('09-'13) New 2012 dead - Subaru Forester Owners Forum
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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New 2012 dead

Originally, I was going to post our 2009 Legacy for sale today on the forum, but our brand new 2012 Forester is dead in the drive.

My wife noticed that her key wasn't unlocking the car and grabbed mine in case there was something wrong with her key. It still didn't work. She unlocked the door the old-fashioned way and didn't even get a click when turning the ignition. It seems the battery is dead. I checked the cables with a flashlight before rain started and they seem to be fine. I've got a couple of questions that you guys may be able to help me with before I call Subaru in the morning.

Any ideas, other than defective battery, of what might have caused this?

Have any of you had to call the 24 hour roadside assistance? If so, can I tell them which dealership to tow it to (the one near me is slammed at the moment and we need the car on Saturday)? Also, do I first pay out of pocket for towing and then Subaru reimburses me?

Thanks for any help...I'm slightly frustrated.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 09:16 PM
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Why are you going through all the hassle of calling Subaru, trying to get it towed, etc?

Have you tried to jump start it yet????

It's obviously a dead battery, and yes, with the changing weather, even new batteries can drop a cell and fail. Jump start it and see if it starts. You can even just take out the battery, take it down to the nearest Autozone or auto parts store and have them test the battery to see if it's good (even then, sometimes they can pass, when they're really bad). If is indeed a bad battery, jump it in the morning, and drive it down to the dealership and tell them the battery is no good.

I'm not sure how savvy you are with cars, so read the jump starting guide in your owners manual and follow those precautions, but mostly, just connect the positive on each battery (the jump vehicle, and the dead vehicle), then the negatives. Always start with the jump vehicle first. Depending on how "thick" the jumper cables are, you should get immediate life out of the dead vehicle. If not, give it a couple of minutes, then try starting it.

2004 XT - RIP
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Last edited by Blue Fox; 10-18-2012 at 09:28 PM.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Because I work at 5:30 in the morning. That is why.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 09:22 PM
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You can jump start it and find out in less than 5 minutes, then take it around the block and see if it holds a charge. If it does, take it for a longer drive (say 20 minutes or so), and that should charge the battery back up.

2004 XT - RIP
2005 XT - 5MT - 2" LIFT JOURNAL
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 11:49 PM
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after getting it started, check for any lights (interior) lights left on. That is the number one cause of dead batteries

Steve
ASE Master Tech
Subaru Tech
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 04:02 AM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Any ideas, other than defective battery, of what might have caused this?
Your 2012 Forester has a built-in "Battery drainage prevention function" (OM pages 22, 2-5, and 2-6) . It's supposed to turn off many of the interior lights if they're left on, but it doesn't control them all.

Specifically, check the cargo area light switch setting ("Door"?) and whether the rear hatch (the "door" for the cargo area light switch) was fully closed. See OM page 6-3 for additional info.

In the meantime, if the Legacy is running OK, then you should be able to jump the Forester.

As far as Subaru's Roadside Assistance program goes, here's a link to info.

HTH, and best of luck!
Jim / crewzer

12 Forester 2.5X FB25 5MT Premium AWP PZEV
09 Forester 2.5X EJ25 5MT Premium AWP PZEV (sold 7/2011)

Last edited by crewzer; 10-19-2012 at 05:58 AM.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 05:41 AM
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The last time I had to call a manufacturer's road side assistance program it was going to take them over an hour to get to me and they were going to tow it 45 miles in the wrong direction because it was 7 miles closer than my dealership. I popped the clutch and limped it home. I knew I could get at least 7 miles south so I could get home to my dealership (inline fuse had blown - no starter, HVAC, radio, etc).

AAA was an option, but they weren't going to tow it all the way to my dealership without costing me $2/mile, on the plan I had at the time.


Jump the battery and drive it to work. Usually a 15-20 minute drive in is long enough to charge the battery back up. Or swap batteries with the '09 if you don't drive that far.

My rear hatch has killed my battery twice since I got it. We just have to learn our new cars and pay more attention.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 07:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information on the rear hatch light, inline fuse, and the roadside assistance. Anything that I do, I'll have to do after work now. With the way it is parked, jumping it is out and I think I'll swap out the batteries and check things from there. Thanks for answering the questions.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biketowork101 View Post
With the way it is parked, jumping it is out
A $30 or 40 investment in a jump start box is a lot more assured means of always being able to get around a dead battery, regardless of where you might be stuck. Be sure to establish a regular topoff schedule for it.

I note that you're from 'Portland'. Which one? This could have bearing on other members volunteering to help out in this or other situations.

2003 XS Premium MT >200k miles! ● 2005 Impreza 2.5 RS MT ● Robin-Subaru Powered Generator
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 09:58 AM
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It was about to rain while he was looking at it, so I'd guess Oregon A jump box (or cables), an cheap electrical meter, and a $30 socket set can go a long way in these circumstances. I keep all 3 in my car at all times. If you want to mess with it when you get home, hop on here and we'll give you some pointers.

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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 08:49 PM
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Hey Biker, I had the same thing happen to my '12 Forester. I had bought it just across the river from you in Vancouver WA. I had it about 2 weeks when it was dead in the driveway. Rather than messing around with it, I called Subaru assistance and they towed it to the local dealer. The dealer could find nothing wrong. I'm pretty certain that I had not left any lights on. I had however left the car unlocked for a week without using it. The dealer charged the battery....this happened 10 months ago, haven't had a problem since.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 09:01 PM
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The rear hatch light drained mine once, too. I had put a tall trash container in there standing up that I throw all our recyclable plastic in and take to the recycle location. I must have hit the switch to 'always on' when removing the container. Dead as a door nail two days later.

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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-20-2012, 09:18 PM
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Strange we haven't heard back from him yet .... Ill bet they left an interior light on..

2009 Forester X Premium 4EAT

Respect The Wagon!
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 12:00 AM
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Why not have or get a $49 battery charger on hand for just these moments? One of these plus an 100ft extension cord and you can charge the car up just about anywhere short of being stuck out in the country.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-21-2012, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for everything. We had to travel for a wedding and did not get back until late last night.

Because of your help, after work on Friday I located the battery drain very quickly; it was the tailgate light. A small bag got caught in the hatch and it did not close all the way the last time we used the car, Monday evening. I pulled the battery and was able to charge it up without any trouble. A big thanks to crewzer and ADaughen for pointing me to where to look and sharing your experience with Subaru roadside assistance.
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