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2014 Forester XT CVT
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Am curious about how everyone keeps their batteries charged.

I purchased a Battery Tender 022-0148-DL-WH 12-Volt 4-Bank Battery Management System back in 2010. It has worked for 4 years 24/7. I now keep my Forester '14XT touring and my '14 Outback 3.6 R fully charged to include my motorcycle and lawn mower. I also had a 08 STi and another vehicle. Once I had this battery tender on, I never had to replace batteries or other electrical issues. Our batteries get much demand today as opposed to previous years. This battery tender is not a trickle charger that does not shut off. It has has saved me lots of $$$ for batteries and all my vehicles never ever have an electrical issue. My Forester 14 XT especially needs a full battery charge all the time. I normally hook up my battery tender every 2-3 weeks to both Subaru's just to make sure. Never an issue. Just wondered what everyone else does for their batteries as I do not think that that our batteries have keep up with all the new technology with cars.
 

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2019 Crosstrek 2018 XT
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14,698 Posts
Well considering Ilive in Pa and my vehicle sits out. The Battery for my 01 Nissan got replaced after 12 years and I gave it to a friend who uses it in his tractor. I put the one from my subaru (5 years old)and it is still inmy 01 Nissan. So I am not sure its buying you a thing.

I will say its mandatory for Motorcycles..without a charger they only last a couple years.
 

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2014 Forester 2.5i CVT
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453 Posts
Well I drive my vehicle to keep it charged. Nothing else is really necessary as long as it's driven some miles every week.

If you have one that sits for weeks at a time, maybe a trickle charger or a minder would be a good idea.

But why bother on a daily or even weekly driver? No lead-acid battery is going to last much more than 4-5 years regardless of what you do.

Oh sure, now we'll hear from everyone who has batteries that always least at least 10 years. But I've had more vehicles than the average bear (cars, boats, airplanes, generators) and lead-acid batteries only last just so long. You can either drive yourself crazy futzin with this or that to gain a few extra months. Or just budget to replace them every 4 years or so before the wife jumps in the car and it won't start.

My opinion. Which, technically, was requested. :icon_razz:
 

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2015 Highlander AWD XLE 6AT
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4,255 Posts
All three of our cars' batteries are charged exclusively from their respective alternators.

Our '12 Forester has a 110 A alternator and is on its original battery.

Our '06 BMW 530 wagon (built Sept., '05) w/ ~70K miles and a 185 A alternator recently had its third battery installed. Personally, I think the second battery was still OK, but this car's electrical system is rather finicky...

Our '00 Ford F250SD (built Nov., '99) w/ ~130K miles and a 130 A alternator is on its second battery and doin' fine after 14+ years.

My six cents; two for each vehicle.

Regards,
Jim/crewzer
 

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2014 2.0XT Limited CVT
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416 Posts
I have a Battery Tender too but only because I have a motor cycle, a scooter, a lawn tractor and a fish finder battery to keep charged for our 8 month long winters. Never use it on the new Forester or the 14 yr old Outback, which is only on its second battery.
 

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2014 Forester XT CVT
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33 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Appreciate all the reply's. Maybe it just me. I live in Florida and have had issues with batteries. Could be just the heat in the summer. What do I know? I had the same issue when I lived in Tucson. I know that I plug in my battery tender to both Subaru's every couple of weeks and it takes 2 days to get the batteries back up to par. Takes 5 minutes and I will continue to do as I have a hook up to the batteries already installed from battery tender. Before I had this system in place I went through 5 batteries in 6 years. One on my mower, one on my motorcycle and 3 on previous cars. I am already ahead of the costs. Take care all.
 

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2015 ; 2.5i ; 15,000 Miles (I drive a lot less than I used to !!!!)
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129 Posts
Appreciate all the reply's. Maybe it just me. I live in Florida and have had issues with batteries. Could be just the heat in the summer. What do I know? I had the same issue when I lived in Tucson. I know that I plug in my battery tender to both Subaru's every couple of weeks and it takes 2 days to get the batteries back up to par. Takes 5 minutes and I will continue to do as I have a hook up to the batteries already installed from battery tender. Before I had this system in place I went through 5 batteries in 6 years. One on my mower, one on my motorcycle and 3 on previous cars. I am already ahead of the costs. Take care all.
I have just came over from the Outback Battery Forum ... and from quick scanning on this forum, there seems to be quite a bit of similiarity : some folks have NO PROBLEMS ... others have constant problems. In all honesty it seems like there is some significant WIDE variability within Subaru Models AND within some years. I'm wondering if Subaru got itself several DIFFERENT VOLTAGE REGULATOR SYSTEMS from production or if they have more than one supplier ... as some with the same year and model have diemetrically OPPOSITE results !!!! All too often customers are being convinced that they left a light ON, or some other quick answer : but the end results are always the same ; those with the REAL BATTERY PROBLEMS never get very good end results; and end up with batteries that need replacing almost every year, while some (lucky-!) folks can get very long service out of any old battery !!! Just seem like i is some unexplained variation within the actual vehicle's Charging System ..... !!!
 

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2013/14 2.5i-L CVT
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901 Posts
I don't do anything. My Forester still has the original battery made in the last quarter of 2012 and continues to start without issue even though in these days of CV-19 my only driving is 22 km/14 miles each way to the supermarket once a week. Not even subzero nightly temps faze it, nor has stop/start.
 

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2011 Subaru Forester
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1,299 Posts
For those of us in much frostier climates than Florida, I found a battery blanket heater when used on nights below -20C makes for easy starting in the morning.
If your battery is weak for reasons beyond old age there is a problem with your alternator, its belt and/or tensioner, or an unsuspected component has a wiring or connector issue which needs identifying. I am assuming the car is driven at normal operating temp on a regular basis.
 

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Just seem like i is some unexplained variation within the actual vehicle's Charging System ..... !!!
I don't think it's as much "luck" as it is varying factors between each scenario that play a role. .....some mentioned here like frequency of use, climate, how the car is used, ways people drain the battery while parked, distances traveled while used, etc.

I killed a batt in my own car in just under 3 years after I retired. Most of my time driving was less than a couple miles spurts and listening to the radio in the morning or afternoon while parked picking up/dropping off my kid from school (prior to the whole pandemic thing).

Before that, the batt lasted the typical 5 years even though I only drove the car 1-2 times per week but for longer distances and I didn't hang out in the car as often, etc.

......lots of other factors involved IMO / IME so I really don't buy into luck factoring into the equation as much as some. I don't think its that cut and dry and with today's cars, we may even have to think of how folks might be storing their keys in proximity to their vehicles, etc.
 

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Sahuarita, AZ 2018 Forester Limited
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I live in Florida and have had issues with batteries. Could be just the heat in the summer. What do I know? I had the same issue when I lived in Tucson.
Heat is tough on batteries. Back when I lived in Missouri my car batteries lasted 5-7 years with nothing more than annual top offs with distilled water. But here in the desert Southwest I can count on a battery dying in 3-4 years. I bought a battery tender about a year ago and have started charging my batteries every several months to see if that helps. Time will tell.
 

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2015 ; 2.5i ; 15,000 Miles (I drive a lot less than I used to !!!!)
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129 Posts
I don't do anything. My Forester still has the original battery made in the last quarter of 2012 and continues to start without issue even though in these days of CV-19 my only driving is 22 km/14 miles each way to the supermarket once a week. Not even subzero nightly temps faze it, nor has stop/start.
SIR : CONGRATULATIONS ... you are one of the LUCKY ONES that I alluded to in my opening Sentences ! For those born under a Lucky Star in Subaru-Land .... GREAT ! Wish we all could have been there with you ! I did a LOT of Research on-line (GOOGLE : Battery University, etc.) and discovered that the MANUFACTURES of "Car Batteries" all make them differently : ALL of them use DIFFERENT ALLOYS inside the Cells, making it impossible to make ANY UNIVERSAL statement about VOLTAGE, SPECIFIC GRAVITY , or even Current Capacity : all are different, and provide different responses to being Charged, Dis-Charged, Stored, Left sitting Over-Night or being left sitting for Days, Weeks, or MONTHS !!! From my perspective, it seems that SUBARU never took any of this readily available information into account when they procurred apparent random supplied batteries into their various Models, and into various Years Productions !!!! And I believe that this Opinion is backed up by the Various and WIDELY DIFFERING experiences being disclosed every day on these Forums !!!

AND ... if it is NOT the Batteries ... then it is the Electronics built into the Different Models and Production Years .... as far as I can discern.

As an EXAMPLE : I worked with another Electrical Engineer ( who should have worked for Subaru !) on his Problem SUBARU : together we discovered that the apparent DESIGN for his vehicle had ALL the Operating Characteristics of being DESIGNED to function properly ONLY with a very expensive LITHIUM-ION (very-expensive !) Battery. this was pretty much verified when we substituted a Li-Ion Battery from my pet POV Cessna Plane : for the several winter months that he had my Li-Ion Battery in his Outback ... the car's Electrical STARTING SYSTEM WORKED PERFECTLY ! During the SAME period, his OEM Battery was on Battery Maintainer ressurection program, and was near perfect when put back in service late next spring: BUT after only a couple week, that OEM battery was again DYING A SLOW DEATH !!! So we incorporated the Battery Maintainer into his Subaru, just like in mine! Both of us have great servive from ( *%^%^ !!!) OEM Sbaru Batteries when kept on Life Support this way!!!!
 

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2019 Forester Touring
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I don't do anything. My Forester still has the original battery made in the last quarter of 2012 and continues to start without issue even though in these days of CV-19 my only driving is 22 km/14 miles each way to the supermarket once a week. Not even subzero nightly temps faze it, nor has stop/start.
I’m having your experience for the most part. After 5 years, I had to replace the OEM battery in my wife’s daily driven 2015 Outback late last year (the Outback was purchased new first of November 2014).

Five years on an OEM battery is roughly what I’d expect for a battery in that price range. Incidentally, her Outback is driven roughly 40 miles every M-F, back and forth to work.

On my other non-daily drivers, I have CTEK battery “tenders” (2009 Tacoma now on battery #2, 2014 BMW 2-Series on original battery, and 2005 MINI, now on battery #3, which I installed last year.

My daily driver is a 19 Forester Touring, original battery with no tender attached, bought new in October 2018. No battery issues so far. We live in upstate SC.

My daughter (lives in San Diego) has a 2013 Crosstrek as her driver, and it’s on battery #2, installed in the summer of 2018.

I think any manufacturer’s OEM battery does good to give 5 years of service before needing replacement, but that’s only my opinion, based on 66+ years of life experience.

I would certainly expect harsher climates, both hot and cold, would have more of an impact on battery lifetimes.
 

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2015 ; 2.5i ; 15,000 Miles (I drive a lot less than I used to !!!!)
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I’m having your experience for the most part. After 5 years, I had to replace the OEM battery in my wife’s daily driven 2015 Outback late last year (the Outback was purchased new first of November 2014).

Five years on an OEM battery is roughly what I’d expect for a battery in that price range. Incidentally, her Outback is driven roughly 40 miles every M-F, back and forth to work.

On my other non-daily drivers, I have CTEK battery “tenders” (2009 Tacoma now on battery #2, 2014 BMW 2-Series on original battery, and 2005 MINI, now on battery #3, which I installed last year.

My daily driver is a 19 Forester Touring, original battery with no tender attached, bought new in October 2018. No battery issues so far. We live in upstate SC.

My daughter (lives in San Diego) has a 2013 Crosstrek as her driver, and it’s on battery #2, installed in the summer of 2018.

I think any manufacturer’s OEM battery does good to give 5 years of service before needing replacement, but that’s only my opinion, based on 66+ years of life experience.

I would certainly expect harsher climates, both hot and cold, would have more of an impact on battery lifetimes.
Hold on to your socks : my previous car was a 2003 Buick LeSabre, bought used 2005, sold to my GrandDaughter last month still with its ORIGIONAL OEM Battery !!! It is the model which puts the Battery under the rear seat for LONGEVITY PROTECTION, instead of under the hood!!! It had the Lead-Calcium Maintenance Free DELCO and was still going strong when SOLD! Buick Alternator/Regulator keeps the Battery charged FULL TIME @ 14.75-Volts and I never had to do anything to it in any way, shape, or form !!!! It was ALSO the Model where Buick had a Driver Info Readout that FULL TIME told the driver what the Voltage was : as the car was END-TO-END fully electronic seats, butt-warmers, etc. , etc. , ETC. !!!!! Never had any issues with IT. Then there is my Outback with the "Battery-Mis-Management" Fuel Saving mis-application of Ecology Principels .... and its endless DEAD-BATTERY ISSUES, until I put the self-installed Battery Maintainer System under the hood. This was the ONLY way that I was able to get anything like My BUICK's Electrical Reliability !!! Other than THAT, I really like my Outback, as I treat it like my Buick when my Hands are CLEAN, and I treat it like an old TRUCK when my hands are DIRTY !!!! As a very active retiree, I now do EVERYTHING with my OutBack : nice travel Cross-Over Vehicle, and a very capable Load-Handler when I need to carry heavy loads for doing Heavy Work outside the house (lumber, bricks, bags of concrete, sand, etc.). At 77-years old, have seen my share of everything, but until my OutBack I had never seen a vehicle with such an UNRELIABLE BATTERY/CHARGING-SYSTEM, except possible my 1963 Chevy BelAire 6-Banger that had a 6-Volt Battery and GENERATOR with a VIBRATING-REED Voltage REGULATOR !!! Now THERE was a BEAST of a machine when it came to keeping it STARTABLE, especially in the winter when Temperatures hit 20-BELOW-ZERO up there in the Northern States !!!
 
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