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2013 Outback 2.5i Ltd SAP BBP; formerly 1998 Outback and 1990 Legacy Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread will be of potential interest only for a small subset (those who purchased Limiteds with the Special Appearance Package (SAP)) within the already small group (at this early stage in the model year) of those who have purchased 2013 Outbacks. They are the only Subaru owners who have the Keyless Ignition System.

Perhaps like you, I ordered this system without having a complete grasp of the implications (and mainly because of other attractions like memory seats, etc.) As I thought about it, however, a number of problematic issues and unanswered questions have cropped up. I am going to give you one specific example, and then suggest what I think is a reasonable work-around. Other people will no doubt find a number of variations on this theme.

I like to fish, often in remote locations. With my previous Outback, I was in the habit of hiding the electronic remote/key outside the vehicle so that I did not risk losing it or getting it wet (and rendering it inoperable, thus stranding me in a remote location, usually without cell phone service) if I happened to slip and fall in the river. This worked well for me.

With keyless ignition, this does not appear to be possible. If the keyless device is hidden in proximity to the vehicle, it amounts to leaving your car unlocked, since anyone would be able to walk up and operate the door handle. You would, at a minimum, need to hide the key at a sufficient distance from the car so that the device would be out of range, which is a pretty conspicuous and insecure thing to do.

You could, of course, disable the keyless ignition device. Instructions for doing so can be found on pages 2-17 and 2-18 of the instruction manual. However, this procedure is quite complicated: you have to make your way through eight discrete steps involving an intricate set of maneuvers that have to be carried out within definite and quite brief time spans. This would involve carrying the relevant instructions with you at all times and reading and applying them each time (twice, in fact: once to turn off the device; and then again, when you return, to turn the device back on.) This was not an attractive prospect.

You cannot, of course, just leave the device at home and rely on the physical key (the "vanity" key contained inside the keyless device, the one that locks the glove box and that you are supposed to be able to safely entrust to the "valet", as in valet parking), because the only way to start the car is with the keyless ignition button, and that only responds if the keyless device is within proximity.

Upon reflection, it occurred to me that there was a straightforward alternative that I was able to put into effect with minimal effort. All you need to do is to carry in the car a sheet of ordinary kitchen aluminum foil (say, 12" x 20", neatly folded). Now, when you need to leave your car, do the following: remove the physical key from the keyless ignition device. Wrap the device itself in the tin foil. Use the physical key to lock the door, and carry that non-electronic key with you (or hide it in or in proximity to the vehicle.) This means, of course, that you will not have the benefit of the alarm system. (However, in the places where I fish, the alarm system is not all that useful; and anyway, no one else will know that the alarm system is not armed, so any deterrent effect it might have is intact.) When you return, use the physical key to open the car door, recuperate the device from wherevr you have hidden it in the car and, after unwrapping it from the foil, start the car.

I think this is a simple and satisfactory solution to the problem I was imagining, but if I have overlooked some problematic aspect, I am hoping that others will point it out.
 

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2007 Chrysler 300C built 5.7
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396 Posts
...maybe put the key fob in a sealed, waterproof plastic bag?
 

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2005 OB turbo...and 2013 Brilliant Brown 3.6 SAP OB
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I am having to get used to taking my key out of my purse when I run into the post office. This isn't a big issue, just a retraining need.

When I go to the post office to drop off packages for work I used to just pull the key out of the ignition, lock the car and take in the packages, run right back out and leave. Now I keep the fob in my purse and don't think about it. Now I have to take my purse or dig in it to get the fob out...annoying.

I haven't tried locking the car door from the outside with my fob inside yet...I sure hope this isn't an option! I have locked myself out of my house once because I left the fob and key to the house on the table when I thought it was in my purse.

Just fun tidbits to keep me on my toes!
 

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2013 outback SAP
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84 Posts
The system checks the location of the fob. You could hide it in the front bumper and it should not detect the fob.

The only thing that has concerned me is that once the car is started with the fob, it can be driven as long as you like without the fob until it is shut off. It just gives a warning that the key is not detected.

For me, I love this system and am very glad I got it. It makes life easier with kids. I just wish I could figure out how to program all the doors to unlock when the drivers door is grabbed. This is possible, but the manual says the dealer has to program it, and my dealer doesn't know how.
 

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2013 outback limited-spec addition
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2 Posts
I was concerned about the same issue when I got my vehicle. If you experiment with the FOB you will find that the physical range for the vehicle to detect it is relatively short...only a few feet and it must be near a door. I am an outdoors person as well and I find that I can conceal the FOB near the vehicle when I leave for the woods. If that is not possible for some reason, I also found that by placing the FOB in the front bumper area it can be hidden from view and will not be detected by the antenna system.
I am really beginning to appreciate the convenience of this thing since I no longer have to dig into pockets looking for keys. As long as the FOB is on my person I can start, lock or unlock the vehicle just by touching the door handle NICE!
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Ltd SAP BBP; formerly 1998 Outback and 1990 Legacy Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The system checks the location of the fob. You could hide it in the front bumper and it should not detect the fob.

The only thing that has concerned me is that once the car is started with the fob, it can be driven as long as you like without the fob until it is shut off. It just gives a warning that the key is not detected.

For me, I love this system and am very glad I got it. It makes life easier with kids. I just wish I could figure out how to program all the doors to unlock when the drivers door is grabbed. This is possible, but the manual says the dealer has to program it, and my dealer doesn't know how.
My local dealership doesn't know how to make the change either (so that all doors open from the driver's side.) He thinks it will still require the dealer's intervention because it will be buried in computer software, but I am not convinced that it isn't something we'll be able to do ourselves (like adjusting the default setting on the average mileage calculator so that it corresponds more closely to the actual mileage.) I am confident that we will solve this problem one way or the other, and I'm hoping that the first of us to find the solution will post it on this thread.
 

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2005 OB turbo...and 2013 Brilliant Brown 3.6 SAP OB
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I accidentally made a discovery today about the keyless entry. While my husband drove I rode in the passenger seat. I approached the car first and opened the passenger side first...all the door locks opened when I did this. When I approach from the drivers side...only the drivers door opens. This was news to me.
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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214 Posts
I have a spare key on all my cars but the 2013 OB with Special Appearence has me thinking a little.

First thought, put the spare in a $5.00 magnetic key holder on the car someplace---front or rear. Im going to test this in the next few days to see if the it will be too close to for the technology to pick it up by pushing on the drivers/passenger door---whatever that little button is called on the door handle. First concern--will it be too close range in the magnetic holder to set it off? Dont know what the distance barrier/line of sight is for this option.

In your case, just put the key in the magnetic box and attach it to your car while your fishing if all the above is true.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Ltd SAP BBP; formerly 1998 Outback and 1990 Legacy Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I accidentally made a discovery today about the keyless entry. While my husband drove I rode in the passenger seat. I approached the car first and opened the passenger side first...all the door locks opened when I did this. When I approach from the drivers side...only the drivers door opens. This was news to me.
This is well documented in the manual, so no, it's not new. The inconvenience of doing this is that when your device is the one to unlock the doors first, it will also automatically cause the memory seats to adjust to your position, not your husband's, and he will have to get it to re-set.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Ltd SAP BBP; formerly 1998 Outback and 1990 Legacy Wagon
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66 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This is well documented in the manual, so no, it's not new. The inconvenience of doing this is that when your device is the one to unlock the doors first, it will also automatically cause the memory seats to adjust to your position, not your husband's, and he will have to get it to re-set.
I wanted to try that, but the magnetic box that I have is not thick enough to accommodate the keyless device and I haven't yet found another that will fit. When I do, I expect that your solution will work, regardless of the car's normal sensitivity zones, because (assuming the box is metallic and you get it fully closed), it will block the signal the same way that my aluminum foil trick does.
 

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2005 OB turbo...and 2013 Brilliant Brown 3.6 SAP OB
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This is well documented in the manual, so no, it's not new. The inconvenience of doing this is that when your device is the one to unlock the doors first, it will also automatically cause the memory seats to adjust to your position, not your husband's, and he will have to get it to re-set.

Well...if I had read the manual from cover to cover it wouldn't have been "news to me":rolleyes:. For us, so far anyway, we don't have to worry about the memory seat going to it's designated position upon opening the door...because our seats haven't been programed to work right yet. But honestly, it isn't a big deal to push #1 for my seat memory while I am getting my seat belt on.
 

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2013 Outback 2.5i Ltd SAP BBP; formerly 1998 Outback and 1990 Legacy Wagon
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well...if I had read the manual from cover to cover it wouldn't have been "news to me":rolleyes:. For us, so far anyway, we don't have to worry about the memory seat going to it's designated position upon opening the door...because our seats haven't been programed to work right yet. But honestly, it isn't a big deal to push #1 for my seat memory while I am getting my seat belt on.
Spoken like a short person! :) I can't even get into the car when the seat is positioned at my wife's settings, and if I'm already seated and push her memory button, it feels like I am in one of those car-crushers at the wrecking yards. You (or more likely your husband) will know what I mean when you get around to programming your memory buttons.
 

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I have a spare key on all my cars but the 2013 OB with Special Appearence has me thinking a little.

First thought, put the spare in a $5.00 magnetic key holder on the car someplace---front or rear. Im going to test this in the next few days to see if the it will be too close to for the technology to pick it up by pushing on the drivers/passenger door---whatever that little button is called on the door handle. First concern--will it be too close range in the magnetic holder to set it off? Dont know what the distance barrier/line of sight is for this option.

In your case, just put the key in the magnetic box and attach it to your car while your fishing if all the above is true.
Unfortunately, all magnetic key cases are not equally magnetic. The first time I tried this, and then subequently needed the key, the box was gone, evidently having fallen off. the rear bumper support where it was anchored. I now have a keycase by GE (of all things) that has a magnet that is not about to fall off. The only disadvantage is that it takes a REAL PULL to get this thing off whatever steel it's stuck to.
 

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2013 2.5i Limited, Special Appearance Package, Brilliant Brown Pearl, Saddle Brown Leather, HK Audio, Moonroof, Navigation
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Unfortunately, all magnetic key cases are not equally magnetic. The first time I tried this, and then subequently needed the key, the box was gone, evidently having fallen off. the rear bumper support where it was anchored. I now have a keycase by GE (of all things) that has a magnet that is not about to fall off. The only disadvantage is that it takes a REAL PULL to get this thing off whatever steel it's stuck to.
Im not sure what model I have but they have never fallen off and stick pretty good so I know what your saying when it comes to the real pull.

A friend of mine locked her keys in her car so I bought here a magnatic hide a key. A month later, she locked her keys in her car again. Two months later she locked here keys in her car---who's laughing now that she never put the magnet key holder on her car!! Best $5.00 one can buy if they lock their keys in their car or lose them.

What was nice about my Ford/Lincoln SUV's was the key code lock on the outside door. Always liked that feature but dont have a those SUVs any more.
 

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2013 2.5i SAP
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I am having to get used to taking my key out of my purse when I run into the post office. This isn't a big issue, just a retraining need.

When I go to the post office to drop off packages for work I used to just pull the key out of the ignition, lock the car and take in the packages, run right back out and leave. Now I keep the fob in my purse and don't think about it. Now I have to take my purse or dig in it to get the fob out...annoying.


Just fun tidbits to keep me on my toes!

I never take the fob out of my pocket. I get out of the car and hit the button on the door handle and it locks. When I come back I grab the handle and it unlocks.
 

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2010 OBW limited 2.5 CVT
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I never take the fob out of my pocket. I get out of the car and hit the button on the door handle and it locks. When I come back I grab the handle and it unlocks.
Her problem is that she (inference from reading the post) is leaving the purse in the car while she runs into the post office. The simple solution would be to take the purse and not invite someone to break into the car. It doesn't even have to be a purse (just look like it might be one) for someone to break in. Some will break a window for just a couple of quarters laying in view on the console.
 

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Her problem is that she (inference from reading the post) is leaving the purse in the car while she runs into the post office. The simple solution would be to take the purse and not invite someone to break into the car. It doesn't even have to be a purse (just look like it might be one) for someone to break in. Some will break a window for just a couple of quarters laying in view on the console.
Ahh, didn't read it that way and totally agree...I try to not leave anything visible as you never know what someone will try to grab.
 
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