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Discussion Starter #1
I want to be able to leave the rear gate open all day and leave the key fob in the car but not have the battery run down. Can I do that? I have a brand new 2018 Outback 2.5 Touring model I left the rear gate open for about 8 hours yesterday and the key fob was in the dash. I was really shocked when I went to start the car and it was completely dead. It did started with a jump. If I disable the key would that keep it from draining the battery? Or is there a way I can do this? (My two dogs lay in the back (gate open) on their comfy beds and watch me work on the farm.)
 

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I simply cannot abide useless people.
2006 2.5i and 2002 3.0 wagons.
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I presume you turned off the interior lights that come on when you have the hatch open?
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Someone did an amperage draw test and concluded that the rear hatch uses a fair amount of 'tricity to stay open. The juice is powering the motor which is holding it open.

Also consider swapping out the interior lights to LEDs to minimize the draw if you need the illumination.

But yes, the motor is drawing current when open.
 

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2016 Tungsten Outback 2.5l Premium w/ES, OP 14, PP #4
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I recall, on my 2016, the interior lights will go off after a period of time... maybe 10 mins or so. Of course there's still the switch. I remember the same past discussion as mentioned by @Rub. I don't remember if there was a resolution to the power drain. Also someone in another posting had eliminated the power tailgate by replacing the gas springs and disconnecting the motor.
 

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I don't recall anyone posting up an elegant solution to avoid the dead battery-tailgate issue. Carry a crescent wrench and disconnect the battery is your only option. Welcome to the quirkiness of Subaru.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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I don't recall anyone posting up an elegant solution to avoid the dead battery-tailgate issue. Carry a crescent wrench and disconnect the battery is your only option. Welcome to the quirkiness of Subaru.
While that will definitely work, that will reset the power windows. Wonder if disconnected long enough if it will reset the radio presets?

Finding another place outside of the vehicle for the dogs to relax might be the better solution. :)
 

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Outback 2018 2.5i Premium
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Add a switch ?

I had thoughts of making a "tent" that attached to the hatch in the up position for camping. Now I must overcome the battery drain problem first. Crap.

So what possible reason could there be for giving power to the open hatch? Does it help hold it up? A brake?

Would it be possible to splice in a switch on the power feed? Pull the fuse and replace with a circuit with a fuse and switch? Hummm...
 

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2018 Outback 2.5 Limited w/ Eyesight - Magnetite Gray
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I was also very disappointed after draining my battery (2018) a few times after leaving the hatch open. Never had an issue doing that in the 2010 that this one replaced.

Somewhere buried in the battery threads there was some information regarding the body electronics (BCM?) staying powered on as long as the door is open - don't know if that is true or not, but I even had the issue after replacing all lights with LED and making sure they were turned off so something is amiss. I did end up replacing with a much larger battery in terms of both CCA and reserve capacity.

I recall the solution being mentioned in those battery threads either to a) don't leave the hatch open for extended periods or b) use a carabiner to trick the car into thinking it is closed by shoving it in the slot. I gather the side effect of option b is that you have to manually close the hatch, forcing the motor down.

I have tried to stick with option (a) because it is less hassle. Chalk this up to yet another reason why I, in hindsight, should have kept the trusty Gen4. :soapbox:
 

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I would have loved the option of a MANUAL liftgate on my Limited model. I detest the automatic lifts of all makes/models. I somehow managed to manually lift tailgates for decades without electrical assistance.
When the salesman and his manager were demonstrating the features of the OB lift gate, I asked him if I could lower it by hand. He said, "I suppose so, but why would you want to do that?" I told him that is how I've been doing it all my life.


This discussion highlights my fears of all the electronic (stuff?) in my limited. I know it's going to bite me in the future.


Beary
 

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2010 2.5 CVT Premium
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1,161 Posts
Prop rod for the liftgate and pull the fuse to the motor.
Maybe not very elegant, but less trouble than pulling the battery and losing all the memory and auto settings.
Just be sure to place the prop rod where it won't be knocked out easily.
There used to be a contraption that was like a kickstand that attached to the gas strut and propped it up there, but I cannot find it anymore. Maybe they were not reliable.
All I find now are the thumbscrew locks that clamp onto the gas strut just below the pressure cylinder to prevent the rod from retracting into the cylinder. I would not use one of these unless the cylinder is already defective. The rod could be damaged by this type of clamp and would damage the cylinder seal when it is compressed. Then you would certainly have a defective gas strut.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I’m really wishing I had not purchased my first Subaru now. Will the carabiner shoved into the slot really trick the car into thinking it’s closed and stop the power draw? Tho the door would still be open so would it still be drawing the current?
 

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Wake and sleep mode ?

Trying to understand what might be going on. I googled up a Honda cr-v thread from 2010..same problem. One post stated that the control system has "wake-up" and "sleep" functions to decrease parasitic draw on the battery when the ignition switch is OFF. With ignition OFF and a door is opened and closed there was a 40 second delay before the control system went into sleep mode. The power draw went from 200mA to 35mA (sleep). Any door left open prevented the sleep mode.
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Only questions...
Might the OB have something similar going on?
Will the hatch really fall if the motor fuse is pulled while it is open?


Now I have to go look. Something tells me that Subaru will NOT have a simple door switch to push closed to "trick" the system.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Limited Eyesight 2001 Honda Cr-V 287k miles 1984 Mercedes 280SL red w/5 speed manual
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Well quite honestly I would like to believe that I don't have to be pulling fuses or disconnecting the battery so I am able to leave the hatch open for an extended period of time. There is no problem for most people to open and close the hatch. What was the problem with doing things manually such as rolling up or down your window? You can't blame subaru as this seems to be the trend. We are just getting too soft.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I had the key in the car when I left the hatch up. I’m going to try an experiment and see if it happens again if the key is not in the car. Any thoughts?
 

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Someone did an amperage draw test and concluded that the rear hatch uses a fair amount of 'tricity to stay open. The juice is powering the motor which is holding it open.
I recall seeing that, too, but it does not appear to be correct. You may want to look at this post:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/394490-battery-dies-hatch-open-position-freezing-rain-3.html#post4578402

Also consider swapping out the interior lights to LEDs to minimize the draw if you need the illumination.

But yes, the motor is drawing current when open.
Testing shows that not to be correct. Both AvidHiker and I measured a consistent jump in battery current of similar magnitude (from ~30 mA to more than 1A), with the interior lights switched off, when either the hatch or any door is opened, even a back door. Opening the hatch or a door causes the BIU to wake up from a low-power state, which is probably where that power is going.

AvidHiker describes a workaround for fooling the system into sleeping while leaving the hatch open (see the post linked above). I haven't tried it yet, but probably will at some point.

I might investigate putting a switch in the circuit somewhere to tell the computer "yep, the hatch is closed!" I doubt I'll do that for a while, though; I'm still not ready to hack up my still-new-to-me car's wiring system yet.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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Rub,

You mention swapping out interior lights for LED alternatively.
Have you come across a thread that has this information?
Yes and I even started one myself but there are countless others. Just search and you'll be overloaded with info.

The tint and brightness are up to you however once you start getting into the specs, people like brighter interior lights, especially in the cargo area and they have an LED platform that seems to draw as much current as the incan bulb it replaced. But as a general rule, the LEDs will be a battery draw saver.
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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I recall seeing that, too, but it does not appear to be correct. You may want to look at this post:

http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/394490-battery-dies-hatch-open-position-freezing-rain-3.html#post4578402
Yes I saw that thread and it's the one I was remembering.

The draw is there but only up to alikely max of 1.0 for the hatch and if you add interior lights that are on, doors that are open and play some tunes, I can see the battery draining after a number of hours.

I think the best working solution is to replace the interior and puddle lights with LEDs, don't go crazy with the radio but in the end, have a jump pack.
 
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