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Why is my Subaru key fob not working?

Picture of Chris Teague

Chris Teague

Don’t sweat it if your Subaru key fob is not working. Subaru key fobs usually last more than a couple of years, but due to a variety of reasons, the fob may stop working without warning.

You can use the Subaru key fob to lock and unlock the car doors and trunks from up to 75 feet. But, if you fail to unlock or lock using the key fob, that generally means there is something wrong with it. 

Reasons Why Subaru Key Fob Not Working and How To Fix

Dustin Hall, an experienced mechanic. In this post, we will learn about one of the common problems with Subaru SUVs (Key Fob Not Working). 

Dead Battery

A dead or low battery is the most probable reason your Subaru key fob isn’t working. The lithium-ion battery lasts quite a long, and often car owners forget that they need replacement.

As the battery is the primary power source for the key fob, you should get a new battery and check whether it is working or not. Subaru key fob uses a Li-ion battery, and you can find it at any automotive shop nearby or order online.

Damaged Key Fob

If you mistakenly dropped the key or it has significant wear and tear, the key fob may get damaged. Check for any physical damage to ensure it is broken or dead.

If the Subaru key fob is damaged, then you will have to get a replacement key. You can contact the Subaru store for the original key fob. Besides, many third-party sellers also sell Subaru key fobs online and in automotive stores.

Damaged Key Fob Receiver or Transmitter

Even if there is no sign of physical damage, the mechanical parts inside the key fob can get misplaced or broken. It can lead to a damaged key fob receiver or transmitter that connects the key fob to your vehicle.

You can take the key fob to a mechanic to check the parts inside, and they can ensure whether it is damaged or not. However, in this case, the best solution is again getting a new Subaru key fob.

Reset Key Fob

When you first used the key fob, you must have paired it with your vehicle. That is how the Subaru key fob works. But if it is not working now, then maybe the pair got reset somehow.

Now, you will have to reprogram the key fob and connect it to your Subaru car again to make it work.

Alternative Solutions to Try When a Subaru Key Fob is Not Working

Use The Spare Key Fob

Many Subaru cars come with two sets of key fobs. If one is not working, you can try the other. If you do not have a spare key, get one right now to avoid such situations in the future. However, try the other solutions if the key fob is at home and you are away.

Unlock Car Steering

If someone tries to turn the wheel without inserting the key in the ignition, the steering will lock automatically. This is Subaru’s anti-theft feature. To fix the issue, you will need to turn the ignition key and the wheel a little bit simultaneously.

Immobilizer Key

Many latest Subaru vehicles come with a key fob and an immobilizer key. If you can get inside the car but cannot turn on the engine using the key fob, in that case, you can try the immobilizer key.

Emergency Mechanical Key

Similar to the immobilizer key, some Subaru models also have a mechanical key. However, you can use it only for locking or unlocking the doors, and then you can use the key fob to turn the ignition if the key is okay.

PIN Access

If you have set the PIN for Subaru smart entry, you can use that to unlock the door of your car. You will find the keypad below the rear hatch. However, only some latest models after 2013 have this feature. 

Check the user’s manual to know whether your car has this feature. You will need a working key fob to set the PIN. Therefore, if you haven’t already set it, do so as soon as your key fob is operational.  

Subaru Starlink App

Subaru offers the STARLINK app to control your car with your smartphone. If you have configured the app earlier, you can use that to open the doors or do other things your key fob fails to do. If not, then configure it after solving the issues to avoid such problems.

Subaru Customer Support

If none of the solutions work and you cannot understand what to do, contact the Subaru customer support team for further assistance. You can call (1-800-782-2783) for instant support, or you can also Email them, but that may take a little bit of time before you get a reply. 

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