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Subaru Battery Problems

A car or automobile battery is a device which stores and supplies electrical energy. This is supplied to the ignition system, appliances and lights, and to power the starter motor. An automobile battery can be recharged which begins to happen once the engine is started. Generally car batteries are of the lead-acid type. A typical 12-volt battery will have six cells in series with each cell providing 2.1 volts when fully charged. Below are frequently asked questions relating to Subaru batteries that have been answered by the Experts.

What could be the problem with a 2005 Subaru Forester, after the battery was replaced the engine now dies when the clutch is pushed in?

Turn off all accessories like the radio, fan, A/C etc. Then disconnect the negative cable of the battery with a 10mm wrench and leave it like that. After 15 minutes reconnect the cable and start the car. The engine might turn off a few times but this is to be expected. Once it catches and runs continuously let it idle for at least 10 minutes. Then switch on the A/C and let the engine run for a further 10 minutes. Now switch off the engine for 5 minutes, start it again and drive the vehicle. It should idle normally after that, unless there is some other problem.

How does an individual troubleshoot a Subaru battery and alternator that was replaced and the battery is still going dead?

It sounds like the vehicle has what is known as a ‘parasitic draw’. This means that power is being drawn off the battery even when all accessories are off and the engine is shut down. An amperage draw test when the engine is off will confirm this. If there is an excessive amperage draw the source draining the battery will have to be identified.

After a battery replacement on a ’99 Subaru Legacy how is the alarm reset?

If this is an original factory alarm, turn the key on and off a few times without starting the engine. This should stop the alarm from sounding off. Another way of doing it is to disconnect the battery cable, then reconnect it with the key in the on position.

If a battery and battery terminals was replaced in a Subaru Forester but nothing works when the key is turned on what could be the problem?

The problem may be because of a blown fuse. If the battery cables are wrongly connected it can blow many fuses. All fuses will have to be checked beginning with those under the dash and the hood.

What is wrong if the battery on a Subaru Forester was replaced but the battery and brake lights come on and power steering does not work?

The symptoms are typical of a broken fan belt and not a battery fault. The fan/alternator belt also drives the power steering. When this goes the car loses its power steering, and the brake and battery lights come on.

What could be draining the battery on a Subaru within 12 hours? How can the alternator be checked?

To check the alternator/generator start the engine and read the voltage it is delivering through a meter connected to the battery. The alternator should deliver over 13.5 volts if it is working properly. To check for a drain or draw on the battery, disconnect the battery cable from the positive terminal. Connect one lead of a meter to this cable and the other lead to the battery terminal. Set the meter to milliamps (mA). Switch off all appliances which use power and close all doors and windows. If the meter reads more than 80mA there is a draw somewhere causing the battery to go dead. To trace where the problem is, start pulling the fuses one by one until the reading falls below 80mA. Once the particular fuse is identified the circuit needing to be looked at is known. Unplug each of the systems on that circuit till you find the one causing the draw.

A Subaru car battery requires little maintenance other than keeping the terminals clean and topping up battery acid when needed. Many electrical problems are blamed on the battery but the source could be elsewhere. Check with an Expert if you have a problem before thinking about a battery replacement.
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