2015 Subaru Outback electrical problems: engine won't turn over, won't start

Engine Won't Turn Over, Won't Start

2015 Subaru Outback

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Subaru dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Pretty Good

8.0

pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
$160
Average Mileage:
10,450 miles
Total Complaints:
12 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (5 reports)
  2. replaced battery with a new larger one (5 reports)
  3. design fault with a relay (1 reports)
  4. probable programming adjustment for the 2015 model (1 reports)
2015 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2015 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

problem #12

Jan 302018

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 33,000 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This is the second time it has occurred. First time was in August 2017. Dropped friend off in driveway, car acted as if it wanted to start but wouldn't. Finally had it jumped and it started, lucky we we local. Brought to dealer and they had car for 2 days, said all malfunction lights were on. Invoice say "Corrected by (455191) (UI043) MFI OBDII Crankshaft position sensor R&R. Now it has repeated on 1/30/18 and 1/31/18 much further from home and as it's my wife car, she is afraid to drive it. Appt. at dealer tomorrow and it seems it might not be covered by warranty. Will update next fix and cost.

Update from Feb 27, 2018: Went to local Subaru dealer, checked systems, ended up replacing battery. Less than two weeks later same problem. Back to dealer, another system check, this time a software update. So two weeks have passed and all seems ok. Hopefully this ends it.

- Ed L., Huntington, US

problem #11

Dec 152017

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 14,200 miles

2015 Subaru Outback would not start. This car is only 2 1/2 years old with 14,200 miles. Mechanic replaced factory battery with more powerful one. After 5 days I began having trouble starting car. Mechanic thoroughly checked the car but couldn’t find the problem.

- Peter G., Staten Island, US

problem #10

Jan 032017

Outback Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 41,000 miles

Got in my Outback this morning and it would not start. No turn over at all. Headlights flashed, dashboard lit up like a Christmas Tree, beeping, etc. I tried a few times and nothing from the engine. I was frantically looking up what could cause the problem in the manual. After about 5 minutes, I tried it once more and got it to start but it did not want to. Very sluggish turn over but finally did start. Nothing but trouble with my lovely new car. This is my 3rd entry here in car complaints.com.

I researched which vehicle to purchase for MONTHS. We'd been leasing cars before this. But, with the miles I put on a car, we wanted to purchase. I was so excited to finally have a vehicle we could keep for a while. It was important to get the right one. One that would last. One that would be safe for me and my family. One that was comfortable for me and my family. I decided Subaru was for us and the Outback was the model best suited. We couldn't have been happier with our car. Comfort, good gas mileage, felt safe. I no longer feel safe in my car. We've not had the car 2 years yet. What do I do? Dealership wants us to get a new 2017 Outback. Really??? REALLY??? What? Just to have my heart broken again in 38,000 miles. No thank you!

- lhilton, Lakeland, FL, US

problem #9

Jan 132016

Outback Touring 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 17,398 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

Am on my 3rd battery in 11 months of ownership. Something is draining it and I think it must be the tailgate. I leave it up to air the vehicle out as I carry dogs. No lights are left on but still!

- Bill M., Edmonton, AB, Canada

problem #8

Jun 222015

Outback LTD 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

Repeatedly failed to start after sitting for as little as 24 hours. Was able to jump start it each time. Took it to the dealer, where they claimed they could not recreate the issue, even after having the car several days. Replaced the battery with a bigger one, but haven't let the car sit long enough (at least 48 hours) since to see if this really FIXED it. So may be posting another complaint before too long!!

Update from Feb 15, 2016: Long overdue update: After we dug our heels in firmly and INSISTED the dealership replace the factory battery with a bigger one, we haven't had a startup problem one. As other folks have noted, especially on the Outback with its bells & whistles, it's just plain dumb to not equip this car with an properly powerful battery. We were told repeatedly the factory battery "tested just fine". Sorry, just cos it makes the little tester needles wiggle wildly doesn't mean it'll start my fully loaded vehicle in the dead of winter!

So: don't let someone else rule this solution out if you haven't ruled it out yourself. ;o)

- datababe, Virginia Beach, VA, US

problem #7

Apr 042015

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 8,000 miles

The Outback simply wouldn't start after filling it with fuel. I could turn the key, but absolutely nothing happened. I almost panicked and thought about calling the 800 number or a Subaru dealership. It didn't seem like I had done anything different when I filled up, and besides, why the heck shouldn't it start? What could I possibly have done, short of disconnecting the battery, for goodness' sake? I tried starting it in neutral and park, foot on and off the brake, etc. I have no idea what caused the problem, and it has not occurred again, thankfully! As I frantically searched through the rather voluminous owner's manual, maybe enough time passed that something either reset or just plain decided to work again, and it started. It remains a mystery, but I will be sure to mention it when I take it to the dealer for the new Eyesight recall.

- James M., Cortland, IL, US

problem #6

Apr 182015

Outback 2.5i Limited

  • CVT transmission
  • 300 miles

A D V E R T I S E M E N T S

This is the second time that the car won't start. Had roadside assistance out and they couldn't start it with a jump. Had to be towed to the dealership in Glenwood Springs. Tonight we have the same problem. We tried a jump start and all we get is a click sound. Again roadside assistance is coming with their tow truck. The dealership said it started with a jump start for them, but neither us nor the roadside people found that to be the case. We'll wait to see what the dealership comes up with for a solution, but in the meantime this is a terrible inconvenience and its a brand new vehicle!

Update from Apr 23, 2015: We discovered that if the back "trunk" lid is left open, it runs the battery down, even if the dome light is off. The dealership was very helpful and tested this theory with one of their cars plus use of their diagnostic equipment. They substantiated this situation. My husband fly fishes and leaves the back open due to his sporting activities. Fortunately, the car was in the garage. The is a big warning for those who bought the vehicle because they're outdoors people. Don't go camping or picnicing and leave the back open. You could find yourself out in the woods without cell phone service and have a dead battery. The manager at the dealership was going to report this situation and request a programming adjustment to turn off the power to the back door after a few minutes, so a fix might be in the works. PS my husband's older Outback (2012) didn't have this problem.

- Judith Z., Carbondale, CO, US

problem #5

Mar 232015

Outback Limited 3.6L

  • CVT transmission
  • 4,300 miles

Drove a chap to the airport on a warm sunny day. Stopped for a moment after dropping him off. Car refused to start. Called Subaru Roadside assistance. After a lengthy time answering questions, I recalled how my first experience with them was unsatisfactory. So I hung up and call the AAA who responded quickly. They came and boosted the car to start it. Elapsed time in all about two hours.

I called the Vista Silverthorne Colorado Subaru dealership. Customer rep said there is an issue with relays but that as my car is from Canada they would not be of much help as the parts are different, it could be a month wait.

Called service manager in Toronto who politely told me that there is a North American bulletin out concerning the relay but that it is supposed to only be cold weather issue. However, that the parts are identical and that what I had been told was utter nonsense and that I should escalate the issue in the Vista Silverthorne dealership.

I called them back and recited the new information. They offered to inspect the car. I brought it in last week and yes it has a faulty relay. They ordered the part, took three days to get it. As I write this they are installing the replacement. They say it will take a couple of hours or more. Mechanic here says that Subaru does not have an adequate seal on the fuse box and that that is also a factor.

Subaru has not informed owners nor issued a recall. Thus all owners with early issue cars are going to be exposed to this problem. I consider this to be highly irresponsible. I have trusted Subaru in years past: No longer do.

- brownco, Vail, CO, US

problem #4

Mar 182015

Outback 3.6R Limited 3.6L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 3,700 miles

Drove car and everything was fine. 50 minutes later, went to start car and it wouldn't even try to turn over. All lights, radio, air, horn work just fine. Had it towed to dealer as this is the second time it has happened in the last 45 days. Last time, had roadside assistance jump the car. Next day, I took it to the dealer to take a look. Of course they found nothing. Try to blame it on me leaving a done light on. No one touches the dome lights in my car plus allow other features work just fine.

Very frustrating! I'm don't want to take the car anywhere because it may not start when I get back into it. I love the car EXCEPT this, and it's bad enough I would never buy another Subaru.

- Mikel B., Renton, WA, US

problem #3

Jan 182015

Outback Limited 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,380 miles

The dealer told us the battery actually froze up and its sidewalls expanded. 5 days later they still cannot find a replacement battery anywhere. I contacted Subaru's main office three days ago and was told they were looking nationwide for a replacement battery, still no luck.

From what I've read, the original battery is way undersized.

Update from Feb 7, 2015: AFTER A WEEK A NEW BATTERY WAS FOUND,SHIPPED AND REPLACED. BOTH SUBARU AND THE NEAREST SUBARU DEALER WE HAD IT DELIVERED TO WERE EXCELLENT IN TAKING CARE OF OUR PROBLEM AND KEEPING US INFORMED. DON'S FORD / SUBARU. BECAUSE OUR VEHICLE WAS BASICALLY NOT USEABLE WE WERE PUT FIRST ON THE LIST FOR A NEW BATTERY. I WAS TOLD THERE WERE 152 ON THE LIST BEHIND US. THE SUBARU DEALER WE LEASED OUR VEHICLE FROM AND REPORTED OUR PROBLEM TO FIRST HAS NEVER MADE ANY ATTEMPT TO CONTACY US TO CHECK IF OUR PROBLEM HAD BEEN RESOLVED ??? 5 STAR SUBARU

Update from Feb 15, 2015: After 8 days at the dealers they finally found and replaced the battery. A little over a week later the vehicle would not start again and had to be flatbed back to dealer. Now they state the solenoids are a new problem with new Subaru's and need to be replaced. ( possible factory recall ) We don't expect to get our vehicle back for several days. We took delivery of our new Outback in late November 2014. So far our vehicle has not been useable for over 14 days out of 75 days of ownership ??? Due to we are a one vehicle family this does cause a problem.

- Daniel R., Little Falls, NY, US

problem #2

Jan 142015

Outback Stock

  • Automatic transmission
  • 818 miles

I've had the Outback for 3 weeks. This is the third time this has happened to us: after starting the car and driving 5 mins down the road to drop my son off at daycare, the car won't start. Engine won't turn over or even click, but the screen, "door open" light, and even the radio will work. This has happened on the three coldest mornings of the year. The car always starts without an issue initially, but won't start again after a 5 min drive.

We also had a horrible experience with Subaru Roadside Assistance this morning. I waited in -5 degree weather for 20 mins to even get someone on the phone at Roadside. They texted me that support was coming, and it never showed up. Couldn't get anyone back on the phone at Subaru, so I called AAA. Will NEVER call Subaru roadside again. Car started with a jump from AAA and I drove it right back to the dealer. They have no idea what's wrong with it and I'm waiting to hear back.

- K S., Brunswick, ME, US

problem #1

Oct 012014

Outback Limited 3.6L

  • CVT transmission
  • 621 miles

The original battery had a dead cell. This may have been because it was in the dealers showroom and they apparently drain it to show features to the customers.

The battery was also woefully undersized to start in cold weather. October is not a cold month. the car was unreliable - you didn't want to drive anywhere you could not get help. If you wanted to drive somewhere out of cellphone range I left the car running. You never knew when it would start. The dealership replaced the battery with one with 550 amp rating which is more realistic than the 330 amp rating which it was shipped with.

Update from Jan 25, 2015: The larger battery has started the car so far this winter. Why don't they just put a suitable battery in the car to sell it?

- barnpaul, Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

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