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Three times in the past three months when trying to start my 2016 Legacy with 14000 miles, the battery appears to be absolutely dead. Selling dealer can find nothing wrong and in desperation finally changed the battery on the second visit but, lo and behold, one month later, same problem! Car is always garaged, is well maintained and someone suggested that perhaps I don't use the vehicle often enough and the problem would be eliminated if I drove the car everyday! Not acceptable! I am retired from an almost forty year career in the sales end of the automobile industry and I have never heard of anything so ridiculous. Although not started everyday, vehicle is used three to four times per week accumulating between ten and eighty miles per use. Any suggestions before I trade this car in which will occur within the next week. Thank you 

 

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yup. it sits too long. The electronics used in ANY modern car draw off the battery when not in use. Namely the anti theft system is always active.. Also, a blinking light rust prevention system which dealers commonly sell draws quite a bit, see those on lots of Subie's do you have one? You couple this with the factory Panasonic battery which has a very low AH rating and it's not surprising.   The keys can also 'talk' to a car if too close ( which every manufacture is effected )

 

Solution isn't another vehicle. get a $10 battery maintainer

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My Lincoln has an active alarm (includes red led flashing) + aftermarket CD player (it's own memory), etc. and I only started it 3 times during winter as it sat in my driveway. Temps were in the low teens for extended periods, and even being a V8 it started right up every time. The last time, was roughly 6 weeks between starting. I know I've had other cars over the years that went extended winters and fired up in the spring as well.

 

If you have an old 12v+ test light, disconnect your neg- battery terminal (everything in the car needs to be off, no doors open, no interior, glove box, trunk/hatch lights on, etc. or it'll give a false reading) and use the test light to connect to the disconnected neg- terminal and the battery post. IF it lights up bright, you have something actually draining the battery.

 

From there, you can take back to the dealer and insist it has a drain, or you can try pulling fuses/relays, one at a time (i.e. pull one, check test light, reinsert) until the light goes out. This is how I found a drain on my Subaru, though I had to go a step further and disconnect the connector ON the alternator (which you can try with yours regardless as the alternator itself could have a defect).

Edited by Bushwick

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I'm sure you are aware that if you have a modern TV in your house, along with a home theater system and DVD/BluRay, they have a parasitic draw.  Anything with a remote will have a parasitic draw because the appliance is in standby constantly listening for the remote.  Modern cars are the same way, they have a parasitic draw while listening for the FOB and for the security systems.  If you have the keyless option, it is even higher.

 

Your battery should be good for at least two weeks between starts though.  But once it is run all the way dead, it suffers internal damage and its live and capacity are compromised.  You probably need a new battery by now.  If you don't drive the car at least once every other week, then you should get a battery maintainer installed.  They run about $40 but you may want to get it permanently installed under the hood so that when you pull into the garage, you just plug in the cord.  A battery maintainer with  a 3/4 (0.75) amp rating should be adequate but you may want to go with a 1.25 or 1.5 amp rated.  Nothing larger than that, you won't need it and they just use more power over time.

 

Be sure it is a charger/maintainer and not just a cheap charger.  A charger, sometimes called a float charger, can damage your new battery but a charger maintainer will not harm your battery.

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It takes several months for the normal draw from the electronics in the car to kill a battery.

If the battery is unable to start the engine in less than a month, even with being driven only every few days, something else is wrong.

 

It's not uncommon for an original battery to die in a short time period, but a replacement shouldn't be dead a month later unless something else is happening.

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This is all true, but I bet it has an electronic rust preventer. They produce enough ripple that a Midtronics battery tester sometimes detects noise, and I've had several reports and claims from batteries I sell linked to no starts after sitting, and those systems are in place.  Dealers love to install them because it's quite a bit extra and they cost very little to buy

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 I have never heard of anything so ridiculous

 

Wanting to trade the car in after zero diagnosis is more ridiculous. Diagnose first.

 

1.  was the old battery ever tested properly?

2.  has the new battery been tested properly?  

 

3. Are there any aftermarket parts installed on the vehicle - lights, audio/visual, remote start, trailer..?  Any custom wiring at all is always suspect and common cause for issues. 

 

4. properly test the parasitic draw

5. test the alternator output

 

the ghetto way to do this is to simply disconnect the battery every night.  if the battery is then never dead, then you know it's not the battery.

 

Three times in the past three months when trying to start my 2016 Legacy with 14000 miles, the battery appears to be absolutely dead. Selling dealer can find nothing wrong and in desperation finally changed the battery on the second visit but, lo and behold, one month later, same problem!  I have never heard of anything so ridiculous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three times in the past three months when trying to start my 2016 Legacy with 14000 miles, the battery appears to be absolutely dead. Selling dealer can find nothing wrong and in desperation finally changed the battery on the second visit but, lo and behold, one month later, same problem!  I have never heard of anything so ridiculous.

Three times in the past three months when trying to start my 2016 Legacy with 14000 miles, the battery appears to be absolutely dead. Selling dealer can find nothing wrong and in desperation finally changed the battery on the second visit but, lo and behold, one month later, same problem!  I have never heard of anything so ridiculous.

 
 

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