2016 Outback with a dead battery.
Drove 30 miles on Thursday. Drove 50 miles on Friday, parking it indoors at
5pm. Dead battery 5pm Sat. 4th time this has happened. Yes, everything was
turned off. Dealer says the battery and car are working just fine. Is a better
battery the answer?
Evidently everything is not fine. The dealer should check the alternator output and look for a parasitic battery drain. If the dealer does not act on this complain directly to Subaru.
Agree with F_O_R, either an issue with the battery or there is a parasitic draw that is draining the battery. On some vehicles, storing the key fob near them will cause a module to stay awake and drain the battery. Unknown if your car suffers from this issue.
I don't store the fob near the car, so that isn't the issue. If you scan this site and many others, battery drain is a common complaint about the Subaru Outback (and others). I found only one reported instance of the dealer solving the problem and that was by replacing the OEM battery with a bigger/better one. This needs to be fixed now. If I choose to not endure the hassle at the dealership, what battery would I get?
I also have a 2016 Subaru Outback that has failed to start on 3 occasions and each time after boosting it tests OK, but testing before the boost it says bad battery. The 3rd time this happened I had it taken to the dealer, who tested everything and says it is fine. this is a safety issue if you are a long way from help. To bad Subaru engineers don't find the solution. POOR SERVICE BY SUBARU!
In 2016 my 3-month old Subaru Outback started having no-start issues. After the first 'slow crank', I brought the car to dealer and they blamed my driving habits. On the first no-start I got vehicle towed and dealer couldn't find issue, but replace 5 relays per some bulletin. On 2nd no start, another 5 relays were replaced. The 3rd time I drove to the shop suspecting battery issue, and the car wouldn't restart in the write-up bay. 380 cca battery got replaced with a 550 CCA battery on that trip, and no more issues for past 2 yrs. I was complaining to Subaru customer service all along and initiating Lemon Law recourse..In the end Subaru (not the dealer) sent me $$$ for my inconvenience.
I have been having the same issues. My 2017 Subaru Outback has had a dead battery about 6 times. I’m on my 4th battery (the battery gets so dead it can’t be jumped). Dealershipand AAA have ruled out transmission issues. I’m told the car is fine and I just need to drive it at least 2” miles every other day (which seems silly and a waste of time and gas!). It’s really frustrating to have such a unreliable car.
I have recently started having the same issue with my 2016 Subaru Outback. If I leave it parked for 2+ days the battery has been dying for no reason. Other than replacing the battery, has any solution seemed to work?
This is a serious flaw.I have read the issues above and agree. My otherwise reliable 2016 Outback has the same problem. After two new and stronger batteries courtesy of Subaru Canada I was able, after much denial, to get Subaru Canada to install and pay for a battery tender. Seems to work but it is a nuisance. I am still dissatisfied with this situation and I expect Subaru to issue a warning and a fix to their customers. This is very bad public relations-a must fix issue for Subaru. It is much more than an inconvenience. We buy new vehicles for safety and reliability, at very high prices. This is a real blemish on the Subaru brand. I do not and will not drive every day but when my wife needs medical attention I need a reliable vehicle.This is a disgrace and a danger.
I also have a 2016 Outback with the exact same problem. I have pointed out this and have noticed my service department does NOT enter this information into the service log.
I have had two incidents having to call for a jump start. I don't believe I have a battery issue It feels more like an electrical issue. The first time the car started up just fine. I opened the sunroof and 2 front windows put car in reverse and back out about 2 feet and the car died. So the battery was not dead and died only after I started to move. 2nd time I was parked after having driven 60 miles and was listening to the radio for a few minutes and boom, all power went out leaving me with a window half down. This time I called emergency service and the tow driver from Subaru roadside assistance told me he see it all the time and he thinks the battery is underpowered. On both occasions, I went to the dealer. The first time they said they checked out the battery and it was fine. The second time, the replaced the battery without delay intimating that I was going to get a bigger battery but the service order shows I received the same replacement battery. I think I have an electrical issue and it is not a battery issue. The battery only starts the car.
4 times in the past month dead battery- same issues as all above. 2016 Outback. All diagnostics come back good when checked.
2017 Outback purchased new: No problems until 26,000 miles when the car failed to start, but the solenoid "clicked" indicating a bad battery. I jump started the car and took to dealer. Dealer checked everything and said all is fine. This happened again, and I had Subaru road service tow car to dealer who said they found no problem. The third time I drove it to dealer, who stated that the car should be brought in, and upon arrival stated that they could look at it, but would again see no problem as they had no time. I was able to replicate the problem in parking lot of dealer, who pushed it into garage and kept it for two days and found NO PROBLEM despite service person seeing that the car wouldn't start in the parking lot. The dealer has always maintained that they cannot replace parts until the KNOW they are bad. Now I'm installing a very expensive Odyssey battery (nearly $300) with MY money. If this happens again, I may decide to initiate a buy back or ???
You will never get a buy back over a dead battery. A battery failing after 2 years is not the end of the world or even Subaru's fault as much as I dislike them.
One potential cause of the dead battery in a new or newish Outback is the hatch light. It is very easy to bump it on or off. If you don't use it often, take out the bulb and save yourself the headache.
Very interesting thread. I have a 2015 3.6 Subaru Outback. I’ve had 4 occasions when this has happened to me. On first occasion, approximately 4 mo hrs after purchase on original battery. On second occasion, I purchased new battery approximately a year into ownership. Since then, I’ve had 2 additional non-starts. On each occasion, a jump started it (with exception of battery replacement). Plan to have system checked to see if a drain, but I believe it’s a design flaw in Outback electrical system. It appears to be pretty common.
Problem solved. It took me 6 months and finally figured it out. My 2016 outback was under warranty. Battery would fail, got a jump, and would fail again every 2-3 months. Battery was about 2 years old. I insisted that they replace the battery, which checked out okay. After replacing the battery, which tested good, I have had no problems now for six months. Also, the updated the power management software for the vehicle 3 times, which did not fix the problem. Some of these vehicles have defective batteries which do not hold up over 1-2 years.
We just had to get rid of our 2016 Outback. The battery kept dying, usually after driving it several hours. We had 2 dealers work on it and both said nothing was wrong with it after running extensive diagnostics and performing TSBs on it. Our neighbor got rid of his 2016 Outback with the same problem.
Did you replace the battery before selling your outback Guru?
No, both dealers insisted the battery tested better than new and was not the problem.
Omg. Reading this as my 2015 Outback is at the dealers. Third time this has happened. They put in new battery and happened aga in Twice it happened at the airport late at night after a long flight.. Extremely frustrating and dealer seems to take little responsibility. Or do the bandaid thing,nit correct reason. Love my Outback but won't buy a buy another one. Subaru needs to admit flaw and correct it.
My 2014 had startup problem. The first time happened a year ago and I couldn't believe it was the battery when the tow truck started it up. I never had a battery problem with a less than 4-year old car before. After it happened 3 more times and I jumped it on with my portable battery I realized Subaru was trying to cheap out on the battery. Can't believe they put a 380cca battery on a car that size. Searched and found Subaru Outback forums are all full of battery problems. I immediately ordered an Optima 25 and will replace it soon. I think I lost the faith in Subaru. They had gasket problem, noisy heat sink and now battery. One of my friends asked me for recommendation and he got a BMW finally.
I just had the same thing happen to my 2016 Outback last night. I stopped at a gas station after driving for about 30 miles. Started the car right up as usual and then went to the other side of the parking lot and turned it off as I was waiting for my daughter. The car would not start, it was completely dead. We jump started it and drove home. I was going to go get a new battery today but after reading this thread, it sounds like there’s some sort of an electrical glitch with these cars. That’s unfortunate!
Same thing happened to me 2 weeks ago with my 2016 Subaru Outback. Put a new battery on November 20th, went away for the weekend and last night when I tried to start the car, completell dead. Brand new batterm had only 3 volts left. This is my 3rd subaru, but nowe thinking, may have to sell. Can't have an unreliable car. Never thought a 3 year old subaru would have such issues.
same issue , on third battery from dealer on 2016 outback. they last about 1 yr. then dead. Subaru needs to correct this.
After replacing all starting system and charging system relays, and then changing to a much higher capacity battery (around 550 CCA), my car hasn't had the issue return in almost 3 yrs. I
Shouldn’t have to swap parts trial and error to fix a problem, especially on a 3 year old car. Subaru should know how to fix these problems.
GuruT982R: What do you mean by 'replacing all starting system'? This has been happening to me several times a week now. Usually when I am only stopped for a few minutes. I have been into dealership 3 times, and they always tell me battery is ok. I am at a conundrum as to where to go next. Anyone have any suggestions?
2017 Subaru WRX owner here. I have already had my battery replaced because of this issue. They new battery worked fine for about 6 months until now. Same issue, I can't leave my car outside for more than 3 days without the voltage dropping to under 11.5V. My 1993 Honda Accord has been more reliable than this thing so far.
Just had the same thing on my 2016 outback. We bought itv2 months ago. Before we could look at it, the dealer replaced the batter and today, 2 months later, dead battery. Noe I know why the last owner traded it in. I cant have this sort of unreliability I'm pissed
I have a 2016 2.5 Limited Outback with push button start which I love, EXCEPT for the fact that occasionally the battery dies (4 or 5 times in the last month). It has 43k miles and we bought it new. We drive it daily. It is sitting in our garage now and the battery is completely dead -- nothing. It also happened about 10 days ago and I jumped it, drove it to a shop and the battery checked out fine. I notice that when it won't start (dead battery) the foot brake is more firm. Usually there is a slight give when I depress it to start.
Have had the same issue as you've all described on our 2015 Outback. Just came back from the dealer who tested the battery at 100%, but did find a an available software update for "Charging system/extended crank" (that's what the service write-up says). Curious if this is a new update that maybe does actually help this problem? We'll see I guess. If it happens again and Subaru doesn't find an issue, which I suspect they won't, I plan to put in a larger battery, regardless.
My 2017 Outback, purchased new as I had stated, was at the dealer 4 times for this problem which they never found. I bought the highest quality battery I could find: $260!) and it started fine after that as the dealer had refused a new battery or anything else, knew it was causing problems which required a jump (or towed to dealer twice under warranty), and essentially stated: we find no problem and you can try to file a lemon lawsuit if you like. Wellllll, last week that car was stolen (in Albuquerque, the car theft capital of the U.S.). I decided that the dealer's response, or non-response, to this problem that others also experienced, was unacceptable, and I will buy a new Toyota vehicle in a couple weeks when I'm paid the insurance amount. I owned Toyotas for over 35 years and drove ALL of them near 200,000 miles without issues. I have little doubt that a new one will be any different. Subaru knows there is a problem and does nothing. Now they have lost a families future business forever.
My 2017 Outback was stolen (!) 2 weeks ago. Not Subaru's fault of course, but I will NOT be buying another one, even though I had full insurance coverage on it, and could easily replace the car with exactly the same thing except newer. It had been at the dealer 4 times for the "fail to start" problem, towed there twice, and even failed to start at the dealership. They stated that they could not replace any part unless they know exactly what the problem is; therefore they did nothing to fix it. I, however, know how to fix it. My fix is that I'll be going back to Toyota's, as I've owned 7 of them bought new (as was the Outback), and they'd go to near 200,000 miles with ZERO problems except for standard maintenance and the usual replacement parts, such as batteries, starters (had to replace 2), and 2 alternators. Then I'd sell them, and the actual cost per year was NEVER over $1400.00. Bye Bye Subaru, your dealer has permanently lost you a customer.
Never had this problem with my 2010 diesel Outback. The 2016 petrol one does this and has left us stranded away from home. I now charge the battery every week as a precaution and have even taken to keeping a spare battery and jump leads in the back. The dealer checked it and claims all is well. No it's not.
Same problem here. Subaru Outback 2016. Failed to start 2x in 2018 about 3 weeks apart. Needed jump (Thanks CAA/AAA). 60K maintenance showed no problems with battery. Last week car had issues turning over smoothly... clock time reset twice. Finally, after 1 day sitting without driving, with temp at around -10 Celsius, car would not start. Even disconnected dash cam and turned lights form auto to off at night just in case. Dealer thinks battery needs replacing... asked if battery warmer will help, he said no. Will pay for bigger battery and hope for the best. Expected 4-6 years on battery, not 3 regardless of northern weather.
I got stuck with a dead battery in my 2017 outback last night! I guess the problem persists. Do Forresters have the same issue?
Just finished reading this thread and now understand that best outcome is to have it stolen. Albuquerque huh?
I just got off the phone with the dealership where I usually have my 2011 Forester serviced, and their response regarding my having a dead battery this morning after letting the car sit for 4 days was "well, Subarus like to be driven" and that it's not unusual for a battery to die after sitting idle for a few days. I had to jump it twice last year and then asked them to replace the battery while it was in for routine service, which they did. Two weeks after the new battery was put in I had a dead car again. I jumped it and it's been fine between then and now, but here we are again. They suggested I jump it and then drive around for at least an hour. Absolutely zero interest in investigating further ("sure, I guess if you want to bring it in we can try to find something but this really just sounds like a battery issue"). After reading this thread it looks like I may be trading it in and going back to Toyota or Honda sooner than planned... Ridiculous.
Buy my certified 2016 Outback in October of 2018. The battery died once in a supermarket parking lot. Got it jumped and chalked up as a fluke. This morning the car wouldn't start. Jumped it - let it run, drove a mile, parked and it wouldn't start. Jumped again, same thing. It looks like having the larger battery installed is the best/easiest/fastest solution. I'm don't even want to bring it to the dealer based on what I've read. This is too unreliable to live with. I regret having had to sell back my VW Passat Diesel.
Just purchased a Subaru yesterday. We got it home and it died. Also died at the dealership before we drove it out of the lot. We called and told them to come get this car and that we don’t want it.
Very helpful thread. Thank you all! 2016 Legacy 3.6 25k mi. Last year, adjusted tire pressure (engine off, ok, dumb). Wouldn’t start right after. This summer not long after 24 k dealer service, wouldn’t start. Road assist jumped it, then off to dealer: “battery’s fine, we performed a software update.” They cleaned off all that green powder real nice. Doesn’t sound too bad compared to your stories. But why wait to be stranded - on the NJTPK - 11 degrees F now. Dangerous. So I will sell and buy a reliable make.
I have had absolutely terrible luck with my 2017 as well as my 2010 subaru outback. The dealer always says it tests fine, but I keep ending up with dead batteries. I am very careful about leaving anything on in the car that could drain the battery, but as much as I love my car for other reasons, I am very disappointed in Subaru's service. Don W
I just talked to a service advisor and he informed me that the newer subaru batteries do not have the cranking power storage they used to have, so a minimal drain such as a dome light on for 30 minutes will take it down to nothing. Of course when they test it it will not show it's bad, only out of charge. Shame on subaru for not investing a little more to install a decent battery.
Finally changed my battery in Subaru Outback 2016 from OEM with CCA 356 to AGM Odyssey PC25 with CCA 850. Car battery died twice in 2 weeks... but we are -20C in Canada now. Battery tested OK at dealer and with CAA/AAA when they came to jump it. Decided jumping it 4x in last 3 months was enough. I turn off lights at night, don’t leave them on auto, and unplug dashcam. I have one of those electronic rust devices the dealer sold me with car... it is constantly drawing some power from car. Hoping new battery will be OK even if there is a drain on it. If you swap out your own battery, one thing that resets are the automatic windows... they need re-initialization... easy but weird process, and clock resets.
Like many of you, I too just replaced battery with the biggest capacity battery I could find. Also if I plan to park my car for more than 72 hours - I turn off lights / radio / seat warmers / etc. I find it makes jumping the car a little easier (I use one of those lithium batteries). I was wondering how many us have the limited package (keyless entry, etc.)??
Is it possible that being bluetooth enabled can have it listening into a WiFi hub? Could this account for an unexplained battery drain? Anyway, I put mine on an overnight charge once a week. This seems to work, starting despite several days cold soak going down to -12C. The local dealers told me to use it more. We only do 4,000 miles year so maybe they have a point. My 40 year old Land Rover can stand for months and still start. No electronics...
AAA guy who last jumped my battery advised me to disconnect dash cam as it might be drawing power at night even with car off.... the wireless keyfob, I put into a RFI shielded pouch at night so the car won’t sense it and also as security because thieves can use an RFI extender to use the signal from fob to unlock you door.... but I don’t think Outback’s are big targets for thieves anyways....
Get a load of this... I took my 2015 Outback in for the 60K service - which I ended up paying $1,300 for (taxes in). The battery was fine when I brought it in. When I went to pick up the vehicle after the service - the battery was D.O.A. RIGHT IN THEIR LOT. They jumped it for me and told me that it should be fine after that, no need to replace the battery. Well, the next morning going to work - dead battery. Taking it back to the dealership soon but now expecting the "everything is fine" answer... urgh.
After 21/2 yrs. my legacy went totally dead at the time of an emergency. I am tired of these batteries in new cars going dead after 21/2 or 3 years. It is a 2016. I had it in for service and they never said the battery was weak. I bought a better battery and it wasn't from subaru.
Glad I read this thread. Got my 2017 Subaru Outback out of the shop on Saturday. Went in due to not starting. Dealer stated that it may be due to Key Fob being too close when parked in the driveway. Looks like there is something up other than key fob. Thanks for sharing!
Just came back from service center about dif issue (key won't come out of ignition when stopped), and in our discussions, he admitted that the 2016 Subaru Outback has a battery that is not quite good enough. Brand new it came with 360CCA, and he recommended replacement with 500CCA. Ignition issue may or may not be related. My worst experience was coming through Maryland's mountains with a bad Nor'easter in full force, got off interstate for a 4 hour "rest"; battery dead.
Same story. 2016 Outback, Limited, 6 cylinder. 19 months after delivery, dead battery. Roadside assistance. Dealer replaced battery 9/17. Wife told me today it was struggling to start. I put a Schumacher charger (Walmart $30-40) on it. It charged for 11 hours to reach a full charge. Takeaways; -I think I will avoid dealer on this matter, they are no help -I will compose an email to Subaru about this issue -FOB in kitchen was only 15 feet from car, and was in continuous contact. addressed that with Faraday, we will see if it matters. -Factory battery is to small. Will double it’s CCA at a later date when I replace it. -I Will put charger on Outback every few months to get battery back to full. We are getting some type of vampire drain and it’s a problem the Outback has and Subaru is failing to address. Easiest solution for me is to put charger on it regularly. Takes 2 minutes. Then purchase a larger CCA battery. Will still have to regularly charge. After a few years, trade in for another brand because Subaru won’t address this known problem, therefore they will lose me as a customer
After having my 2016 Outback for 3 months I drove to Santa Fe from TX (10 hour drive) so the battery was fully charged. Went into store, came out and no start. Phoned the amazing dealer where I purchased the car, Peltier Subaru in Tyler, and they immediately asked if I had both fobs in the car, I did. They told me to wrap one of them in multiple layer of aluminum foil, gave me a code sequence to apply and the car started right up and has never given any problems since.
We tried keeping our fobs at least a 100 feet from the car but we still had the problem of a dead battery. The battery was usually dead after taking a long drive in the car. You would expect the car would have built up a good charge after a long drive. We would drive a couple hours, shut the car off for an hour or so, then try to start it and it was dead. Subaru said we must have the fobs too close to the car so we should park as far away as possible to keep the fobs away from the car.
I can't believe all these comments and not one real solution. Where are the Gurus? I have the same problem on a 2009 WRX. My investigation, pulled fuses to find Battery drain, "Back Up" engine bay fuse 9. Handbook says back up light, that is wrong I think. This fuse drained battery when by 1.2 amperes Dead in a few hours! (Keys in the house) Take the fuse out and many many function go crazy, it supplies the BIU!! Car will start and run ok but no locks no alarms etc etc AC works. But the battery then pulls the correct 70ma when car off. Battery stays good. I am not a guru what's next??? Trace BIU relate stuff, very difficult, no info.
09 WRX AU, recently had a flat battery several times, after a couple of days not driving. Initial investigation I could find no faults in the many lights and switches. Noted literally thousands of reports on various forums, many users and dealers changed batteries, some as many as three times in a month, no faults found with cars or batteries, lots of bad mouthing of Subaru. Some solved the problem with BIG batteries, they take longer to drain:) I found it hard to believe no one had a solution, a real answer. The gurus, the dealers, Subaru. More investigation, the car was was losing about 1200ma continuously, general feeling is 70ma is normal for a sleeping Subaru. Used the main fuse box to try and isolate, found the fuse labeled BACK UP killed the drain. A laugh, in the user manual it is labeled BACK UP LIGHT, that is WRONG. It does many things and is part of the power for the BIU Body Integrated Unit, you gurus will know it controls many things, everything body/key related. Pull the fuse and the car will run but all body related function are screwed. AC can work, a bit hot here. If you are trying to trace this sort of thing leave the keys in the house OK. Over a couple of days trying many haphazard checks, removed that fuse a few times. Drain stayed the same about 1200ma. The words BACK UP are relevant, the BIU is a computer, I think it does save all the info about settings, audio, nav, maybe some switches, someone will know exactly. I set up to start checking the inside fuses, extended ammeter leads so I could see the gauge in the car. On one occasion when the ignition was off and I connected the battery the CD player re-initialized itself. wtf. (the Audio unit was OFF) Drain gone!!!! I think the CD player was in some weird mode, not properly off maybe. This car takes about 3 minutes to go to sleep when you lock it, I believe in that 3 minutes the BIU is doing its stuf. When sleeping it pulls 50ma. My battery is 5 years old!! What about those 1000s of other battery drain, battery failure reports? I bounced this cause off a good tuner/mechanic, he said he had seen it on a GM sedan once. This topic is a bit long, sorry but 1000s of people need to read it, imo.
Interesting that someone else mentioned that dealerships will not record their findings in your maintenance receipt. That is exactly what I have been fighting Subaru America and dealership in Kalamazoo Michigan about. They admitted they found a parasitic draw but could not find the root cause, but refused to put the fact they found a parasitic draw in the paperwork. When I complained to them and Subaru America, with whom I opened a case months ago, the answer was the fealership couldn't reopen any closed paperwork. Really?!? Subaru should be ashamed of not only not fixing this parasitic draw problem but not even acknowledging it. I'll be going back to Toyota.
I wish I'd have seen this forum before I bought my used 2016 Outback--certified--last November. The day I purchased the car it was dead on the lot and I was told this was common when a car's been on the lot for a period of time. I know for a fact it was on the lot for 3 days. I asked for a new battery but was told it was tested and perfectly fine. I went against my better judgment and let it slide. On day 29 of owning the car (30 day warranty) the battery was dead in my driveway. I had to call AAA on the spot and get a new battery, because my newly-licensed daughter had to take the car that night into an urban area--not the safest. I was pretty upset that this could have happened to her there. Not only was the Subaru battery corroded, I noticed that the coolant overflow was below low. Now I'm really pissed at the dealer. I just assumed they would reimburse me for the battery since it was still under warranty. He was a complete jerk and refused, saying I should have come to them to have it checked. They're an hour away and it was at night, so they were closed anyway. I explained the situation that I couldn't risk it dying again but it didn't matter. I later learned from one of the employees that they would never deal with battery issues. Two weeks ago the car was parked in the airport lot for less than a week and it was dead again. I swear I checked all the lights before I got out to make sure they were off, but maybe I didn't so I chalked it up to that. But maybe I did and I have the same issue as everyone else? I'm really worried about the new battery dying suddenly when my daughter has the car. I was going to write a negative review about the dealer anyway, but now I'm tempted to take it further. Unfortunately, I'm not in the position to get rid of it and buy another car. I'm not one to take crap, but is it even worth my time & energy?
I'm sorry that I bought the 2016 Outback new. One of the biggest reasons I got it was the reputation of reliability and great customer service. Boy, did that ever go downhill! Now I can only hope I get a good price when I sell. BUT I bought a Duralast Gold 640 cca a month ago and have had no problems whatsoever since. I even had the "key stuck in ignition" problem..... Not since. And they wanted me to pay $830 for transmission work. It just wasn't recognizing that the car was in park, which was an electrical problem. New battery, all better. So sorry to hear your story, and I hope you have it better now that you have a real battery. I was told that when the cars were built, they put in a 360 cca battery, which is nowhere near enough. Hence the problems and horror stories of being stranded.
That's exactly why I bought it, too. And I researched dealerships extensively before I settled on this one because they had stellar reviews. After the fact, I was told that they pay people off to take down bad reviews. I looked into battery maintainers, based on what a previous poster said, but I can't use one because apparently there's no power to the cigarette lighter unless the car's running. There's nowhere to plug it in so I have to use solar. Can't win.
2015 Outback, same issue! Dealership replaced with larger battery, no charge! Called it a Goodwill gesture recommended by Subaru. Happy camper here!!
I have a 2017 Subaru, the dead battery issue happened at a dangerous time and place where it left me with a 12 mile hike to find the nearest person that could provide a jump start. In the morning I drove out to a remote section of a large lake, fished for a couple hours, came back and the battery was dead. After hiking 12 miles for the jump start, I took the car to a dealer. The dealer tested ran the long test, draining then a full battery charge and load test. Battery was fine, but the dealer sad the drain was from repeated software update failures. This issue is extremely concerning as I'm often out fishing in far more remote places occurred with this recent incident.
Subaru of America, when is enough enough? Are you afraid of a recall? Are you afraid of damaging your less-than-stellar reputation nowadays? Or are you just waiting for someone to truly be injured or worse because of this problem? Step up and reach out to the thousands of us that are dealing with this battery drain problem every single day.
We have a 2017 Outback which just had the same problem. Car has been fine since we purchased it. Yesterday I moved the car from the garage and parked it in the driveway for several hours. When I tried to start it to move it back into the garage the battery was dead. I connected a battery charger but it would not charge to more than about 50%. Finally I disconnected the battery from the vehicle and it charged to 100% within an hour or so. I tried to think of something I might have left on that would drain the battery but couldn't find anything. No doors left open, no lights left on, etc. One thing I now realize that I did when I parked the car in the driveway--I turned off the car while the shifter was still in Drive. It was beeping so I shifted to Park. (I don't think I restarted the car when doing this.) Could it be that having the car in Drive when the engine is shut down and then pitting it in Park will drain the battery?
I don't think so - my 6 incidents never involved leaving the car in Drive at shut off. What I have started doing is to shutting off/down EVERYTHING before turning the car off. This includes all automatic overhead lights (which is a safety factor at nite when returning to the car), radio, nav etc. I even touch the "Display" button and turn that off (the screen for Nav, Map, Radio etc). It's ridiculous but SOMETHING is the issue and Subaru won't or can't fix it.
Called Subaru customer care after 3rd dead battery incident with our 2017 Outback limited with push button start, eyesight and whatever other bells & whistles. First time was in our garage, figured I left something on, charged with charger. 2 nd time was at hotel with dogs, think I left ignition in " on" position for opening windows for too long - like 20 minutes or so, not being used to push button start. Got jumped, had nightmare experience not being able to open hatch and get dog out of crate, luckily crate had emergency door behind back seat. Even after car was running hatch wouldn't open. Had to crawl into crate through emergency door, get my hand around slightly opened crate door to use screw driver to open cover to manual hatch release lever and was able to trip lever with screw driver which opened hatch. Lifted hatch door all the way open, then closed it and was hugely relieved that it reset and worked normally after that. Took car to dealer after getting home and like others have said, dealer tested battery, all was fine, don't leave fob in car. Didn't know this as I quit reading the huge manual before the part about the fob. Had 3rd incident couple weeks ago while on the road again. Roadside assistance guy said mine was the third new Subaru he had to jump that week. Came home, googled the problem, found this thread, called customer care and opened a case, told dealer I wanted battery upgrade. They said no, battery tested fine, ran a parasitic drain test, minor amount showed up that was within parameters of battery. Talked with customer care,thought they said they would reimburse me so said I wanted to buy the heavy duty battery, had it installed. Got home, talked to customer care guy who I misunderstood , he said they would reimburse if dealer tech said new battery would solve problem. He ended up calling tech and then informed me I will get reimbursed. Great, but they made it sound like it was my fault for leaving something on that drained the battery and they were doing me a big favor giving me a battery upgrade. Very disappointed in Subaru even though they eventually came through. Not sure this problem is solved.
In my opinion, Subaru did not come through for you. They simply gave you a bigger battery which is a Band-Aid. Parasitic drain was not fixed, it will simply take a little bit longer to go dead. Everyone with this problem needs to open a case with Subaru America. The more documentation there is, the better chance that someday, sometime, somewhere Subaru will step up and fix this.
I am so angry reading this thread. My 2017 under warranty Subaru Outback has drained battery 4 times this year. Each time the hatch seems to be involved with beeping light and won’t open.Dealer blames my driving, my leaving the radio on longer than 5 min , the rubber mat in hatch 2 mm over space in back. Come on! I have a dog that jumps 8n and out of hatch, lots of dog owners buy Subaru’s.i have been inconvenienced- my husband and I have missed doctors appointments , social engagements, waiting for car to be fixed. No loaner cars, dealer couldn’t care less as I pay for Uber’s all over California. They are lying to me, they should admit there is some kind of problem and fix it.
Yes - everyone with this problem should call Subaru Customer Care - 800-782-2783 and open a case. They paid for my battery upgrade but considered it a "goodwill gesture". I can not think of anything I did to cause my last battery drain. I have never had a car - and we have had lots of Subarus - where I've had to be so conscious of making sure things are "off". I think it has something to do with the push-button start - (a huge hassle for us to not be able to leave the fob in the car) - or the eyesight - or some kind of electronics. We stopped leaving the fob in the car and still had the problem. Other makes have this stuff - do they have this problem? Subaru needs to hear from all of us.
Well - once AGAIN I fly home after only 3 days to a DEAD battery in the airport parking lot! Trust me - I go overboard shutting everything down every time I get out of the car so I KNOW I left nothing on. I immediately contacted Subaru of America and reference the case I opened months ago! Yep - I got the "goodwill gesture" of a coupon to use at a Subaru dealer" last time I talked with them. That's not cutting it and I let them know that in email today (documentation). Any lawyers out there that think this is worth it???
Thanks for the number, I’m opening a claim. I also put a detailed complaint on BBB website. I’d sure help a lawyer, I’m sick of being blamed for their poor design .
My 2016 outback has the same issues, but when the radio is on or when charging a iPhone ( as most know a few Ma) My SUBARU dealer replaced the battery a year ago. The service writer just says: “ you have to run the engine when charging the phone or listening to the radio” LOL these folks must think most owners are idiots. My warranty expires on 5-25, I’m hoping to get an upgraded battery under warranty before that date ( I know good luck on that one,..)
So....after almost 2 years, 9-10 dead batteries and almost 8 total weeks at Dealerships trying to identify the parasitic drain (which they have trouble admitting) I have just been told "they found the parasitic drain and it's the BIU (body integrated unit). They've ordered the part and will put it in next week and then test AGAIN to confirm that's the root cause. I am posting this prior to getting my car back (2 weeks at the dealer again) because IF it is the cause, others might want to check the BIU. I will post again IF/WHEN it is confirmed! Have y fingers crossed but not confident...
Interested to know if it turns out to be the BIU as you mentioned Subi3522. I've gotten to a point with this crap that I bought a really good jump box. I am surprised Subaru has not offered free jump boxes to all 2015-2017 Outback owners. I replaced to a 550cca battery and it was good... for a few months. Last night it was dead after sitting the whole day. It is my daily and I have an hour drive each way to and from work each day. I did notice the ABS Brake Pump Actuator making a high pitch hum every few seconds when the car was off. Going to see if it is doing this still on my lunch break today.
I purchased used 2016 Crosstrek 4 days ago from Downtown Auto Center in Oakland, CA, 44K miles. Drove it 3x in 3 days, short rides. On day 3: Battery is dead and will not take a charge.
Update on the replaced BIU: Of course it's too soon to tell if the battery will go dead again - but - the dealership and Subaru America say they found the BIU to be the source of the drain by "tapping with the other end of a screwdriver" the various electronic parts after the car had been turned off for at least 20 minutes and the components "went to sleep", to see which component would "wake up". The mechanic repeatedly "tapped" components and finally the BIU "woke up" and started a draw on the battery. They said this was an old fashioned way to test for draw but it worked. Very importantly I made sure they let my car sit for at least 3 days before doing anything and lo and behold it was indeed completely dead at that point so they not only witnessed my repeated complaints they MIGHT have found the cause. I promise to let all Gurus readers know if/when my battery fails again. Wish us luck.
2016 Outback owner here and just recently experienced this issue. Six hours is all it takes to drain the battery, which I charged by driving 40 miles the same day earlier. My wife to local advance auto and they checked the battery and said it was good and advised against changing the battery. I will visit the dealer tomorrow and see if they have an answer or have heard about the BIU issue. Fingers crossed. The car is pretty useless at this point.
I live in Johannesburg, South Africa, and I own a 2016 Outback 3.6R. I have to tell you that the battery issue isn't restricted to the American models, I've had the same issue happen here and of course the same response from my local dealer, that no problem with the battery! We don't get very cold weather, but as it's getting into our Autumn, the cold must have had some influence as the issue is worse now! I'll be buying a new higher capacity battery at the weekend and see if that helps.
I have a 2017 Outback... ended up reading multiple forums stating the same issue about the battery. My battery was suddenly dead yesterday. Had a friend come take a look and charged the battery. Started fine after. Corrosion was also cleaned off the connection, it was excessive! Today I went to start up my car and it was dead again. My wife is currently deployed with the Navy and we have a minimal support system here in Hawaii. The whole point of buying a Subaru was so I had a safe vehicle that I wouldn’t have to worry about during this time. Well that plan failed. Guess I will be calling the person who is borrowing our 12 year old Toyota with 260,000 miles on it, so I can get it back and have a reliable car to to drive. And ours was one that ran out of gas too... but they did issue a recall for that!
Another update on replacing the biu. It didn't work. My subi has gone dead two times in the last 9 days both times after sitting for 3 days at an airport, as usual. Once again Subaru of America had me take it to the dealer last week. I am approaching 10 weeks at various dealerships, talk about frustrating. Subaru of America did help me out with a loner since the dealership had none. However I'm beginning to wonder if this is ever going to be resolved but I have no intention of giving in. Can't stress enough for all of you out there to open a case with Subaru of America I've always heard there's strength in numbers.
Hello all. I went in for my mileage recall and while waiting heard the service people talk to two people about the their batteries "must have left a door open" is what set me off. So I went to the desk and asked them to check the battery AND start a ticket with Subaru b/c I've already been stranded once and bought a charger to carry around to support this $38K car. He said - no prob we'll check it. I said - you know it will check out fine - but you also know that there is a problem. I could feel the people in the service area perking up and listening. I mentioned the leagues of people on the internet, etc, and blah blah blah. He says we'll look into it. Well - when they were done the car he told me that they replaced the battery with a new one! A different brand. Said that they stopped using the old brand - sorry the paperwork is in the car so I don't remember which brand I have now. Anyway - they think that will solve the problem. I hope so. I will report back if it doesn't. Oh and they "charged" Subaru - not me.
Update to my post yesterday. Dealership says they did indeed have a dead battery after 3 days but have not yet found the root cause, once again. I am leaving the car there so they can continue to search and Subaru of America is continuing my loaner. Apparently dealerships are not paid the same as they would be for regular work versus this type of warranty work so maybe the dealership is getting tired of it too, however we all need and deserve a safe, reliable car and Subaru is responsible to make that happen.
purchased 2017 outback new on 8/29/16.no problem with Bty until 12/8/18.dead bty. dealer placed new SOA821B400 Bty. in car.6/10/19 Bty.. again dead. on 6/13/19.will call dealer tomorrow to take car to dealer for service,Will also call Subaru of America to open a case and request they provide provide a stronger Bty. at no cost to me.I have had 2 other outbacks-2003 & 2011 with no Bty. problems
I have a 2016 Subaru outback. The battery has failed twice, the second time being today. I once had a 11 year old Camry and I had never failed to start the car despite numerous small issues with that Camry. This Outback from 2016 has failed me twice. Except the battery problem I really liked my Outback. As mentioned in other posts, it may be that the hatch light some times was mistakenly left on, but the real issue is this: why can't Subaru just turn that light off say after 20-30 minutes after the car was turned off? If there is people in the car, they could easily switch it on again. This time I am not sure what the reason is yet since I am still waiting for AAA to help me out. In any case, it is a disgrace for this ``supposedly" reliable car to frequently leave people stranded on the road---annoying for sure, dangerous occasionally during Winter--I am in Minnesota.
I have a 2015 Outback with the premium package of electronics. I have just experienced my 2nd total power drain (.e. Car won’t start) - both times when returning from a 2 week vacation. Nothing was left on in either case. There must be a parasitic drain of the battery. I really don’t want to buy a more powerful battery and am disappointed with Subaru after reading this thread and the problems I’ve experienced. I will open a claim. Battery / car is no longer under warranty.
Wow, that’s a lot of battery’s. I had a 2017 Outback, bought it new, after about a year the battery had failed me twice. So now I have a 2019 (upgraded) touring model. I don’t even have the new plates on the new car and the battery has failed me! So thank you for the number I will open claim today on car.
I had a problem with a battery drain for the past 3 months on my 2016 Outback. It was fine up until May, 2019. After the second time I needed a jump, I went to the battery shop and bought a new one, even though they told me my old battery tested fine. Two weeks later another dead battery. I removed all light bulbs from the interior thinking a light was being left on accidently. After the 4th time, I took the car to the dealer. They did a software update and checked for a parasitic battery drain but did not find any. Two weeks later, it was dead again. It appeared to die if I didn't drive for 48 hours or only drove a short distance. I contacted Subaru of America because I had no idea what to do at that point. I was beyond pissed. Subaru was very attentive and advised me to take it back to the dealer. They had talked to the dealer and they were expecting my call. So........ I just picked up my car and the invoice stated: "Inspected for parasitic draw, found that after 5 min there was a draw of 160mA, anything around 70mA is excessive draw. Started pulling fuses to find cause of draw. When pulling the DCM the draw would drop to a normal 35mA. Removed DCM and disconnected it and draw dropped to 35mA. Began disconnecting any component I could get to like door locks and window switches, seat heaters and power seat modules, stereo and did not get any change. Called the Tech line and verified DCM was not powering down, replaced DCM with new part and draw was at an acceptable level of 35mA." I hope this will help someone out there. I wish I would have known this was a possibility 2 months and $300 ago. And I was not charged for the repair. Thanks Subaru, I guess.
My 2016 Subaru Outback battery worked perfectly until I bought it from the lease. Then the battery went completely dead and the dealership replaced it because the car was still under warranty. It has continued to die. So I got a jump starter and regularly have to start my car. Recently it's been holding a charge even after a day of not driving it. Who knows why? I'm going to get a larger battery because I don't want to have to jump start it during the winter, despite being an expert now. It's so disappointing that Subaru won't recognize this problem and fix it. My next car will be a Honda.
My 2018 Outback has had a dead battery 6 times since purchase. Each time nothing was left on to drain the battery. It happened if the car wasn’t driven between 2-7 days. After the 4th time, dealer replaced battery. It has happened twice since then. This is a major issue and a simple google search will return multiple forums with complaints about the batteries dying. There is even a class action investigation underway about it. https://chimicles.com/2018-subaru-outback-dead-battery-class-action- investigation/
I have a follow up question for those that got the stronger battery. I know the one person said no issues in 2 1/2 years. Has this been pretty much the case for everyone? Stronger battery no more issues?
For me there have been no more issues with my 15 Forester and an Optima battery.
I've left my interior light on twice and haven't had an issue since I got a new battery. I've also just "feel" that it's good. I think it starts cleaner - quicker. I
2015 Outback, no issues since larger battery put in 8 months ago.
Just got home from dealership who put on larger CCA battery. Will keep everyone posted
I had a bigger battery installed a few months ago and have had no issues since. Subaru case worker said Subaru would reimburse me but it was like they were doing me a big favor. Talked with my alternative dealership repair tech and he said they know all about it (no denial here like dealership where new, bigger battery was installed). He said they're trying to make the 2020's better able to handle the drain from all the electronics but they don't have a solution for our used models with problems. At least they admitted the problem - they are now my preferred shop.
I had pep boys run a scan on my battery and alternator. The test said the battery was good, but when the mechanic had the test for the alternator going with the car running with the lights, ac, and the other stuff you use while running. The test results showed the alternator wasn’t keeping up with the power requirements....hence the battery carried the load until it dies since the alternator can’t keep up. The test showed the load the car was using vs what the alternator was giving wasn’t enough to keep up. I was told to go to the dealership and show them the test results. I haven’t gone yet. Let you know when I do.
2016 Outback and I am getting ready to purchase my second new battery. Won’t go into all the gory details in regard to the dealer, but I now have gotten Subaru America involved. The car has always had intermittent issues with the hatch not responding when I try to open it. They never pinned down the problem and they even saw it happened first hand. During the MULTIPLE times that I have had to jump it, the hatch motor slightly opens and then immediately closes when I turn off the key after a “no start”. They have no explanation and say all is testing fine. Car is at the dealer now, battery is dead, but the car is “fine”. What a crock... so disappointed in the car that is supposed to be so reliable. Think I will be selling and moving on. My last car was and Acura and it was amazing
Just took my 2019 Outback in because the battery has died twice in a week. The tech says that sometimes the all weather cargo mat can scooch towards the hatch door, causing a certain sensor to think the door's open (even when the door open notification on the dash says it's closed). This causes a drain on the battery. Sure enough, our mat had moved back slightly as a result of a recent cross-country trip where we moved heavy items and luggage in and out of the cargo area nightly. They checked the battery and it seems OK. We'll see if this helps. The tech agreed it's a clear design issue for one sensor to read that the door is open and one to read that it's closed, while the system software doesn't resolve the conflict.
Same issue with my 2017 Outback. Dealer did a computer update yesterday that’s supposed to be for charging issues, increases output from the alternator to charge the battery. We’ll see if it works!
I’m agreeing. We had dead batter with our new (which became newish) Outback. A stain on Subaru, for sure. Every time I would bring the car in, they would say the battery was fine, and they don’t see any problem. With autumn weather here, cool but not freezing, two weeks of not driving it and AGAIN would not start. I was at a mechanic for an inspection on a different vehicle (a Honda) and asked him about this problem; he said there are electronics in these new vehicles that drain the vehicle. Sure enough, I noticed that when I put the parking break on, which in the old days was just a push pedal that the driver would release, a red light goes on. It’s on all the time. That’s one drainage on a battery right there. Could Subaru have mentioned this? Or other “ghost” electronics? From now on I will not put the parking brake on when I’m just in my driveway! But still a big stain on Subaru for not communicating this, even when it has been a problem, and leaving us customers literally in the cold to try to figure out a solution. I got a Subaru because I thought it was a good COLD WEATHER car. HA HA HA!!!
We hooked up a volt meter to our 2016 3.6 Outback Limited. The alternator stops changing after a few seconds or minutes ( drops down below 12.1 volts) which would slow discharge the battery. If you leave the lights o (auto works fine if you cover the sunlight sensor on the dash) or having the blower on the two highest speeds will cause the alternator to keep charging.. we also keep our key fobs in a metalbox.
I ended up getting a new, more powerful battery and have had no problems since then.
I took the car in last month for its checkup. The guy told me that the eletronics in these new cars are SO demanding that short trips drain the battery life of these cars, and a short-trip driver, such as me, will have to get the car out on the road for longer trips. We opted to modify our driving habits. I take fewer short trips now. Also he said that we could get a larger battery, like you did, or a battery maintainer, which you can get for under $30. We opted for the battery maintainer, and fewer short trips (walking instead of driving, etc.) and so far that's worked, even now with the very sustained frigid weather we are having. He said that these new motor vehicles use so much memory and electric is always going, even when nobody is in the car, which is for sure true. I've also stopped using the parking break when my car is just sitting in our flat driveway, given that that light is always on when the parking break is on. Small things like that. A long time ago I was told to never have the headlights on when I'm starting up my car, but to turn them on after. Unfortunately with these electronics, the headlights automatically go on when the car is started. It's just a voracious use of energy.
Well, my thoughts are, if you make a car with "all" that electronic stuff in it and you charge money for it, then YOU SHOULD PUT A BIG ENOUGH BATTERY IN IT TO RUN THE STUFF. No ifs ,ands or buts. Don't tell your customers to drive farther. FIX the problem!
Ours was always dead after we had driven it a good bit. We would drive a couple hours on the highway, stop for an hour, and then the car would not turn over. Tried both dealers in town who ran multiple diagnostics and neither could find anything wrong. Our neighbor had a 16 Outback that did the same thing, We both got rid of the cars, never had a car that new that was do undependable that the dealer could not fix.
GuruW291R I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU. Look at the number of comments on just this one thread. This is a problem and a KNOWN problem and when you point this out to them they act like this is the frist time they've heard of this. It was the guy at my local inspection station that told me that these new cars and their electronics are always on, even when the car is "not," and that they provide a constant drain on the battery. And I had raised the issue of the dead battery at least 3 times with my Subaru dealer. This time I didn't make an appt and went to their easy drive-through type part, and this guy told me. And absolutely Subaru has a reputation for cold weather driving and dependable cold weather driving, and this reputation is NOT consistent with OUR experiences of these dead batteries, OFTEN far from any service stations. Take the car out to the hills or mountains... A battery that does not start for this stupid reason could be deadly. Yes, they should just put in larger batteries. But they're cutting corners at OUR expense. Last Subaru? For many it has been, and for others it will.. Unless Subaru starts acting PRO-CONSUMER.
Regarding short trips draining the battery, I took a 1,000 mile trip to a remote lake. Fished for two hours, came back and the battery was dead (and I was 10 miles from anyone).
I had this issue with my 2010 Forester. Had to have the car towed to the dealership on three separate occasions, replaced the battery twice, the second time to a much more powerful battery. We needed up having the dealership remove the remote starter system thinking maybe it was draining the battery after checking everything else. The Subaru dealership charged us hundreds to remove the starter, which really pissed me off because we’d had it installed there the year before and they said it was possible it could be draining the battery. At this point, I was so tired of dead batteries, toes and arguing with service technicians that the car is fine, so I sold it. We also have a 2016 Subaru Outback that’s now having the same problem. The battery has died twice in the past couple of weeks and now we need to take it to the dealership because Eyesight won’t come back on. I’m so over this issue. It has been ongoing for years between two vehicles. Done with Subaru and will likely get rid of our Outback soon.
Serious issue with outback 2016. I have this starting problem every summer when AZ Temp peaks and everytime dealer reported it as battery issue and got it replaced and even ran parasite test every time, in year 4, passenger side rear seat door got jammed on child lock (wo us invoking it) and dealer said the faulty door motor is the cause of batter drain. Replaced it as well. now in winter, Car is having issues with starting..we have to shutdown ac, parking , switch off navig, radio, parking brake etc and with 5-10 time of try. it starts with difficulty.. its a serious issue having subaru calling out as Outdoor vehicle and I am scared to take this outside city.. we were in grandcanyon from phx and in the last stop , it refuses to start and had to jump start and drive back home w/o stopping the vehicle.. subaru has to look for design answer.. to me, its a lemon....
WOW! I have just had this same issue with our 2016 Outback. Installed new battery ($177) in March 2019, as recommended by the Subaru dealer, as a heavy duty battery that can deal with all the modern electronics of the vehicle. We don't drive the car a lot, but it's been driven 5,000 miles since the new battery, and a mixture of longer, yet mostly shorter trips. Charged battery myself enough to drive to dealership. They told me that the battery tested out fine and they fully charged it on Monday. The service advisor told me in a snotty tone that we don't drive it enough. Drove it on Monday and Tuesday. Now on Wednesday it won't start again. Currently on the charger, and my Schumaker charger light will just blink, instead of staying fully lit. According to the instruction book, that means the battery is bad. I'm so glad I found this thread.... I'll be sending it to my dealer. But with all these problems I would have guessed the dealer should ALREADY know this problem exists. I have a VW Eos convertible that only gets driven on short trips during the summer, and I take it out on decent days during the winter- sometimes several weeks apart. That battery starts it just fine. So don't tell me I don't drive the Subaru often enough!! I've not read all the many posts, there are too many... did anyone find a solution or do I just get rid of the damn thing? Too bad, b/c otherwise I've liked the Subaru. Never had this problem with Mazda or Toyota or Honda's that I've owned over the years. Same exact driving habits.
Having the same problem. We drive the car every day at least 10 miles. If we sit in the car with radio on for 5 minutes and the car won't start. Read the forums, put in a 750 CCA from the auto parts store. Six months later that battery is dying. Car will turn over barely and then engine runs for 5-10 seconds and then dies. Then the car won't start at all and has to be jumped. So it's not a battery problem. I would suspect the charging system is not charging the battery enough when the car is running and/or there is a drain somewhere when the car is off. This sucks!