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I have something like this on my other car that has a weird electrical issue that drains my battery (under $20). If I know that car is going to sit for more than a day, I pull the "knife switch" up and it prevents any battery drain due to electrical components. Super easy to install if you're comfortable with a wrench and it gives me piece of mind that my battery won't be dead if I'm in a remote area. I am not minimizing your frustration and stress from this issue and the fact that there should be some way that Subaru fix this and retain the safety features but trying to suggest a solution so that you can enjoy the hatch open when camping and feel confident that your car will start when you need it too. I also have a portable jumpstarter, but this is a LOT cheaper. Best of luck!
Keep in mind that with many current generation vehicles, removing power from the multitude of vehicle computers can have an impact on their programming if it's for longer than a few minutes. It would be a good idea to check with a vehicle manufacturer to ascertain the implication of removing power like that before actually putting this setup in action.
 

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Also even if it was a bad area you were parking in and did this for security reasons... could you get back into the Ascent without power?
 

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According to Post #14 the TSB is for a gate that won't open, not to address these battery drain problems. I don't want to make a fool of myself at the dealership, spouting off about some TSB that doesn't pertain to the problem...

I grew up with less complex vehicles that didn't draw off the battery at all if the ign switch was off. IDK, the way these new cars work seems like the opposite of progress.

From what folks are saying in this thread, it sounds like an Ascent owner can discuss with dealer? Maybe they'll agree to replace the cheap OEM battery with something better, maybe they won't? Our Ascent has not given us as much grief as others are describing. But we haven't used it very much either.
 

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... could you get back into the Ascent without power?
You get into a dead Ascent through the driver's door with the metal key inside the fob. Then you can pop the hood and connect/jump/charge the battery.
 

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Ahh ok wasn't sure if they came with a key.. someone posted a while back they couldn't get into their Ascent when the battery died. I guess they didn't know. I'm waiting for the 2021. Whenever that may be. :)
 

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I have a 2020.

So my dealer is changing my power rear gate control module as per this
service bulletin. Tech says this WILL fix problem with the battery drain from the computer believing the gate is closed when it’s not.

he also said some people have extra issues when they have big rubber mats as gate doesn’t fully close even though there’s no light saying it’s not closed.

we will see...
15B3BFA9-02DC-439B-B897-1B82FB83CC16.jpeg
 

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...Tech says this WILL fix problem with the battery drain from the computer believing the gate is closed when it’s not.
That doesn't sound like the problem we're mostly concerned about, which is a high drain when the gate is open. One would hope that when the gate is closed (or the controller believes it is) there wouldn't be a high drain. Basically the problem is the TG is open, the controller knows it, and continues a 3Amp drain. Using the clip in the latch trick makes the controller think the TG is closed which causes the high drain to go away.

So either this TSB doesn't fix the problem, or the tech is mistaken in his description.
 

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Can anyone recommend an RFID bag that they KNOW hides the key fob from the car? There are lots of these RFID bags available. I don't want to buy one that doesn't work.

Thanks Simon_P for the copy of the Bulletin. That's helpful. It looks like the Bulletin is only for 2020 models? What about 2019?
 

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Can anyone recommend an RFID bag that they KNOW hides the key fob from the car? There are lots of these RFID bags available. I don't want to buy one that doesn't work.
FYI: You can make the fob invisible to the car by putting it to sleep, so you don't really need to use a RFID bag for that. It's on page 130 of the 2019 owner's manual.
4153
 

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TSB 07-155-19R > REVISED: 03/16/20
This bulletin announces a design change made to the PRG control module. This change is in response to a limited number of customer concerns regarding the rear gate not opening when operating the gate switch or dashboard switch on the vehicle or the button on the key fob. In addition to ensuring proper PRG system operation, the new logic also optimizes the PRG communication function. The change will prevent excessive dark draw which may over time, cause a low battery condition.

PRODUCTION CHANGE INFORMATION: The new PRG control modules were incorporated into production as follows: • Forester: Starting with VIN LH477261 • Ascent: Start of 2020MY production.

ECU- POWER REAR GATE
63350SJ006 2019-20MY Forester
63350XC10B 2019MY Ascent
it will take 20-25 minutes to power save mode to activate , and any time you touch any door or switch on the car, timer will reset
 

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TSB 07-155-19R > REVISED: 03/16/20


it will take 20-25 minutes to power save mode to activate , and any time you touch any door or switch on the car, timer will reset
I'd presume that perhaps having the FOB on hand will as well, then, since that reactivates lighting and starts waking the car?
 

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Thanks, GaryInMi - I appreciate you sharing the info from the Owner's Manual. There are thousands of things I don't know about this car. Discouraging. I hate to say this, but my wife and I like our 2001 Forester better than the new Ascent. I'd take the completely manual Forester tailgate over the motorized, computerized, trouble-prone Ascent gate.

I visited our dealership yesterday with a copy of the bulletin from Simon_P's Post #26 . Talked with a friendly service rep. He was familiar with that bulletin. He said they'd had a few customers come in with gates that had suffered an obvious failure. In other words, they weren't gonna perform that work on our car just because I wanted it.

I told him I'd been following some threads on the Ascent Forum. Said our Ascent battery has gone dead 3X. Asked if they'll upgrade a battery if the customer asks. He suggested leaving the car at the dealership overnight. That would allow them to do a more thorough parasitic draw test. We'll probably shuttle the car to them next week and see what happens.
 

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I just wanted to add something to this discussion. If you have never tried to use the metal key inside the fob, I'd encourage you to do so. Yesterday I tried to use it. Twisted the key left, then right, etc. etc. Nothing happened. I thought something was broke.

I finally twisted it hard enough to overcome some internal detent. If it feels like the key has hit the stops, try twisting harder. It travels thru resistance, then gets easier again. Twisting to the right opens the door, to the left locks it.

During the course of this learning experience, I took the fob back inside the house, then returned to the vehicle and tried to work the metal key. Somehow I managed to trip the alarm. Twice.

With the fob in hand, no alarm. I also tried disabling the fob (described on pg. 128 of the 2019 manual) then using the metal key. The driver's door locked/unlocked without setting off the alarm.
 

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I had some experience with the exceptional quality of the Subaru OEM batteries in our 2015 Outback. We were having "slow" starts, sometimes barely turning over, during the summer and fall of 2017, so I put in an AGM battery before winter. We were also experiencing power hatch issues and head unit resets at random. The new battery cured all of our electrical anomalies. We bought our Ascent in May of this year. Even though the battery is rated at 500 CCA's, much better than the 2015 Outback's 330 CCA's, every time I left the hatch open, or the doors open to load, etc. (Each door has a puddle lamp) I was worried about the weak battery in the Ascent, with only a 60 minute reserve capacity. We sprang for an Odyssey 35-PC1400T, which we installed without issue. My daughter has a 2016 Forester with a 2 year old Subaru battery that was replaced under warranty but showing signs of weakness, so I gave her the Ascent battery. The Forester Premium has much lower demands placed on the battery. Hopefully she will get 2-3 years out of it. Now we have battery peace of mind. LOL
I also tried our emergency key. It worked easily. Good thing to test!
 

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I recently had the PRG controller replaced under TSB 07-155-19R and measured the battery current with the tailgate open. Right after opening it was 2.2 A. After about 20 min it decreased to 0.2 A and remained there until the last time I checked 3 hrs later. With the (anemic) cargo light on, it was 0.4 A. This didnt' change if the key fob was left very near the Ascent.

This is considerably less than the pre TSB tailgate-open current drain of 4+ A measured by others, and would take well over a week to discharge the battery to 10.5 volts. I imagine you could leave the TG open at least a couple of days without issue. Someone may want to veryify this by leaving the gate open and reading the battery voltage over a few days' time.

My clamp-on current meter has a 0.1A resolution and registered a battery current of 0.0 A a minute or two after unlocking the car with all doors closed. I'm pretty sure it's more than zero but not enough to register on my meter. I did not measure the current drain in my Ascent prior to getting the controller replaced. (my bad) I didn't log current over time so there may be intermittent loads I didn't catch, or which where too short in duration to register on my meter.

2019 Ascent Premium with opt pkg 12.
 

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I recently had the PRG controller replaced under TSB 07-155-19R and measured the battery current with the tailgate open. Right after opening it was 2.2 A. After about 20 min it decreased to 0.2 A and remained there until the last time I checked 3 hrs later. With the (anemic) cargo light on, it was 0.4 A. This didnt' change if the key fob was left very near the Ascent.

This is considerably less than the pre TSB tailgate-open current drain of 4+ A measured by others, and would take well over a week to discharge the battery to 10.5 volts. I imagine you could leave the TG open at least a couple of days without issue. Someone may want to veryify this by leaving the gate open and reading the battery voltage over a few days time.

My clamp-on current meter has a 0.1A resolution and registered a battery current of 0.0 A a minute or two after unlocking the car with all doors closed. I'm pretty sure it's more than zero but not enough to register on my meter. I did not measure the current drain in my Ascent prior to getting the controller replaced. (my bad) I didn't log current over time so there may be intermittent loads I didn't catch, or which where to short in duration to register on my meter.

2019 Ascent Premium with opt pkg 12.
May I quote portions of this to help out others in the FB group who are looking for a solution? I can attribute it to your forum username or to "someone in the Ascent forums", if you prefer.
 

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Sure. Use my user name, Merope.

It would be good if others verified this.
I think you just made a lot of people happy. I am going to see if they can schedule mine, and, if so, I will replicate your tests and report back.
 
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