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I was very excited to buy my first Subaru and had very high hopes for it it currently has 14 thousand miles it's a 2018 which I got at the end of 2018. I bought it new and honestly I'm very disappointed. Today it is at the dealership the battery has died a few times over the last few weeks AAA came twice finally just replaced the battery. The air conditioning stopped blowing cold and the passenger window would not work from the driver's side after the battery was replaced both of these simultaneously started. I cannot believe that a three-year-old car with less than 14,000 miles the air conditioning would stop working. The dealer claimed it needed to have Freon added to it which to me says there must be some sort of leak he assured me they did a leak test and there was none. Anyway he's filling it with freon and claims it must have happened originally at the dealer they didn't properly put the freon in. Well I know for sure there must be some sort of a leak air conditioning just doesn't stop working but okay I'll accept that of course it'll be out of warranty when I find out there is a leak. So my brand new Subaru I don't trust it to start in the morning due to having a dead battery three times I don't trust it to have cool air I worry moving forward since I'm going out of warranty shortly what else am I going to find out. I thought this would be the last car I would buy and considered replacing my partners 2008 Altima coupe with a Subaru her car seems to be more reliable than mine. Anyone experience problems with their 2018 that I should look for now while it's still under warranty. My battery Farb also looks like it's sinking in some spots I probably haven't tried 80% of the features of the car I haven't taken it off road yet once I planned on going to the beach life just got in the way. Can anyone give me a rundown of things I should check before it's out of warranty I appreciate it
 

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2022 Outback Touring XT. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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I'd say your A/C problem is very unusual, there's been nothing reported in the Gen 5 forum that I can recall - most Subarus go well past 100k before needing anything like that. Battery - well, that's known, but not considered such a big deal when you can simply have Subaru reimburse you for an aftermarket brand of your choice. Besides, that's a wear item and not very expensive. Given your very low mileage, it's possible you're also pretty hard on the battery with infrequent use and/or lots of short trips, so you might consider a battery tender if that's the case.
 

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2022 Outback Touring XT. Also 1995 BMW 525i with 240,000 miles
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I'd say your A/C problem is very unusual, there's been nothing reported in the Gen 5 forum that I can recall - most Subarus go well past 100k before needing anything like that. Battery - well, that's known, but not considered such a big deal when you can simply have Subaru reimburse you for an aftermarket brand of your choice. Besides, that's a wear item and not very expensive. Given your very low mileage, it's possible you're also pretty hard on the battery with infrequent use and/or lots of short trips, so you might consider a battery tender if that's the case.
Mine is on its third battery. Failure of the first battery. The dealer would not replace, However, SOA reimbursed me for my aftermarket battery purchase. Then Autozone Duralast which was then replaced under Autozone warranty. This repeated battery failure leads me to believe there is something wrong with Subaru's electrical systems. BTW, I also had the ECM charging update done.
 
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Read your manual...after battery replacement, the windows need to be reset....

Edit: I see Brucey types faster than I do.... :)
 

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...This repeated battery failure leads me to believe there is something wrong with Subaru's electrical systems. BTW, I also had the ECM charging update done.
Right, but you would be in the minority, IMO, with that opinion. Yes, we know it's maybe a bit harder on batteries than vehicles from 20 years ago, and more prone to "user-error" battery drain events, but I've seen no evidence of an inherent electrical issue. Could be some sort of defect affecting a small percentage of vehicles I suppose.
 

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maybe im alone in my thinking but i bought my '18 knowing the battery was going to be a POS. so i purchased a cigarette lighter amp meter and noticed how bad it was within a month or so of ownership. didnt ask SOA to reimburse me, didnt bitch to the dealer- ordered a group 24 Exide battery from home depot for $94 and replaced it within 4 months of ownership. i was in a similar mindset as the OP, didnt want to be stranded with a **** battery so i resolved the issue myself.

with 45k on my '18 i do not have the AC issue... but the battery being a known issue i replaced myself and reset the windows too, no issues.
 

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2019 Outback Wagon 2.5i limited
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With my upgrade to Gen5 this year, I noticed right away the battery was not going to hold up. It went dead when I was trying to run through the menu options to set the car up the way I want. It has been ok since then (a couple of weeks), even though it sits most of the time during our stay at home orders. I don’t think that Autozone batteries are the best quality anymore, from what I’ve read. The first time my battery is found dead, I’ll just upgrade myself. I may even go with an Optima battery if they make one suitable. I’ll have to do research when the time comes, but I remember reading that a battery with higher CCA would solve the problem.
 

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sorry you are having a bad experience. The weak battery is a known issue. The battery died once on my wife's 19, but it tests good and has worked since I charged it up. The window switch needs to be reset after discounting the battery, so that's not really an issue.
Most people will get a replacement under warranty if they have battery issue and then replace with a better battery afterwards. This is what I do with all my cars that have issues. The problem has more to do with emmisions leading manufactures to not run the alternator all the time so you need to drive longer to recharge.
The AC is odd, but often vehicles need recharges.


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I was very excited to buy my first Subaru and had very high hopes for it it currently has 14 thousand miles it's a 2018 which I got at the end of 2018. I bought it new and honestly I'm very disappointed. Today it is at the dealership the battery has died a few times over the last few weeks AAA came twice finally just replaced the battery. The air conditioning stopped blowing cold and the passenger window would not work from the driver's side after the battery was replaced both of these simultaneously started. I cannot believe that a three-year-old car with less than 14,000 miles the air conditioning would stop working. The dealer claimed it needed to have Freon added to it which to me says there must be some sort of leak he assured me they did a leak test and there was none. Anyway he's filling it with freon and claims it must have happened originally at the dealer they didn't properly put the freon in. Well I know for sure there must be some sort of a leak air conditioning just doesn't stop working but okay I'll accept that of course it'll be out of warranty when I find out there is a leak. So my brand new Subaru I don't trust it to start in the morning due to having a dead battery three times I don't trust it to have cool air I worry moving forward since I'm going out of warranty shortly what else am I going to find out. I thought this would be the last car I would buy and considered replacing my partners 2008 Altima coupe with a Subaru her car seems to be more reliable than mine. Anyone experience problems with their 2018 that I should look for now while it's still under warranty. My battery Farb also looks like it's sinking in some spots I probably haven't tried 80% of the features of the car I haven't taken it off road yet once I planned on going to the beach life just got in the way. Can anyone give me a rundown of things I should check before it's out of warranty I appreciate it
My friend, before you knock your Subaru, check the endless amount of problems other cars have. Subaru is an incredible well engineered car. Is it free of all problems? NO. Get the AC fixed, spend the 100 bucks on a new battery and you should be ok for 200,000 miles easily.
 

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maybe im alone in my thinking but i bought my '18 knowing the battery was going to be a POS. so i purchased a cigarette lighter amp meter and noticed how bad it was within a month or so of ownership. didnt ask SOA to reimburse me, didnt bitch to the dealer- ordered a group 24 Exide battery from home depot for $94 and replaced it within 4 months of ownership. i was in a similar mindset as the OP, didnt want to be stranded with a **** battery so i resolved the issue myself.

with 45k on my '18 i do not have the AC issue... but the battery being a known issue i replaced myself and reset the windows too, no issues.
What is a "cigarette lighter amp meter" please? I've seen ones that measure voltage but I'm not seeing how you could measure current?



(Someday students are going to be writing ancient history research reports and are going to come across this and say to each other "What is a cigarette? What's a lighter? Why does it need its amps measured?" Other student: "Oh I know: Cigarettes were those expensive sticks you'd put in your mouth and light on fire! While driving!" First kid: "The car had this built into it??? WHY would anyone do that?")
 

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2012 Outback Ltd 3.6r
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I've had very few OEM batteries make it past the 36 month period. Seems that the hotter and/or colder the climate you live in, the shorter the battery life. Hot days kills batteries, and cold weather buries them. Subaru sources many of their batteries from Johnson Controls, who makes OEM batteries for many car brands, as well as many aftermarkets.

My only gripe is they should probably put a stronger (more CCAs) battery, with a higher reserve in highly loaded models. When you have power everything, heated seats, and lots of electronics, a larger battery may hold up better over time.

For the record, mine made it nearly 4 years, before I replaced it with a Optima Red, and gained 220 or so CCAs.
 

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2018 with 18k, 2 years later, no problems other than the seat squeaks and the gas gauge.
 

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I've had very few OEM batteries make it past the 36 month period. Seems that the hotter and/or colder the climate you live in, the shorter the battery life. Hot days kills batteries, and cold weather buries them. Subaru sources many of their batteries from Johnson Controls, who makes OEM batteries for many car brands, as well as many aftermarkets.

My only gripe is they should probably put a stronger (more CCAs) battery, with a higher reserve in highly loaded models. When you have power everything, heated seats, and lots of electronics, a larger battery may hold up better over time.

For the record, mine made it nearly 4 years, before I replaced it with a Optima Red, and gained 220 or so CCAs.
Will the Optima Red tolerate deep discharging? I'm interested in people's battery choices. I used to be a big Interstate fan, but now I'm not so sure anymore.


Though I think the '18 has some cutoff circuitry to disable things when the voltage gets too low and/or when a dome light is left on for an excessively long time. If someone here knows about this particular feature (or lack of) please comment.
 

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2019 Subaru Outback Touring 3.6R
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I agree with you totally. Most of the items you mentioned can be fixed. Now what i want to know is why Subaru can't fix them. After 80k miles on my company Ford F250 I have had zero issues. If you leave the lights on and the door open it can figure out that the battery is getting low and turn it off. It will always start..

I replaced my battery when new when I realized it may leave me stranded.

This one is the most expensive I could find but cheaper than a tow. Best CCA I have seen but I will bet there are others on the forum that have done better. But hey, you have paddle shifters.
IMG_0088 (1).jpg
 

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2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited
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The battery problems seem to be unrelated, but Subaru definitely has some engineering flaws like (1) interior lights that will not turn off after a present time, which includes leaving a door open and (2) an all electric lift gate that draws power when left open unintentionally or while camping. I have a friend with a new 2020 Ascent. The dealer told him that his key fob was draining the battery because his wife leaves the keys on a hook in the mudroom attached to the garage. My daughter uses the lights in the back seat to read. I cannot recall how many times I secured the house at night and noticed the interior lights on in the garage. I had to jump our 2019 Outback when my wife left the lift gate open.
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 R Limited
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Everything mechanical can, and at some point, will have a problem. Your frustation is understandable after a few dead batteries. You didn’t mention, does the car sit for long periods of time and/or is only used for short drives? It doesn’t matter too much as a car should be able to sit for a week or two and still start, but as this is a known weak point, there are easy ways to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

However, if you bought the car for what it is capable of and like the way it drives, then take a look at the good advice in this thread – reset the window according to the owner’s manual it’s not a fault – and let the dealer repair the A/C under warranty (that's what the warranty is there for), and then enjoy the car for the reasons you purchased it. If you still aren’t happy, there are plenty of other manufactures more than willing to sell you their cars.

Before that, I’d suggest you look at the other forum boards for the different makes. Every manufacture* has dealers with service departments, and they aren’t there to provide $29.95 oil changes.

Forums like this tend to bring out the fan-boys and fan-girls or the folks with problems looking for answers. The other 98% of owners don’t visit, and dealers tend to be the same way. Spend a day in a service department – doesn’t matter the brand – and you’ll think all the cars are crap, until you realize only cars that go back to a dealer are ones with problems. A large percentage of cars never see a dealership again.

Of course, if you just came here to vent, and maybe make sure no one ever buys a Subaru again, never mind 😉

TL;DR: Worry less, enjoy the car more - think about all of the things it does well and keep washing your hands!


*Tesla doesn’t have any traditional dealers, but they do have centers for service work
 

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I might have the only good OE battery ever fitted to an Outback

2 years, it definitely is starting to lose it's cold crank abilities, but I'm going to run it for the rest of the summer then probably swap it.
 

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I agree with you totally. Most of the items you mentioned can be fixed. Now what i want to know is why Subaru can't fix them. After 80k miles on my company Ford F250 I have had zero issues. If you leave the lights on and the door open it can figure out that the battery is getting low and turn it off. It will always start..

I replaced my battery when new when I realized it may leave me stranded.

This one is the most expensive I could find but cheaper than a tow. Best CCA I have seen but I will bet there are others on the forum that have done better. But hey, you have paddle shifters. View attachment 484135
I know to some degree there is a protection thing going on in my '18: If I leave the door open, eventually all the lighting shuts off and I don't come back to a dead car. I accidentally discovered this feature. 8) I don't know if it is just timing the cabin lighting and decides "15 minutes is enough" and shuts off, verses "the batt voltage is 11.0" and shuts off. Probably the time based system since that's cheap and easy.
 
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