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Mike, Subaru Mechanic
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 39198
Experience:  Tech Expert
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Hi... I have a 2012 outback which we have owned for about

Customer Question

I have a 2012 outback which we have owned for about 3 months. Yesterday, on approaching the car, the key fob would not register with the car and would not unlock the door. I opened the door manually with the key (setting off the alarm in the process). I initially thought I had a flat battery and called the RAC to come and jump start the car. The mechanic confirmed that there was no problem with the battery but instead the fob was not being recognised by the car. He disabled the alarm and eventually worked out that I could start the car by holding the fob next to the start button and then pressing the start button to start the car. Once started, the light on the dashboard flashed saying that there was an issue with the key fob but otherwise the car worked normally (obviously, without the alarm and needing the manual key to be inserted to lock or unlock the door)
Without doing anything, today, the fob started to work normally again. The alarm is still deactivated but otherwise, the car seems to be working as normal. I presume that I can enter a cod in at some point to make the alarm work again but am nervous to do so until I know what the issue is.
We are away on holiday so I have no access to the second fob at the moment.
The RAC mechanic did a few checks like making sure the signal from the fob was strong.
The problem now is that I am unsure what to do next.
Any suggestions please?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Hello and Welcome -

My name is MIKE - Im happy to help / advise you -

With this problem - the fault is either with the fob itself or, on the car side of things - ie, a fault in the system - which really could be anywhere on the system..

I don't know if you have tried your spare fob / if you have it with you - but if not - when you do, try that ...if its a faulty fob ( they do get damaged if dropped etc ).. then you can obtain a new fob and have it programmed to the vehicle.. ( this should be done for you under its warranty through the dealer )

But if you find the situation is the same with your spare fob - its a system fault.. Again - this can be anywhere from the receiver unit on the ignition to any part of the system - wiring issues / connection issues to the ecu / computer.

Given the vehicle is a 12 model - the first thing to do then after the above, would be to contact the dealer and have it in to be plugged on to their diagnostic equipment to trace the fault - and then have it rectified properly. Their equipment is dedicated to the system - it will connect much more deeply / thoroughly to the security system than the RAC equipment....

There are over ride codes that can be used ( in your vehicles documents -or obtained from the dealer - ) but thats only for an emergency... if you have as above, you have a definate fault -that needs sorting for you properly - and at this stage, any such repairs would be FOC for you... So that as above is the way forward for you on this one...

Kind Rgds, MIKE.

Please do click on the "OK rating to Excellent ratings" service for me now, Thank you for that... and you can get back to me anytime if you need / wish..

Best Rgds, MIKE.

Please note, you are rating the content of my "answer" - my help to you - not the "system" which can experience delays etc which are not under my personal control -or delays caused by "time -off" which we all have on occasion - Thank you.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thanks...not sure that has told me much more then I already thought but will revert once I have spoken to Subaru (which I will do tomorrow now I am back from holiday)
Expert:  Mike replied 4 years ago.
Hello again Daniel-

Thank you for your reply -
With respect - its hard to know or guess at " what you know" as you say - I can only give you detail based on the problem as you outline it..

This I have done in all good conscience and in good faith in a bid to help you in answer ...

Let me know if I can help you anymore at all but that is the way forward on this as I have outlined - it is not an unusual fault - ie, one that we see or along those lines so if you speak with them - as I said, that is what you will need to do given its age and then they should have this sorted for you.

All the very best -

Kind Rgds - MIKE.

.................Please do click on the OK/ Excellent ratings for me as that's how Im credited for helping you - Thank you in advance for that...

You can and are most welcome to get back to me anytime you might need - clicking the OK ratings does not close you out at all..

Rgds, MIKE.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I spoke to my Subaru garage and they told me that this was a common problem that almost certainly happene because th battery in the key was in Ned of replacement. I replaced the battery and it now works fine