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I have a friend with a 2012 outback, and recently has been having issues with the rear hatch/wagon lid not opening. After taking it to the dealership they stated the mat was stuck causing the door to not open. Once removed it seemed to work but then the next day the problem continued. This issue is the at will not open all the way, and then won't close either (everything is in the latching position, not fully open). Long story short it wont open or close and now we are being told by Subaru that due to cold weather there is some sort of suction issue that is causing the weatherstripping to stick or suck it closed. (it takes 2 people (one pushing from the inside and one pulling from the outside to open it). I am not buying the whole suction or greasing explanation on a car with 10k miles on it. Any ideas?????
 

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2011 2.5i Steel Silver Metallic, Limited , Moonroof
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Sounds like there is something wrong with the latch, or the hatch itself is not aligned correctly. I have opened mine and closed it plenty of times in below zero weather. I do have the occasional situation where it doesn't close and latch all the way, I have to open and re-shut it to get to fully latch closed. I would not take the weatherstripping excuse from the dealer. That is a big deal and they need to fix it.

The dealer must have a heated repair bay. Have them take it inside until it is warmed and then check everything over. Might be latch problem, hatch hinge alignment, maybe check the assist gas pistons for alignment or bind and that they are lubed.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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it does seem like a lame excuse.

you could try a different dealership or get an SOA rep involved.
 

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2013 OB 2.5i Premium/DDD Graphite Gray Metallic OP#2 Weathertec Window Deflectors
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You could wipe down the gasket with (Silicone) spray use a rag, instead of running back and forth to the dealer. It just might work.
 

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2011 Outback 2.5i Premium, CVT, Steel Silver, all-weather package. Upgrades: Tweeter kit, BlueConnect, media hub, remote start, Curt 2" receiver hitch.
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I had a 4th gen VW Golf, and it was very common for the doors to freeze shut. VW recommended spraying the seal with silicone, and that did work. It could be the problem with your friend's car, but it doesn't seem common with these Outbacks. Is it possible that he put something on the seal (cleaner, lube, etc) that could be freezing?
 

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1993 Legacy LSi with still functioning Air Suspension, 1999 Outback 2.5L 5MT lab Rat
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if the initial issue was reported as the cargo mat stuck in the latch, I would have the Dealer Check the alignment of the latch tab (the D shaped loop on the body that the latch snaps into.) The easiest way to check the alignment is to hold the release Handle and close and open the door/hatch if you feel resistance at the latch tab. This may be more difficult on a hatch with an electric release. If the alignment of the latch is ok, Id' start looking at the latch itself maybe its has gotten some moisture in it and its freezing/sticking.
 

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13 Outback 2.5 Premium CVT
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Tell the dealer to grab 20 sets of keys to the outbacks sitting in the lot and walk out and open the hatches, after opening the hatch on 20 different cars with no problem just smile at him with a big grin and ask if he has more keys or would he like to try again and fix the issue.
 

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03 H6 OBW & 06 WRX Sportwagon
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Tell the dealer to grab 20 sets of keys to the outbacks sitting in the lot and walk out and open the hatches, after opening the hatch on 20 different cars with no problem just smile at him with a big grin and ask if he has more keys or would he like to try again and fix the issue.
lol!

if they all stick, then turn to him and say; "Yep, they're all broken and they all need to be fixed and you can start with mine!"
 

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07 OB 2.5i Basic 120,000+ Miles
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Suction on this!

some sort of suction
That is for sure. I have had cold weather, hot weather, etc. The only time I can not get the rear hatch opened is when the battery dies. Tell them their answer has some suction and to fix it. Get a loaner car form them and tell them you will return it when the hatch works like all the other cars...
 

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2012 Outback with hatch stuck shut

My 2012 Outback also has its hatch stuck shut. The service rep at my dealership (Flatirons Subaru, Boulder, CO) mumbled something about having to reset the whole system to unlock it???? He couldn't quote me a price on the fix. I'm a 60-year-old female -- am I being taken advantage of?
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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My 2012 Outback also has its hatch stuck shut. The service rep at my dealership (Flatirons Subaru, Boulder, CO) mumbled something about having to reset the whole system to unlock it???? He couldn't quote me a price on the fix. I'm a 60-year-old female -- am I being taken advantage of?
your subaru is old enough to avoid new car dealers,

@traildogck likes the Rupair guys a whole bunch. (traildog also fixes subarus in his own garage).

Contact Us | Super Rupair
 

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2014 Outback liftgate would not open, does now

Hope this might help someone. I read the other comments about their liftgates not opening, but to no avail. I went out after the sun had raised the temperature on the liftgate and after a firm tug I was able to get it open. It did appear their was some suction built up on the rubber seal. I used a silicone spray on the seals to help and lubricated the lock. Additionally, while putting on the lubricant I found two rubber contact fittings on each side of the gasket system on the body not the gate itself. Each had some dry leaf debris but the one on the left had a pine cone seed caught in it. When I pried it out, the locking system reacted. I really feel that had put the entire system under pressure. Might check that out if you have had no luck. A lot better than a trip to the dealer! Norma
 

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I have a 2012 OB and for the last month "all of a sudden" my rear hatch will randomly not un-lock/open. This is random...sometimes it's fine and other times it just won't unlock/open. Made sure everything was clear of the hatch. Doing research but really no real FIX. Very frustrating for sure. I may try a local Herndon, VA dealer...if no luck my mechanic.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Limited, Twilight Blue Metallic.
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Is it possible to take it to another dealer?
 

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2012 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited, with custom-added always-on auxillary power for an inverter, 3x DC jacks, and a radio transciever.
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I've had some times that my 2012 hatch will either not close or stick closed but it's never been so much that I can't get it to work.

When it won't close I find usually the rubber mat (or something else) has shifted and is obstructing the hatch. Once in a while if I don't close it forcefully enough it won't fully "lock" but I work around that by giving it a very gentle tug after I close it to verify it "really" closed. It shouldn't need slamming, just a firm push (sort of like when a car door is latched but not shut).

NOTE: When you end up in a "weird state" with it not closing, ensure the latch is working properly. I use a 1/4" chain link to test it but you can also use a screwdriver. You should be able to easily "push" it in and get the hatch to lock on the chain link or screwdriver shaft and then "pull" the link/screwdriver gently while depressing the release button and it the latch will "pop open" again.

Sometimes, usually after humid weather, I have it get stuck shut but it does "give" - I can feel the mechanism unlock but then the weatherstripping seems to "stick" making it not open far enough so the latch re-engages (again like a door latched but not shut). Usually if I let the weather get warmer/cooler/wetter/drier it releases easily but sometimes it requires a bigger tug. I try and avoid this in the winter in case it's frozen I don't want to damage the weatherstripping. My best solution to this so far has been wiping down the rubber with WD-40 liberally and cleaning/liberally-waxing the paint where the rubber touches.

If I don't use the sunroof for an extended time it also seems to get "stuck" to the paint. That's more difficult to deal with but the same "WD-40 the rubber and clean/wax the paint" seems to work well there too.

Doors aren't nearly as bad but I usually do them the same time as a preventative measure, we've had other cars where the doors might stick and that's not fun.

Also don't overlook the possibility of other moving parts binding -- couple drops of oil polished onto the piston shafts and white lithium grease on hinges, possibly on the latch mechanism as well. This also holds true for hood releases/supports. I forget which vehicle we had that the pneumatic pistons on the hood started binding and a few drops of oil cured it (I think I took a few drops off the engine oil dipstick at the time).
 

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Ok I've had little luck getting the hatchback to work this am. I called the dealer to schedule a maintenance appt - he walked me through a manual reset

Hold down the button on the tailgate until I this released . Open the tailgate by hand completely open . Press and hold the button on the inside tailgate (shut button) until you hear one beep, press the button again and it should close regularly

It took two turns but it worked and all buttons are now working - ?
 

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My 2016 Subaru Outback has had this problem twice. The first time, it was reset by the dealer ( 2 hours away ) Now it's happened again. Mine will open about a foot but no more. Same as last time. At this point I'd just prefer the old-fashioned "open it yourself" technique. I'm not always fond of electronic gadgetry. Also, the only window that works, is the driver's window. ( No - the window lock is not on ) . Sounds like it might all be related but I'm frustrated. I bought the car new barely over a year ago. I'm going to try the manual reset as described above ( tomorrow, when it's warmer). Any other suggestions would be welcomed.
 

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I have a 2012 OB and for the last month "all of a sudden" my rear hatch will randomly not un-lock/open. This is random...sometimes it's fine and other times it just won't unlock/open. Made sure everything was clear of the hatch. Doing research but really no real FIX. Very frustrating for sure. I may try a local Herndon, VA dealer...if no luck my mechanic.
Were you able to get this fixed? I'm having the same problem. In our case, the hatch is locked. When I try to open it, it sounds like it's going to open, it opens ever so slightly, but stops. I need to wait for the door to close itself. Then I can always open it the 2nd time I try. I took it to the dealer. I was able to show this problem to the guy who checked me, but it never happens twice in one day, so the mechanic could not replicate the issue. There was a popping sound when the hatch opened. This too was random, but it happened several times at the dealer. They replaced the trunk latch mechanism, but unfortunately, it didn't solve the original problem. So frustrating!
 

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Let me guess, it was raining the night before this happens? I noticed that too. After pressing the button a few times and the unlock mechanism clicks and starts to open, notice that you can gently yet forcefully press up on one side, then the other, and it opens :)
 

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2008 Subaru outback wagon
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My 2012 Outback also has its hatch stuck shut. The service rep at my dealership (Flatirons Subaru, Boulder, CO) mumbled something about having to reset the whole system to unlock it???? He couldn't quote me a price on the fix. I'm a 60-year-old female -- am I being taken advantage of?
It is a simple fix if only the hatch is stuck shut. I had glass pieces lodged in that wouldn't let me open the gate but i managed to open it with 1 hr work. I would gladly fix it if you can drive it to Texas :)
 
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