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Subaru Breakdown


olliesgrandad
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Well my 2nd full day of Subaru ownership went a little awry.

Took the grandchildren on a 90 mile jaunt to Porthcawl today.

All went well - car performing nicely  and was then left parked for a few hours in the seafront car park.

Upon return it wouldn't start.

Everything working on the dashboard , but just a click from the starter.

Fortunately I had put the Subaru Rescue details on my mobile and made sure the card was in the glovebox - perhaps a premonition.

Anyway the AA were super efficient and a patrol was with us in less than half an hour from my initial call.

Kevin the patrolman confirmed that the Battery was the issue and when he charged and tested it, it showed it was only operating at 75% efficiency and his diagnostics confirmed that it needed replacement.

Now call me old fahioned, but i know the car had been at the dealers since the early part of the year and when we test drove it the salesman had left the engine runnig so clearly being stood around has goosed the Battery. Shame they didn't check it on Thursday when they serviced it!

I think i may be having a very interesting conversation tomorrow morning with the salesman which may involve pointing out the 30 day return policy..............certainly I daren't use the car as I don't want to get stuck again. No doubt the AA would want to charge under such circumstances as they have diagnosed the broken Battery.

 

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Really sorry to hear that...BUT, when I was researching which car to buy, I did come across a few reviews where people complained about Battery issues with Subarus.  See one of the XV reviewers on the Subaru UK Reevoo site (I think) who had multiple problems with a brand new e-boxer XV over the first few days/weeks of ownership (in lockdown, so only short journeys). 

I also read in reviews how some people have left their Subarus at, for example, an airport carpark before flying off for a couple of weeks holiday only on return to find their batteries flat. Apparently, even when switched off, modern Subarus are still pumping out amps ( I can't recall the drain but its relatively high apparently for modern cars). I mentioned this to the sales-person when I collected my OB and his advice was.....' to always drive with the sidelights on'. Why?  Apparently it's because the extra drain of the sidelights, compared to the LED Daytime Running Lights only, means the alternator is forced to fire up and replenish the Battery.  I really don't know if that's true, mumbo-jumbo or he was telling me a 'story', but I have been doing just that about 50% of the time and no Battery issues (now I'm tempting fate!!!), although I've only used the car for longer run (30 plus miles) mainly.

According to many on the subaruoutback.org forum, the quality of the Subaru batteries are not all they might be, but again that my just be their opinion, and may also not apply to Europe. 

To be fair, there don't seem to be a lot of Battery complaints on this forum, although the forum seems to have v little 'traffic' compared to other car make forums, due to the very low number of Subarus sold in the UK. 

Anyway, hope your problem is sorted and you've no further issues.  All the best.

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I think it's true that many modern cars do not like to be left for long periods and whilst the current drain maybe small it is continuous due to security systems in operation, it adds up.  However, after a 90 mile run I'd have thought that the Battery would have fully recovered so maybe it is just a knackered Battery.  It seems to be a fairly common enough problem as can be evidenced by the number of trickle charger and multi function chargers that are now available. 

Hope you get it sorted it's not a good way to start out with a new can but the grandchildren were probably excited by the visit of the AA man?  I hope your dealer is prepared to offer you a good deal on a new Battery?

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22 minutes ago, ernieb said:

 

Hope you get it sorted it's not a good way to start out with a new can but the grandchildren were probably excited by the visit of the AA man?  I hope your dealer is prepared to offer you a good deal on a new battery?

The car is only 18 months old and besides it is also  under the 30 day approved  return policy so I will expect the garage to sort things out pronto as I'm too scared to move it now as  4 hours parked to a fully flat Battery is not good. The Battery is definitely U/S as I have a copy of the AA test report on it which states it needs replacement.

I have a busy work week, as well as lots of child minding so could well do without this annoyance.

 

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@olliesgrandad, that’s good you’ve got your 30 day warranty and agree they should change the Battery PDQ.  It’s such a downer when something goes wrong so soon after you’ve taken delivery. Really hope they sort it without the traditional kicking of tyres!

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5 hours ago, ernieb said:

@olliesgrandad, that’s good you’ve got your 30 day warranty and agree they should change the battery PDQ.  It’s such a downer when something goes wrong so soon after you’ve taken delivery. Really hope they sort it without the traditional kicking of tyres!

The Dealer has picked the car up and left me with a 20 plate Forester Hybrid. When they arrived to take my car the Battery was totally broken again, so fortunately a starter pack they brought got it going.

Hopefully my own car will be back tomorrow.

In fairness they have been extremely good and the Forester is full of petrol for me to use- sadly I'm short of time  to go and enjoy it :(

 

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Quite obvious the car has stood for long enough (before you bought it) for the Battery to have become damaged due to being left discharged, you'd think that unless this particular car stood in a remote (ie commercial storage) compound that a decent garage would have a system in place for keeping batteries charged in sequence, or as some commercial compounds do, at the very least disconnect the thing so it keeps its existing charge for a long time.

Most disappointing, if that car had needed jump starting more than its initial start up when brought out of storage the Battery should have been replaced immediately, as it is they've upset a customer who's rightly voiced his concern on a make specific forum...if this is typical of the marque's dealers they could well be going the way of Mitsubishi's dealers and head office staff in the near future.

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When I went to 'look' at an Outback at a local Subaru dealership, they had a new one in the showroom.  I noted that before I could sit in it, the sales person opened the bonnet and reconnected the battery's negative terminal.  He explained that while some garages have showroom with a power supply to keep the batteries of static showroom cars topped up, this showroom obviously didn't.  Having heard the rumours about Subaru's and Battery drain issues I made a mental note of how easy the terminal was to get at.  However, I guess that if you disconnect the Battery it throws all the settings out to default on reconnection, and the alarm would also be disabled too.  Would the doors operate lock/unlock manually with the Battery disconnected?

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1 hour ago, Judd said:

 

Most disappointing, if that car had needed jump starting more than its initial start up when brought out of storage the battery should have been replaced immediately, as it is they've upset a customer who's rightly voiced his concern on a make specific forum...if this is typical of the marque's dealers they could well be going the way of Mitsubishi's dealers and head office staff in the near future.

Interesting point about Mitsubishi.

i had 2 Lancers around 2009 -2011. The first one was a great car - ex Mitsubishi Head Office, but the 2nd one which was an ex demonstrator had a notchy gearbox and often it was impossible to engage 6th gear without double de-clutching. Mitsubishi insisted this was acceptable when clearly it wasn't.  The dealer network certainly left a lot to be desired. I traded the car for a almost new Fiat Punto diesel in Leicester ( reliable little carv with amazing mpg). My old Mitsubishi was next on the forecourt of my local Mitsubishi dealer for more than I'd paid for it 18 months previously !!!

 

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I drove car transporters for years, too many hence why me joints are about knackered.

Generally found VW/Audi the most up their own fundament, Mitsi the most miserable dealers by far (exceptions like Holbeach who were great), Toyota the most friendly and helpful dealers by a country mile, QC at both the Burnaston factory and Portbury import centre is seriously impressive.

I liked Mitsis generally but only bought one,  a Mk1 Outlander, not a joyous car to own though it benefitted from importers LPG conversion (no flashlube bad oversight so they suffered valve seat recession) which thankfully made the frankly ridiculous rate it drank fuel for precious little performance a little less painful.

See you're in Gloucestershire, is the Subaru importer still on the outskirts at Quedgeley would you know, been many years since i went there.

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52 minutes ago, Judd said:

 

See you're in Gloucestershire, is the Subaru importer still on the outskirts at Quedgeley would you know, been many years since i went there.

They were the last time I drove that way, but to be truthfull the travellers site up that lane puts me off using it these days as they are always careering through there.

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  • 2 years later...

Hi,

Bought my Subaru XV eboxer 3 months ago brand new having had Mitsubishi  for many years but now unable to buy a new one.

After leaving it in my garage for 5 days over Christmas it failed to start and was completely dead. Subaru First got the AA to attend and they confirmed the Battery was not holding its charge and needed replacing.

Trickle charged it before taking it to the Subaru dealer who fitted a new Battery.

AA and dealers say it should not be left for more than 2 weeks without running or charging.

Used to leave the Mitsubishi at airports for 4 weeks or longer  at time and never had a starting issue on return.


Have I made a mistake buying a Subaru XV?
 

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I think it's not the XV per se, but Subaru UK, and modern Subarus which seem to be the problem.  I too relatively recently came to Subaru after years (20 ys plus) of owning Skodas, all largely trouble free.  I decided to try Subaru after hearing about their  supposed reliability and the integrity of their customer care.  I had fancied a Subaru for years, due to living in a very rural area and reading about their permanent 4x4 system and mild off-roading ability. I also knew they were relatively thirsty, so while I was commuting regularly I wasn't going to buy one.

In 2020, after a career change, I saw my chance and bought a new Outback.  In many respects I really like the car and its driving style.  But having had to pay the best part of £1000 for Yr 2 and recently Yr3 services, due to mechanical weaknesses apparently caused by my driving style (!!!), and had my concerns both dismissed and ignored by Subaru UK and dealerships, I bitterly regret my decision.

Currently I'm looking to trade the OB for a newish Skoda Kodiaq, diesel 4x4. 

I won't be looking back!  I can now understand why Subaru sell less than 1000 new cars each yr.

It was a shame Mitsubishi decided to leave the UK and Europe a couple of yrs ago as I had also looked at the Shogun Sport, instead of the OB, and so many farmers and gamekeepers around here rave about the Mitsie L200. 

Hope you get the Battery permanently sorted.  

 

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Just a final thought.

Not sure if you've read elsewhere, but if you avoid leaving the car's light's setting on 'auto' and drive with the sidelights on (or AC or heater blower works as well too if needed), this forces the alternator charging algorithm to always charge the Battery (which it normally doesn't charge all of the time in order to flatter mpg figures, and is therefore an issue on shorter trips) to keep charging the Battery, and so it doesn't discharge out.    

You can also use the 'dealer mode' on the entertainment system to give you a real-time Battery charge reading.  Press and hold the 'home' button on the infotainment system while pressing and releasing the tune button  on x4.  Once in to the dealer mode, scroll down and look at the 'signal' setting.  I think pressing x6 gets you into factory mode and a similar list of menus. 

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