Subaru Outback Forums banner

961 - 980 of 1000 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,299 Posts
Second battery failure. This time Autozone Duralast battery failed after 7 months. Took the car into the dealer for an oil change/tire rotation and was told my battery was "bad" even though I have had zero problems. I should have asked what was wrong. Took the car back to Autozone and they tested it. They also told me it was "bad" .I asked what was wrong and the salesman said he did not know, :) The tester machine just said replace. The end result was a new battery at no charge. Not good, IMO, that my 3-year-old vehicle has been through three batteries. Glad I keep a jump starter in my OB. :)
I haven't noticed any problems such as slow-cranking since replacing my original batter with the Everstart just short of two years ago, but I am curious about why I have had to do the window reset procedure twice in the last month. Two times now the rest of the windows wouldn't work from the driver's door switch and the auto down/up didn't work. Resetting the windows put everything back to normal. It happened again maybe a week later. That was a couple of weeks ago now I think and I haven't had any more issues. It seems like that window issue is almost always related to either a bad battery or the battery being disconnected for some reason. Of course I didn't notice the window problem either time until I had been driving down the road a while so the voltage read its usual 14.3 volts and I didn't look at what it was before starting the car. I've been checking it periodically since then and it has been okay.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
Glad they didn't hesitate to replace it. Duralast flooded batteries (6 different sizes) had fair to poor scores on Consumer Reports tests last year.
Duralast used to be good. I used Autozone due to expediency and positive past experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
310 Posts
2015 outback. Still on OEM battery. Car stays outside all winter and sometimes I don’t run it for many days+. Never hesitated in starting, even with remote starts in -20 temps. Dealer tested on last service and said it is starting to test low. Said don’t replace yet unless I notice it taking more time to crank come winter.
Will replace with whatever is on sale at the local parts store.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
259 Posts
Staying at a BnB near Ashville and helped a fellow OB owner jump his car today. Looked like the OE battery (he and his wife had a disagreement that...). Anyway he was headed to an auto parts store for a test (I recommend replacing it no matter what the test said).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Less headaches.

Laughter is the key to happiness
5th generation Outback factory batteries are crap. After experiencing repeated slow cranking starts in winter (the car was just 2 years old) I replaced it with a Costco battery ($100 Canadian) that has 650 cold-cranking amps. . . . . Haven’t had any issues since.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Has anyone replaced the OEM lame battery with a better one?

Was doing some work on our 3.6 and after 2 hours with the dome lights on (yes, my fault for not shutting off) a dead battery quickly ensued. While charging I saw it had all of 490 CCA, which to me says it may be weak and underpowered. Just replaced battery in my older Legacy with whatever Sears unit Consumers liked. Something like 700 CCA and, I perhaps wrongly assume, has more capacity. About $100. The battery tray has ample room it would seem.

Anyone dump the factory battery for a bigger and, I hope,, better one? If so, why? What did you get?
  • Yellow top working great. Can now operate small electric frig instead of ice chest,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Has anyone replaced the OEM lame battery with a better one?

Was doing some work on our 3.6 and after 2 hours with the dome lights on (yes, my fault for not shutting off) a dead battery quickly ensued. While charging I saw it had all of 490 CCA, which to me says it may be weak and underpowered. Just replaced battery in my older Legacy with whatever Sears unit Consumers liked. Something like 700 CCA and, I perhaps wrongly assume, has more capacity. About $100. The battery tray has ample room it would seem.

Anyone dump the factory battery for a bigger and, I hope,, better one? If so, why? What did you get?
2018 Outback with 15K miles had to be jumped off 3 times. Dealer said the battery was good and could not replace. Well, stranded 3 times in a row was enough for me. I replaced with a NAPA battery. At my expense. Less stress for me to pay the $150 for a stronger battery. No problems so far.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Staying at a BnB near Ashville and helped a fellow OB owner jump his car today. Looked like the OE battery (he and his wife had a disagreement that...). Anyway he was headed to an auto parts store for a test (I recommend replacing it no matter what the test said).
Right On- you told him right! Go some serious money and get a yellow top. You can run a small electric fridge also or play music on long nights in the back country.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
497 Posts
2018 Outback with 15K miles had to be jumped off 3 times. Dealer said the battery was good and could not replace. Well, stranded 3 times in a row was enough for me. I replaced with a NAPA battery. At my expense. Less stress for me to pay the $150 for a stronger battery. No problems so far.
I'd certainly call SOA about this.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
Lots of very good info in this thread. Thanks everyone!

Since I'm a daredevil, I'm leaving for Montana in about a week and plan to leave the almost two year old OE battery, which still works fine, in (but new tires to replace the OE Bridgestones that are about 80% used up at 30,000 miles before starting out... I'm not that crazy). It'll be sitting for about 5 days at one point in the trip.

It started right up after sitting for almost 6 days in cool but still much more temperate weather over Thanksgiving. For the upcoming trip, it'll be left in a town, so if it doesn't start there should be assistance available, and I do have a small jump-start pack. I also have good jumper cables stored with the spare tire, but they're a real pain to get to if it's packed. We'll see how it goes.

Push comes to shoves and it's a liability, I'll stop by Walmart and get one of the Duralast batteries folks here seem to highly recommend. I've heard (and seen) that there are Walmarts virtually everywhere.
a
You may not be able to get to the spare tire and jumpers. In my case in 2015 outback only driver door would open with the key tucked in the remote key fob. all other doors including the lift gate were in operable.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
259 Posts
Right On- you told him right! Go some serious money and get a yellow top. You can run a small electric fridge also or play music on long nights in the back country.
He did end up with a new battery and I think his wife is off his case now (their kids had told them to rent a car b/c the Subie is unreliable. They have a check engine light on too...).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,992 Posts
After three batteries, charging system updates, I beginning to believe that Gen 5 Subaru Outbacks have has some sort of serious electrical system problem or problems that goes beyond simply a weak OE battery. Seems on some cars the batteries seem to have a short life?? Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,026 Posts
After three batteries, charging system updates, I beginning to believe that Gen 5 Subaru Outbacks have has some sort of serious electrical system problem or problems that goes beyond simply a weak OE battery. Seems on some cars the batteries seem to have a short life?? Thoughts?
I have said this before in this thread or somewhere else: It takes my Battery Tender about 5-10 times longer to top off my Outback battery compared to my 2002 Ford Escape. And the Escape sits outside in the elements, has an older battery, and gets less attention overall.

Subaru is definitely appealing to the type of crowd that does not pay attention to this kind of stuff. Those engineers know darn well how to design a rugged machine. They just choose to cut corners where they can get away with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Also replaced my OEM battery. But replaced it after just a year after finding out it's not built to last! Don't want to be stuck on the freeway just because of a simple lame battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
923 Posts
[...] charging system updates [...]
Why charging system updates? What is the car attempting to do there and why?

I watched my cheap-o 12V Cigarette Lighter USB charger with LED Voltage Display, ramp up and down the 14.7 VDC level. I found that so so very odd. Why not a constant voltage output from the alternator?

Then I come upon this which seems to address the motivation, but I'm not sure this still affects Gen5:

Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,114 Posts
Why charging system updates? What is the car attempting to do there and why?...
The charging system was programmed to reduce the alternator's load on the engine (which drops the output voltage) in an effort to improve fuel economy. Early on in Gen 5, Subaru apparently decided the system was not keeping the battery sufficiently charged, so there have been at least 1 or 2 revisions to the programming over the years (supplied in the form of an ECM update).

I watched my cheap-o 12V Cigarette Lighter USB charger with LED Voltage Display, ramp up and down the 14.7 VDC level. I found that so so very odd. Why not a constant voltage output from the alternator?

Then I come upon this which seems to address the motivation, but I'm not sure this still affects Gen5:

Thoughts?...
You asked essentially the same question on page 44 of this thread and I provided a link to some discussion. The link you provided describes something similar, although it's likely the system in Gen 5 Outbacks has evolved quite a bit since the early-mid 2000s. A few years ago (can't seem to find the thread), there was some discussion here about a related (but very different) modification, but I don't think anyone attempted it on an Outback.

Edit - I think these were the products being discussed (shows compatibility with the 2015 Outback):

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
987 Posts
Also replaced my OEM battery. But replaced it after just a year after finding out it's not built to last! Don't want to be stuck on the freeway just because of a simple lame battery.
How did you conclude the OEM (sic) battery was “not built to last?”

Who was the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) of your OE (Original Equipment) battery? How do you know you have not bought yet another battery from the same manufacturer?

Bad batteries do not fail on the freeway.
 
961 - 980 of 1000 Posts
About this Discussion
999 Replies
220 Participants
Wombology
Subaru Outback Forums
Welcome to the Subaru Outback Owners Forum, we have tons of information about your Subaru Outback, from a Subaru Outback Wiki to customer reviews.
Full Forum Listing
Top