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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
It's 20' out today, so wife starts OB to warm it up. Leaves it unlocked, fob in pocket. Goes back out and all doors are locked and fob not granting access. My fob no good either, No problem, pull out key from fob...well, that doesn't open the door either !! I try the key again, and after a few minutes, it finally allows me to open the door. Told wife to call dealer, but I'm not sure what she has found out yet., Anyone experience this issue yet ?? So now I tell her to leave the door open if cars running, and keep her cell phone in her pocket instead of her purse. Never had an issue with her 2011 OB..not what I expect from a new 2017 OB :frown2:
 

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Super Moderator
2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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2,693 Posts
Since no one is trapped inside let me be the first to say it - this is as funny as can be.

Post a vid of the running car.

Wait a sec. You got into the car and it is no longer running like Christine? Well thanks for taking the fun away.
 

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OBW H6 VDC, Tribeca, XT6
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12,391 Posts
1. i'd ask the dealer if it's an option to re-program your FOB's. being a 2017 this isn't out of the realm of possibility and i'd guess they've seen it before. doesn't cost them parts, just time.

if they balk you can buy a spare FOB or two and program all 3 or 4 (the originals and extras) at the same time for the same price. my dealer charges $75 to charge how ever many cheap FOB's i bought off amazon or ebay. then you'll possibly address an issue and get spare keys out of the deal.

2. ask them if it could be the locks sticking due to water/ice/cold/humidity/condensation?
they should know key points to clean/lubricate against moisture/condensation if you

if it does it again - get very close to the door (if it's quiet enough in the location) and see if you can hear the locking mechanism trying unsuccessfully to open the lock.
 

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2002 Pair: 3.0 VDC Wag & 2.5 Limited Sedan
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26,197 Posts
if its outside your home, and its not raining, you might be able to use a hair drier on a long extension cord to thaw the exterior lock.

or get a spray with a nozzle to put in the lock and free it. (deicer, wd40 etc).
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No clicking in door when using either fob...like they were both dead. What was alarming was the key didn't do anything either. Once I was able to get in the car all locking buttons worked normally, so it doesn't appear to be a icing condition. My fear is to go somewhere and not be able to gain access to the car. I already had them replace the undersized 330CCA battery with the larger batt in the 6 cylinder before I took delivery. That's why I like my 66' Chevelle...simple, no computers
 

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2016 3.6 Limited with ES
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My serious guess is that the car battery wasn't up to the task but once inside, there was just enough juice in the fob or it was in close enough proximity for the NFC to work.

But it's weird that nothing worked even though the car was on. I think it's a combo of battery and frozen locks.
 

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Premium Member
2017 2.5i Outback Limited w/ES
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79 Posts
Fob lock/unlock won't do anything if car is running.
Weird about the key, i thought that was a mechanical linkage.

It's normally a pain to lock the car while leaving it running:

With car running - keep fob with you.
lock all doors with normal lock button
unlock driver's door with the lever
open door
lock the door with the lever
close door

- you will have to use the key in the fob to unlock the drivers door to get back in.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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29 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Fob lock/unlock won't do anything if car is running.
Weird about the key, i thought that was a mechanical linkage.

It's normally a pain to lock the car while leaving it running:

With car running - keep fob with you.
lock all doors with normal lock button
unlock driver's door with the lever
open door
lock the door with the lever
close door

- you will have to use the key in the fob to unlock the drivers door to get back in.
All valid points. She didn't lock the car, but came back to a locked car.
I assume the key must use some electronic solenoid as well, so that is not a good design in the event of power failure to gain access.
She had the fob in her pocket and mine was in the house...neither worked.
She didn't do anything different that her usual routine...except this is probably the coldest morning since we have had the car...so it may be temp related
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #10
if its outside your home, and its not raining, you might be able to use a hair drier on a long extension cord to thaw the exterior lock.

or get a spray with a nozzle to put in the lock and free it. (deicer, wd40 etc).
...wasn't frozen locks. It's dry and like 10% humidity. All locks (including rear gate) were inoperable and made no buzz / click to imply it was even trying to unlock. Once I was in the car everything worked normally. My guess would be a bug / firmware update in my future...
 

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2014 Outback 3.6R
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77 Posts
She must have accidentally locked the doors with the fob before she inserted the key or pressed the start button. Easy to do with a gloved hand! She would have to unlock the door to get out only if it was closed. Once the key is inserted or the button is pressed the fob does nothing. Frustrates me weekly, I cant even open the hatch with the fob once a key is inserted!
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Limited
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Discussion Starter #12
She must have accidentally locked the doors with the fob before she inserted the key or pressed the start button. Easy to do with a gloved hand! She would have to unlock the door to get out only if it was closed. Once the key is inserted or the button is pressed the fob does nothing. Frustrates me weekly, I cant even open the hatch with the fob once a key is inserted!
No key on the 2017, the only key is the "emergency" key that is hidden in the fob. With the car running, I'm almost positive you can still pop the rear hatch with the fob, but I don't think you can lock the doors from the fob if it's outside the interior of the car (while running), and you can't lock the doors from the driver door controls if the drivers side door is open. It could have just been an odd coincidence, but I still need to bring up with the dealer. It could leave her stranded somewhere...
 

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2014 Outback 3.6R
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77 Posts
I'm pretty sure you can still lock the doors with the FOB wile they are open, unless the car is already running. On my 2014 with the old fashioned key, the FOB becomes completely disabled as soon as the key is even inserted in the ignition. INCLUDING THE PANIC BUTTON. So if I did manage to lock the keys in, the other FOB wouldn't help me. If the outer mechanical part of the lock was frozen, I would be in the same situation you were! Seems like a curious decision to design it that way. The FOB on my other vehicle always works and that is sort of handy. To have something in my hand that always works! I can warm it up and lock it without any trouble.
 

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Call me paranoid if you wish (my wife surely does) but I trust very little in life, either mechanical or human.


I always leave the drivers window open 6 inches when warming the car up in case it accidently were to lock so I can get my hand inside for the door handle.
 

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2014 Outback 3.6R
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Well you never get locked out! I pretty much always have the 2nd set clipped to my belt. I usually drive between two secure locations and so like to leave the 1st set in the ignition. But the Subaru doesn't seem to like that at all. So I put them in the cup holder. Just so I can open the hatch from outside. It's really about the biggest gripe I have with the whole car, such a minor thing. But weird. I haven't been able to figure out what the reasoning was. Why disable the FOB? Ever? Let us know if by chance the dealer can make the FOB buttons "always enabled"!
 

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2015 3.6R Limited w/ES
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Interesting story. If frozen lock(s) weren't the cause, then you may have a serious problem with the power lock system (although, low humidity definitely doesn't mean the locks can't freeze). I've used the driver's door key many times (usually in the winter) and I'm pretty certain it's purely mechanical. It feels just like any other keyed lock I've ever used on a car. If that key wouldn't work, then either the lock was frozen, or maybe the power lock system was somehow stuck trying to lock the doors. Either way, it's pretty unusual. I've never experienced stuck locks, even in sub-zero temperatures.
 

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2017 Outback 2.5 Premium-20mm rear sway bar, recessed Sprinter roof rails
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142 Posts
Just Wondering---
OP, have you tried using the "My Subaru" app on your cell to unlock the doors with you locked out condition??
 

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85BRAT97SVX03Baja5mtHonda's
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Just Wondering---
OP, have you tried using the "My Subaru" app on your cell to unlock the doors with you locked out condition??
Not all people have cell phones nor would I expect that.
Subaru could still make an affordable (and still desireable to me) car without all this unnecessary gadgetry, which DOES add to the price they sell. Make one with old key, manual locks, no fob and no keyless.
 

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2015 Carbide Gray Outback 3.6R with EyeSight
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Call me paranoid if you wish (my wife surely does) but I trust very little in life, either mechanical or human.


I always leave the drivers window open 6 inches when warming the car up in case it accidently were to lock so I can get my hand inside for the door handle.
Nah, if you were paranoid, you would put some sort of block into that 6" gap to prevent the window from automatically closing.
 

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2015 Carbide Gray Outback 3.6R with EyeSight
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I am still confused about what you did differently that allowed you to finally get the doors unlocked. As far as how you ended up with locked doors in the first place, like mentioned above, most likely reason is that the doors were locked (either via a door lock switch or the fob) before they were shut. Open the window and try different combinations of locking and see if you can reproduce this.
 
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