

@albaker Ask the SM what the current draw is on the battery (car off, no key in ignition or FOB nearby). It should be low, milliamp range. This is the first step. If this number is high, they should start pulling fuses and see if a particular circuit is causing this draw. If this proves fruitless, then it gets gritty and a lot of wiring needs to be opened and looked at, could be a bad insulator somewhere from a pinched wire....
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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928 Posts
I'm an electronics engineer, so I run into issues like this. Intermittent problems can be extremely hard to find, because you can only troubleshoot when the car decides to exhibit the problem. Chances are the car presents no symptoms at all, most of the time. A logging meter can help catch things when nobody is monitoring it, without having to wait for the battery to drain.

In this case, I'd pull a group of several fuses and wait to see what gets logged. If the excess current draw still happens, then try another batch. One you identify a group, then it takes less time to get down to the culprit circuit. It's a slow process of elimination, but it is progress towards the solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I agree that this is a very difficult process to troubleshoot given it's intermittent. The good news is that (I'm speculating here) after sending an email to SOA and copying the dealership shop manager on the same email, the attitude has changed and SOA has lit a fire under the managers backside. The dealership has agreed to keep the car in the shop until the problem is resolved and provide a guarantee that the problem is permanently fixed in writing. They asked up permission to take additional troubleshooting steps. I'm thinking, why are they ONLY asking this now? I appreciate your input, and I'll do my best to post the solution to this issue.
 
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