Subaru Ascent Forum banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I spent 3 months doing research and driving multiple vehicles, before I decided to purchase my first Subaru. I was showing off my new car (touring) to my mom just a couple hours after I drove off the lot. In the time it took me to show her the car, the battery died. It sounds like the battery had a bad cell. I sure hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I decided to go with the Subaru Ascent because I wanted reliable transportation, and it doesn't feel like a great start. Please, please, please tell me things will get better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
From what i understand, this is a known issue. Some folks are speculating that the battery may not have been sized correctly for the stock electrical load from the factory. I've got an optima yellow top on order for mine.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
Of course they will. You can read the forum for battery issues. The lift control module has been upgraded in your year so that will not be an additional issue for you. The battery is not the best and if it occurs again, don't fret, just replace it with an Odyssey and have SOA reimburse you. In this instance, they probably will replace it with another OEM battery. Lots of components in a new car. Some are bound to be defective in a small percentage of units.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6 Posts
I spent 3 months doing research and driving multiple vehicles, before I decided to purchase my first Subaru. I was showing off my new car (touring) to my mom just a couple hours after I drove off the lot. In the time it took me to show her the car, the battery died. It sounds like the battery had a bad cell. I sure hope this isn't a sign of things to come. I decided to go with the Subaru Ascent because I wanted reliable transportation, and it doesn't feel like a great start. Please, please, please tell me things will get better.
likely mine is 3 years old and not a problem, and it is a first year run so all the gremlins are in it .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
Having issues with a brand-new vehicle is not that unusual especially when a dealer does not properly prepare and check out a car before it's delivered. I recently purchased another new vehicle myself and it's been back to the dealer five times already in under 700 miles, so this is not a problem only with the Ascent.

The first thing anyone should do with their Ascent is to replace the battery. The battery Subaru supplies with these vehicles is simply not heavy-duty enough for the high electrical demands of the vehicle. This is a well-known issue and SOA has been allowing Ascent owners credit for purchasing a heavy-duty battery. This has been well documented in this forum.

Sorry you got off to a rough start, but you're going to love your new Ascent.
 

·
Registered
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
Joined
·
52 Posts
So are we saying that even the new 2021s have the questionable battery??
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
So are we saying that even the new 2021s have the questionable battery??
the bad battery referenced from the OP had a bad cell which is very different from the issues the OEM battery faced. The primary problem was a electrical drain which the OEM battery could not handle. The drain problem was addressed but the same OEM battery has been provided by the factory. SOA is not just handing out Odyssey batteries when asked. There must be a documented issue that a new battery addresses. I do agree that Subaru should be providing a better OEM battery from the factory, but in most scenarios with the new module it suffices.
 

·
Super Moderator
2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
Joined
·
4,569 Posts
So are we saying that even the new 2021s have the questionable battery??
To be clear...the battery isn't a bad battery...the battery size/capacity is questionable for the size/load of this vehicle. But not everyone faces this, either. Mine is just fine to-date. I think there is a "how do you use" factor that plays a role here, too, as well as some vehicles have had parasitic drain from faulty rear hatch electronics, etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
To be clear...the battery isn't a bad battery...the battery size/capacity is questionable for the size/load of this vehicle. But not everyone faces this, either. Mine is just fine to-date. I think there is a "how do you use" factor that plays a role here, too, as well as some vehicles have had parasitic drain from faulty rear hatch electronics, etc.
in this instance this specific battery was defective with a bad cell. It is true the OEM batteries are not all "bad", they are just not the most powerful in their size class.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
the bad battery referenced from the OP had a bad cell which is very different from the issues the OEM battery faced. The primary problem was a electrical drain which the OEM battery could not handle. The drain problem was addressed but the same OEM battery has been provided by the factory. SOA is not just handing out Odyssey batteries when asked. There must be a documented issue that a new battery addresses. I do agree that Subaru should be providing a better OEM battery from the factory, but in most scenarios with the new module it suffices.
Originally, I was told that the battery was fine, but I did ask them to leave the car doors open for 10-15 minutes, to try to replicate my experience. It seems reasonable to expect that the car doors could remain open for 15 to 20 minutes (I do have to vacuum every once and a while). They called back and apologized and said actually there was a bad cell.

This is my first Subaru, and 4th "brand" new car, and I've never experienced a drop of problems with a new car purchase. I wasn't aware of the battery issue until I had owned the car for 3 hours, and while the battery issue is well documented in this forum, the reports were for the 2019 and 2020. I would have anticipated that the issued would have been addressed by now.

The dealer provided a loaner, so I've had an opportunity to have a bit of a Subaru driving experience today, and I have to admit, I love it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
Originally, I was told that the battery was fine, but I did ask them to leave the car doors open for 10-15 minutes, to try to replicate my experience. It seems reasonable to expect that the car doors could remain open for 15 to 20 minutes (I do have to vacuum every once and a while). They called back and apologized and said actually there was a bad cell.

This is my first Subaru, and 4th "brand" new car, and I've never experienced a drop of problems with a new car purchase. I wasn't aware of the battery issue until I had owned the car for 3 hours, and while the battery issue is well documented in this forum, the reports were for the 2019 and 2020. I would have anticipated that the issued would have been addressed by now.

The dealer provided a loaner, so I've had an opportunity to have a bit of a Subaru driving experience today, and I have to admit, I love it!
As I noted in my previous post, the known problem has been addressed in the 2020 and 2021 with a new lift gate control module. If the OEM battery had been damaged due to the problem module than the battery woudl be replaced. You have an entirely different issue of a defective OEM battery (bad cell) which is not a widespread issue at all. 2019 builds like mine that had a bad drain issue were given the new module. In my case it ruined my battery so I got that replaced as well.
 

·
Registered
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
Joined
·
52 Posts
Ok. So this then begs the question, under what set of circumstances would this stingy battery struggle?
under what conditions should one be concerned? We are often in -20°F , would this setting prove problematic for this battery even if newish?
That’s not exactly when I want to see a failure!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
Ok. So this then begs the question, under what set of circumstances would this stingy battery struggle?
under what conditions should one be concerned? We are often in -20°F , would this setting prove problematic for this battery even if newish?
That’s not exactly when I want to see a failure!!
CCA - cold cranking amps is the initial power available to crank, while the reserve capacity is important for managing all the other electronics when the engine is not running. cold weather takes a toll on batteries and will diminish their reserve and how long they can sit without being charged again.

explanation
 

·
Registered
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
Joined
·
52 Posts
CCA - cold cranking amps is the initial power available to crank, while the reserve capacity is important for managing all the other electronics when the engine is not running. cold weather takes a toll on batteries and will diminish their reserve and how long they can sit without being charged again.

explanation
Exactly. That’s why i mention it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
Exactly. That’s why i mention it!
Subaru nor other manufacturers are going to supply a OEM battery for areas that "often" experience -20F. In all autos being considered for purchase it would be reasonable for the buyer to expect to replace the battery for those extreme temps immediately. Dealers selling in those areas should probably create some dealer battery options during the sales process.
 

·
Registered
2021 Subaru Ascent Touring
Joined
·
52 Posts
Hmmm. In the NE, areas where Subaru is heavily represented, areas with lots of outdoor winter sports, we see temps dip well below zero. Subaru is heavily represented by dealers in NY, VT, other “ski” states and yes, temps often dip that low. An AWD car is meant for snowy regions. Then it would be logical, if the battery was less than competent, they would offer a battery upgrade as part of a cold weather package. IMHO
-20°F is not really that shocking in many parts of the US 😉
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,327 Posts
As I noted in my previous post, the known problem has been addressed in the 2020 and 2021 with a new lift gate control module. If the OEM battery had been damaged due to the problem module than the battery woudl be replaced. You have an entirely different issue of a defective OEM battery (bad cell) which is not a widespread issue at all. 2019 builds like mine that had a bad drain issue were given the new module. In my case it ruined my battery so I got that replaced as well.
I'm not entirely convinced that the OEM battery had a bad cell. It just doesn't add up. A brand-new battery rarely has a bad cell and if it did, the voltage would have been so low that it would have been noticed the first time the vehicle was started. Cells degrade over time until they fail entirely. It's very rare for a cell to immediately become bad as the OP indicated. It's much more likely that the dealer did not properly charge the battery before delivery and that it was too badly discharged to restart the car. The dealer then probably covered his tracks by saying that a cell was bad.

I had the gate control module TSB done on my 2019 Ascent and it didn't resolve the problem. My battery would discharge randomly to the point it where could not start the car, especially when I didn't drive the car for a few days. I would get into the car and it wouldn't start. I would then check the battery voltage and it was discharged below 10 VDC. This was simply with the car sitting in the garage untouched for a few days. No doors or tailgate were open and the key fobs were three floors away. This happened many times. The only solution was to replace the OEM battery with a heavy-duty battery.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,966 Posts
Hmmm. In the NE, areas where Subaru is heavily represented, areas with lots of outdoor winter sports, we see temps dip well below zero. Subaru is heavily represented by dealers in NY, VT, other “ski” states and yes, temps often dip that low. An AWD car is meant for snowy regions. Then it would be logical, if the battery was less than competent, they would offer a battery upgrade as part of a cold weather package. IMHO
-20°F is not really that shocking in many parts of the US 😉
I grew up in the NY, lived in Philadelphia, MA and now CO. -20 is very rare. Single digits, yes, below zero on rare occasion but designing for -20 is never going to happen. See map below for actual data.

 

·
Registered
2021 Subaru Ascent, 2015 Kia K900
Joined
·
122 Posts
Originally, I was told that the battery was fine, but I did ask them to leave the car doors open for 10-15 minutes, to try to replicate my experience. It seems reasonable to expect that the car doors could remain open for 15 to 20 minutes (I do have to vacuum every once and a while). They called back and apologized and said actually there was a bad cell.

This is my first Subaru, and 4th "brand" new car, and I've never experienced a drop of problems with a new car purchase. I wasn't aware of the battery issue until I had owned the car for 3 hours, and while the battery issue is well documented in this forum, the reports were for the 2019 and 2020. I would have anticipated that the issued would have been addressed by now.

The dealer provided a loaner, so I've had an opportunity to have a bit of a Subaru driving experience today, and I have to admit, I love it!
I had a 2014 Forester and 2015 Outback, both purchased new. Both of them had the same problem - a bad bearing on the rear driver's side. Both replaced under warranty and that was the extent of problems I had with them. The Forester is now with my son and has about 140,000 miles on it. A year ago, with about 70K miles on it, I stupidly traded the Outback in when buying a Volvo XC90. I should have listened to my wife when she said "don't do it". The Volvo never grew on either of us. We rid ourselves of it last week and got a 2021 Ascent Touring. I have all the confidence that the Ascent will be as reliable as my Forester and Outback was.
 

·
Premium Member
Subaru XV/Crosstrek
Joined
·
4 Posts
I stupidly traded the Outback in when buying a Volvo XC90. I should have listened to my wife when she said "don't do it". The Volvo never grew on either of us. We rid ourselves of it last week and got a 2021 Ascent Touring. I have all the confidence that the Ascent will be as reliable as my Forester and Outback was.
sorry for offtop, but what wrong with XC90 ?
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top