This midsize SUV is a great car that handles itself well on the road, with adult seats, easy-to-use infotainment systems, and a suspension system that smoothes out bumps in the road. However, like every car, it has its problems and here we will talk about the common failures of the Subaru Ascent.
Although the Subaru Ascent SUV does not have obvious weaknesses, it does have some problems and in this post you will learn what they are.
Subaru Ascent Common Failures
The Subaru Ascent is a mid-size crossover SUV, and it’s also the largest vehicle Subaru makes. This SUV is considered an excellent vehicle, however, this does not exempt it from problems. Next, we will list the most common faults found in this vehicle:
1. The car does not start
Although the Subaru Ascent is a reliable companion, it has many interconnected parts that can sometimes cause the machine to fail. Several owners have reported that the car won’t start.
Possible causes and solutions:
1- Weak battery
If your Ascent’s engine refuses to start or starts slowly, then the 12v battery is bad, weak, or dead . Investigate the problem more closely by doing a battery voltage test. You will need a multimeter to confirm if the starting problem is caused by the battery.
A successful test will give you a reading of between 12 and 13 volts. Values less than 11.5 or greater than 14 will require you to bring in an expert for a professional evaluation. Your car battery may have a defect.
You should also try starting the car. You will need a healthy battery from another car and jumper cables to boost the battery. But nowadays, most people carry a starter kit, since it is more comfortable,
2- Corroded battery
If the car battery contacts are corroded, current flow will be reduced, which means the engine will not be able to start properly.
With a simple check, you can confirm if your Ascent’s starting problems are due to corrosion. Lift the rubber covers over the battery terminals and check for corrosion. If you see silver-green or white deposits without further damage, just wipe it off and you’re good to go.
3- Damaged starter motor
The starter motor starts the engine. On average, the engine should last between 100,000 and 150,000 miles (161,000 and 241,000 km). However, that life can be shortened if you tend to crank the engine frequently. Once the starter is broken, then the engine will not start.
You can tell that the starter has a problem when you try to start the engine and you hear a clicking noise. In most cases, you may need to replace it with a new one.
4- Clogged fuel filter
Although the fuel filter does not wear out like other mechanical parts, it can become clogged with dirt and other particles over time . As a result, its permeability decreases, which means that the fuel pressure is also reduced.
If the fuel filter is damaged or clogged , the engine will stop running as efficiently as usual. Under certain circumstances, the engine will not start at all.
A clogged fuel filter is inevitable because its job is to trap dirt and particles. That’s why you should change the fuel filter every 9,000 to 13,000 miles (14,500 and 21,000 kilometers).
5- Defective alternator
The alternator produces electricity in your car. If the alternator is failing , it will not produce electricity and the battery will not start. Most people tend to assume that it is a battery failure that is causing the engine to not start, only to replace the battery and have the same problem.
The alternators hardly go bad. In fact, in a modern car like the Subaru Ascent, its performance has been improved and it can last for a long time. However, this part can be damaged depending on the use you give to your car. So if you have an older model, check if the alternator may be the problem.
6- Failure of the fuel pump
If the fuel pump fails , the Ascent’s engine will not start. The pump ensures that the correct amount of fuel passes from the tank to the engine’s injection system with sufficient pressure.
However, there are certain signs that the fuel pump will give you before finally failing. Among them are:
- A hissing noise from the fuel tank
- engine sputtering
- The car is overloaded
- low gas mileage
- Loss of power in stress situations
If you’ve noticed any of these signs, have the fuel pump checked as it could be the culprit.
7- Blown fuse
Although rare, a blown fuse can also be the reason why your Subaru Ascent won’t start.
It is strongly recommended that you do not try to fix this problem at home. Let a professional handle the repairs to avoid damaging anything.
8- Rodent damage
Another reason your Subaru Ascent may not start is rodent damage. Rodents can get under your vehicle and chew through the wires. This will affect various systems such as oil supply and electrical power.
You can easily spot rodent damage by looking in the engine compartment. And unfortunately, if the damage is very severe, be prepared for high repair costs.
2. Open tailgate drains the battery
The Subaru Ascent has been marketed as a car for outdoor activities like parties, people who love camping, and dog trainers. So it makes sense that one would want to leave the tailgate open for an extended period.
The only problem is that when you do this, the battery dies , and you can even get stranded somewhere if you don’t get help. Also, the problem has been reported by most of the car owners who own the 2019 model.
Unfortunately, there isn’t much car owners can do to prevent this problem, other than to minimize the amount of time they have their tailgate open.
But what happens when you really want to keep the tailgate open for longer? Most car owners have found a solution that basically consists of buying a deep cycle battery and a jump start kit.
3. The poor work of the Eyesight function
Eyesight technology has been designed to promote safe driving and give drivers some confidence when out on the road. However, this feature can sometimes fail, as several Subaru Ascent drivers have reported.
Possible causes and solutions
1- Bad weather conditions
When the weather conditions are horrible, you may have some difficulty seeing your surroundings. The vision function faces the same challenge. Since it depends on the cameras to work, dust, rainy weather, fog or bright sun can cause the system to fail.
If you find yourself in such a situation, drive carefully. Do not rely on this function as it may fail. Slow down and stay alert on the road.
2- Lane problems and unclear warnings
The lane monitoring system is usually quite sensitive, and when lanes are not well marked or clear, it can fail.
You will notice that the car gives you multiple recurring warnings , even though you have kept your lane. Instead of getting those false warnings, turn off your vision system and stay alert until you come to a place where the lanes are clear.
If your vision system just misbehaves even when the weather is nice and the lanes are well laid out, get a mechanic. This is especially important if you have been in an accident before and your windshield has taken a hit.
4. The windshield spontaneously cracks
There have been many complaints about cracked windshields on Subaru vehicles, and the Ascent is no different. Ever since the company switched to acoustic glass, some owners have complained about their windshield cracking out of the blue.
The acoustic windshield is well received because it has sound deadening capabilities and reduces wind and tire noise while driving. But on the downside, Ascent owners have found themselves with a huge bill for having to replace a cracked windshield.
Unfortunately, the reason why this can happen is not yet known. This is because owners have claimed that the crack appears out of nowhere, even if nothing has hit the windshield.
The good and the bad of the Subaru Ascent
Like every vehicle, the Subaru Ascent has its good points and its defects. Here is a breakdown of the pros and cons of this car.
Advantages of the Subaru Ascent
Since you have just read everything about the common faults of the Subaru Ascent, you should know that it is not all bad, the pros and benefits of this car are the following:
1- Safety and driver assistance features
The Subaru Ascent has earned good safety scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Some of the safety features that you will find in this car include:
- Automatic high beams and adaptive headlights
- blind spot monitoring
- lane change assist
- rear view camera
- forward collision warning
- forward automatic emergency braking
- Windshield wiper with rain sensor
2- The vehicle is spacious
One of the reasons people love the Subaru Ascent is its size . The car can accommodate 7 or 8 people if one manages to get a bench seat in the middle row. If you take a lot of trips with friends or have a large family and want to enjoy time together, you will love this seating arrangement.
Legroom is plenty, too, with the first row getting 42.2 inches of legroom, the middle row 38.6 inches, and the third row getting 32 inches of legroom.
3- Capable of towing cargo
As we’ve already mentioned, the Subaru Ascent is a great vehicle for outdoor activities. So it makes sense that one would want to tow cargo in the rear.
The maximum towing capacity for this vehicle is 5,000 pounds (2,270 kilograms). That is a huge amount. However, keep in mind that a base model Subaru Ascent has a towing capacity of 2,000 pounds (900 kilograms).
4- Four wheel drive
Stock all-wheel drive is kind of a Subaru thing. Almost all Subarus have this feature, and the Subaru Ascent is no exception. This means that even when driving on snow or ice, you won’t have a problem accelerating.
5- It is easy to see
The Subaru Ascents have unobstructed sight lines, which means you don’t have to hunker down to see something. It’s all about good visibility, which is a Subaru family tradition. The car has slim roof pillars and a rearview mirror with a camera, allowing you to get a good view of your surroundings.
6- A magnificent cabin or cabin
In terms of interior, the Subaru Ascent has outdone itself, earning praise from car owners. Faux woods, metal accents, and leather seats make the cabin look and feel nice. The materials are also of high quality and suitable for an active lifestyle with children, pets and dirt.
7- It looks elegant
Although appearances are not everything, they do matter. The Subaru Ascent has a rugged and amazing look that attracts different buyers. The car can come with 20-inch or 18-inch wheels and also has LED fog lights.
Disadvantages of the Subaru Ascent:
These are some of the problems with the Subaru Ascent
- car won’t start sometimes
- Open tailgate drains the battery
- The vision function malfunctions from time to time
- The windshield cracks spontaneously
What do the reviews say about the Subaru Ascent?
The comments and opinions of the Subaru Ascent are very positive. The most prominent are:
“The Subaru Ascent is an exceptional performer in every way. From the functional interior to the plush ride and impressive engine, this car is everything it promises to be. The vehicle is not only functional, but also extremely comfortable and will appeal to many families.”
“The Subaru Ascent is a great car to take families from one place to another. However, it is not the most captivating three-row crossover we have on the market, as other cars have more space and offer a better driving experience.”