I've a torturous decision before me.

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you gotta drive it enough to keep it charged + the smallish battery adds to the other drains. sisters 18 impreza battery died in 3 years!!!. get a charger + USE IT!!
Agreed, an onboard charger permanently wired to the battery terminals just needs to be plugged in once in a while. I've installed them on the three vehicles I look after. They can be a lifesaver when the car sits for a few days.
 

Kira

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OK, I'm back.
My pal at the dealership said there's a RARE OCCURRENCE of the DCM (Data Control Module-part of Star link) remaining on upon shutdown.
He suggested the owner locate the green and red lights (between the visors) and see if they go out after an hour or two.

Beyond that he said to get a charger as she's not driving the car enough.

1) I'll look at the 51 page battery thread.
2) I sure do want to get her to make it the dealer's problem, not mine. I'd have to charge her quite bit for a Hackensack, NJ to Annapolis, MD house call.
3) Thanks for the "good deeds" reminder, AZjeff
4) I told her 50 times NOT to buy the Subaru. So far I haven't brought that up. One of the bennies of being old I suppose.
 
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My parent's 2016 (maybe 17?) Forester with all the features dies if they let it sit for a week or two. They're retired and don't drive it every day and live in a cold winter climate. My dad hooks up a charger if they haven't driven it and aren't planning to drive it in the near future. Silliness, in my book. I think their first battery was replaced for free after about a year. Either the batteries are undersized (which, in my opinion they are, at a laughable level), the charging system is silly small, or all the features don't work correctly and drain things, or some portion of all of the above. Our 17 without all the snazzy features has been ok except the Subaru OEM battery was super weak and replaced it after 4.5 years. I guess that's "typical" from what I've read. I've never replaced a battery after 4.5 years in the Civics, Pathfinders, or Corollas I've owned. Always 8ish+ years out of fear and good but closer to borderline load tests.
I maintain my SIL's 2017 Outback. It's on its third battery. Dealer told her it's normal. I can smell "her" when she comes to the house - a strong coolant smell. Dealer says that's normal too. Totally unacceptable IMO. This is her third Subaru and every one of them have been problematic (head gasket leaks, extensive tail light and power window issues, bad wheel bearings, catalytic converter failure). But for some reason Subaru owners have a weird loyalty to the brand.

Scott
 
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AZjeff

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1) I'll look at the 51 page battery thread.
2) I sure do want to get her to make it the dealer's problem, not mine. I'd have to charge her quite bit for a Hackensack, NJ to Annapolis, MD house call.
3) Thanks for the "good deeds" reminder, AZjeff
4) I told her 50 times NOT to buy the Subaru. So far I haven't brought that up. One of the bennies of being old I suppose.

Hope you didn't take it the wrong way. I go out of my way to help people, particularly those older than me. You're considering going way above and beyond even with compensation. Trying to deal with dealer service dept as a remote 3rd party advocate is tough duty. Good man trying your best and really hope you can help her one way or the other. (y)
 
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Genuine question - is this not the sort of thing lemon law was created to address? That of course assumes she's given the dealer the opportunity to test and troubleshoot it to their satisfaction.

Depends on the state. Some states have very pro-buyer lemon laws, other states don't. And these lemon laws generally were enacted many decades ago, so there is no rhyme or reason on which states have good lemon laws. gotta look it up.
 
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My parent's 2016 (maybe 17?) Forester with all the features dies if they let it sit for a week or two. They're retired and don't drive it every day and live in a cold winter climate. My dad hooks up a charger if they haven't driven it and aren't planning to drive it in the near future. Silliness, in my book. I think their first battery was replaced for free after about a year. Either the batteries are undersized (which, in my opinion they are, at a laughable level), the charging system is silly small, or all the features don't work correctly and drain things, or some portion of all of the above. Our 17 without all the snazzy features has been ok except the Subaru OEM battery was super weak and replaced it after 4.5 years. I guess that's "typical" from what I've read. I've never replaced a battery after 4.5 years in the Civics, Pathfinders, or Corollas I've owned. Always 8ish+ years out of fear and good but closer to borderline load tests.
4.5 years is decent life for an SLA battery. 8+ is crazy long.
 
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It looks like this is a huge issue across the board at Subaru. I've found page after page on this.

Subaru Battery Drain Lawsuit - New Claims Now Include Forester, WRX And Legacy​

 
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4.5 years is decent life for an SLA battery. 8+ is crazy long.
If 8+ is crazy long what do you call 14 years? That's how old my original AGM battery in my Mercedes is, I think about 14.25 years now as it was made in November 2007. The other Mercedes also has an original AGM battery, but that's only about 10 years old. That one I expect to die before my 2007 battery as that one is under the hood and smaller as an H6 vs the 14 year old one in the trunk as an H8.
 
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If 8+ is crazy long what do you call 14 years? That's how old my original AGM battery in my Mercedes is, I think about 14.25 years now as it was made in November 2007. The other Mercedes also has an original AGM battery, but that's only about 10 years old. That one I expect to die before my 2007 battery as that one is under the hood and smaller as an H6 vs the 14 year old one in the trunk as an H8.
AGM is not standard SLA (sealed lead acid).
 

Kira

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It's Saturday morning and my Summer neighbor emailed me.

Right off, she doesn't want me to even consider coming down.
She's so mechanically disinclined she doesn't even know why her local friend's attempt at adding a charger failed. She even suggested that the cord wasn't long enough.

I'm going to combine and relay the responses here, such as the Subaru TSB, a different dealership and driving more.

She also added that lifting the hood was something that she didn't want to do.

That'll get most people off the hook...it sure will for me.

Sincere thanks everybody.
 

AZjeff

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Sometimes due to circumstances there's nothing you can do. A parasitic draw number would be good info to see if Subaru should be responsible but an elderly lady isn't going to get anywhere with that info and a service writer. All she can do is drive more. You tried.
 
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4.5 years is decent life for an SLA battery. 8+ is crazy long.
Decent. But not a point where I've ever noticed CCA's being half the rated value in about 25 years of batteries in different cars. My Corolla battery, OEM, was load tested the week before my wife's Forester. They both get driven almost identically. About 60-70 miles per day, mostly highway, etc. The Corollas CCA's were superb. Higher than rated. No battery issues on the load tested. Not even near borderline with all accessories running. The Forester on the other hand...I decided to replace because it was running below in all categories. In my experience, I've never dealt with a garbage battery after 4.5 years. They've been borderline, but not below recommended and basically hanging in by a thread.
 
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4.5 years is decent life for an SLA battery. 8+ is crazy long.
Also, when many batteries have a 3 year free replacement and 7-8 year prorated warranty, it would seem 4.5 years is short. Unless you live in a climate that kills batteries with extreme heat.
 
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Not sure if it was mentioned, and it seems like there may be an issue with this model of subbie, but if it’s only getting short-tripped the battery will plummet. During the peak of teleworking I was driving about 3 miles total per day to meet and walk with a friend of mine. Even driving daily, I reached a point where the starter could barely rotate the engine until putting it on a charger.
 
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Unless I missed it somewhere, how much is she actually driving the car? Elderly lady in a college town, sounds like the perfect recipe for constant short trips
 
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Drained battery is not a Subaru feature. The car needs to be fixed properly while it's still under warranty. If she has no dealerships nearby who are capable of fixing this problem, she should take it up with corporate. This is not good customer service.
 
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While it seems to be an inherent problem, perhaps running through some basic issues with her.
Check to make sure interior lights aren't left on.
Make sure key fobs aren't left in the vicinity of the vehicle, especially push button start/smart remotes.
Ask her how she uses the vehicle. Maybe she's doing something weird with power seats, lighted visor mirrors, etc.

I maintain my 78yo mother's 2009 tribeca. While it isn't troublesome at all, I do need to make sure she drives it a few times per week, especially in the winter. She keeps riding her bike to do her errands, even after crashing on some ice in 2020 and breaking a hip. I sense I will be equally ornery when (if?) I get that age.
 
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Work with a car stereo shop to put in a solar panel. Yeah they might find the drain too but it seems like it just needs amps flowing in.

My 08 Silverado is in a similar funk-- I only drive it 5 miles a week to the dump. And GM put in all sorts of retentive power features they thought I'd like, like leaving the backup lights on after I park it. The 95 F150 that preceded it had no such issues.
 
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