pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
10,750 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. jump start (3 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. reset computer (1 reports)
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2017 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2017 Subaru Outback Owner Comments

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

problem #4

Jan 042018

Outback Limited Boxer

  • Automatic transmission
  • 5,000 miles

Car only about 5 months old. I live in Michigan. We have cold winters. The battery died and would not hold a charge and it required at least three charges to drive it before I could get it into the dealer.

The dealer explained that the computer chip controlling much of the car had been set to turn on the alternator only when the engine had warmed up. Short cold trips drained the battery and it would not start. The dealer claimed to reset the chip to have the alternator work as soon as the engine was started.

There are lots of cold winters in the norther US. I wonder if this problem occurred with other Outbacks.

- John P., Clinton Township, MI, US

problem #3

Dec 242017

Outback Premium 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,256 miles


A diagnostic test was done. Some parts in the air intake were reseated (I guess); battery was found to be leaking and it was replaced. I now think this was related to an electrical sound I have been hearing and am very worried now.

- Mandy S., Sacramento, CA, US

problem #2

May 222017

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,600 miles

1st of 3 dead battery events. Car only 5 months old. Battery went dead after only 1/2 hour of radio listening without engine running. With previous cars this could be hours or days. Subaru service provided a jump after 45 min to hour.

- Wray B., Kirkland, US

problem #1

Jun 022017

Outback Limited 3.6L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 500 miles

Just went out to start my practically brand new 2017 Subaru Outback Limited 3.6 with only approximately 500 miles on it, have only owned it since 5/13/17 and it was DEAD!! No lights or anything. Since it is all power, the only door that will open is the drivers door, cannot unlock anything. I am under warranty and someone is coming to jump start it but what the hell! I didn't leave anything on, but am wondering with hearing other peoples complaints if there is a light on somewhere that I didn't know about. My garage is pretty dark even in the daytime and sure didn't notice anything. Will be taking it to the dealership as soon as I get it jumped. This bothers me a lot because I never had this issue with my 2013 Subaru Forester.

Update from Jun 18, 2017: Found out what the issue is. Behind the tailgate, on the roof is a light. Somehow that can bumped into the 'on' position and that caused a battery drain. My windows are tinted and where that light is you can't see if it is on unless you bend over and look into the car. I have heard and saw on a lot of posts that because of it's awkward position it gets bumped on very easily when loading and unloading stuff in the back. Anyway, I have turned it off completely and making sure to now hit it anymore. I will just turn it on manually if I am loading or unloading at night and need light back there. Anyway, that is what the issue was.

- Brenda L., Parkville, US

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