It’s a cold and snowy winter morning, and you’re running late for an important meeting. You rush out to your trusty Subaru Outback, ready to tackle the snowy roads. You slide into the driver’s seat, turn the key in the ignition, and… nothing happens.
Don’t get caught with your pants down and look for the following signs that your Subaru Outback’s battery is dead or dying:
- The engine won’t start or is slow to start
- The power windows are slow or don’t work
- The headlights are dim
- The dashboard warning lights are on
In this guide, I’ll explain how to diagnose a dead or dying Subaru Outback battery, how to test the battery, and how to replace it.
How to Tell If Subaru Outback Battery Is Dead?
You can keep your car running smoothly and reliably for a long time if you take care of your battery. Subaru Outback owners frequently deal with the frustration of a dead battery. The battery should be one of the first things to check if your Outback won’t start.
Here are a few common symptoms of a dead Outback car battery:
1. The engine won’t start or is slow to start
A dying or non-functioning car battery may not have enough power to turn the ignition and start the engine. This is because the battery supplies the initial spark to the ignition system that starts the engine. The engine may fail to start or take longer to start if the battery is weak or dead and unable to supply this surge of electricity.
2. The power windows are slow or don’t work
An electric motor, run by a battery, controls the power windows in a vehicle. When you push the window’s control button, electricity is sent from the battery to the motor, causing the window to rise or fall.
Power windows may function slowly or not at all if the battery is dead or dying and cannot supply enough power to the electric motor. This is because the battery cannot supply the motor with sufficient current to get it going.
3. The headlights are dim
The headlights may be underpowered if the battery is dead or dying and cannot supply a current to the bulbs. The battery simply cannot supply enough power to the headlight bulbs for them to glow brightly.
When the car’s battery is dead or dying, it can affect more than just the brightness of the headlights. There could be issues with the car’s audio system, power windows, or dashboard warning lights, to name a few.
Your car’s other lights, such as the blinkers, dome lights, door lights, etc., will not work if the battery is dead or dying.
4. The dashboard warning lights are on
The dashboard warning lights could remain illuminated or flicker if the battery is weak or dead and unable to supply a sufficient current. This occurs because the battery cannot supply enough current to the dashboard warning lights to keep them illuminated.
If your car’s battery is dead or dying, you might notice more than just the dashboard warning lights. It’s possible that the car’s headlights won’t turn on, the power windows won’t roll down, or the radio won’t play.
How to Test Subaru Outback Battery
If any of these things are happening, it’s probably time to check the battery. A multimeter will be required for this task. A multimeter is an electrical current-measuring device. You can pick one up at any auto parts store or online.
To test the battery, follow these steps:
- Open the hood and locate the battery. It should look cube-like in shape and have 2 cables connected to it.
- Set the multimeter to “DC volts.”
- Connect the red lead of the multimeter to the positive terminal of the battery. Look for the “+” sign.
- Connect the black lead of the multimeter to the negative terminal of the battery, which should have a “-” sign.
- Read the voltage on the multimeter. If the reading is The battery is fine if the reading is greater than or equal to 12.6 volts, and your Outback may have other underlying problems. If the voltage is lower than 12.6 volts, it’s safe to assume that the battery is dead and should be replaced.
How to Replace Subaru Outback Battery
Before we begin, make sure you have the following things ready:
- Replacement battery (make sure it’s compatible with your Outback)
- Battery wrench/socket
- Safety goggles
Now, pop the hood of your Subaru Outback, and let’s get started.
- Disconnect the negative terminal: Find the “-” marked terminal on the car battery and use the wrench or socket to loosen and remove the terminal clamp.
- Disconnect the positive terminal: Find the “+”-marked positive terminal on the car battery and use the battery wrench or socket to loosen and remove the terminal clamp.
- Remove the old battery: When the terminal clamps are unfastened, the old battery can be lifted out of the car and set aside.
- Clean the battery tray: Get rid of any grime or corrosion in the battery tray with a wire brush or a solution of baking soda and water. That way, the new battery will be held in place more firmly.
- Install the new battery: Replace the old battery and reconnect the positive and negative terminal clamps. Be sure the clamps are snug but not too tight, or you risk breaking the battery terminals.
- Test the new battery: Put in the new battery and give the car a spin to make sure it’s working. If the vehicle fires up and operates normally, you should be fine.
What Can You Do with a Dead Battery?
Instead of keeping a dead car battery in your garage, you should try one of the following:
- Repurpose it: With the right know-how and tools, a dead car battery might be put to good use in another application. For instance, it could be used to power a do-it-yourself solar panel system or as a backup power source for your home.
- Sell it: Because of their versatility, used car batteries can fetch a price from those looking to power a workshop or supplement the energy produced by solar panels. A used car battery can be sold at a scrap metal yard, auto parts store, or online through a marketplace or classifieds.
- Recycle it: In order to properly dispose of the lead and other hazardous materials found in most car batteries, recycling is a viable option. A car battery can be recycled at any auto parts store or recycling center that specializes in electronics. Battery recycling is encouraged, and in some cases even rewarded, at a number of establishments.