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2020 Premier XT
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18 Posts
My excitement for having found a great deal on a barely used 2020 XT is waining quickly. This entire thread on needing a portable battery charger because well your battery will die amongst other issues is worrying. Starting to sound like “it’s a Jeep thing”.
 

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33 Posts
Yeah, when I'm ready to buy I'm gonna heckle them about this and other things. I'll even bring in my multimeter and see if the battery is fully charging and if not I'm going to ask for a $300 discount to buy a better battery if they don't supply a good one.
 

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I started reading and posting to this forum when my factory EFB 620CCA battery died unexpectedly. After doing a lot of research and testing I concluded my battery died from the very little driving I did (Covid) in combination with the higher "keep awake" amp draw compared to older cars. My Subaru battery did suffer damage (I measured 15% lost capacity, see my previous posts) so I replaced it with an AGM. From what I know now I would not hesitate using the newer Subaru EFB 640CCA? battery.

Now I monitor my Battery\Alternator voltage just for fun. In the last year of driving about 1-2 hrs/week, my battery remains at or near full charge. If buying an OB, I'd suggest doing a little research on how to properly check your battery voltage, fully charge the battery with at least a 5A smart charger, check your voltage for a couple weeks and, if all OK, enjoy your OB. To be 100% save, carry a lithium jump starter but chances are you'll end up using it jump start some other unlucky motorist.

All in all I'm really happy with my 2020 XT. I really enjoy the utility, the handling and the turbo performance. I'd recommend it to anyone.
 

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Yeah, I've been a Subie enthusiast for years now. I had a bunch of 95-96 OB and I loved them! Then I got this 2013 OB and I loved it just as much. I want to see how the Wilderness handles and if it's worth the price. Even if it is, I'm going to haggle like **** and I will use this information to aid me.
 

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20 Outback Premium; former 19 Outback Premium, 85 GL Wagon, 87 GL-10 Wagon
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2,672 Posts
My excitement for having found a great deal on a barely used 2020 XT is waining quickly. This entire thread on needing a portable battery charger because well your battery will die amongst other issues is worrying. Starting to sound like “it’s a Jeep thing”.
Personally I don't think it's as common with the 20+ as it was in older years. For that matter, we never had an issue with the battery in our 19 either.

The OEM 620CCA EFB in our 20 made it about 18 months (a little short but not unusual for Phoenix), Subaru reimbursed us for the 650CCA EFB we replaced it with from AutoZone. When our original battery started nearing the end of its life, it had the classic sluggish feeling when starting, and the car was smart enough to use start-stop less often. The battery never actually failed or stranded us, but I was feeling nervous so I replaced it.

The new one from AutoZone has performed significantly better than the original one did even when it was new in terms of maintaining higher voltages, quicker recovery to fully charged when driving, and longer times with the engine off during start-stop cycles. I originally was planning an AGM, but the AGM in my Sierra only lasted 6 months and AutoZone switched from AGM to EFB for their "premium" battery. The EFB in my Sierra has been great, so I figured I'd try it in the Outback as well. So far the EFB batteries are doing great in both vehicles.

The Subaru replacement 640CCA EFB battery seems to be doing well also. As an aside, if there is an AutoNation Subaru dealer near you, they offer a lifetime replacement battery for a cost about 15% higher than a normal battery, so might be worth checking out.
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Thanks to all for the informative posts. I've ordered a new Touring XT and I'm buying stuff to dodge or at least delay battery issues after it arrives. Already got the Autostart Eliminator.

I've ordered a NOCO Genius 5 to give it a full charge on delivery and then routine top-ups after that.

I also plan to get a jump start battery. Any thoughts about which one to get? Any to avoid and why?

Specifically, I'm looking at the NOCO GB40 1000 amp. Will it fit under the driver or passenger seat of a Touring? I'm wondering if there's any open space under there, what with the power seat bits and whatever it takes to route AC to the vented seats.
 

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I'm happy with my NOCO GB70 (56Wh vs 24Wh for GB40) although I've only used it on my garden tractor. I've been charging it about once every 3 months but its never been less than three orange lights.

I also have the NOCO Genius 5 and happy with it.

In lieu of a multimeter, I'm using a Topdon BT100 battery tester (need to take multiple readings until settles on one voltage).
 

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2005 Outback LL Bean
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173 Posts
Has anyone been able to guess or actually figure out what criteria the ECU uses to control the alternator output? Is is battery voltage, load in amps, power consumption in watts, specific switches off/on, something else, or some combination.

For instance, there's the well-known hack of running the parking lights all the time. If the ECU uses load or power and not switch status, replacing the turn signals with LEDs would likely cripple the parking light hack.
 

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2020 Onyx
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14,454 Posts
It's not load because the rear defroster also turns on full alternator voltage even if you pull the relays for the rear defroster (I tested it myself) so while the system does detect load and will charge as necessary, it also senses switches and will run at full voltage even if the load isn't there.
 

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209 Posts
No problems w/ my battery, but I want to prevent any potential problems during MI winters. Dug back through the entire thread and think I have this right....

Depending on my budget, buy one of these:
- ODP-AGM47 H5 L2 (47-650) ODYSSEY Performance Series battery | ODYSSEY® Battery
- https://www.batteriesplus.com/productdetails/sli47agm
- https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/ODYODPAGM47H5L2

Charge it up w/ the Noco 1 I bought when they were on sale. This may take some time w/ the 1 vs. the 5 or 10.

Swap it in. Theoretically I shouldn't lose any settings?

I miss anything? As always, thanks to all for the good advice.
 

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2020 Onyx
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14,454 Posts
I think you may have to do resets of things like the window switches, maybe the tailgate, maybe the throttle calibration, but I think infotainment settings will remain.

A group 47 battery is about 60 amp hours, I bought a brand new 36 amp hour flooded Group 151r battery for the Honda Fit from NAPA and it took 8 hours to charge with a 5 amp charger, so if your new battery isn't already close to full, it can take a really long time to charge. Luckily AGM batteries tend to have lower self-discharge and should be close to full when you get it.
 

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209 Posts
Thanks - appreciate the comments.

My theory is that if I am not swapping it in due to some emergency, I kinda don't care much how long it takes - it can sit on the charger all it wants and I'll swap it when the time comes.

If I'm using the car every couple/three days, checking the charge is a every 6 months thing, no? Worst MI gets nowadays is maybe -5 degrees for a day or two. It's been a long time since we've had an extended bout below 10 where I am.
 

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2020 Onyx
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14,454 Posts
My battery checking habits, before the Gen 6 outback, consisted of charging and installing a battery and ignoring it until the car wouldn't start, then I buy a new one. That takes 3-5 years usually, but that was when I was driving 20+ miles a day 5x a week, and a normal alternator that hovers around 14 volts always.

Now my driving is much shorter and less frequent, and we have a "smart" alternator that may decide not to charge the battery at all unless the parking or head lights are on. I started out checking voltage on the battery at least once a week, and it tended to be a low 12.3 volts, even if I had fully charged it a few nights before. This is with the 620CCA EFB. I would be charging the battery weekly. Then when we discovered that turning on the parking lights would force the alternator to charge, I mostly do that and have stopped checking my battery's voltage.

Because my new normal is infrequent short trips, I want a hack that will let my alternator be tricked into full-charge mode even without the parking lights, or defrosters, or any other stuff on. Even at full charge mode it will still retain the ability to prevent over-charging - it will still have a voltage regulator I'm presuming.
 

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2021, Outback Premium with Nav
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13 Posts
Is there any reason (besides expense) why an Optima 35- 720 CCA Redtop battery would not be a good idea in a 21 Premium OB? It seems to be the close to the same size as a Group 47. Are the size tolerances really that critical? Is 720 too many CCA?
 

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2020 Onyx
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14,454 Posts
I used to use Optima batteries until they were purchased by Johnson Controls, fired all the American workers, closed the USA factory and made them in Mexico - numerous reports of reduced quality after that cost-cutting move.


 

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2020 OB Limited, Titanium & Magnetite Grays
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1,446 Posts
I put the Duracell 680 CCA AGM replacement battery back in my Outback this morning after doing some tests with the OEM battery.
Where did you get the Duracell 680 CCA for $200? I have been looking at these batteries for replacement and have not found Duracell Platinum H5 (Group 47) in your CCA range but would like to get one when I decided it is needed. My last record was made on 4/22/21 and the battery I saw at Sam's was only 600 CCA and the price was $145.43. I thought I had seen a Duracell H5 with higher CCA around Jan 2020 but can't find my record. Well, I really want a Duracell Platinum H5 AGM with more CCA than I can currently find. I could go to a H6 AGM with around 750CCA but the battery tray would need to be removed or modified and the cables attached without stretching the limits.
 

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2021 Outback 2.5i Premium
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516 Posts
Just saw this, haven’t been on this forum in a while. I bought it at Batteries Plus Bulbs. Don’t know the current price, everything has gone up as you know. Great full replacement warranty, plus 10% off if you are a veteran. Easy enough to find the price and availability on line. Good luck.
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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1,102 Posts
Optima's quality control has supposedly gone up in the past several months. Just installed one in our 2011 OB Premium. At lease they still have the three year warranty.

Steve
 
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