pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
32,050 miles
Total Complaints:
24 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. jump start (13 reports)
  2. not sure (6 reports)
  3. replace battery (2 reports)
  4. new alternator (1 reports)
  5. new battery (1 reports)
  6. reset computer (1 reports)
2017 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2017 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #24

Oct 192018

Outback LTD 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles


We will have the battery go dead usually after a short drive on a cool morning. Over the next few days it will repeatedly go dead. I carry a portable electrical jumper that usually works though after a few days the battery will no longer take a charge. With a new battery the problem usually stops for a few months.

I have owned this vehicle for 2 years and have replaced the battery 3 times.

We have had 2 visits with the dealer. They are very careful to never substantiate a problem with the vehicle and then do a computer reset. My 25 year history of Subaru ownership will definitely come to an end.

- gmisla@outlook.com, Breckenridge, US

problem #23

Sep 102020

Outback Touring 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,946 miles

I haven't fixed it yet. I'm going to buy a portable jump starter tomorrow. I learned that there is a class action suit against Subaru for this batteries being drained while the vehicle sits.

- Frank Z., Wenatchee, WA, US

problem #22

Sep 022020

Outback Touring 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,875 miles

Second dead battery in less than a week. They had already put a new alternator in but now they said the battery needs to be replaced.

- Frank Z., Wenatchee, WA, US

problem #21

Aug 282020

Outback Touring 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,825 miles


The next morning, the vehicle wouldn't start again. So I jumped it and brought it to my mechanic and they threw a new battery in.

- Frank Z., Wenatchee, WA, US

problem #20

Oct 082020

Outback Limited 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 80,000 miles

At least five different dead batteries. AAA. Replaced battery twice. Dismissed by dealer as interior light left on, etc.

- Erik N., Exeter, US

problem #19

Aug 152018

Outback Limited 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 25,000 miles

At least five different dead batteries. AAA. Replaced battery twice. Dismissed by dealer as interior light left on, etc.

- Erik N., Exeter, US

problem #18

Jan 122021

Outback Limited 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 72,000 miles


At least five different dead batteries. AAA. Replaced battery twice. Dismissed by dealer as interior light left on, etc.

- Erik N., Exeter, US

problem #17

Jun 242021

Outback Limited 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 65,000 miles

At least five different dead batteries. AAA. Replaced battery twice. Dismissed by dealer as interior light left on, etc.

- Erik N., Exeter, US

problem #16

Nov 282019

Outback Limited 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 33,000 miles

At least five different dead batteries. AAA. Replaced battery twice. Dismissed by dealer as interior light left on, etc.

- Erik N., Exeter, US

problem #15

Oct 242018

Outback Limited 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 20,704 miles

This has been an ongoing problem with this car. Often the car does not start.

- Joe M., Kansas City, MO, US

problem #14

May 052017

Outback Limited 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 1,288 miles


This has been an ongoing problem. The car often will not start.

- Joe M., Kansas City, MO, US

problem #13

Mar 042020

Outback 2.5I Premium 2.5i V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,804 miles

Disclaimer... speaking with customer service at Subaru will get you further than a dealership, and will at least cover testing (still need tons of patience). A lot of my gripe is on the dealer as well and trying to pass the blame.

My car battery first died about 3 years from purchase date. Fair enough, new battery installed, bigger/better one, and 3 days later it died. Instantly the dealer blamed the battery, saying that sometimes you get a bad one. Replaced the battery. 3 days later died. Brought it back, and then they try to blame me (common theme with big shops). Leaving lights on, not driving it everyday for at least 30 min (yes, this is a standard they tried to tell me all cars have), then they said I should have a charger plugged in every night in the future (no, the Subaru outback is not electrical...). I shot down the second and third points, because that means my 2008 Mazda 3 hatchback was the king of cars as I could leave it for months and it will still start (loved that car!).

I challenged them to the first point on saying that I must have left lights on. I let them keep the car overnight. The next day I came back and asked for a diagnosis. Dealer stated that it passed 23 point inspection and that nothing was wrong. Then they mentioned they did have to charge the battery (brand new!), which to my knowledge is NOT normal. I took a break, continued to jump start the car and engaged with Customer Service. After some dancing around the same excuses; FOB is too close to the car, too small of a battery, too cold conditions (Norcal in the summer?...), lights left on, and then back to driving it constantly as a solution, they folded and helped get me another inspection free of charge, which the dealer wanted me to pay for as they already done an "inspection".

Second inspection found a parasitic drain... duh... so they replaced the telematic and battery DCM. Had some hope, but it only lasted slightly longer than usual. I am living with the issue, jump starting has become second nature. I have reengaged CS and found a new dealer, hopefully someone with better knowledge and ethics. A new issue has now arise that is most likely associated with the electrical system, the key getting stuck in the ignition...

JOKE of the WEEK: Subaru has announced an all electric Solterra. We'll see how well that works out with their current "mastery" of electrical systems.

P.S. No matter the size of battery (CCA, etc) you put in the Subaru, it will not make a difference. Maybe it buys you a day or two more of charge. Still looking for a permanent solution. Maybe a trade-in for a Mazda?;)

- Peter V., Highland Hts., US

problem #12

Oct 182020

Outback LTD 2.5L Flat 4

  • CVT transmission
  • 75,000 miles

The battery on this car goes bad routinely. If you are moving stuff into the house and the tail gate stays open for about 1 hour, the car will not start. We have replaced the battery and it just goes bad again. We bought a portable lithium battery charger that we keep in the car. The battery on top looks like it is over charging since the battery has moisture on top that is acidic and the cells are low. Only car I have ever owned that has this problem.

- Darryl L., Boulder, CO, US

problem #11

Dec 112020

Outback 2.51

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Dead batteries. Just installed 5th battery in 2017 car that is under 49,000 miles. Multiple charges on each of 1st 4 batteries. Subaru says I don't drive it enough. AAA and Geico road side service said car is draining batteries. I am a single, senior citizen. I need a reliable car. This is my third Subaru. The first two were Legacy wagons. This one is an Outback. They no longer make Legacy wagons. What do I do?? This will happen again.

- pennynew, Annandale, US

problem #10

May 302020

Outback SW 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,500 miles

Had the battery replaced in March, and it’s dead again. Wanted to leave on vacation and can’t

- MARY ANN C., Mechanicsburg, PA, US

problem #9

Sep 052019

Outback Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,589 miles

This happened twice ... a week after the battery was replaced the car was dead again. I had it towed to the Dealer where it spent more than a week and nothing was found ... again.

But my wife's 2017 had the exact same issue at 15,000 miles last week ... and again the battery was replaced a nd it worked fine for several days but then sat in the garage without starting for several more and this morning it would not turn over ... completely dead and we had it towed to Faulkner Subaru who quickly diagnosed the problem ... she does not drive the car enough!

Two 2017 Subarus different models and the same problem cannot be a coincidence.

- Jeffrey M., Camp Hill, US

problem #8

Apr 022018

Outback Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,299 miles

Dead battery on brand new car! 9299 mis. was told battery OK at dealer. Dead battery Oct 29 2018 dead battery replaced at dealer. Dec 3 2019 dead battery was told it is OK Was told to drive it every day! Never let it set! do not take on short drives! mis is 18963. May 2 2020 dead battery!!! Really pissed! Tired of dealers excuses! 20,100 mis!!! Told me to not leave keys near car! Leave on other side of house!!!!!! How about just GIVE me a great battery I can rely on!!!!! Never recommend a Subaru to anybody!!!!!

- Janice H., Hunlock Creek, PA, US

problem #7

Jan 012020

Outback Sport 3.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

I have had a battery go dead, over and over. The service dept said; There are so many diodes and electronics in the car. IT ALWAYS DRAWS POWER. NO FIX. It started when I was listening to the radio hauling wood. Went dead. I recharged and was good until the next time.

I bought a battery charger for the car to be carried at all times. What a bitch.

- G W., Watsonville, US

problem #6

Jul 012019

Outback Limited/HGF 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 31,000 miles

This is just the latest dead battery. The car electrical system has been checked at least 3 times by the dealer, the latest being today. No problem found again.

I am retired so the car sits sometimes for several days. My conclusion is the electronic system drains the battery while sitting. This is exacerbated by the electric key fob turning on the electronics when brought near the car. i.e leaving the key fob in the car while working on or near it is now a no no for me unless I put the fob in a tin box. I now carry a backup battery to jump start the the car. I also have a Deltran 5amp Battery Tender which I plug into a wire connection permanently attached to the battery when leaving the car home for any extended time . I also turned off all the overhead lights so to prevent that from being the issue.


Now all this is a real pain for keeping an otherwise very nice car from becoming nothing more than an expensive driveway ornament.

You would think that with all the great electronic stuff on the car there would be some way to manually shut it all down and/or a monitor to do that and warn you so the car would start and go every time.

- Bob L., Mayville, NY, US

problem #5

Feb 192019

Outback 2.5i

  • CVT transmission
  • 17,000 miles

I have a 2017 Subaru, the dead battery issue occurred 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

- m85, Boulder, US

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