pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
35,850 miles
Total Complaints:
60 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. jump start (29 reports)
  2. not sure (13 reports)
  3. replace battery (11 reports)
  4. new battery (4 reports)
  5. installed all led light bulbs and a stronger battery (1 reports)
  6. new alternator (1 reports)
2017 Subaru Outback electrical problems

electrical problem

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2017 Subaru Outback Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #60

Nov 132023

Outback 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles


This has happened drained battery twice in the past 3 years.

- Nick J., Cincinnati, OH, US

problem #59

Sep 052023

Outback Limited 2.5L 4 cyl

  • CVT transmission
  • 102,000 miles

This has been occurring every 24 to 30 months. Battery goes dead, have to jump start car.

Will occur if car is not run for a week, or if the tailgate is left open for an hour, or door open for an hour once battery is 24 months old or older. Will occur every week if car not driven. Have to leave a battery maintainer on the car when ever left alone longer that 5 days.

Have replaced batteries 2019, 2021, 2023 last battery replaced at dealer was an AGM type and not the standard 30 month battery.

Still plan on keeping the car, just have to keep battery maintainer on car if known to be unused more that 4 days.

Does anyone have information on any technical bulletin regarding this problem?

- Jim G., Eldridge, US

problem #58

May 012020

Outback Premium 1.8L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles

This is the third time battery has died. First time was in May, 2020. Dealership refused to replace battery under warranty and put a quick charge on it and sent me on my way. In September 2020 battery went dead again. I stopped in to complain to the store manager about battery issues. This time the dealership did replace the battery for free. On October 6,2023 battery was dead. AAA jump start dealership said to bring it out and they would look at it or could just replace the battery for $200. I opted to go elsewhere and buy a Diehard battery. That was on a Friday. Today is Monday and the new battery is dead. I am thoroughly disgusted with Subaru and this battery drain issue. Get your act together and solve this. It should not be up to a complaint forum to do you work.

- Ron E., Kaukauna, US

problem #57

Jun 012023

Outback Limited 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 51,027 miles


Have replaced battery twice. Installed a GSM type battery hoping that would solve the problem. It has not. I've purchased and used both a portable battery jump starter and a trickle charger.

- R Michael L., St Paul, US

problem #56

Dec 012016


  • CVT transmission
  • 4,000 miles

Today, May 1, 2023, my 2017 Outback battery dies yet again! This has been a recurring problem starting about 6 months after I bought the car brand-new in July 2016. After contacting the Subaru corporate offices, my car went thru numerous testing over several months at Sheehy Subaru dealership in Springfield VA. Report was always "Didn't find anything". Then Feb 2019, Subaru replaced the battery. Since then and until today, the car ran perfectly - no issues. But I attributed that to change in where I got the car serviced.

Today, without any warnings such as slow cranking, the battery was dead as door nail. A jump start got me going. again.

The battery had a Subaru brand label that said "30 month replacement guarantee . 85-month prorated warranty.

So, I called the dealership about the warranty. Well it was over 30 months. What about the 85 month pro-rated replacement? Sure, that replacement cost would be $250.00! I thought I mis-heard. Nope. He repeated 250 dollars.

- Pandu B., Fairfax, VA, US

problem #55

Dec 142017

Outback Limited V4 Boxer

  • CVT transmission
  • 211 miles

This was the start of the problem. Since then, we have had multiple problems and gone through 3 batteries and one software upgrade. Still no fix.

- fredbyte, Bellingham, US

problem #54

Nov 182021


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,600 miles


My battery was dead in the first year of ownership (2018) and I replaced the battery that was sold with the vehicle with a AAA battery. AAA told me Subaru batteries were bad, but I was not aware that this was so common that there have been law suits. November 2021, my AAA battery was drained and the car dead. AAA successfully jumped it and cleaned and tested the battery which was still good. Next morning, the battery was dead again. I jumped it myself with the aid of my neighbor and had it serviced at the Subaru dealership that same day.

Subaru Service "checked the computer", tested the battery (again) and found nothing wrong, cleaned the connections again, and charged me $150 for their time. At no point did they indicate that this has been a common problem with the model. I had to leave the car overnight and pick it up on a Sunday due to my own logistics, so I had no opportunity to review my vehicle before payment. Service support has been going downhill at the Akron Ohio location for the last two years and is so bad now that I am looking for a more reliable service provider. Although the car has started the last 2 days, the dealership did not check the "low tire" light on my dashboard as I had asked, and changed my radio station without returning it to the one I use.

I called the dealership to register my complaint, but had to leave a voice mail. 24 hours later, still no return call and I did not receive a customer satisfaction survey request. I am suspicious that no inspection had been conducted and certainly feel I should NOT have been charged for "not finding anything." I do not trust the dealership any more.

- Marilyn B., Richfield, US

problem #53

Dec 062022

Outback SW LIN 3.6L R-V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,040 miles


- William B., Morrison, CO, US

problem #52

Aug 162021

Outback Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

I have now bought two new batteries for my 2017 Subaru Outback. The first time I bought a new was about 1.5 years after I bought it. At that point, I did not know about the battery problem, so I bought a new one from Les Schwab and they took the original battery. This was out of pocket at $180. One year later the same problem happened. I never got a warning sign that the battery was low or actually shot. I had to get a new battery from Les Schwab. This time it was under warranty, but it is not right that they have to take the cost on this.

The dealership was not willing to give me a new battery due to the original was not there anymore!!!!!! That is not RIGHT!!! I did not know about this problem when I bought a new battery, so I did not save the old one. It looks like I will have to buy a new battery every year and hoping I am not up in the mountains without cell connection when the battery dies again!

- venka, Chelan, US

problem #51

Sep 102016

Outback SW LIN 3.6L R-V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,305 miles

Had to get the car jumped a number of times and this delayed travel. Finally I took it in and they said the battery had to be changed and did so and charged me. The problem was still there and the said I needed to change the battery again and they did as it was still under warranty. I still have the problem and something is draining the battery siting in the garage. I have been keeping the keys to the car covered in Al foil because I think the FOB is talking to the car and draining the battery. The second battery has failed too.

- William B., Morrison, CO, US

problem #50

Sep 242022


  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles



- Hubert S., Valdosta, GA, US

problem #49

Jan 212022

Outback ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

6 Months after purchasing the vehicle (used), the battery died while on vacation. Had to purchase a new battery.

1 year later same issue. Had to purchase a new battery.

And on January 2022, the same issue - I had to purchase a new battery.

- Jim B., Lexington, US

problem #48

Nov 012021

Outback Premium 2.5L I

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

Dead Battery, Can't hold a charge... I called local Subaru dealer, they say they will test battery. I asked about any battery complaints/recalls. They said no. I said there are many complaint on the interest and even some legal actions against Subaru connected to Electrical and Battery issues... she at the service department responder by saying "there's a lot of misinformation on the interest." Ugh! Electrical issues?

- Michael J., Eureka, CA, US

problem #47

May 022022


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,256 miles

Bought the car brand new in 2017 in Texas. Moved to North Carolina in 2018. This is the third time this has happened. We replaced the battery after the first time and the second time we thought it was a bad battery and got it replaced again.

- Ricky R., Pinehurst, US

problem #46

Apr 302019

Outback Touring 3.6r

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,039 miles

Returned from trip and the damn battery was dead in airport parking. Subaru has known of the battery issues and should have issued a recall.

- Carolyn W., Wimberley, TX, US

problem #45

Dec 302021

Outback Touring 3.6r

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,527 miles

Ugh. I need a reliable car. Car dead and the Midland dealer had to saw off the terminal base on my battery. Three months later and my car is dead in the middle of nowhere west Texas.

- Carolyn W., Wimberley, TX, US

problem #44

Mar 212022

Outback Touring 3.6r

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

2017 Subaru Outback and I’m on my 4th battery and I have spent more than $500. The last battery lasted 3 months and my car died on the highway. Subaru needs to fix this parasitic drain.

- Carolyn W., Wimberley, TX, US

problem #43

Jan 172022

Outback ES 2.5L

  • CVT transmission
  • 46,000 miles

The battery is constantly discharging and the vehicle requires a jump start. This issue has happened in both warm and cold months of the year.

- gwyther33, Asheville, US

problem #42

Aug 222018

Outback Limited 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Second time we have had the battery drain while camping thing happened while camping, despite the fact that we did not use lights (including dome lights) or other radio (etc) at all. The car was parked for 3 days with no lights or radio used, but with power tailgate opened at times for access to camping equipment. We see from internet that a design flaw results in battery drain when the tailgate is open, even though there is no dome light on. Apparently Subaru (and its dealers) refuse to acknowledge the issue, and there is a class action suit underway.

- Jim L., Madison, WI, US

problem #41

Aug 222017

Outback Limited 2.5i

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,000 miles

Battery drained while camping 3 nights in a remote location, even though no lights (including interior dome lights) or other accessories (e.g., radio) were used. We did have the power tailgate open at times, which we now understand is badly designed to drain the battery. Dealer (and Subaru corp) did not provide adequate explanation for why a battery would drain (especially when only 3 months old). Same thing happened while camping a year later, after which we insisted (requiring considerable argument) on a larger battery. But same thing (drained battery, despite no use of aux elect) just happened on another 3-day camping trip this past week. (In all 3 cases, car was parked for 2-3 days with no lights or radio used, but with power tailgate opened at times for access to camping equipment.)

- Jim L., Madison, WI, US

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