Subaru Forester Owners Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
as I was driving my o7 Forester home today the lights went dim like somebody flipped a switch and the ABS light came on. When I got home the battery was nearly dead and the engine wouldn't restart. I removed the key and tried it again in about 10 minutes and the dash lights lit up bright untill I turned the lights on then everyting went dim and the ABS light came back on. I did wash under the hood over the weekend but I drove it to and from work yesterday with no problems.

Did I fry the altinator by washing under the hood?


Thanks for any help.
 

·
Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
Joined
·
5,732 Posts
I doubt you damaged the alternator, but it is a very easy thing to have checked at an auto parts store. Odds are your battery is gone. My battery did the same thing a week ago. Working perfectly fine, then all the lights on the dash lit up and became dim. Battery was done. New battery and now all is good. It's kind of that time of year for batteries to go.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I have never had or heard of a battery dieing that way but I'm coming to the conclusion that these Subaru batteries suck!
 

·
Premium Member
'19 Forester LTD CVT
Joined
·
3,248 Posts
Battery failures can often be very sudden. Assuming you have the OEM battery it lasted 6-7 years in Ohio. That is a good life. I just had a Kirkland battery die suddenly on me too. It was 5 years old.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting. I just installed a Kirkland battery and everything seems okay. I went to Autozone and had the alternator tested and its getting 12.2 volts to the battery and the new battery was at 60% life after an 8 mile drive.
 

·
Registered
2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
I have never had or heard of a battery dieing that way but I'm coming to the conclusion that these Subaru batteries suck!
There are very few batteries that have a useful life of five years. A six year old battery is living on borrowed time, at best.

Having your battery checked by a competent shop every fall is just common sense, IMO.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I had a 99' Ford econoline 150 battery lasted 7 years. I bought the van new and abused the heck out if the battery for the last few years before it died. I got an old Diehard battery from a junk yard that lasted another 5 years. Has great luck with Diehards.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
update

Okay, now my battery and brake lights stay on for a minute after i start the engine. Windshield wipers seem to be working in slow motion also.
 

·
Registered
2000 Forester
Joined
·
75 Posts
Interesting. I just installed a Kirkland battery and everything seems okay. I went to Autozone and had the alternator tested and its getting 12.2 volts to the battery and the new battery was at 60% life after an 8 mile drive.
Isn't 12.2 volts coming out of the alternator pretty low? Google says "13.8-14.2" volts, and I remember the volt meter giving me similar figures in my previous car. At least the alternator is right smack in the middle on Subarus.
 

·
Registered
2004 Forester XT AT
Joined
·
107 Posts
That is correct, 12.2 volts is low and the alternator should be putting out 13.2 volts (approx) if the battery is fully charged. Sounds like a fried alt to me.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is correct, 12.2 volts is low and the alternator should be putting out 13.2 volts (approx) if the battery is fully charged. Sounds like a fried alt to me.

Yeah the guy said that its either the Alt. or a bad connection/ground. I was hoping for the later! but the lights went dim on the way home last night again with the new battery so its obviously not getting charged :(
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks everyone for your input! It turns out it was the alternator. I put a new (used) one in and everything is fine.

Engine washing cost me a 50$ alternator, 1.5hours driving, gas $, and 1 hour labor. Never had that happen before.

I guess I now know the meaning of "stupid is as stupid does".
 

·
Registered
2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
Thanks everyone for your input! It turns out it was the alternator. I put a new (used) one in and everything is fine.

Engine washing cost me a 50$ alternator, 1.5hours driving, gas $, and 1 hour labor. Never had that happen before.

I guess I now know the meaning of "stupid is as stupid does".
Don't be so quick to kick yourself. I have been washing engines for something over 40 years and have never shorted an alternator or voltage regulator. While you might have done it, I wouldn't bet on it.

I've had alternators and voltage regulators fail, but never from water.
 

·
Smooshed FOTY 2011
2005 Lifted 2.5 XT 5-Speed MT Dual-Range
Joined
·
5,732 Posts
^^ I'll agree, I've washed my engines more times that I can remember (spraying the alternator and all) and doing deep water crossings that submerge the engine pretty good in water. Never had an alternator fail on me from water either. But the again, anything and everything is possible. Just cover up the alternator and other parts next time before spraying it all down I guess.
 

·
Registered
2008 Forester Sports XTi 5 speed manual
Joined
·
321 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
:) Ive only had the Foz for a few weeks so maybe I just pushed something nearing failure over the edge. because it did work fine the next day and night I drove it after washing but then it was all down hill after that. Was happy to find a nice condition used one for 50$
 

·
Registered
2010 2.5X Limited 4-speed Auto
Joined
·
1,979 Posts
:) Ive only had the Foz for a few weeks so maybe I just pushed something nearing failure over the edge. because it did work fine the next day and night I drove it after washing but then it was all down hill after that. Was happy to find a nice condition used one for 50$
Whatever actually happened. I'm happy you are back in business for such a reasonable amount.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top