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2020 Outback Ltd XT
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone having trouble with a bad battery or am I just unlucky? After about 1,000 miles the battery on my 2020 OB Ltd went completely dead. Local dealership tested the battery out and said it was defective. Adding insult to injury, dealership claims there are no spare batteries in my local area (Seattle/Tacoma). After 1 week with a loaner car they locate a battery in Houston and tell me it's going to be another 4 days till they have it on site to install in my car. At this point I suggest they just swap out a battery from one of the new 2020's on their lot. My service guy says the batteries in those cars could have the same issue. He recommends I wait for the "new and improved" one coming from Houston. I reluctantly agree to wait longer. Long story short--it seems there is low level of confidence in the batteries installed in the initial run of 2020 outbacks. After doing a little online research, battery issues may have have plagued various Subaru models for a few years now. Just wondering if anyone else has so more background
 

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A neighbor with a fairly new Honda CRV just had their battery fail for no apparent reason...he was really bragging on it before that!
 

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White 2020 Touring XT
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Anyone having trouble with a bad battery or am I just unlucky? After about 1,000 miles the battery on my 2020 OB Ltd went completely dead. Local dealership tested the battery out and said it was defective. Adding insult to injury, dealership claims there are no spare batteries in my local area (Seattle/Tacoma). After 1 week with a loaner car they locate a battery in Houston and tell me it's going to be another 4 days till they have it on site to install in my car. At this point I suggest they just swap out a battery from one of the new 2020's on their lot. My service guy says the batteries in those cars could have the same issue. He recommends I wait for the "new and improved" one coming from Houston. I reluctantly agree to wait longer. Long story short--it seems there is low level of confidence in the batteries installed in the initial run of 2020 outbacks. After doing a little online research, battery issues may have have plagued various Subaru models for a few years now. Just wondering if anyone else has so more background
TBH, the "new and improved" thing sounds like a crock to get you off their backs. With all the people on this board posting about their 2020s, not a single one has complained about the battery. If it was a widespread problem surely you wouldn't be the first one to post about it months after the first 2020s arrived. Hopefully the battery you get works out for you though! Cheers!
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited with Eyesight
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Sisters-in-law bought a 2019 Forester when they first came out and battery went dead after test ride. Took them a while to get a replacement also. Looks like battery problem still exists


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Friend has a new 2019 Porsche with <1000 miles...dead battery. The car window sticker was $82k. I have no idea what he paid. He said new Porsche batteries are over $200 plus $75 installation. His thank you was under warrantee.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Lapis Blue
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Has anybody posted the specs on the 2020 Outback battery with the Start/Stop yet? Just wondering what will be needed as far as a quality aftermarket replacement will be.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium / 2020 2.5i Premium / 2021 Rav4 Prime / 2012 F150 ecoboost
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Has anybody posted the specs on the 2020 Outback battery with the Start/Stop yet? Just wondering what will be needed as far as a quality aftermarket replacement will be.
Yeah, especially an upgrade that disables S/S. Apparently the wrong battery should do the trick. That would be a real upgrade!
 

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2020 Touring Onyx XT; 2014 Tribeca
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Anyone having trouble with a bad battery or am I just unlucky? After about 1,000 miles the battery on my 2020 OB Ltd went completely dead. Local dealership tested the battery out and said it was defective. Adding insult to injury, dealership claims there are no spare batteries in my local area (Seattle/Tacoma). After 1 week with a loaner car they locate a battery in Houston and tell me it's going to be another 4 days till they have it on site to install in my car. At this point I suggest they just swap out a battery from one of the new 2020's on their lot. My service guy says the batteries in those cars could have the same issue. He recommends I wait for the "new and improved" one coming from Houston. I reluctantly agree to wait longer. Long story short--it seems there is low level of confidence in the batteries installed in the initial run of 2020 outbacks. After doing a little online research, battery issues may have have plagued various Subaru models for a few years now. Just wondering if anyone else has so more background
The battery "problems" have not really been a true "issue" for Subaru, and not for Subaru alone. The vendors that make the batteries are about 3 and 2 of those vendors had manufacturer defects, and not to the point of ever getting a recall or anything. I have asked the right places and gotten a few good answers. But basically comes down to 2 of the vendors that make the raw components had an issue. I went through about 4 batteries (both OEM and aftermarket) in my 06 legacy and was able to track it down to a single vendor that made the core of both the OEM and the Sears one other battery I had.

With Subaru's new start/stop system, it requires huge more load to keep starting the engine and keeping future issues to a minimum, they had to beef it up a bit.

Also, keep in mind, the outback is so new, the parts pipeline has not been fully stocked as most are getting consumed in production to keep up with the demand. I have seen this happen on many of the new models, especially if it is new, like when the Crosstrek came out and when they have refreshed it as much as they did the outback (over 90% new being on the new Global Platform).

I checked Optima and they have not even released a battery yet for the 2020 outback, likely due to larger load. Optima tends to base their batteries at 20% over the OEM.
 
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2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT Autumn Green
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Anyone having trouble with a bad battery or am I just unlucky? After about 1,000 miles the battery on my 2020 OB Ltd went completely dead. Local dealership tested the battery out and said it was defective. Adding insult to injury, dealership claims there are no spare batteries in my local area (Seattle/Tacoma). After 1 week with a loaner car they locate a battery in Houston and tell me it's going to be another 4 days till they have it on site to install in my car. At this point I suggest they just swap out a battery from one of the new 2020's on their lot. My service guy says the batteries in those cars could have the same issue. He recommends I wait for the "new and improved" one coming from Houston. I reluctantly agree to wait longer. Long story short--it seems there is low level of confidence in the batteries installed in the initial run of 2020 outbacks. After doing a little online research, battery issues may have have plagued various Subaru models for a few years now. Just wondering if anyone else has so more background
You local Interstate, NAPA, Advanced Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts don't have replacement batteries? I really find this hard to believe. They can also usually provide a battery with higher cranking amps. I guess I haven't done the research but then again I'm surprised no one has batteries.
 

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You local Interstate, NAPA, Advanced Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts don't have replacement batteries? I really find this hard to believe. They can also usually provide a battery with higher cranking amps. I guess I haven't done the research but then again I'm surprised no one has batteries.
I am guessing the issue is warranty replacement.
The dealer and/or SOA is not going to pay for a local Interstate, NAPA, Advanced Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts battery.
 

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2020 Subaru Outback Touring XT Autumn Green
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I am guessing the issue is warranty replacement.
The dealer and/or SOA is not going to pay for a local Interstate, NAPA, Advanced Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts battery.
Right. I see. Well, probably why I never went the warranty route on batteries in the past.
 

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I had a leaking battery in my 2016 that was replaced under warranty after 2 years. This thread reminds me that I need to go back to the dealer because the second one is also leaking. If this continues then I will never have to pay for a battery. :)
 

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2020 Touring Onyx XT; 2014 Tribeca
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I am guessing the issue is warranty replacement.
The dealer and/or SOA is not going to pay for a local Interstate, NAPA, Advanced Auto Parts, O'Reilly Auto Parts battery.
And they will NEVER approve taking a part from a new unsold car to fix a customer's car because then by law, that car would not be able to be sold as new.
 
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And they will NEVER approve taking a part from a new unsold car to fix a customer's car because then by law, that car would not be able to be sold as new.
Really? I thought it's being registered that turns a car to used. I am sure the dealer can replace a faulty battery if a new car has faulty one from the factory and the car is still new?
But I agree in general that a dealer will not (and probably shouldn't) take a replacement battery from another car on the lot.
What would tick me off here though is the dealers bs'ing about the "upgraded" battery.
 

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It is out of the regulations that came out in the '80s when retailers would do this all the time. Oh, this car in service needs a new motor, let's pull one out from the showroom floor. Oh, and it was rear-ended on the test drive. Let's fix it with other parts. They would then sell it as new. There was so major shady crap they pulled back then. It is now that they cannot change core components like a battery without violating the regulations that were imposed on retailers. I know because it happened to my parents, they sold a "New car" that had been wrecked. It fell off the transporter and should have been totaled, but instead of taking the loss, they fixed the car and sold it. Don't ever try to screw over a lawyer. That retailer ended up way in the hole on that one. But a few years later, after enough people went to the BBB and legislators with this crap happening, they passed legislation around it.

It has been relaxed in the last 15 years so that they can make changes like different tires and wheels, graphics, lift kits. and the like. But the core still cannot be done.

The same can be said in computers, my industry. I asked the same when I was a new tech (too many moons ago ;)) when a customer brought in a computer with a faulty power supply and the OEM had them on backorder for over a month. I got a good lesson on what can and cannot be done under warranty.
 

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2020 Touring Onyx XT; 2014 Tribeca
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What would tick me off here though is the dealers bs'ing about the "upgraded" battery.
The batteries are "upgraded" from prior generations and the rest of the lineup that does not have start/stop or is a hybrid. I am not sure what the crank amps are on the 2020's, and just took a quick glance through the manual and it isn't listed. But the manual does talk about it being a higher output in there through the start/stop function.

Not to belabor the point or argue, but making sure we are all on the same page.
 

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The batteries are "upgraded" from prior generations and the rest of the lineup that does not have start/stop or is a hybrid. I am not sure what the crank amps are on the 2020's, and just took a quick glance through the manual and it isn't listed. But the manual does talk about it being a higher output in there through the start/stop function.

Not to belabor the point or argue, but making sure we are all on the same page.
I would expect that the suggestion was to take the battery from another gen6 Outback.

Interesting overall, I would take an Outback with 5 miles on the odo at a 25% discounted because the battery was replaced at any time.
 

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And they will NEVER approve taking a part from a new unsold car to fix a customer's car because then by law, that car would not be able to be sold as new.
There's a guy on the board who had issues with his turbo seal and the parts weren't in stock when he took it back either. They replaced it with one from another car because he otherwise need to wait forever to get his new car. I think it's not completely unheard of.
 
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