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Alright, so I have a '98 Outback and just recently the rear hatch won't open. I can lock and unlock it, both automatically and manually, but when I try to open it I get the feeling that it's still locked and it won't open. I don't know if this is a common problem, but if I can fix it by myself, I'd rather not bring it in. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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mine does this exact same thing; I share your pain. It is also a '98. The way I open it is I turn the key back and forth (top towards the license plate and then towards the right taillight); then I pull up on the handle. If that doesn't work, I flip the key around and give it another go.

I have toyed with the notion of getting the keys re-ground (I got the number plates for the keys from the original owner, so it would be a new master, instead of merely a copy), but I haven't done it yet.

I pulled open the little access panel on the inside of the hatch, and watched the linkages move; something must be bent, or at the very least worn out, but i saw nothing that looked like obvious damage or fatigue.

I can always open it, provided I am patient (and it isn't literally frozen). During the spring/summer I plan on dedicating some time to the task.

Edit: in my experience with other vehicles, it is an easy DIY project (other cars have needed either cylinder or linkage replacements). Get a Haynes manual, it shows how to remove the inside hatch panel. Find the parts department in your local Suby dealership, just in case. It isn't just you; I'll let you know if i find anything else out. Good luck!!
 

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Hi and :welcome2:

All three of my soobs have the tailgate latch rusted out. Mines issues sound different than yours. Mine all open when unlocked, but the latch handle sticks in the open position and has to be manually pushed back before closing or it doesn't latch.
 
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