Subaru Key Fob Not Working – Answer For Causes And Solutions

Subaru key fobs are a convenient and essential part of many Subaru owners’ daily routines, providing easy access to their vehicles with just the push of a button.

However, there are instances where the Subaru key fob not working as expected, leaving owners frustrated and inconvenienced.

There are several causes for this alarm problem, from a dead battery to a malfunctioning receiver. Troubleshooting issues and identifying the root cause is the first step in resolving them.

This post will walk you through some of the common reasons why your Subaru key fob disabled and useful tricks on how to fix the issue.

So, let’s dive into the details and get your Subaru Forester valid vehicle key fob working like a charm again!

Why Subaru Key Fob Not Working

subaru keyless entry not working
What The Causes Subaru Key Fob Not Working

Once the Subaru key fob refuses to work, it’s due to the wear and tear, water damage, interfered signals, or reprogramming requirement.

A dead battery, bad receiver, or improper battery swap are also to blame.

Let’s discuss more about the most common reasons your Subaru key not working!

Dead Car Battery

A dead car lithium-ion battery can cause a key fob to malfunction, as the key fob requires power from the battery to operate properly.

When the car battery dead or is disconnected, it can cause a disruption in the key fob’s power source, causing it to stop working.

Plus, some Subaru models have a keyless system receiver module integrated with the car’s onboard computer system.

When the car’s battery dies, it can cause a malfunction in the board diagnostic system, which may prevent the remote control vehicle key from working properly.

Wear And Tear

Over time, it is inevitable for the buttons and electronics inside the key fob to experience wear and tear.

The buttons on it are often the first mechanical components to wear out due to regular use, which can make it difficult to press the worn buttons or prevent them from making contact with the underlying circuitry.

Additionally, the key fob electronic component and internal chip can become damaged over time due to exposure to moisture, extreme temperatures, or physical impacts.

This can cause the Subaru key disabled or stop working altogether.

Water Damage

As you may know, moisture is one of the enemies of any electrical device. The same applies to your Subaru Legacy key fob.

Excessive water can seep into the key fob through small openings, such as the keyring hole, and damage the sensitive electronics inside.

When water comes into contact with the circuitry and other internal components, it can cause corrosion, short circuits, or different types of damage.

This can make the Subaru keys not working properly or cause key malfunction. Check out this post if you are wondering whether car keys are waterproof.

Signal Interference

Your key fob relies on a wireless remote control signal to communicate with the car.

Still, this key signal from an outback remote control can be distorted by nearby transmitters operating on the same frequency band, objects, poor weather conditions, or other factors.

The most common sources of signal interference include other wireless devices, such as cell phones, laptops, and tablets, as well as radio frequency signals from nearby radio systems or cell phone towers.

The remote key might function when you’re close to the car, but it might not when you’re farther away. When there is severe interference or loose connection, the remote might not function at all.

Reprogramming Needed

Devices that couple are key fobs. It indicates that the correct transmitter and receiver are interdependent.

Thus, the key fob needs to be configured before being associated with the Subaru receiver. In essence, the key fob won’t function if it isn’t set up to control the vehicle.

In addition, a low key battery may experience communication issues, necessitating resetting.

Thus, reprogramming is a crucial step in identifying and fixing problems with malfunctioning Subaru key fobs.

Bad Key Fob Receiver

The receiver is responsible for detecting the signals sent from the key fob and communicating with the car’s board computer system.

When the receiver module issues appears or becomes damaged, it may not be able to pick up the signal from the key fob, causing it not to work properly.

In some cases, the issue could be with the antenna attached to the receiver or the cable that creates a connection between key receiver to the car’s computer system.

If you suspect that a bad key fob receiver is the cause of your problem, it’s best to take your vehicle to a certified Subaru technician to diagnose and fix the problem.

Improper Battery Swap

Electrical system damage to the car may be the cause of a key fob not functioning following a battery swap.

This might occur following maintenance on the vehicle, during which the side panels or dashboard have to be taken off and put back on.

Wires become seen as panels are taken off. During maintenance or when your panels are being placed back on, they may unintentionally become damaged or detached.

Check for any further electrical issues if this type of maintenance was recently completed before your key fob began to misbehave.

What To Do When Subaru Fob Not Working

Below are a few solutions you can try to solve the problem when it occurs.

Change The Dead Battery

subaru key fob not working
Alteration The Dead Battery

If the battery in your Subaru key fob is dead or low on power, you will need to replace it to restore its functionality. Here are the steps to get a replacement battery in position.

Step 1: Determine your key fob battery type and size. You can find this information in the owners manual for your Subaru or by checking the type and size on the old one.

Step 2: Use a small flathead tool such as screwdriver or a coin to pry open the key fob. Insert the screwdriver or coin into the seam between the two halves of the key fob and gently pry them apart.

Step 3: Remove the old battery from the key fob. Use a small screwdriver to lift it out of the compartment.

Step 4: Insert the new one into the compartment. Make sure the battery is properly aligned with the positive terminal (+) and negative (-) battery terminals.

Step 5: Close the key fob. Press the two halves of the key fob back together until they snap into place.

Step 6: Test the key fob. Push the buttons on it to ensure that it is working properly. If it is still not working, you may need to reprogram it or check for other key fob issues.

Reprogram Your Key Fob

Follow the next instructions carefully yet fast to reprogram your key fob effectively.

Step 1: Sit in the driver’s seat of your Subaru and close all doors and windows.

Step 2: Insert the key into the ignition.

Step 3: Turn it to the “On” position without starting the car. Turn it to the Off position. Repeat this 10 times swiftly. At reaching the tenth repetition, your instrument panel will sound a chime.

Step 4: Reopen and shut the driver’s side door. A second chime ought to be heard, and the car’s dome light flashes.

Step 5: Once the process completes, you have 45 seconds to enter an 8-digit transmitter number into your engine control unit computer.

Now, follow the instructions below to program your 8-digit number sequence.

Step 1: Look at the transmitter’s initial digit and push the lock button as many times as the number specifies. Repeat this for every digit.

Step 2: Repeat step 1 once more to ensure your number sequence was correctly input. Then, you’ll hear the central locking system of the car click into action.

Step 3: Open and close your car door. Then, hit the unlock or lock function.

Step 4: Take the key out of the ignition. Now, the chime will start up again.

Step 5: The key fob ought to start operating in five seconds after you open and shut the door once more. You can test it by pressing the buttons. And your 8-digit number sequence is now programmed.

Replace Your Key Fob

subaru outback key fob not working
Change Your Key Fob

Changing your old Subaru key fob for a new one is a simple process. Here is how to do it.

Step 1: Purchase a replacement key fob compatible with your specific Subaru model. You can purchase these electrical accessories online, from a dealer or an auto parts store.

Step 2: Unpair the old device by sitting in the driver’s seat of your vehicle with all doors closed. Insert the key into the ignition and turn it to the “On” position but don’t start the engine.

Within 10 seconds, press and release the “Lock” button on the old key fob. You’ll hear the ignition lock cycle, indicating that it has been successfully unpaired.

Step 3: Repeat step 2, but this time hit the “Lock” button on the new key fob rather than the “Lock” button on the old one. You should hear the locks cycle when the new one and the locks correctly pair.

Step 4: Once you’ve paired the new key fob, test it out to ensure it’s working properly. Stand close to your car and press the buttons on the new device to lock and unlock the doors.If everything works normally, you can now access your vehicle using it.

Note: If you encounter any issues during the pairing process, it’s best to seek the help of a certified Subaru technician.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does The Key Fob Stop Working If My Car Is Dead?

No. Unfortunately, your key fob won’t function if your car battery dies.

This is true even though the device comes with its own battery since, even if it sends a signal to your car’s electrical system, it will be useless if there is no power at the other end.

Can I Drive My Subaru Without A Key Fob?

It depends on the year and model of your Subaru. Many newer Subaru models have a keyless entry antenna system, meaning you need the key fob to start the car.

On the contrary, some older Subaru models do not have this system and can be started with a traditional key.

How Long Can Key Fobs Last?

Most key fobs can last anywhere from 3 to 7 years, but their lifespan can vary depending on usage, volt battery quality, and environmental conditions.

A tip to prolong the life of your device is to use it only when needed and avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures.

Can My Key Fob Lose Its Programming?

Yes, it is possible for a key fob to lose its programming.

This can happen for various reasons, including a bad battery, a faulty key fob, or a malfunction in the car’s board electronics computer system.

If it has lost its programming, it may no longer work properly and will need to be reprogrammed.

The Bottom Line

A Subaru key fob not working can be a frustrating experience.

Keep in mind that it’s essential to identify the root cause of the problem with your anti-theft security system and take the appropriate steps to resolve it.

Taking care of your key fob by keeping it clean and avoiding damage is important for preventing issues in the first place.

If you’re unsure how to troubleshoot the problem, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a certified Subaru technician.

With their expertise and specialized equipment, they can quickly diagnose and resolve any issues with your security module, getting you back on the road in no time.

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