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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2017 Outback. At least a couple times a week, the key get stuck in the ignition. You can turn the car off, but you can't remove the key. If I start the car back up, and shift it into Drive, and them slam it back into Park, then I can turn the car off and remove the key. Car is off warranty, so taking it to a dealer is not an option.


Any suggestions on how to fix it?
 

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I had the same problem in a couple of vehicles I have owned. I have found that the steering wheel lock was not engaged. To remedy the problem, I would have to turn the wheel, engage the steering lock, and it usually freed the key. My current Outback is push button start, so not an issue on this model, but it sometimes happens on my Audi A3. Exact same problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I was aware of the steering lock preventing the key from being extracted. But, that is not the case with this car. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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2017 Outback 3.6 Touring, which replaced '05 Outback XT
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The key release is a solenoid activated by a switch in the shifter. Either the switch is going bad or there is lint or dirt in the shifter gate preventing it from moving far enough to hit the switch when put into park. It could also be a sticky solenoid in the ignition switch, but that's less likely.

With the engine off, you can probably feel or hear a faint click in the steering column as you rock the shifter right and left in the park slot. Once you get attuned to it, I bet you'll find it intermittent. The next time it happens, try just moving the shifter without starting the car.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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My motorcycle still has a key ignition, collects a lot of dirt in the ignition when I ride on dirt roads. I use a can of compressed air to blow out the ignition cylinder, then squirt a little bit of graphite. Perhaps this would help with your ignition issue?
 

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Not sure about how to fix it, but don't necessarily rule out the dealer. Mine has fixed a few things that were out of warranty. It's worth taking it in, letting them diagnose it, and asking them if they can make any kind of deal.

Of course, their diagnosis might be "replace steering wheel lock and ignition key assembly".
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The key release is a solenoid activated by a switch in the shifter. Either the switch is going bad or there is lint or dirt in the shifter gate preventing it from moving far enough to hit the switch when put into park. It could also be a sticky solenoid in the ignition switch, but that's less likely.

With the engine off, you can probably feel or hear a faint click in the steering column as you rock the shifter right and left in the park slot. Once you get attuned to it, I bet you'll find it intermittent. The next time it happens, try just moving the shifter without starting the car.

It happen again tonight. It took about two minutes of works to get it to release the key. But, I think you are right. It used to click when I moved the shifter to park. Now it doesn't do that. How hard is it to get to the solenoid in the shifter?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yes, warranty is over. It has 45k


Do you know how to get access to the solenoid on the shifter?
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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Do you know how to get access to the solenoid on the shifter?
The switch is in the shifter, the solenoid is attached to the lock.

If you're going to work on your car, I highly recommend you download the Factory Service Manual. A 3-day subscription to the Subaru Technical Information System is $35 and allows access to that and a lot more. That's a bargain! Downloading the FSM is now much easier than it used to be. Download all the literature that might apply to your car, including the TSBs and newsletters.

https://techinfo.subaru.com/stis/#/login
 

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'16 Outback 2.5i Premium WAM, Factory Hitch, Infinity speakers, Alpine Sub, Cargo Tray/Seat Protectors, Husky Liners, Rally Armor Mudflaps, LED Int Ltg, Subaru LOGO LED Projection Puddle Lights, OUTB
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My key gets "stuck" in the ignition for hours at a time. It takes me such a long time to stop driving around enjoying my OB. Eventually life interrupts and I figure out how to unstick the key from the ignition. ?
 

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2016 Outback Premium
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This is a repost from the (General -> Problems and Maintenance) area. In my case, the frequency of the problem was increasing on hot weather. On a +90F day, this problem was reproduced at the dealer and TSB 16-112-18R was performed.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Touring with CVT, Carbide Grey, Canadian spec.
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thanks for the TSB#
my 2016 outback is doing the same lately.


/Paul
 

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2019 Ascent Premium
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Subaru repaired mine under warranty. The replaced the Select Lever Assembly. I have not had an issue since 4/12.

The invoice states the following:

Park Range Switch Malfunction
Replaced select lever assembly

Part # 35111AL00B Select Lever
 

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Discussion Starter #16
While my car was out of warranty, the dealer replaced it for free. But, on the invoice it said that the normal charge would have been $500-600. I should also note that it took the dealer a month to get the part. Apparently, they updated the switch.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
The problem started at 5k. Didn't happen often, and didn't think much of it at the time. But, quickly got worse after the warranty mileage was over. It might help that I have owned 10 subaru's and bought the car from them. It is also a known problem, even if it isn't that common.
 

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2016 2nd Outback owner, April, 2016 2.8, CVT Red
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Does the select lever assy

Does this select lever also lock the steering, my steering wheel is not locking as well.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5i Touring with CVT, Carbide Grey, Canadian spec.
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Hi
so I was in today for my planned 70k maintenance and request the above TSB be applied. They quoted 650$ plus sales tax so guess I will live with the problem. Hasn't happened in 1 week so fingers crossed. Guess I could vacuum around the shifter and do a few other things in case it helps ... lubrication?...
Amazing that a re-design and new replacement part is at my cost.


Anyway wanted to share, get it done in warranty.


/Paba
 
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