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2001 Subaru Legacy Outback
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
(Saw this on another forum)

My 2006 Outback starts and drives great until it's been parked for a week or more. Then I can't even open the doors with the remote much less start it. It is totally dead! Mechanics are stumped. They have checked rhe circuits. Put a new battery in about 4 months ago. finally took it to a Dealership. Condescending guy assumed I had left an inside light on But that's not the case. Now its sitting in his lot for a week so he can see for himself. This has happened SIX times in the last year and it's driving me nuts. Help!
 

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Car: 2008 Tribeca, 2010 LGT, Sold: 2005 XT Limited
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You need a new mechanic! There is a relatively easy way to check this. You measure the 'off' current draw from the battery. If it is above the maximum allowed, then you start pulling fuses until you see it drop. This isolates the problem to a single circuit. Then you troubleshoot the things on that circuit.

I did have a draw on my battery that was hard to find. Turns out the battery was leaking a little, and the fluid was making a poor connection to ground. Replaced the battery under the battery warranty.

Tom
 

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The Subaru spec for the residual current when everything is turned off, all doors properly closed, key out etc, is 150 mA (0.15 A) maximum. Typically, the measured residual current is far lower.

Subaru refers to the residual current as "dark current". Dealer should be testing the car according to the method outlined in TSB 07-62-07.

The battery was replaced, presumably with a new one, and it's less likely that the new one would have the same fault, such as internal leakage, as the previous one (although it's not impossible!).

At the maximum 150 mA, it is possible for a battery to be run down while parked. A typical fully charged battery has a capacity of about 50 Ah, and could be discharged in 13 - 14 days. A battery that isn't fully charged when the car is parked will become discharged even earlier. At the normally lower dark current rate, the battery should last a lot longer, but a poorly charged battery could still be depleted in a week's time.

The problem was apparently experienced a number of times, but does it always go dead after a week or so, or does it happen only some of the times the car is parked for an extended period? If there are instances where it did not go dead, then it's intermittent. That would be more difficult to find, and a real challenge for any mechanic. Hopefully it will happen with the car at the dealer and they will be able to take it from there.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i, 2016 Outback 2.5i
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I have the same problem!

I have exactly the same problem you describe. It was fine when I drove to work everyday, but if I parked it for a week the battery would be dead. I pulled all the fuses while monitoring the current from the battery but never identified the circuit. It's possible the leak is through the alternator circuit which may not have a fuse. The draw is not constant but varies between 15 and 60ma. 150ma seems high to me, but that is enough to drain the battery after 10-14 days. There are many items that need a small amount of power; ECU, radio, clock, wireless entry, alarm etc. I solved the problem for now until I can spend more time investigating by installing a smart battery maintainer.
 

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Onyx, 2008 LL Bean 3.0R and 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Sport Touring
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Same problem. I noticed the security system has a bit of a draw, so I left it off and after a week the car started fine. I assume it is more than just the security system, but that may have been the last straw towards the discharge. I bought a battery charger/maintainer that switches into float mode after the battery is fully charged.
 
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