Subaru Forester Battery Problems: Causes and Solutions

(Last Updated On: February 17, 2024)

If you own a Subaru Forester, you may have experienced issues with your battery. The Forester is a popular compact SUV that has been plagued by battery problems, according to numerous reports. These issues can be frustrating and inconvenient, especially if your car won’t start when you need it to.

One of the most common problems with the Subaru Forester’s battery is premature failure. This means that the battery dies before it should, leaving you stranded and in need of a jump start or a replacement battery. Some owners have reported that their Forester’s battery has died after just a few months, which is far shorter than the expected lifespan of a car battery.

If you’re experiencing battery problems with your Subaru Forester, you’re not alone. Many other owners have reported similar issues, and there have even been lawsuits filed against Subaru over the problem. It’s important to get the issue addressed as soon as possible, as a dead battery can cause other problems with your car’s electrical system.


Understanding Subaru Forester Battery Issues

Newest model of the Subaru Forester which is no longer experiencing ongoing battery problems

If you own a Subaru Forester, you may have experienced some battery-related issues. In this section, we’ll cover some common symptoms of battery problems, causes of premature battery failure, and how battery drain can be a problem in Subaru Foresters.

Common Symptoms of Battery Problems

When your battery is failing or dead, you may experience some of the following symptoms:

  • Your Forester won’t start or is slow to start.
  • Your headlights are dim or flickering.
  • Your radio or other electrical components don’t work.
  • You hear clicking sounds when you turn the key in the ignition.

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s important to get your battery checked as soon as possible.

Causes of Premature Battery Failure

Premature battery failure can be caused by a number of factors. Some common causes include:

  • Extreme temperatures: Batteries can fail in extreme heat or cold.
  • Lack of use: If you don’t drive your Forester regularly, the battery can become drained and eventually fail.
  • Overcharging: Overcharging your battery can cause it to fail prematurely.
  • Faulty alternator: A faulty alternator can cause your battery to fail prematurely.

Battery Drain in Subaru Forester

Battery drain is a common problem in Subaru Foresters, especially in newer models. This can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • Parasitic draw: This is when electrical components in your Forester continue to draw power even when the car is turned off.
  • Faulty electrical components: Faulty electrical components can cause a drain on your battery.
  • Aging battery: As your battery ages, it may not hold a charge as well as it used to.

If you suspect that your Forester is experiencing battery drain, it’s important to get it checked out by a professional.

In conclusion, understanding the common symptoms and causes of battery problems, as well as the issue of battery drain, can help you address any issues with your Subaru Forester’s battery. By staying on top of battery maintenance and addressing any problems as soon as they arise, you can ensure that your Forester remains reliable and ready to hit the road.

Here are my suggestions for the best battery chargers, and the best portable jumpers, that can help prevent these issues, or save you when need be.

Technical Insights

Electrical Systems Analysis

The electrical system of your Subaru Forester is a complex network of components that work together to keep your vehicle running smoothly. The battery is the heart of the electrical system, providing power to start the engine and run the various electrical components. However, there are other components in the system that can affect the battery’s performance, such as the alternator, starter, and voltage regulator.

Voltage and Corrosion Factors

Voltage is a critical factor in the performance of your Subaru Forester’s battery. If the voltage is too low, the battery may not be able to start the engine, while if the voltage is too high, it can damage the battery and other electrical components. Corrosion is another factor that can affect the performance of your battery. Corrosion can occur on the battery terminals, cables, and other electrical components, which can lead to poor electrical connections and reduced performance.

Parasitic Draw and Electrical Load

Parasitic draw refers to the electrical load on your battery when the engine is off. This can be caused by various components such as the radio, clock, and other electrical components that continue to draw power even when the engine is off. If the parasitic draw is too high, it can drain your battery and cause starting problems. Electrical load refers to the amount of power consumed by the various electrical components in your vehicle. If the electrical load is too high, it can cause your battery to drain quickly, leading to starting problems.

To ensure the optimal performance of your Subaru Forester’s battery, it is essential to have your electrical system checked regularly. This will help identify any issues with the system, such as voltage problems, corrosion, parasitic draw, or high electrical loads. By addressing these issues promptly, you can ensure that your battery performs at its best and avoid starting problems.

Subaru’s Approach to Battery Issues

A custom Forester, but positioned to introduce the topic of how Subaru reacted to the battery problems of the Forester

If you’re experiencing battery issues with your Subaru Forester, Subaru of America has several approaches to help you solve the problem.

Service Bulletins and Recall Information

Subaru has issued several service bulletins and recalls related to battery problems in Forester models. These bulletins are intended to help dealerships diagnose and fix problems related to battery drain, alternator issues, and other electrical problems. If you’re experiencing battery issues, it’s worth checking to see if there are any relevant service bulletins or recalls that apply to your vehicle.

Subaru’s Extended Warranty Service

Subaru offers an extended warranty service for certain models that covers battery-related issues. The warranty extends coverage for up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you’re experiencing battery problems, it may be worth checking to see if your vehicle is covered under this extended warranty.

Software Updates and Engineering Solutions

Subaru is continually working to improve its engineering and design approach to battery issues. In some cases, software updates may be available that can help mitigate battery drain issues. Additionally, Subaru engineers are working to identify and address the root causes of battery problems in Forester models. If you’re experiencing battery issues, it’s worth checking with your dealership to see if any software updates or engineering solutions are available for your vehicle.

In summary, if you’re experiencing battery issues with your Subaru Forester, there are several approaches that Subaru of America has taken to help you solve the problem. These include service bulletins and recalls, extended warranty service, and software updates and engineering solutions. By taking advantage of these resources, you can help ensure that your vehicle remains in good working order and avoid being stranded due to a dead battery.

If you’re experiencing battery issues with your Subaru Forester, you may be wondering about your legal and warranty options. Here is an overview of the class action lawsuit, settlement details, and warranty extensions.

Class Action Lawsuit Overview

In 2022, Subaru of America faced a class action lawsuit over battery issues in certain models, including the Forester. The lawsuit alleged that the batteries were defective and prone to draining prematurely, causing inconvenience and unexpected repair costs for vehicle owners.

Subaru Battery Settlement Details

In response to the lawsuit, Subaru of America reached a settlement agreement in 2023. The settlement offers cash reimbursements and extended warranties to eligible vehicle owners who have experienced battery issues. The settlement covers certain models, including the Forester, from model years 2015 to 2020.

Warranty Extensions and Reimbursement Process

Under the settlement, eligible vehicle owners can receive a warranty extension for their battery, covering up to 10 years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. Additionally, eligible vehicle owners can receive cash reimbursements for battery replacements or related repairs that were not covered by the original warranty.

To be eligible for the settlement, vehicle owners must have experienced battery issues and meet certain eligibility criteria. Claim forms must be submitted by a deadline, which has not yet been announced. For more information on the settlement and to submit a claim, visit the Subaru Battery Settlement website.

It’s important to note that even if your vehicle is not covered by the settlement, you may still be eligible for warranty extensions or reimbursement under Subaru’s New Car Basic Warranty. If you’re experiencing battery issues, contact your local Subaru dealer to discuss your options.


Maintaining Your Subaru Forester Battery

To ensure optimal performance and longevity of your Subaru Forester’s battery, it is essential to follow best practices for battery maintenance. In this section, we will discuss the steps you can take to maintain your battery’s health and troubleshoot any issues that may arise.

Best Practices for Battery Maintenance

Here are some best practices to follow for maintaining your Subaru Forester battery:

  • Keep your battery terminals clean and free of corrosion. Use a battery terminal cleaner and a wire brush to remove any buildup.
  • Check your battery’s water level regularly. If your battery is not maintenance-free, you will need to add distilled water to keep the plates covered.
  • Avoid leaving your car’s lights or other electronics on when the engine is off. This can drain your battery and cause starting problems.
  • If you are not going to be driving your car for an extended period, consider disconnecting the battery or using a battery tender to keep it charged.

Here are my suggestions for the best battery chargers, and the best portable jumpers, that can help prevent these issues, or save you when need be.

Troubleshooting and Diagnosing Battery Issues

If you are experiencing issues with your Subaru Forester battery, here are some troubleshooting steps you can take:

  • Check your battery’s voltage with a multimeter. A fully charged battery should read around 12.6 volts.
  • If your battery is not holding a charge or is consistently low, it may be time for a replacement.
  • If your battery is not the issue, you may need to have your alternator or starter checked by a professional.

When to Seek Professional Help

If you are unsure about any of the steps involved in maintaining your Subaru Forester battery, it is best to seek professional help. Your local Subaru dealer can provide you with information on battery testing, replacement, and other services. If you are experiencing starting problems or need a tow, consider contacting a towing service or roadside assistance provider for help. Remember, regular maintenance and care can help you avoid costly repairs and keep your Subaru Forester running smoothly.

Comparative Analysis

Subaru Forester vs Competitors’ Battery Reliability

When it comes to battery reliability, the Subaru Forester has had its fair share of issues. However, it’s important to note that other car manufacturers have also experienced battery problems. For instance, Honda, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and Toyota have all had reported battery issues in some of their models.

In terms of battery reliability, the Subaru Forester is comparable to its competitors. While there have been some reported issues with battery drain and dead batteries, these issues are not unique to the Forester. It’s always a good idea to perform regular maintenance on your car’s battery, regardless of the make and model.

Aftermarket Battery Options and Accessories

If you’re looking for aftermarket battery options and accessories for your Subaru Forester, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, it’s important to choose a reputable brand that is known for producing high-quality batteries. Some popular brands include Optima, Interstate, and DieHard.

When it comes to aftermarket accessories, there are a variety of options available for the Forester. Some popular accessories include battery chargers, battery tenders, and battery testers. These accessories can help extend the life of your car’s battery and ensure that it’s always in good working condition.

Overall, while the Subaru Forester has had some reported battery issues, it’s important to keep in mind that these issues are not unique to the Forester. By performing regular maintenance on your car’s battery and choosing high-quality aftermarket accessories, you can help ensure that your Forester’s battery remains reliable and long-lasting.

Consumer Guidance

If you are experiencing battery problems with your Subaru Forester, there are some steps you can take to ensure you receive the support you need. This section will cover some important information and guidance to help you navigate the process.

Understanding Warranty and Support

Subaru provides a warranty on all new vehicles, which covers the battery for a period of 36 months or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first. If your Forester is still under warranty and you are experiencing battery problems, you may be able to have the issue resolved at no cost to you.

It’s important to note that the warranty does not cover damage caused by neglect, misuse, or accidents. If your battery has been damaged due to one of these reasons, you may be responsible for the cost of repair or replacement.

If you have experienced battery-related issues with your Forester and have had to pay for repairs or replacement out of pocket, you may be eligible for reimbursement. In order to claim reimbursement, you will need to provide supporting documentation, such as receipts or invoices, that show the cost of the repairs.

To claim reimbursement, you will need to contact Subaru of America’s Customer Support team. They will provide you with instructions on how to submit your claim and what documentation you will need to provide.

Future Outlook and Preventative Measures

While Subaru has acknowledged and addressed battery issues in some models, it’s always a good idea to take preventative measures to avoid unexpected repair costs. Some things you can do to help prolong the life of your battery include:

  • Regularly checking the battery’s charge level and ensuring it’s properly charged
  • Avoiding leaving your Forester parked for extended periods of time without starting it
  • Keeping your Forester’s electrical system in good working order

By taking these steps, you can help ensure that your Forester’s battery stays healthy and avoid unexpected repair costs.

Overall, if you are experiencing battery problems with your Subaru Forester, it’s important to understand your warranty and support options, as well as how to claim reimbursement if necessary. Additionally, taking preventative measures can help prolong the life of your battery and give you peace of mind while driving.

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