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'09 Outback 2.5i SE
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19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2009 Outback has been running just fine, until all of a sudden it wouldn't start. Well, I started it and the engine was running really roughly (like it was surging or something), so I shut it off after about 10 seconds. After that, it wouldn't start again. I just checked the battery and it's down to 9.65V. Do I need a new battery, or can I just jump it and drive it around a bit?

Currently living in northern Texas, so it's anywhere between 20F and 40F outside when I'm driving to work in the morning, so not super cold. But the drive is only about 2 miles and less than 10 min down a 25 mph road, and during the week that's pretty much the only driving I'm doing. Could it be that the alternator isn't charging the battery back up in such a short period, and that successive starts are slowly draining it?
 

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2007 Outback XT Ltd
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847 Posts
Get a voltmeter, jump start the car and check to see if the alternator is charging. It should put out 14.7 volts (approximately) at idle with no other electrical loads.

Ensure all the connections are clean and tight.

Take the battery to a shop like Sears Auto Center and get the battery charged and load tested.

Proceed as indicated by the results of these tests. Make sure both the alternator and the battery are good. Running with either one in poor shape will damage the other one. A bad battery can wreck an alternator since the alternator will be running at full bore most of the time...

Your commute is probably long enough to keep a battery charged IF the alternator is putting out full current and the battery is OK. Are you running all the lights and with the heater fan and electric defrosters on? That will slow down the battery recharge!

OTH you also need to be worried about other stuff, like the tranny and engine never getting fully warmed up. This is bad. You should drive the car for 20 or 30 minutes at least weekly.

If everything checks out and your still are having issues, then maybe you should hook up your car to an inexpensive battery charger every now and then, one rated at 10 amps or more (not a trickle charger).

Good luck.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
 

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Registered
'09 Outback 2.5i SE
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Get a voltmeter, jump start the car and check to see if the alternator is charging. It should put out 14.7 volts (approximately) at idle with no other electrical loads.

Ensure all the connections are clean and tight.

Take the battery to a shop like Sears Auto Center and get the battery charged and load tested.

Proceed as indicated by the results of these tests. Make sure both the alternator and the battery are good. Running with either one in poor shape will damage the other one. A bad battery can wreck an alternator since the alternator will be running at full bore most of the time...

Your commute is probably long enough to keep a battery charged IF the alternator is putting out full current and the battery is OK. Are you running all the lights and with the heater fan and electric defrosters on? That will slow down the battery recharge!

OTH you also need to be worried about other stuff, like the tranny and engine never getting fully warmed up. This is bad. You should drive the car for 20 or 30 minutes at least weekly.

If everything checks out and your still are having issues, then maybe you should hook up your car to an inexpensive battery charger every now and then, one rated at 10 amps or more (not a trickle charger).

Good luck.

John Davies
Spokane WA USA
Haha, yep, my heater fan and electric seat heaters are usually on full. I guess I could leave them off and deal with the cold for 10 min. :) I'll get the battery checked out, thanks!
 
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