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This did not happen on a Subaru but I thought some here might have an idea as to how this was happening. My wife and I went out to walk our dog for the final time this evening about 8:30pm. As we left our condo building we saw that all the lights were on one of our neighbor’s car, a recent, 2020 or 2019, Toyota SUV. It may be a hybrid but I’m not sure, it is one of the big ones. Anyway my wife mentioned that all the lights were on when she got home from work at 5:30pm. I thought maybe they had just gotten out of the car and the lights hadn’t turned off yet. Decided to walk our dog and then see if they were still on when we got back to our building.

When we got back they were all still on and the engine was running, it was not before. That stumped us, we looked around to see if the neighbors were nearby but no one else was out. While we were standing there the engine cut off. As we entered our building I believe the engine fired up again. We went up to the fourth floor where we and our neighbor live, banged on the door and he finally came. There’s a bit of a langusage barrier but we explained that the lights were on and the engine was running, cutting off and restarting again. He had been home most of the evening. I can only assume that the car automatically restarted because it sensed the battery dropping, all exterior lights were on including fog lights. We’re both coming from 14-15 year old cars so we have no idea how all this works.

Has anyone experienced anything like this or have an idea what was going on?
 

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This did not happen on a Subaru but I thought some here might have an idea as to how this was happening. My wife and I went out to walk our dog for the final time this evening about 8:30pm. As we left our condo building we saw that all the lights were on one of our neighbor’s car, a recent, 2020 or 2019, Toyota SUV. It may be a hybrid but I’m not sure, it is one of the big ones. Anyway my wife mentioned that all the lights were on when she got home from work at 5:30pm. I thought maybe they had just gotten out of the car and the lights hadn’t turned off yet. Decided to walk our dog and then see if they were still on when we got back to our building.

When we got back they were all still on and the engine was running, it was not before. That stumped us, we looked around to see if the neighbors were nearby but no one else was out. While we were standing there the engine cut off. As we entered our building I believe the engine fired up again. We went up to the fourth floor where we and our neighbor live, banged on the door and he finally came. There’s a bit of a langusage barrier but we explained that the lights were on and the engine was running, cutting off and restarting again. He had been home most of the evening. I can only assume that the car automatically restarted because it sensed the battery dropping, all exterior lights were on including fog lights. We’re both coming from 14-15 year old cars so we have no idea how all this works.

Has anyone experienced anything like this or have an idea what was going on?
Now I know why the Subaru will automatically restart the engine when you put it in Park. So you don't forget to turn the car off.

It sounds like your neighbor stopped the vehicle, the engine stopped, they put the parking brake on, and got out of the car. They forgot to press the stop button. Not sure if they even put it in park - do you know?
 

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Maybe has a maintenance mode like the Prius... but you would figure you would want the lights to be off (maybe they forgot to do that).
 

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Now I know why the Subaru will automatically restart the engine when you put it in Park. So you don't forget to turn the car off.

It sounds like your neighbor stopped the vehicle, the engine stopped, they put the parking brake on, and got out of the car. They forgot to press the stop button. Not sure if they even put it in park - do you know?
I have embarrassingly done this once. I was getting out of my previous car, it was bitterly cold out so I put on my wireless noise canceling headphones on to use them as ear muffs. Put the car in park but in the shuffle, forgot to turn the car off and only realized that after walking a few yards and wondering why I did not hear the horn beep on locking the doors. This was in the afternoon so lights were not on on the car.
 

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I have embarrassingly done this once. I was getting out of my previous car, it was bitterly cold out so I put on my wireless noise canceling headphones on to use them as ear muffs. Put the car in park but in the shuffle, forgot to turn the car off and only realized that after walking a few yards and wondering why I did not hear the horn beep on locking the doors. This was in the afternoon so lights were not on on the car.
I'm still getting used to keyless entry. It's muscle memory to turn the key off, pull it out, get out of the car, press the lock button.

A couple times I got out of the new car and didn't lock it because I didn't have the fob in my hand. If keyless entry were an option I would not have gotten it. Not upset with it, but just not finding it "more convenient" - having actual keys have never been a nuisance or inconvenience to me. It's still not "muscle memory" for me to touch the handle to lock the car when I get out, or to fish the fob out of my pants so I can press the lock button. Out of habit as I approach the car I tend to have the fob in my hand. Totally unnecessary. Oh well.
 

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I'm still getting used to keyless entry. It's muscle memory to turn the key off, pull it out, get out of the car, press the lock button.

A couple times I got out of the new car and didn't lock it because I didn't have the fob in my hand. If keyless entry were an option I would not have gotten it. Not upset with it, but just not finding it "more convenient" - having actual keys have never been a nuisance or inconvenience to me. It's still not "muscle memory" for me to touch the handle to lock the car when I get out, or to fish the fob out of my pants so I can press the lock button. Out of habit as I approach the car I tend to have the fob in my hand. Totally unnecessary. Oh well.
You don't need to take the fob out to lock the car. There are two bars on the door handle (both driver and passenger side) that when you touch them, will lock the car.
I've posted about this with a picture here:

 

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2020 Subaru Outback Limited (Magnetite Gray Metallic)
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@Jp1975
If it was a Rav4 hybrid I can see the owner forgetting that he left the car on because in EV mode it's silent. I'm not sure about the Rav4 hybrid but my Insight(hybrid) does 3 alert beeps after I shut the door if I didn't turn off the car.
 

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You don't need to take the fob out to lock the car. There are two bars on the door handle (both driver and passenger side) that when you touch them, will lock the car.
I've posted about this with a picture here:

Right - that's what I mean by touching the handle when I get out. I'm doing that most of the time now.
 

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Right - that's what I mean by touching the handle when I get out. I'm doing that most of the time now.
The Outback should've came with walk away auto lock. If it has the radios to detect a keyfob nearby to unlock then they should be able to detect the keyfob leaving the car to lock. I love this feature on my car, I never have to remember to touch the lock sensor on the handle, or pull out the keyfob to lock my car. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
@Jp1975
If it was a Rav4 hybrid I can see the owner forgetting that he left the car on because in EV mode it's silent. I'm not sure about the Rav4 hybrid but my Insight(hybrid) does 3 alert beeps after I shut the door if I didn't turn off the car.
I’m going to check later to see if it’s a hybrid. Because of the language barrier I’m not certain what his process was when he parked the vehicle. I suspect he left the lights on, perhaps the engine stopped as he parked and he did not actually turn it off. But there must be some mechanism that as the battery drains the engine starts up again.

My wife and I were arguing a bit about this because she said she always leaves the lights in auto mode as the dealer had told her and that they always go off after some period of time. I found in the Subaru manual that it warns you that if the vehicle is going to be unattended for a length of time the lights should be turned off, it mentions that in auto or any setting other than off, if left unattended, the battery may be discharged. That concerns me and may have some connection to what happened with my neighbor.
 

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2020 Black Subaru Outback Touring XT
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Any chance he remote started the car and it ran past the timer therefore leaving the lights on for a while until they shut off. Then possibly when you came back same situation happened where the remote start happened and the car turned off after the timer went off, just happens you saw it. Also possible the second time he canceled the remote start?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
It is a hybrid. I don’t think he tried any remote starting. When we banged on the door it appeared as if he’d been napping and had been home for several hours. Whether he had accidentally done something I have no way of knowing.
 

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Conclusion: that's where S/S really shines, and saves a lot of extra gas and emissions, overall? 🤓
I am just kidding, I really like the S/S frature and all the savings coming with it! :unsure:
 

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I will admit once I left my 2013 OB (which had keyless entry on the Limited SAP) actually running like that. Im hazy now on the circumstances as to why I left the car without noticing, but it wasnt at home, and was out of it for a while, I was quite shocked to come back to it and it was still running. I remember also thinking I was surprised how little gas was used cause I think it was hours I was away from it. Stupid mistake and I felt quite the idiot coming back to it.

I also had a habit of locking the doors with the keys inside. I got so used to always having them in my pocket and never taking them out so if I ever put the keys anywhere in the car outside of my pocket, I would forget they werent with me when I exited. The last year the communication between BOTH my FOBs and the car got sketchy. Not sure what the issue was but the car locked on them without registering they were inside. This probably happened to me 3-4 times. 3 times I was close to home or home, the last time I had to call AAA. Never figured out why both would do it. It wasnt the battery in the fobs.
I really like the push button start and keyless entry, but it gets you into weird habits.
Every time I have a rental car with a standard key start, I hop in and try to push something. lolol
 

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I will admit once I left my 2013 OB (which had keyless entry on the Limited SAP) actually running like that. Im hazy now on the circumstances as to why I left the car without noticing, but it wasnt at home, and was out of it for a while, I was quite shocked to come back to it and it was still running. I remember also thinking I was surprised how little gas was used cause I think it was hours I was away from it. Stupid mistake and I felt quite the idiot coming back to it.
This is actually a huge issue.


https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/13/business/deadly-convenience-keyless-cars-and-their-carbon-monoxide-toll.html
 

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A carbon monoxide detector for $20 may be a good idea for your garage if that's where your keyless S/S car is parked .....
 
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