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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reminder! If you are not driving your Ascent or only making short trips (even worse) you may not have a fully charged battery.

I only drive maybe once per week now as I'm working from home and a 5 min trip is not enough to recharge the battery vs what you used to start the car. When I went to start it the other day it was slow to start. So I put on my trickle charger and ran it overnight and now it's fine. I'll probably have to top it up from time to time until the craziness is over.

Btw, I do have an upgraded battery as I killed my battery by accident 6 months after I got it!
 
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I was really sick last week, but did remote start mine a few times just to insure it was fine, but I've not had any battery issues, either. It's pretty much sitting anyway, but our older daughter goes back to work next week once the 14 day period from my illness passes (she works in a market) so at least there will be multiple, albeit short, trips into town a few times in the week going forward. We'll use my Ascent for food shopping today, too. When I do eventually replace the battery, it will be an "upgrade" version...there's plenty of room under there for a beefier battery for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How long do you run it after remote starting?

The battery drains on its own about 1% per day sitting.
The starting is the biggest drain, so you'd need to idle it for 15 mins or so to recharge it otherwise your remote starting is actually taking power from your battery.

Better to just throw on a trickle charger.

 
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How long do you run it after remote starting?

The battery drains on its own about 1% per day sitting.
The starting is the biggest drain, so you'd need to idle it for 15 mins or so to recharge it otherwise your remote starting is actually taking power from your battery.
The STARLINK remote start only allows up to 10 minutes. I’m pretty sure it will fail after 2 remote starts also. I wouldn’t recommend this for maintaining the battery either.

Thanks for the reminder @Kevin Williams. I can’t even remember when I last filled her up with gas and I had the liftgate open for a while the other day so I might just break out my charger soon!
 

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When I had a dead battery on my Outback a few years ago, AAA said to drive it 1/2 hour so it will start the next time, but to drive it 1 hour to charge the battery.
 

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I charged our Limited's battery today, by driving 200 miles and about 3 hours round trip to pick up meat and eggs from a farm market. Normally, they load up their refrigerated semi with orders and make periodic stops at Park and Ride lots along the interstate where we would go to get our order. Since we hadn't been off our property in 2 weeks we decided to do a pick up instead of waiting in a crowd by the highway.

The Ascent hasn't been run in week but started right up, and it was nice to stretch our legs a bit and see some new countryside, all precautions taken of course. Only 24ish MPG because of a strong cold North wind on the way up.

Tomorrow is a big food order pickup at Kroger then back to lock down. Fun times!
 

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If you’ve left it unused for a week, for example, is there a way to tell from a multimeter if a trickle charger should be used the night before driving?
 

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I was really sick last week, but did remote start mine a few times just to insure it was fine, but I've not had any battery issues, either. It's pretty much sitting anyway, but our older daughter goes back to work next week once the 14 day period from my illness passes (she works in a market) so at least there will be multiple, albeit short, trips into town a few times in the week going forward. We'll use my Ascent for food shopping today, too. When I do eventually replace the battery, it will be an "upgrade" version...there's plenty of room under there for a beefier battery for sure.
Off topic, but are you willing to tell us your symptoms? Hope you're feeling better.
 

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If you’ve left it unused for a week, for example, is there a way to tell from a multimeter if a trickle charger should be used the night before driving?
the best time for the trickle charger is at the beginning of the week. YOu could try a trickle charger the night before and hope that the battery did not drain too much such that even a jump will not work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you’ve left it unused for a week, for example, is there a way to tell from a multimeter if a trickle charger should be used the night before driving?

A fully charged battery should read over 12.6 volts. If the battery reads 12.45 volts or less, it is low (less than 75 percent charged) and needs to be recharged. (NOTE: these readings are at 80 degrees F. Battery voltage readings will drop with temperature roughly 0.01 volts for every 10 degrees F.)
So yes you can get an idea of the charge with a multimeter.

Even better is a proper battery tester, which adds load. I use that a lot in Phoenix as the heat here just eats batteries. I always check before summer ramps up and if it's a bit iffy, I just replace it. Better than being stranded!

Personally, I just throw my trickle charger on there every few weeks unless I've done a long drive.
 

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from Consumer reports:

How Hot Weather Affects Your Car Battery and What to Do About It
Tips for ensuring reliable starts in summer months
By Jeff S. Bartlett
May 04, 2019
4.5K SHARES

Summer heat is tougher on car batteries than winter’s chill. It may seem counterintuitive, but higher temperatures have a greater impact on the power-generating chemistry inside.
And it’s not just about air temperature. Hot summer temps drive up the heat under the hood and accelerate the onset of battery failure. As a result, many motorists wind up stuck along the roadside in the summer. AAA reports that it responded to 1.8 million battery-related service calls in the summer of 2018.
“Routine inspection is as important for the battery as it is for the rest of the car,” says John Banta, Consumer Reports’ lead battery tester.
To avoid being stranded, owners should be proactive about servicing and replacing their car’s battery, Banta says.
Car batteries typically last from three to five years, according to AAA, spanning from 58 months or more in the furthest northern regions of the U.S., down to less than 41 months in the most southern regions. Inspections should be part of an owner’s routine maintenance, but it is especially important to check before taking a long road trip.

During an inspection, the mechanic should check the battery’s charge, the condition of the terminals, and how securely it’s mounted in the engine bay. AAA says that excessive vibration can shorten battery life.
CR’s Banta recommends having your car battery load tested annually after it’s 2 years old if you live in a warmer climate or after it’s 4 years old if you live in a colder climate. Doing so tests its ability to hold voltage while being used, and the results will let you know when it’s time to start shopping.
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The battery’s age is also a strong indicator that it’s time to consider a replacement. The manufacture date can be found on a sticker affixed to the top or side of the battery. A battery made in October 2018 will have a numeric code of 10-8 or an alphanumeric code of K-8. “A” is for January, “B” is for February, and so on (the letter “I” is skipped). When it comes time to replace your battery, buy one that is less than 6 months old—preferably 3 months or newer.
CR's car battery testing
Car battery testing at Consumer Reports
Finding the Right Battery
Consumer Reports tests 150 batteries total each year in its lab (including five examples of each rated model), charging and discharging them thousands of times to find out how long they’ll last. If you live in a hot region or have particular concerns about summer performance, pay special attention to the battery life score in our ratings.
Battery life is measured by repeatedly discharging and recharging at a test temperature above 160° F for 15 weeks or until performance drops to unacceptable levels. This simulates the summer temperatures a battery can face in the engine bay. (Learn more about how we test car batteries.)
Car batteries come in many sizes. Among those that we have tested, there’s significant variation in which is the top performer from year to year, and from size to size. This makes it impossible to make simple recommendations by brand or model. It also means you shouldn’t assume that buying the same battery model you are replacing will get you the same results.
There is one clear trend: Many of the highest-scoring are pricey absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries, known for having a long service life and being able to tolerate deep discharges—when the battery has been significantly drained to 10.5 volts or below, such as when the lights are left on overnight.
“If you live in an area with extreme temperatures, and are looking for a maintenance-free battery, consider getting an AGM,” CR’s Banta says. “While AGM batteries can also be affected by high heat, they tend to perform better overall than other sealed batteries in our tests.”
He adds, “We have seen that most of the AGM batteries excel in our heat-focused life testing, based on 15 weeks of continuous testing at over 160 degrees. And the latest batch now being tested looks very promising.”
But even AGM batteries face challenges. “AGM batteries will perform well in the heat, but the life span will be hampered due to loss of water from the high temperatures,” says Jeff Barron, research lab manager for Interstate Batteries.
Barron explained that while some traditional batteries, known as “flooded,” can have their water replenished (with distilled water) to extend their service life, AGM batteries are sealed.
Beyond routine inspections, Barron advises car owners to keep their batteries fully charged and to avoid leaving their vehicle parked unused for long periods of time. This is especially true for AGMs. If you must store a vehicle for a long period of time, a battery tender can help ensure that the battery will be ready to start the vehicle when needed. Be sure the tender is suitable for your car’s battery.
Some flooded batteries are offered in North and South versions, each engineered for the specific challenges of the different climates. The North batteries emphasize cold-cranking amps (a measure of how well the battery starts an engine during extreme cold weather), whereas the South batteries have higher electrolyte-to-lead ratios that bolster durability in the heat.
Most stores carry the appropriate battery for the area they’re located in. A general battery, without a regional focus in its design, can serve well in the temperate zone between the extremes, such as the mid-Atlantic states.
In some cases, owners can replace an AGM battery with a flooded one to boost longevity in hot climates, Barron says, but it’s best to consult a mechanic first. Many cars come with AGMs to support an increasing array of electrical components, and the charge system may be configured specifically for the charging needs of the AGM.
Cars and their batteries are becoming more capable and sophisticated. This can add complication to the once-simple task of battery replacement.
Barron points out that some recent models from Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, and others require the battery to be registered by the car, so it can optimize charging and usage. This typically requires a mechanics’ scan tool, a professional-grade device that interfaces with the car’s computer system. Even older vehicles can require some level of reprogramming by a mechanic when a battery is changed to allow all systems to work. Ultimately, this means that many DIYers may find that they need assistance from a professional.
“To get the best long-term performance when you replace your battery, check CR ratings, consult your owner’s manual, and confer with a technician,” Banta says.
Need a New Car Battery?
See our car battery buying guide and ratings.


Jeff S. Bartlett

Jeff S. Bartlett
A New England native, I have piloted a wide variety of vehicles, from a Segway to an aircraft carrier. All told, I have driven thousands of vehicles—many on race tracks across the globe. Today, that experience and passion are harnessed at the CR Auto Test Center to empower consumers. And if some tires must be sacrificed in the pursuit of truth, so be it. Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSBartlett).
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I have had some battery failures with our 2019 Limited. A week ago, I went out to look at the mileage to determine if the car was close to needing an oil change. I had an appointment at my dealer the next day to do 3 recalls (pcv valve and for reprogramming ecm and transmission control). I had not used the car for a week or so and found that there was not enough juice to actuate the door lock. totally dead. I used the emergency key and unlocked the door. Then popped hood and got my multimeter to check voltage. Battery had 3 volts. I put charger on for a while and charged it. Next morning I went out to start the car to go to dealer. It started, but sluggishly. Asked dealer to check it out. When I picked up the car later, they had determined that there was "output incorrect" and the battery had been replaced under warranty. This is not the first time this has occurred. The original battery was replaced last March at about 6 months old for same reason. Supposedly with a "better" battery. I have had several instances where I had to charge or jump start in the last year. Once, because the lift gate somehow opened itself overnight. Another time I ran the radio for a while sitting in the car. 19K miles and everything else has been trouble free. I hope this new (third) battery will last.
 

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What battery does the dealer supply? is it a subaru part or just a jobber battery? I had been reading that the dealers were installing the same battery the Ascent came with not an upgraded version. Only those who replaced it themselves had it paid by SOA without questions and in most of those situations people bought a higher quality battery.
 

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What battery does the dealer supply? is it a subaru part or just a jobber battery? I had been reading that the dealers were installing the same battery the Ascent came with not an upgraded version. Only those who replaced it themselves had it paid by SOA without questions and in most of those situations people bought a higher quality battery.
My battery was replaced with a Subaru battery. Supposedly, a better battery than original OEM. P/N SOA821B200
 

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My battery was replaced with a Subaru battery. Supposedly, a better battery than original OEM. P/N SOA821B200
 

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I was inspired to check out my battery and get it recharged this weekend. It has been subject to multiple months of only a 5 to 10 minute trip or two a week for the past couple months of stay at home...and the battery wasn't in the best shape before then.

After Sundays grocery trip...started fine, but entertainment system lost power during startup (booted back up once car fired up). Battery was pretty spent:
Electronic device Technology Measuring instrument Two-way radio Tool

After 36 hours of desulfating and recharging on the OptiMATE 6 Ampmatic, we appear to be back in business:
Electronic device Technology Measuring instrument Recreation

This is the original OEM battery...will be keeping a closer eye on it. Probably checking and recharging every two weeks for now.
 

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I was inspired to check out my battery and get it recharged this weekend. It has been subject to multiple months of only a 5 to 10 minute trip or two a week for the past couple months of stay at home...and the battery wasn't in the best shape before then.

After Sundays grocery trip...started fine, but entertainment system lost power during startup (booted back up once car fired up). Battery was pretty spent:
View attachment 3787

After 36 hours of desulfating and recharging on the OptiMATE 6 Ampmatic, we appear to be back in business:
View attachment 3788

This is the original OEM battery...will be keeping a closer eye on it. Probably checking and recharging every two weeks for now.
why not replace it under warranty?
 

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why not replace it under warranty?
Battery is healthy again, happy to keep it for now. Keeping a closer eye on it is simply because the car is only getting extremely short trips that aren't sufficient to recharge the battery after starting. This would be a problem with any battery...
 

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I can't agree on that as those who had problems when they updated their battery with a new better model than the OEM battery never had any further issues afterwards. Never had to re-charge either. Most seems to acknowledge from this that the OEM battery simply wasn't enough for the Ascent
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The OEM battery is weak.... no doubt about that... but it's not useless.

And if the battery didn't have a bad cell it wouldn't be replaced under warranty, just recharged.

I no longer have the OEM battery, but a much better one and due to the very few and very short trips I had to recharge mine as well.
 
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