Battery problems with a 2017 Subaru Outback


Asked by Guru1PSFY Sep 21, 2019 at 02:03 PM about the 2017 Subaru Outback 3.6R Touring

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have been following the thread on this site on the ongoing reports of battery drainage issues.  I have had similar issues with my car.  The dealers that I have brought the car to have told me that the battery checked out fine and that all systems were ok and to be careful to be sure that no interior lights are left on (the hatchback light is the most reported culprit) and that the key should not be left near the battery.  I have taken care of all of these potential issues however the problem persists.  I have also been told that if I were to replace the factory installed battery with a more "powerful" one it would void the warranty and that the electrical system could be compromised.  Any advice out there?  I am prepared to, as others have reported, to upgrade the battery.

11 Answers


The dealer is lying about the battery replacement.

6 people found this helpful.

I figured that out after reading all the previous threads on this site. Not happy! I will be getting back to them, and Subaru America as well. What doesn't seem to be clear from this thread is whether replacing the battery with a heftier one will make a difference if there is this parasitic draining going on. The dealer did the required software updates but that didn't make a difference. I understand that there may be some class action suits in progress. Does anyone out there have any further info. on that?

8 people found this helpful.

All cars use a certain amount of power when not running due to the electronics. The undersized battery that Subaru uses is not enough.

5 people found this helpful.

My 2013 Outback has been in service at 2 different dealerships over almost 2 years for a total of 17+ weeks as they "attempted" to fix the ongoing dead battery issue. FINALLY - it MIGHT be fixed. After 5 new batteries (no help) and a completely new CPU unit (didn't help) they installed a completely new dash cluster ($$$). My problem always occurred after my car sat at airports for 3 nights or more. I have now had three trips where my car started! Not saying it is positively corrected but do NOT let them keep telling you it's the battery, or the lights left on yada yada... I opened a case with subaru America last February after fighting it for months with 2 different dealers. My case worker at Subaru of America heard from me constantly, as did the dealership until finally they started replacing the expensive stuff and I now MIGHT have a fix. Godd Luck - Do NOT give in!

13 people found this helpful.

Update to my post. I did call Subaru America and was given a case number. They called my dealer and I did, as well. Brought the car in and left if so it could be fully analyzed (battery, electrical system, etc.) Lo and behold I was called after one day and was told that the battery was defective and that there was no indication of "parasitic battery drain". Battery was replaced with a more "powerful" one and given a clean bill of health. No charge to me as a "goodwill" gesture. I did get a follow up call from both the dealer and Subaru America. So far the car is behaving properly. I also, just to be safe?, bought a Faraday box on Amazon that I keep in the car and instructed our garage (we live in an apartment building with an indoor garage) staff to always keep the keys in the box. All my research online seemed to point to the reality that keeping the keys in that box would (might?) help prevent any battery drain. For a small price perhaps another helpful step. I will post a further update.

6 people found this helpful.

I'm on my 4th battery for my 2017 Outback. The 2 dealers say it's just the battery. This time they finally tested the car and said it tested out fine. My wife's 2017 Altima is still on it's first battery. I live in California not somewhere it freezes. I guess its time to file for Lemon Law.

7 people found this helpful.

After a year of this problem They replaced the entire CPU which also did not fix it. Ultimately they replaced the dash cluster, expensive but it worked! I had my case open for over a year and didn't give up that's what all of you need to do.

5 people found this helpful.

I have the same problem with my 2017 Subaru Outback. I does appear to happen when I leave the hatch open for any amount of time. Or, a door open? Shouldn't the lights shut of after a given period? Anyway, I got a brand new battery/larger one...and it just happened again. Is this particular to the 2017 Outback? My son has a 2015 and it doesn't seem to happen. Very disappointing!

2 people found this helpful.

Just an update, the replaced dash cluster seems to have done the trick. I have not had another failure since. Stop letting dealers tell you it's the battery, it's not! As I've said many times open a case with Subaru of America and be a pitbull about not letting it go. trust me they don't want to start replacing expensive stuff like they did with my CPU and my dash cluster but the bottom line folks, it seems to finally be fixed once they did, knowing I wasn't giving up and not going away.

4 people found this helpful.

I must agree with Subi3522. Open a case with Subaru of America. I was taken seriously and follow up was excellent. The fact that I had documented all the interactions with the dealer and all the solutions that didn't work (several battery replacements and diagnostics that showed that the electrical system was ok) and my insistence that my Outback (2017 3.6 Touring) wouldn't start if left in a heated garage for three days or more was effective. Dealer took the car, promised not to start it for at least three days and lo and behold it wouldn't start! Further diagnostics were done and finally it was determined that there was a problem! and that it appeared to be the main module that controls all the electronics and the radio module. All were replaced, at no cost, and it would appear that the problem has been resolved. Follow up by Subaru America was excellent and the dealer did what was needed to be done. Don't despair...just set up a case, document, document, document and don't give up. sure that all lights (hatchback dome light, etc) are turned off when you leave your car.

2 people found this helpful.

It happened twice on my wife's 2017 Outback. Both times when unloading items from the back, the items dragged the tailgate light switch to the back which forced the light to stay on. The second time the tailgate would not open. I fixed that by pressing the tailgate switch and door open switch on the remote at the same time (3 times) which resets the fault. I have put tape over the dome light switch.

2 people found this helpful.

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