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2018 OB 3.6 Limited
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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2018 3.6 OB it that is 3 years old. I still have the OEM battery and have had no problems. However, with all the posts about the bad Subie batteries, I decided to test it with a volt meter. Here are the readings.
1) First thing in morning, car has not been driven in 24 hours, 50 degrees 12.24 volts was the reading
2) After driving car for 1 hour, car not running 12.5 was the reading.
3) While car was running 14.35

Any thoughts....time for a new battery? If I get a new battery I was thinking of getting an Interstate from Costco, do they carry a group 25 battery? If not, should I get a group 24? will the heat wrap that is currently on the OEM battery fit a group 24? I will put in new battery myself. Thank You
 

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2020 Outback Touring XT Magnetite Gray Metallic / Java Brown Leather
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406 Posts
You really need a load test. Straight voltage won't tell you that much. My 2015 batt lasted from 9/14 to 1/2019. It was starting slowly for perhaps a few weeks. I should have known better. The replacement lasted 3 months. I traded the car in in 2/20
 

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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1) First thing in morning, car has not been driven in 24 hours, 50 degrees 12.24 volts was the reading
At that voltage, the battery state of charge is only slightly more than 50%.

2) After driving car for 1 hour, car not running 12.5 was the reading.
The battery is still not fully charged (~80% SOC). It would probably benefit from an overnight charge using an inexpensive computer-controlled "smart" battery charger (a.k.a. battery minder, battery tender, etc.). With minimal load, a fully charged battery should measure 12.6 to 12.8 volts.

will the heat wrap that is currently on the OEM battery fit a group 24?
No.
 

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I have a 2018 3.6 OB it that is 3 years old. I still have the OEM battery and have had no problems. However, with all the posts about the bad Subie batteries, I decided to test it with a volt meter. Here are the readings.
1) First thing in morning, car has not been driven in 24 hours, 50 degrees 12.24 volts was the reading
2) After driving car for 1 hour, car not running 12.5 was the reading.
3) While car was running 14.35

Any thoughts....time for a new battery? If I get a new battery I was thinking of getting an Interstate from Costco, do they carry a group 25 battery? If not, should I get a group 24? will the heat wrap that is currently on the OEM battery fit a group 24? I will put in new battery myself. Thank You
If you’re not having issues I’d wait. Just carry a lithium jump starter so you’re prepared when it does eventually die.
 

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In a normal daily driven car that does 20 miles each way twice a day 5 days a week my battery practice would be to simply drive it until it needed a jump start and then that was the moment it would need replacement. I no longer drive like that and only do short trip driving so I've been defaulting to periodic external charging of my battery.
 

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2019 3.6R Limited, Cinnamon Brown Pearl
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Because of the rear liftgate issue, I keep a Lithium Jump starter in the car always. It is plugged into the 12V outlet in the trunk, so it gets topped off whenever the car is running. I have needed to use it twice.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,359 Posts
Age of battery does not mean much if it is well-maintained. I equalize the cells and desulfate my car batteries a couple times a year.

As examples:
*) The original battery from my 2006 turbocharged Baja is still being used daily in my daughters Outback. (The Baja, sadly, is sitting in scrapyard due to frame rust.)
*) The original battery from my wifes 2012 Outback still tests as 97% of its original CCA. (I tested it yesterday)
 

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Age of battery does not mean much if it is well-maintained. I equalize the cells and desulfate my car batteries a couple times a year.
I wonder if "they don't make batteries like they used to" but do you have a post where you detail your battery maintenance equipment and procedures? It would be a great thread to start if not.
 

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Because of the rear liftgate issue, I keep a Lithium Jump starter in the car always. It is plugged into the 12V outlet in the trunk, so it gets topped off whenever the car is running. I have needed to use it twice.
A typical lithium pack holds its charge for many months. I check mine every 3-6 months and it has never been below 95%. Even after jumping my truck, it was still at 90%, pretty amazing little invention. I keep it under the driver’s seat because you can’t open the lift gate with a dead battery.
 

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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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I wonder if "they don't make batteries like they used to" but do you have a post where you detail your battery maintenance equipment and procedures? It would be a great thread to start if not.
I have mentioned and detailed my battery maintenance process MANY times in this and other forums.

As for your assertion that "they don't make batteries like they used to" Lets keep in mind that the 3 battery-manufacturers will build to whatever specifications the buyer dictates. Some are built to a price-point. Others are built to withstand vibration. Still others are designed to have the maximum power in the smallest package. Cars with auto start/stop require other battery strengths which were not previously needed.

Just like all engineering, each of these design goals have drawbacks,

For example, a battery designed for MAXIMUM power (ColdCrankingAmps) in smallest package will likely be susceptible to sulphation sooner than other batteries. A battery designed for long-life will not have the biggest CCA because the plates are designed differently. Batteries designed to store power from solar-panels can often last more than 15 years.

As a battery OWNER, there are things we can do to slow down the sulphation which kills most flooded-cell batteries.
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Just a note on checking the voltage - when attempting to correlate that with SoC, remember that the reference numbers you'll typically find online are open circuit voltages. Obviously you're not going to leave the battery disconnected, but you can make an effort to at least ensure no loads are present. I've done some voltage surveillance in the past and found that, for my car (likely the same in your case if you have push-button start), I will typically get a significantly lower reading than the actual OC voltage if I just casually pop the hood and put my DMM on the battery posts. But, if I leave the hood popped after parking the car, and then return to take the voltage without the prox fob, I can prevent the car from waking up. Just approaching the car with the fob will start to wake it up, putting a load on the battery. Opening the door to pop the hood further increases this load (IIRC). Last I was checking, by avoiding those things, I found my battery was typically above 70% charged. Not optimal, but that just seems to be the way it is with this "smart" charging system (and I've had the charging logic updated, which was a big help for 2015s and 2016s - corrected in 2017, so not an issue for you).
 

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2007 Outback L.L. Bean 3.0, 2018 Outback Limited 3.6R
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I have a 2018 3.6 OB it that is 3 years old. I still have the OEM battery and have had no problems. However, with all the posts about the bad Subie batteries, I decided to test it with a volt meter. Here are the readings.
1) First thing in morning, car has not been driven in 24 hours, 50 degrees 12.24 volts was the reading
2) After driving car for 1 hour, car not running 12.5 was the reading.
3) While car was running 14.35

Any thoughts....time for a new battery? If I get a new battery I was thinking of getting an Interstate from Costco, do they carry a group 25 battery? If not, should I get a group 24? will the heat wrap that is currently on the OEM battery fit a group 24? I will put in new battery myself. Thank You
Get a group size 24 battery with higher capacity. You can easily expand the OEM insulating sleeve to fit; videos are available on Youtube. The OEM battery on my 2018 3.6 OB failed last summer because I was driving less.
 

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2018 Outback Premium 2.5i
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175 Posts
The thing about Costco is they ask what vehicle it’s going on, and if it’s not recommended for that vehicle they won’t warranty it. I’ve been told that 2x, so unless someone else has a better idea, it seems like Costco “makes” you buy Group 25 for Subaru.
 

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From my reading of Costco's warranty, if the vehicle is smaller than recommended for the battery (The battery is bigger than OEM size for the car) the warranty is still intact, however practice and policy often clash.

The good thing about them is Costco's return/exchange battery warranty/policy, which makes their quality good enough, but after their supplier change several years ago the battery quality is not as good in my opinion.



Suggest an Enersys or East Penn AGM battery otherwise.
 

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2015 Outback Limited
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I just replaced my failed battery on my 15 OB. I thought it was OEM and 6.5yrs old, but it was a Napa battery, so I must have replaced it at some point.

I got the group 24 from Costco. Guy scruitized it a bit, since it was obviously bigger than the one I was replacing, but he sold it to me fine. Fits fine. Works fine.

Do i need the insulated sleeve? I can't see it really does much.
 

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Do i need the insulated sleeve? I can't see it really does much.
It must do more than we think it does or they wouldn't have it. Seriously they will try to cut a dollar here and there. Aside from marginal thermal management I suppose if somehow a stray pebble or something gets thrown against the side of the battery it won't crack and spill acid? Prevent oil or other fluids from hitting the battery case and causing it to craze? Hard to say exactly how it may help but I'd rather have it than not.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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The thing about Costco is they ask what vehicle it’s going on, and if it’s not recommended for that vehicle they won’t warranty it. I’ve been told that 2x, so unless someone else has a better idea, it seems like Costco “makes” you buy Group 25 for Subaru.
So just tell them it is for a car that uses the battery that you want to buy. I doubt if they follow you home and check what you install it in.
 

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The thing about Costco is they ask what vehicle it’s going on, and if it’s not recommended for that vehicle they won’t warranty it. I’ve been told that 2x, so unless someone else has a better idea, it seems like Costco “makes” you buy Group 25 for Subaru.
I recently made the mistake of buying another group 25 Interstate battery at Costco to replace my OEM battery.
You are correct. If I need another battery I'll go somewhere else and buy a Group 24. This forum has very helpful information.

 

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In my opinion MOST car manufacturers put in the cheapest battery and tires on MOST of their new cars from the factory. Its all about the profit margin per unit sold and really adds up when several 100K Units are sold. I realize that some high end vehicles are shipped with excellent quality tires and batteries.
I think the the OEM battery on my 2017 Outback was an inferior product and now wish I had changed it sooner. 356 CCA is a joke in my opinion. Probably about right for a riding mower with a 22-25 HP Kawasaki engine.

Advance Auto Parts - Down for Maintenance
 
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