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Discussion Starter #1
So I have a steep driveway and we have been struggling with our 17 Outback locking up the brakes when it sees the road. This is a known issue.

Now the past few weeks it's been below 20 degrees the RAB has not worked at all. When you put it in reverse the RAB button is grayed out and the infotainment makes a loud steady beeping noise. This is while I am stopped and not even moving just with car in reverse.

Now that it's warmed up the past week it seemed back to normal. Until yesterday I started backing out, and I got to the bottom of the driveway and was going slightly faster than a snail which caused the RAB to kick in only it didn't brake it just displayed an RAB off light in the dash. I didn't turn off RAB either on the touch screen. The RAB off light stayed on in the speedometer cluster the 10 mile trip. When I turned the car off and back on again, the RAB off light went away as if there was no issue.

I only have 4,500 miles. Anyone else see this type of failures related to cold or RAB just turning itself off instead of braking? Any software updates to improve performance of RAB with steep driveways?

Between the wind noise, pitiful navigation infotainment system, and the fact my car wont let me leave my driveway, this 6th Subaru might be my last..... I can't say enough about how good SOA customer service has treated me over the years, but I'm not sure that is enough to make up for my car not letting me leave my driveway.

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2016 Outback Premium 2.5 CVT w/EyeSight+SRVD
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Have you tried washing your rear bumper?
 
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18 Outback 3.6r Touring
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I don’t mind when it triggers on a tall blade of grass, a fence post or shopping card, at least it’s doing it job. What becomes dangerous is when it becomes disabled with the lights on the dash. That means your airbags are also disabled. It’s been 4 months and Subaru still has not addressed it.
 

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That means your airbags are also disabled.
Source?

Even if that were true, airbags are not intended to provide protection when backing up.
 

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19 OB 3.6 Limited NAV, Pkg 2, Remote Start
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The other day I was backing up in my driveway avoiding ice patches and snow. All of a sudden the RAB came on with some indications on my screen and the car came to an immediate halt. Saved my garage door! No complaints here.
 

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shamrockshooter: I've seen the same issues with my RAB. The steeper the driveway, the worse the problem.

Cold weather does the exact same thing, completely disables the RAB. And, I keep my car very clean, so it isn't a buildup of crud on the rear sensors.

So far, I've not addressed it with the dealer, as I doubt anything can be done.

My own solutions?: 1) Back into my driveway. 2) Hold the RAB button down for full 2-3 seconds to disable it each time I want to back out of the driveway without the car grinding to a halt.
 

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Once the RAB is triggered or disabled, it will stay disabled on the screen. If the system was triggered normally (brakes kicked in) then when you put it in drive, the system should reset. If is disabled in drive, it means the RAB has malfunctioned. Turning the ignition off/on will clear that and it should work then. However, the claim is that the air bags are disabled when the RAB is disabled. This is bad if you go along your way, with RAB disabled thinking everything is cool.

What is infuriating is the RAB will become disabled when backing up carefully and you are riding the brakes to avoid RAB and even though RAB braking will not be activated, the RAB system will still be "triggered" and get disabled and will not reset after going into Drive. Even WORSE is if you manually disable the RAB but it still gets triggered - isn't that why you disabled it in the first place? - and will be disabled after going into Drive. So yeah, you do everything correct to keep the RAB braking from being activated but the RAB system still thinks it should've been and goes into disabled mode.
 

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Source?

Even if that were true, airbags are not intended to provide protection when backing up.
Sources are SoA and your owners manual. You can read more details about it on this thread http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/138-gen-5-2015-present/450241-2018-outback-tech-issues.html
The airbags provide protection In forward and side collision but not if they are disabled. The owners manual instructs you(paraphrased) to restart your car to reset the system. If you don't everything remains disabled. Subaru considers this to be by designed and working correctly UNLESS restarting the car does not reset the system.
 

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shamrockshooter: I've seen the same issues with my RAB. The steeper the driveway, the worse the problem.

Cold weather does the exact same thing, completely disables the RAB. And, I keep my car very clean, so it isn't a buildup of crud on the rear sensors.

So far, I've not addressed it with the dealer, as I doubt anything can be done.

My own solutions?: 1) Back into my driveway. 2) Hold the RAB button down for full 2-3 seconds to disable it each time I want to back out of the driveway without the car grinding to a halt.
We have a level driveway exiting to an alley that has a slight drainage dip in the center. The subaru engineer checked it out. His conclusion was all the angles from the driveways, curve in the alley and various fence posts confuses the system and that's why it gets disabled.
Our solution, we park on the street out front.

SoA last told me they needed more failures, complaints, dealer feedback, etc... of disabled systems from the field before they will look at it. In my case the only reason why I got any attention was because the tech found while diagnosing it that there was a "generic code" for the airbag found on their tool indicating it was disabled and thought it might be related. They kept the car for a month till subaru sent an engineer to look at it and said it's by design and normal. Something about the airbag was part of the same module or something. So they gave it back to me and said whenever it happens follow the instructions in the owners manual to reset it before proceeding with your drive.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
shamrockshooter: I've seen the same issues with my RAB. The steeper the driveway, the worse the problem.

Cold weather does the exact same thing, completely disables the RAB. And, I keep my car very clean, so it isn't a buildup of crud on the rear sensors.

So far, I've not addressed it with the dealer, as I doubt anything can be done.

My own solutions?: 1) Back into my driveway. 2) Hold the RAB button down for full 2-3 seconds to disable it each time I want to back out of the driveway without the car grinding to a halt.
Thanks for the info. Yup my vehicle was washed and clean. I've tried backing in the driveway, does help a little. I will be going in for first oil change next month, so I will bring it up. If SOA can't fix this RAB and adjust the sensitivity, I'll lemon law this car and move on. The RAB locks up at our babysitter s driveway too, only hers is a 55 mph road in a spot where you often need to gun it out of the driveway. It's not safe when cars are coming at 55 around a blind curve and you need to back out quick and your car locks up your brakes with your bumper half in the street.

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What becomes dangerous is when [RAB] becomes disabled with the lights on the dash. That means your airbags are also disabled.
Sources are SoA and your owners manual.
I can find nothing in the 2018 Owners Manual that indicates RAB malfunction will disable the SRS airbags. In fact, I can find no connection between the RAB and SRS systems. Please provide a specific citation.
 

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I can find nothing in the 2018 Owners Manual that indicates RAB malfunction will disable the SRS airbags. In fact, I can find no connection between the RAB and SRS systems. Please provide a specific citation.
The "specific" citation is the engineer's input to an SoA case, also called an SR. The reference to the manual was how to reset the RAB system when it becomes disabled. Sorry if those two references were confused. And I have my service order regarding the "customer reported malfunction" with the "works as designed" response after a month later. If you have access to the subaru diagnostic tool all you have to do is put the RAB into the disabled malfunctioning state, indicator on the dash, and pull the codes. That's all my dealer had to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The "specific" citation is the engineer's input to an SoA case, also called an SR. The reference to the manual was how to reset the RAB system when it becomes disabled. Sorry if those two references were confused. And I have my service order regarding the "customer reported malfunction" with the "works as designed" response after a month later. If you have access to the subaru diagnostic tool all you have to do is put the RAB into the disabled malfunctioning state, indicator on the dash, and pull the codes. That's all my dealer had to do.
So if in my case the RAB has an error and disables itself, the airbags won't work, but if you electively turn RAB off on the touch screen the airbags will work? Sorry I'm a bit confused on this one. It's one thing for back up sensors not to work, but it's something totally different if someone in my family dies because the airbags didn't deploy because the RAB malfunctioned.

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Thanks for the info. Yup my vehicle was washed and clean. I've tried backing in the driveway, does help a little. I will be going in for first oil change next month, so I will bring it up. If SOA can't fix this RAB and adjust the sensitivity, I'll lemon law this car and move on. The RAB locks up at our babysitter s driveway too, only hers is a 55 mph road in a spot where you often need to gun it out of the driveway. It's not safe when cars are coming at 55 around a blind curve and you need to back out quick and your car locks up your brakes with your bumper half in the street.

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Wow, I'm having this same issue and was actually going to post about today!

Anytime I back out of my driveway at any speed (see pics) RAB activates the brakes and I come to a screeching halt! When this happens when I am half awake at 6:30AM, it scares the **** out of me. Other than being a good way to wake me up, this is very annoying.

One thing I noticed is that when I have my bike rack in the hitch, RAB is automatically disabled...PERFECT! I did not buy this car specifically for this function so I do not care if it is off permanently. However, I am not always going to have my bike rack installed, so I need a different way to trick it into automatically disabling it.

So yesterday I did some investigative work and found that its super easy to unplug one of the sensors. This disabled RAB but you then get an orange RAB light on the dash indicating that something is wrong with it. This light stays on all the time and I do not want that. So back to the drawing board.

I then found that you can actually remove the entire sensor from the clip in the bumper altogether (see pic). So I removed it and ziptied it to the frame under the car. This tricked RAB into thinking that something is blocking the sensor and turned it off. This also leaves a hole in the bumper which I dont like, so I'm wondering if Outbacks without RAB have the same bumper with inserts in the holes that I can get from a junkyard?!

So after doing that yesterday, I thought I fixed the problem! Then this morning when backing out, I noticed RAB was active! So even with only 3 sensors in the bumper, it still works...WTF! Back to the drawing board again!

Anyone have any other ideas?!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow, I'm having this same issue and was actually going to post about today!

Anytime I back out of my driveway at any speed (see pics) RAB activates the brakes and I come to a screeching halt! When this happens when I am half awake at 6:30AM, it scares the **** out of me. Other than being a good way to wake me up, this is very annoying.

One thing I noticed is that when I have my bike rack in the hitch, RAB is automatically disabled...PERFECT! I did not buy this car specifically for this function so I do not care if it is off permanently. However, I am not always going to have my bike rack installed, so I need a different way to trick it into automatically disabling it.

So yesterday I did some investigative work and found that its super easy to unplug one of the sensors. This disabled RAB but you then get an orange RAB light on the dash indicating that something is wrong with it. This light stays on all the time and I do not want that. So back to the drawing board.

I then found that you can actually remove the entire sensor from the clip in the bumper altogether (see pic). So I removed it and ziptied it to the frame under the car. This tricked RAB into thinking that something is blocking the sensor and turned it off. This also leaves a hole in the bumper which I dont like, so I'm wondering if Outbacks without RAB have the same bumper with inserts in the holes that I can get from a junkyard?!

So after doing that yesterday, I thought I fixed the problem! Then this morning when backing out, I noticed RAB was active! So even with only 3 sensors in the bumper, it still works...WTF! Back to the drawing board again!

Anyone have any other ideas?!
Wow. I admire your desire to beat the RAB at it's own game.

A small piece of electric tape on the instrument panel will cover up the RAB warning light. Or move to someplace where it is always below 20 deg. But see the post above about air bags not working if there is an RAB failure?

My Chevy Silverado has a digital meter for off road 4wd that shows you your vehicles current incline or decline. In my driveway, my truck says it has 3 degrees of slope which isn't much. Every once in a while my truck will give a quick half second beep backing out before it quickly realizes I'm not going to back into the pavement.

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Wow. I admire your desire to beat the RAB at it's own game.

A small piece of electric tape on the instrument panel will cover up the RAB warning light. Or move to someplace where it is always below 20 deg. But see the post above about air bags not working if there is an RAB failure?

My Chevy Silverado has a digital meter for off road 4wd that shows you your vehicles current incline or decline. In my driveway, my truck says it has 3 degrees of slope which isn't much. Every once in a while my truck will give a quick half second beep backing out before it quickly realizes I'm not going to back into the pavement.

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I really highly doubt that when RAB disables itself that it also disables the airbags. If it did, it would be in the manual and the Airbag light would come on when it is disabled. Even when unplugging one of the RAB sensors it did not turn an airbag light on so I doubt they are disabled. If anything else got disabled by RAB it would be in this situation where the sensor is unplugged, but even then, there are no airbag warnings.

I can not find any logic into disabling the airbags when a safety feature is disabled automatically by its own programming. So I do not buy that it disables the airbags, otherwise Subaru is in for some lawsuits if thats really the case.
 

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I really highly doubt that when RAB disables itself that it also disables the airbags. If it did, it would be in the manual and the Airbag light would come on when it is disabled. Even when unplugging one of the RAB sensors it did not turn an airbag light on so I doubt they are disabled. If anything else got disabled by RAB it would be in this situation where the sensor is unplugged, but even then, there are no airbag warnings.

I can not find any logic into disabling the airbags when a safety feature is disabled automatically by its own programming. So I do not buy that it disables the airbags, otherwise Subaru is in for some lawsuits if thats really the case.
I was thinking the same thing, but it was seemingly suggested in other posts, unless I'm not understanding what they were saying.

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I find the airbag being disabled unlikely as well. Would than mean in a case like mentioned above where someone has a bike rack installed which caused the RAB to be disabled that the airbags would also be disabled? Highly unlikely.
 

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I find the airbag being disabled unlikely as well. Would than mean in a case like mentioned above where someone has a bike rack installed which caused the RAB to be disabled that the airbags would also be disabled? Highly unlikely.
Well in my case RAB turned itself off because of an error, not just because it sensed a bike rack. I was backing up it started beeping but didn't brake the car it just turned on the SAB light. Not sure if that was the distinction.

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