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My 2016 Outback’s battery has been dead every morning for the last couple mornings. Autozone tested the battery and alternator. Both checked good. I busted out the multimeter and I have .2 amp drain coming from fuse 29 ABS Sol. Has anyone had the this problem? Or what this fuse controls? I google’d ABS solenoid and came up with zero.
 

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2022 Outback Touring XT. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2005 Outback 3.0R VDC/VTD/LSD 5eat , 2.8'' lift
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it controls what it says ABS solenoid. remove fuse and you dont have ABS and traction control with it. good for off road though. maybe some problem in that ABS thing where solenoid is . any errors there ?
 

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2017 Outback Limited -2.5 CVT ---- 'Gone' 2014 Outback Limited - 2.5 CVT ---- 'Rehomed' 2012 Outback Limited - 2.5 CVT - Deep Indigo Pearl ---- "RIP" 2010 Outback - 2.5 CVT - Silver - So's my hair
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This suddenly happen? Is there a light switch on? Rear hatch light has gotten me a couple of times.
 

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Outback 3.6R
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My 2016 3.6 outback original battery has been dying too. Was able to jump it from a portable battery a few times last week, but was not able to today.
 

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'19 OB 2.5 Premium basic
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Automotive battery life has been decreasing the last few years. 10-15 years back it was possible to get 5-7 years out of one that you took good care with. Today around 3 years is the expected life for the ordinary ones.
 

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The battery on my 2018 has died five times in 18 months. Twice in the winter when my car was at the airport for a week and I got back to town and had to call AAA. It dies almost every time I leave It for a week undriven. Died this week (May) since I’m not going anywhere due to Covid scare. Dealer checked it two or three times and says it tests fine so can’t be replace under warranty. Says this is a special battery from Subaru to try to keep this from happening. This time I took photos of corrosion around the seal and waiting to hear what they say about it. Too many electronics on these cars. Batteries can’t keep up. I believe they need two batteries, like a camper has one for the vehicle and one for all the electronics in the camper part.
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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^^ Invest $40 or so in a good-quality "smart" battery maintainer (a.k.a. Battery Tender, Battery Minder, etc.) and use it overnight, once a month or so. No battery will remain fully charged and healthy under the intermittent usage cycle you describe. This isn't just a Subaru thing, either.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R
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Do whatever you need to do to overcome the obvious deficiency in the design of our vehicles. Subarus have had a problem with batteries forever and have no intention to correct it. But hey, I have paddle shifters. I went ahead and replaced mine when only 6 months old with a larger battery. I paid a ton for my Northstar battery but it had the highest capacity I could find. You also must invest in a remote battery jump starter and keep it under the front seat. Just a little engineering could have prevented all of this crap.
 

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Subaru Outback battery is known to be pretty weak and bad after a short few years of usage. I had mine tested at dealership and they said it was ok, but clearly it kept on dying. Eventually bought a better spec battery and all battery related problems are gone
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R
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254 Posts
I am only blaming myself. I was looking for a cheap car to use for my work. I think I got what i deserved.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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I'm having the same problem, with my 2016 Outback, in the abs sol circuit. I'm just starting the google phase, but early results are not looking great, yet...

My draw test results:
first min after key off = >500ma (possible led door lights with delayed shutoff)
another min wait = ≈330ma
couple more mins = ≈200-210ma

Stays steady then, for as long as I tested, about 6-7 mins. Later, I will do a 20 min test and make sure it stays high all that time.

Then, after pulling abs sol fuse, it drops to ≤ 21ma

It stays low, after reinserting the fuse.

No codes or warning lights.

I'm wondering if Tyl3rb also noticed the draw stay low, after reinserting the fuse?

I've heard that power draw in the ABS sys, is a quick way to see if ABS has a problem...

That's all I know today 😉.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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After reread of Tyl3rbs post, you clearly have two problems. The ABS prob AND something else.

Your 200ma drain, will not kill a good battery overnight. Even with the crappy oem battery Subaru gave us, you should be able to start weeks later.

Btw, there's room for a larger, group 24 battery. Subaru has always/usually been nice about this. However, battery size is also, not your problem.

I upgraded my starting battery to a grp 24 78ah agm, 3 years ago, and replaced the smaller heat shield with a better larger one.

I relocated the orig oem 55ah battery to the cargo area as one of my auxiliary batteries and it's still preforming well, 4 yrs later. Aint bad for a 3 year battery. Can't wait for it to die tho, so I can check electrolyte for the last time ever. Agms are finally ready for primetime and are the ONLY way to go...
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Great troubleshooting! What meter are you using to measure the current?
I used a cheap Sperry, digital with max hold feature. I've got at least 5 meters, incl a Snapon. Ranging from $30 - $700. None is really better than the other.
 

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I've about had it with my 2016 Outback. The electrical issues seem to be increasing with age. I replaced the battery about 3 years ago with a better than stock battery. That helped some. Lately, it's been dying when we leave the flashers on for 30 minutes, which is crazy. I also tends to lock up it it doesn't like the way you leave the car, or if you leave the tailgate open for any time. It has to be jump started to override whatever lockout logic Subaru built into the thing...I've probably used my little Weego jump box 8 times in the last 2 months...never had these problems with my 2010 Outback...I see they are having the same problems with the 2020 models..might be time for a Toyota.
 

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2002 Subaru Outback L.L. Bean Edition H6-3.0
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Not sure if it'll be any help (I have a 2002 OBW lol), but this happened to me and for the life of me I couldn't figure it out, then realized I had left a pocket jump started plugged into the rear accessory power socket, which didn't cut power like the front cigarette lighted.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Good point rkporsley! Been there, done that.

I'd like to point out another often overlook thing, that I've seen in my shop many times. A near microscopic layer of corrosion between a battery terminal and battery post. You usually can not see it, unless you remove the terminals. They can look pristene, before removal. Removal is required to inspect any terminals.

And, this happened to me recently, after one of my free oil changes and multi-point inspections, Subaru gives us with new cars, which includes the battery terminals and water. I was surely pissed, yet not surprised, at the service department.
But be sure, this could have happened at any dealer, not just Subaru. (first and LAST time anybody besides me, works on my car... I hope)

Long/short, my 9 month old Outback would not start, 3 days after Subaru dealer inspection. Five mins with a wire brush and all fixed.

About the oem battery, all manufacturers put in small 3 yr batteries. It's really about weight and mpg. But they are not crappy, they are just small. With proper use and maintenance and no major overuse/high drain problems, they preform fine. Don't forget the water (distilled only). Check at least twice a year. Mine needed 24z when I gave up on dealer and resumed my own maintenance.
I always get 7-8 yrs from batteries, after oem wears out and always replacing with largest possible group size and longest warranty option. They always last 1-2, even 3 yrs past usual 5-7yr warranty.

I also agree completely with ammcinnis, this is NOT a Subaru "thing".

50+ yrs as foreign car mechanic and Subaru IS, hands down, the car for me. Even after putting about 600k miles on Toyotas, the worlds second best car. I love both companies. I won't digress (much), about how these companies have had a very tight relationship over the years and until recently, owned significant portions of each other...

I hope some of this ramble helps...
 

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I haven't had any battery issues with any of my Subaru's. Minus one or two Interstate batteries trying to corrode themselves to death.

C.
 
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