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Parasitic Draw?


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Hi everyone.

 

I have a 2019 Legacy 3.6 with about 800 miles on it. I'm having a no start/dead battery issue and I thought I'd look to gain some knowledge before dropping my car off at the dealer.

 

I went to test drive the vehicle on 12/31 and the dealer had to jump start the car on their remote lot before I could drive it. I thought maybe it had just sat a long time and kind of brushed it off. My bad.

 

One week into ownership battery is completely dead. Not even a warning light. Took to the dealer and they replaced the battery.

 

Fast forward to today and after sitting for about 5 days, yep, you guessed it, completely dead again. Not a hint of life.

 

After doing a search I did not come up with much that applies to newer model years.

 

Are there any known parasitic draw issues with 2018/19 MY's?

 

Thanks.

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Wow, that sucks! I had this happen on my 2015 2.5i Premium, after 2,000mi (I believe the post can be found somewhere on here). It happened once or twice, but never again. My 2018 2.5 sits about 2 or so weeks at a time, and then I'll drive it about 50mi and it gets parked again - no issues so far with anything.

 

It's inconvenient, but call the service dept every time it dies, have it towed into the dealership if you want, as it all needs to be documented.

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Are there any known parasitic draw issues with 2018/19 MY's?

No. All modern cars have some small "dark current" (a.k.a. parasitic draw) while parked. The Subaru dark current spec is 70 mA (0.07 amps) maximum, which a healthy OE battery should be able to sustain for more than three weeks at a sitting.

 

The most common cause of high dark current is inadvertently leaving a light on, followed closely by something that prevents the car's computers from going to sleep while the vehicle is parked. One possible cause is leaving the fob for a car with keyless entry too close to the vehicle.

 

If all else fails, ask your dealer to perform a dark current test on your Legacy per TSB 07-85-14.

Edited by ammcinnis

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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All I can say is WOW.

 

I called this AM and got an appt for the first opening, which is Tuesday. I explained that with the car not starting it's not much use to me so I was going to drop it off today. When I got there the service adviser that wrote me up is not the one that was assigned my appt. So when they look at it I am going to be handed off to him.

 

Anyway, what the adviser told me is that modern cars with all the electronics should not sit for 4 days without being run. It is also likely caused by something I am doing.

 

I'd say we are not off to a good start on this visit.

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... what the adviser told me is that modern cars with all the electronics should not sit for 4 days without being run.

Totally incorrect. Ask him/her to show you a Subaru document that backs up that assertion.

 

It is also likely caused by something I am doing.
Unfortunately, that is usually the case. But the bright side is that it's usually easy to fix.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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This happens if you have a garage at home and leave your fob in the car when you go inside and close the garage. That's a common problem across brands/models with fobs these days. Could that be the case for you? Make sure your fob is far away from the car when you park so that it is not activating the proximity sensors to the fob. Not even next to the car as the "approach lights" will want to illuminate if you are leaving it near the doors hanging on a tool box or something like that in the garage.

 

Otherwise your car should sit for weeks without issue.

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This happens if you have a garage at home and leave your fob in the car when you go inside and close the garage. That's a common problem across brands/models with fobs these days. Could that be the case for you? Make sure your fob is far away from the car when you park so that it is not activating the proximity sensors to the fob. Not even next to the car as the "approach lights" will want to illuminate if you are leaving it near the doors hanging on a tool box or something like that in the garage.

 

Otherwise your car should sit for weeks without issue.

 

I can try keeping it further away but the car is parked in our third stall and the keys are on the wall inside the door to the house. Probably 20 feet away and thru one wall.

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We'll see if the dealer finds anything. If not, I'll try to keep the remote further away.

 

If that does not work and it continues to die I guess I am just racking up the number of visits and days out of service to lemon it.

 

Does it make any difference regarding the fob if the car is locked or not? I'm just wondering if there is less contact/draw if the car is locked.

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Laughing at Oneself and with Other is good for the Soul😆
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We'll see if the dealer finds anything. If not, I'll try to keep the remote further away.

 

If that does not work and it continues to die I guess I am just racking up the number of visits and days out of service to lemon it.

 

Does it make any difference regarding the fob if the car is locked or not? I'm just wondering if there is less contact/draw if the car is locked.

 

It shouldn't matter if your car is locked or unlocked. As long as your key fob isn't close enough to start the car (from the inside of the car), turn on your approach lights, or open the car with the touch-less feature within the door handles then you key "should" be far enough away from the car. Anything over 5 feet should be sufficient as the key needs to be close to activate those features. The car is always going to be searching for the key fob regardless of distance but as long as the key isn't close enough to have it start activating other systems, that really shouldn't matter.

 

The only other things I can think of to try is the signal blocker that was suggested or more your key as far away as you can. I would also confirm the alternator charging your battery by testing the voltage of your battery after you take a trip or two, but if your alternator is bad your battery light should be turning on.

 

I normally keep my key about 10 ft from my car and haven't had issues.

 

Good luck and let us know how/if it gets resolved!

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... I guess I am just racking up the number of visits and days out of service to lemon it.

In general, you can't "lemon" a car that is working as designed.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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In general, you can't "lemon" a car that is working as designed.

 

Don't intend to start a pissing match but I would contend a car that does not start does not work as designed. Unless simply moving the remote fixes the issue.

 

Given the fact that the car was dead on the dealers lot causes me to be skeptical that I am doing anything.

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Don't intend to start a pissing match but ...

Good luck with your problem, but being confrontational is not likely to be productive. Have a nice day.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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Good luck with your problem, but being confrontational is not likely to be productive. Have a nice day.

 

Wha? I said my point wasn't to be confrontational. I simply disagree that if it is not the remote being too close there is some defect in the car.

 

You confuse me........

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I said my point wasn't to be confrontational.

And yet in your 5th post (ever) on this forum you start talking about "lemoning" the car. That's confrontational. People here are trying to be helpful, if you'll only let them.

"If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there." ~ The Cheshire Cat (Alice in Wonderland)

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And yet in your 5th post (ever) on this forum you start talking about "lemoning" the car. That's confrontational. People here are trying to be helpful, if you'll only let them.

 

Ok, that was not my intent. I don't see lemoning as being confrontational. To me confrontational is calling someone stupid or a liar, which clearly nobody here has done.

 

The car is what it is. It has now failed to start, completely dead, 3 times in 24 days. The first time, when I was not yet the owner, was on the dealer remote lot so the fob was nowhere near the car (I assume).

 

If they don't find a parasitic draw, bad alternator, or if moving the remote further away does not keep the battery from dying and it fails to start after sitting 4 days I don't know what else I would call it. I sure as heck would look for satisfaction from Subaru. Telling someone they need to drive a car every couple of days is not an answer.

 

But to cover my bases I am documenting every detail if ever does come to dealing with the lemon law.

 

Hopefully they will have a chance to look at it today.

 

Peace.

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OK, here's an update. Talked with the advisor that was assigned my car and not the guy that checked me in and who said it was likely something I was doing. This new guy seems like a very good dude.

 

They charged the battery yesterday and let it sit over night. Came in and battery was measuring 5 volts this AM. They measured the parasitic draw and it was at 3 amps. He says it's the highest value he has ever seen.

 

His crew does not work again until Tuesday so I have to wait until then for them to try to track down the issue further.

 

I really enjoy when people blame me before doing any investigative work.

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We'll see if the dealer finds anything. If not, I'll try to keep the remote further away.

 

If that does not work and it continues to die I guess I am just racking up the number of visits and days out of service to lemon it.

 

Does it make any difference regarding the fob if the car is locked or not? I'm just wondering if there is less contact/draw if the car is locked.

 

In general, you can't "lemon" a car that is working as designed.

 

Get an aluminum coffee can with a metal lid and place your keys and or fob in it. You can test it by walking pass the car to see if it activates, it shouldn't allow you in. Try that for a few days and if you're still experiencing the same problem give the dealership a few goes at fixing it. If that's fails lemon law it quickly, the older the vehicle gets the harder it becomes. What state are you in?

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What a bunch of worthless responses to the OP!

 

1. The battery was dead on the lot. This means that the battery was degraded right from the get-go. If the battery continues to exhibit poor performance, it's likely...the battery.

 

2. 3A parasitic draw is absolutely astounding! Either you have a major issue or they're all screwed up. Seriously, 3A is major, man.

'15 FB25

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just because we weren't right in this case doesn't mean our info was worthless. its absolutely true that keeping a fob near or inside a parked car will drain the battery. The same thing is well covered on the Chevrolet SS forums (a previous car of mine so I was active on there for a while), FYI.

 

I'm glad to hear the dealership stepped up and was willing to help, of course the "internet mechanics" missed this one, but we also didn't have tools to hook up and help in person. Can't always assume the car is at fault....

 

Good luck, OP, the dealer should be able to narrow that down for you! Keep us posted.

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