How Long Should a Subaru Outback Car Battery Last?
January 29th, 2020 by Brown Traci
A Subaru Outback battery should last about four to six years, but several factors can shorten the battery’s lifespan. Here’s a look at these factors and the signs of a dead battery.
Considerations Affecting the Lifespan of a Car Battery
Five main factors come into play with battery lifespans:
- Driving habits and personal preferences
- Battery charging system
- Dirt buildup and corrosion
- Alternator diodes
First, driving habits and personal preferences make a big difference. For example, if drivers constantly play the car’s radio and stereo, the battery works harder and may drain earlier than anticipated. The same goes if drivers constantly start and turn off the engine.
The temperature of an area matters because batteries work harder in hot climates and live longer in colder areas. Meanwhile, issues with a car’s charging system can lead to quickly draining batteries. Dirt buildup and corrosion prevent the battery from working optimally and may drain power from it. Alternator diodes help the battery current flow the proper way. When there’s a problem with the diode, the battery current may flow in the opposite (draining) direction.
Advice for Battery Upkeep
Have technicians check your battery every time you bring your car in for an appointment (oil change, tire rotation, etc). Otherwise, if you want to know whether your battery is holding its charge, stop by a car parts store. Many do free battery checks. Always get your battery tested if your car has a hard time starting up.
Signs of a Dead Battery
Most newer cars feature dashboard lights that warn you when the car battery is losing critical power. Other indicators of a dying or dead battery include:
- Radio that won’t turn on
- Battery that is swollen
- Engine that cranks slowly or that does not start at all
- Persistent check engine lights
- Rotten egg smell from the battery
- Battery that is four years old or older
Tips for Replacing Your Car Battery
When it’s time for your car battery replacement, one option is to purchase the battery from the same store you went to for a battery check. To streamline the process, compare car battery brands and prices online before going to the shop. Get your Outback’s VIN (vehicle identification number) so that you look only at batteries that work inside your specific car. Some stores have online VIN decoders, also called VIN lookup free, to help you easily find the right parts for your vehicle. Your VIN may be located in these places:
- Your insurance card
- The vehicle title
- The front of the dashboard on the driver’s side (look at it from outside the car)
- The post of the driver’s side door (where the door latches to the car)
If you’re stranded with a dead battery, use roadside assistance if you have it. It’s included in many credit card packages. Jumper cables may also help. A third option is to get someone to pick you up. Disconnect the battery, take it to an auto parts shop, and have it recharged. Buy a replacement if necessary. No matter what, remember to keep a much closer eye on your battery once it is about four years old.