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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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448 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’m currently 450 miles from home and yesterday afternoon after checking into my hotel, opened my lift gate to unload my luggage. I went to close it and it started to close, then stopped and opened back up. I repeatedly pushed the close button and it would start to close, then stop and open back up as if something was interfering with it. But there was nothing around it to cause this. It finally closed after three or four attempts. Today, I’m afraid to open it as I have to drive to Charlotte. Anyone ever had this issue?


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2016 Outback 2.5i Limited, Wilderness Green; 2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, Crimson Red Pearl
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198 Posts
I’m currently 450 miles from home and yesterday afternoon after checking into my hotel, opened my lift gate to unload my luggage. I went to close it and it started to close, then stopped and opened back up. I repeatedly pushed the close button and it would start to close, then stop and open back up as if something was interfering with it. But there was nothing around it to cause this. It finally closed after three or four attempts. Today, I’m afraid to open it as I have to drive to Charlotte. Anyone ever had this issue?


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My wife’s 2018 Limited has done this to me twice, but only at the car wash when I open it to dry it off. I have to let it dry for a little while before it will close. Heading to the dealer soon to have it checked, but since it’s so intermittent, I’m not expecting much. My 2016 has never done this to me.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5i Limited
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1,108 Posts
Those power liftgates are so problematic... on all vehicle makes. Both my Outback and my Jeep Cherokee have intermittent issues with the power liftgate.

I know my next car will have a manual liftgate. They never fail to work, and they open so much faster than the power ones.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5 Limited with Nav, Premium Audio and Eyesight
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81 Posts
Make sure you haven't pressed the liftgate memory button just next to the liftgate button on the dash.

David
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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2,512 Posts
I had this happen a few times on my '15 the first summer we owned it. The only times it seemed to happen was after standing open for more than 5 minutes or so when the temperature was warm or hot. Whatever the root cause, it acted like it was taking too much effort to close the gate, so the "anti-pinch" detection was kicking in. Pushing down on the panel, "helping it" as it was closing allowed it to close and latch.

I don't recall it doing that more recently. Perhaps the mechanism has loosened up, or maybe the pressure in the struts has dropped or something.
 

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2015 Outback Premium 2.5
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10 Posts
My 2015 did the same thing and after two attempts to fix it the dealer found it required a new control module (cost over $1,000.00). I'm glad I bought the extended warranty as it only ended up costing me $100 to repair. I will never buy a vehicle with a power lift gate again.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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448 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Thank you all. Just an update. The lift gate did open this morning and close without any issues. Arrived at my next hotel and again opened and closed again without issues. Not sure what happened but seems ok right now. Fingers crossed ?


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2018 3.6R Black Outback
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168 Posts
I have the power lift gate, worst case scenerio on your road trip, cant you just shut it with your hand? I just assumed there has to be a manual override, is there not? I havent tried yet.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited, Crimson Red Pearl
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123 Posts
I purchased my 2018 Limited based on features I really wanted but were not available on the Premium. A power lift gate absolutely wasn't one of them.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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448 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Just a quick update. Drove a total of 1948 miles over six days, each time using the Lift Gate to access my luggage, bottled water and backpack each day and no more issues. I don’t know what may have caused the “glitch” but it seems fine now.


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2015 Outback Limited, 2.5i, 2021 Touring XT in White
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347 Posts
Just a quick update. Drove a total of 1948 miles over six days, each time using the Lift Gate to access my luggage, bottled water and backpack each day and no more issues. I don’t know what may have caused the “glitch” but it seems fine now.


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Our 2015 has done this a few times over the years. I do believe whatever Sabaru has designed into the gate for safety seems to be overly sensitive. With time, you learn to do it it’s way. One thing I have found, when you use the dash button, push the door unlock button first. This has nearly eliminated the stubborn operation for me. Don’t dwell too long on the external gate button, it will refuse to open. Once I pulled the gate down by hand a small distance. When I pushed the button, it did several cycles of closing a short distance and then reversed. After a few cycles, it worked OK.
 

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2016 Outback Limited Titanium
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448 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Our 2015 has done this a few times over the years. I do believe whatever Sabaru has designed into the gate for safety seems to be overly sensitive. With time, you learn to do it it’s way. One thing I have found, when you use the dash button, push the door unlock button first. This has nearly eliminated the stubborn operation for me. Don’t dwell too long on the external gate button, it will refuse to open. Once I pulled the gate down by hand a small distance. When I pushed the button, it did several cycles of closing a short distance and then reversed. After a few cycles, it worked OK.


Thank you Redray.


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2015 Outback LTD 2.5
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1,046 Posts
Our 2015 did the same thing, one day soon after we got it, I was trying to load groceries into the rear in a major thunderstorm and it wouldn't respond........the fob didn't affect it nor did the dash switch.

Finally realized that the engine had to be off.....and, for the dash switch to work, ALL dos had to be unlocked from the inside........and that the trunk switch has to be depressed quickly for a short second or so NOT held down any longer as I was doing unconsciously. A quick press and release is what it needed.....

That said, over the years, every once in a while, I'll F up and accidentally depress the gate height adj. button on the dash instead of the actually gate opener button, thereby setting the stage of another series of "WTFs" by me.........

Like the gate opening BUT could seriously live w/o it......

Steve
 

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2018 White Outback Touring 2.5i
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671 Posts
I caused a rear liftgate closing problem when I put on the rear seatback protectors. The squiggly sippy straw bottoms have to be folded back in towards the seat back or they push the rear cargo tray cover out into the way of the closing liftgate. The liftgate has worked fine since I repositioned the seatback protectors.
 
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'18 Outback Touring Dark Blue Pearl 3.6r
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1,659 Posts
Even though I've been opening and closing the liftgate on my '15 for 3 1/2 years without a problem when I got my '18 I had a problem where it wouldn't open all the way one time. I had to lift it up all the way by hand then lower it by hand. After that, it has worked without a problem. I think I was pressing the button above the license plate a bit too long. To get it to work properly, be real quick with the button push on the outside, but on the inside or on the fob, press until something starts happening.
 
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