My Subaru Forester Trunk Won’t Open: What To Do?

How to fix it when my Subaru Forester trunk won’t open?

This is not an uncommon case with all car models. There are many causes for this situation; some are simple, and you can handle them at home, while others are not.

Even if you are confused, don’t worry because this article will help you. Read on to find the answer!

Subaru Forester Trunk Won’t Open: Common Issues

subaru forester trunk won't open

One part may be damaged if your Subaru back door doesn’t open or close.

A dead battery, broken latch or trunk lock, damaged trunk cable, faulty lock actuator, or broken key fob are cases in point. You should check and identify the source of the problem soon.

Dead Battery

Check your battery if you have to face the 2010 Subaru Forester trunk won’t open.

You can identify whether this is the issue by manually unlocking the driver’s door and turning the key in the ignition.

Turn your key in the ignition to the first position. Your car’s battery is likely dead if the radio, lights, and other components do not turn on when your key is switched on.

Broken Latch Or Trunk Lock

If your car’s battery is fine, and you hear a clicking sound when you unlock the tailgate, but it won’t open, your trunk lock or latch may be broken.

And this is why the Subaru Forester trunk won’t close.

Your door can close with the help of the trunk latch, which functions similarly to the car seat belt and door latch.

When it is closed, a connecting mechanism on the car’s frame and two halves latch together, tightly closing the box. The door might unhinge if you open it since the latch releases.

Once the latch endures damage when you close the trunk too forcefully, it may not be able to release anymore.

You can still run into this issue even if it’s not very prevalent because certain things can trigger it to happen.

For instance, I usually encounter this issue if I close and open it too often or I have to travel through unpaved areas.

Damaged Trunk Cable

The cable shouldn’t be missed if you seek a reason why the Subaru trunk won’t open three beeps.

The trunk on some vehicles doesn’t come with a handle, and you can only open it using a lever inside or pressing a button on the keyfob.

In this case, you pull on a trigger (often located close to the driver’s seat) rather than its handle to release the latch. This uses a cable to access the latch.

You can’t open the trunk once the cable is broken since the latch and opening lever are not connected.

Normal wear and tear might cause damage to this component. Its cables may also be susceptible to rust and corrosion.

Faulty Lock Actuator

The lock actuator will control the lock of your tailgate. This is a small motor equipped with gears that will change when you lock the car trunk, keeping the latch from releasing the tailgate.

That’s why the Subaru hatch won’t open or close if this lock actuator goes wrong.

Broken Key Fob

Let’s say you are trying to start your automobile using a key fob, but it won’t work even though everything begins perfectly. Your key fob may have difficulty in that situation.

If your key fob isn’t working, there could be many causes, such as a dead battery, a problem with the wiring inside the key or the automobile, or a requirement to reset the key.

How To Fix This Issues

subaru forester power liftgate reset

Recharge Your Battery

You will need to recharge your car’s dead battery when the Subaru trunk won’t open. It must be fixed immediately because it can lead to additional automotive problems.

In case your Subaru trunk still won’t open after a battery change, it’s preferable to consult a professional than to put yourself through unnecessary stress.

Fix Your Key Fob

You can get the key fob fixed once you’ve concluded that it’s the issue. 

Additionally, as was already indicated, you must determine what makes your Subaru Forester trunk not open to determine whether a reset is necessary.

Replace The Trunk Latch

Replacing the new latch can be helpful when your Subaru Forester trunk doesn’t open and beeps 3 times.

The lift or tailgate must typically be opened to replace this component. Check your owner’s manual to learn how to open your car’s tailgate manually.

What to prepare

  • Philips screwdriver 
  • Flat-head screwdriver 
  • Door panel popper 
  • Ratchet wrench
  • New trunk latch

How to do it

  • The fasteners holding the lock in place should sit on the tailgate’s bottom. To remove them, use the flat-head screwdriver.
  • A screw can be seen by opening the liftgate a bit.
  • To remove the exposed screw, use the Philips screwdriver.
  • Using the panel popper, remove the brackets from the sides of the rear windshield.
  • You can see new screws; use the Philips screwdriver to remove them.
  • Take off the big plastic housing that covers the latch using the panel popper.
  • To remove the latch assembly, use a ratchet wrench.
  • Reassemble the components you took apart after installing the new latch.
  • Close the tailgate of the Subaru Forester and check to see if it closes and opens easily.

Replace The Trunk Switch

If you identify the damaged switch causing the Subaru trunk to not open and just beep; it’s time to have a new one. It’s not too difficult:

What to prepare

  • Screwdrivers 
  • Socket wrench
  • Panel removal kit 
  • New trunk switch

How to do it

  • In the interior of the liftgate, remove the interior trim.
  • Remove the screws and fasteners from the liftgate’s bottom.
  • Using a plastic panel popper, remove the rear windshield’s liner.
  • Remove the lining of the back door with care.
  • Unplug the motor of the power trunk and unscrew those holding the assembly to the back door.
  • To reveal the wiring, remove the screws holding the external panel of the trunk.
  • The actuator assembly should be removed after the screws are in place.
  • Reinstall them and the parts you removed after installing the new trunk switch.
  • Check the mechanism to see if the power trunk closes and opens without further problems.

Replace The Cable Of The Trunk

This task is comparable to changing the actuator on Forester’s trunk. However, you are replacing the cable, not the switch assembly.

And this, certainly, can solve the issue that the Subaru trunk won’t open.

Therefore, you might need to adhere to the instructions in the previous section.

But you only need to remove the broken cable and swap it out for a new one rather than replacing the tailgate switch assembly.


2010 subaru forester trunk won't open

Can I Open Subaru Forester Trunk Manually?

Yes. When your Subaru Forester trunk doesn’t open all the way, it’s advisable to drive your car to the service center and get help from technicians. However, you can manually open it first.

A benefit of the Forester is how simple it is to access the back cargo compartment inside the vehicle. So in some Forester models, you can access the liftgate from the inside.

Look inside the tailgate and track down where the handle is on the outside. Use a flathead screwdriver or key to open any small square or rectangular panels carefully.

There should be a small latch there once the panel has been removed. If you push up on it, the trunk can come off.

How Much Does It Cost To Repair My Subaru Trunk?

If you want to take your car in for repairs, the price will depend on what needs to be fixed and whether your warranty covers it.

In general, Subaru repair expenses are slightly more than normal but not unacceptably.

Owners report paying between $100 and $200 for repair or replacement if the cable is to blame.

A new actuator mechanism will cost around $150, while the latch mechanism will be charged about $70 or $80.

Remember that you will also have to cover the expense of the labor. These will vary depending on location, but the average in most states is between $130 and $150 per hour.

How To Reset The Subaru Tailgate?

Your Subaru tailgate won’t open, so you must reset your car tailgate. Keep pressing the rear liftgate button on your car until you hear it beep at least four times. This will reset the trunk.

This tailgate button, which is located on the door jamb, is only visible while the liftgate is open. Pressing down this button will close your car’s liftgate once it beeps once more.

Does Subaru Forester Have Power Liftgate?

Depending on the make and model year, your Subaru may or may not have this feature.

If your vehicle is equipped with it, it’s advisable to learn how to use the Subaru Forester power liftgate reset below:

  • Keep pressing the rear gate button to unlock the tailgate.
  • Once it is unlocked, open the back entrance.
  • It’s time to lower and close the rear gate once it begins to close automatically.
  • The system will be activated, and the reset process will start once the gate is closed.
  • The back power gate’s operation must be verified as the last step of this resetting process.
  • If it still isn’t working, you can keep pushing the button to see whether it operates.


Subaru Forester trunk won’t open – a common issue that owners face. What to do is identify the main causes and then find a suitable solution.

With simple ones, you can fix it at home (if you have the necessary tools). Or if you want a thorough check and ensure your vehicle is safe, get the help of a professional mechanic.

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