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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. My 2020 Subaru 2.4 Limited XT Turbo suddenly stopped after about 5 minutes after I started it. I had driven it for half an hour, did an errand for about half an hour and then started it. While I was driving it prior to stopping, I was going through the menu on display settings or something. After my errand, I started the car and noticed that the display was frozen on the menu that I was looking at prior to stopping. After getting out of the parking lot and getting onto the main road, after stopping briefly to merge on, my car suddenly stopped! It emitted a high pitch tone/alarm. All sorts of warning lights lit up my dashboard. I also saw a brief message to press the brake prior to resetting/restarting (?). Sorry, I kinda forgot as I was panicking as someone had just let me merge onto the main road prior to this. After the car was 'freaking' out, I quickly put the 4-way flashers on so I wouldn't get rear-ended. I stepped on the brake like it was saying. I think I put it in Park and pressed the start button again. I may have done this a couple times, I'm not sure. Anyway it started again and drove fine.

I called my local Subaru but they didn't have any info for me. My hubby used the OBD reader and it came up with nothing. I am a little concerned since what if this happened on the highway?

Has anyone else seen this happen or have any clues? Thanks so much.
 

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Sounds like the engine “stalled” for some reason.

If the engine stalls you simply need to press the brake pedal, put the transmission in either Park or Neutral and cycle through the “normal start options” (accessories, on, start) until the engine starts.

This is what you did and the engine started as designed.

The real question is why did the engine stall?

Seagrass
 

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2021 Crystal White Onyx XT
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Sounds to me like the car lost track of the keyfob and shut the car down as a security measure (in error). My Onyx has a couple of times refused to start, locked the steering wheel and given me a message saying "Keyfob not detected" or similar. I have to shut it off, count to 20, then start it and its fine after that...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sounds like the engine “stalled” for some reason.

If the engine stalls you simply need to press the brake pedal, put the transmission in either Park or Neutral and cycle through the “normal start options” (accessories, on, start) until the engine starts.

This is what you did and the engine started as designed.

The real question is why did the engine stall?

Seagrass
Indeed, I'm with you on why did it stall in the first place? I was at the Subaru dealership and explained the scenario. Never heard of it before. He told me if it ever happens again to take a video of the controls and what I do/did to make it come back, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds to me like the car lost track of the keyfob and shut the car down as a security measure (in error). My Onyx has a couple of times refused to start, locked the steering wheel and given me a message saying "Keyfob not detected" or similar. I have to shut it off, count to 20, then start it and its fine after that...
Weird that it did that while in drive? My fob was in my purse like always and didn't give that message or anything. Thanks for the reply, all the same.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Do you have the MySubaru app? I'm curious if it shows anything abnormal - it shows a history of certain kinds of problems.

Example: 2022 Outback issues
 

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This is one of those rare situations where follow-up can be gold for someone else who encounters it, so please share as much as possible about the outcome. Let me know if this is wrong:
  • 2020 Outback XT Limited (Harman Kardon & Nav)
  • Infotainment screen froze after a hot restart
  • Continued to drive car and engine shut off when you came to a stop
  • Alarms went off as if the car had stalled and needed a manual re-start
Did you have auto start-stop on or off? Did you have an auto-stop eliminator device installed?
If auto stop-start was activated, it could be normal to stop the engine but then the car discovered a fault and could not auto-start?

Just trying to nail down the sequence of events and the conditions that the car was operating under, both to try to understand the situation and so that a future person encountering the same thing can notice similarities/differences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
This is one of those rare situations where follow-up can be gold for someone else who encounters it, so please share as much as possible about the outcome. Let me know if this is wrong:
  • 2020 Outback XT Limited (Harman Kardon & Nav)
  • Infotainment screen froze after a hot restart
  • Continued to drive car and engine shut off when you came to a stop
  • Alarms went off as if the car had stalled and needed a manual re-start
Did you have auto start-stop on or off? Did you have an auto-stop eliminator device installed?
If auto stop-start was activated, it could be normal to stop the engine but then the car discovered a fault and could not auto-start?

Just trying to nail down the sequence of events and the conditions that the car was operating under, both to try to understand the situation and so that a future person encountering the same thing can notice similarities/differences.
Hi,

I do have a 2020 Outback XT Limited. The infotainment screen froze after I had started the car. It was frozen on the last thing that I had up prior to parking. (I forget exactly what, though, but something in the settings as I was just browsing around.)

I do have auto start-stop on, as per default. I believe I also turned on the auto-hold.

I drove about 50 ft, paused to merge on the highway, so I guess the auto-hold was possibly on. I'm not sure if I'd stopped long enough for the auto start-stop to have engaged. I then proceeded to get into the lane, so I was in drive and moved about 5 ft, as someone had let me in the lane. I'd turned to drive in the lane. Once I was in the lane, the car stopped, emitted a high-pitch siren sound, all sorts of console lights were lit up. Kinda like every possible light? I'm not totally sure, as I was panicking that I would get rear-ended. So I quickly hit the 4-way flashers. The car didn't move as it was screaming with the siren. I saw a message flash on the dashboard behind the steering wheel stating that I had to press the brake prior to restarting the car, or something to that effect. I stepped on the brake and pressed my start button. Nothing happened. I shifted to park, I believe, again, there was a lot of noise and semi-panic so details are a little sketchy. But I believe I shifted to park, pressed the brake and pressed the start button. It came to life, no more lights, no more screaming and I drove off.

I hope I described it well enough. It hasn't happened again, thank goodness.
 

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2020 Onyx
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So the engine died while in motion, not when coming to a stop?
 

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2021 OB Touring, 2011 OB Premium
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SueY, I'm wondering if something containing metal in your purse acted like a Faraday case and blocked communication between the FOB and the car's sensors? This would mean that the car lost track of the FOB and the car shut down as a preventive (anti-theft?) measure. That is the only thing I can think of that would not set a code, but the "Access FOB not detected" warning should have appeared in this case.
 

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A year or so ago I was driving a VW van with DSG gearbox and auto start/stop to a job I was doing for the next few days.

I had never driven this van before and when I stopped at the first traffic light (within five minutes of departing) the engine stopped. I thought the auto start/stop had activated but when I tried to accelerate away after the traffic light turned green, I had no response except beeping from the dash and a pictogram in the centre of the dash.

It took me around 15 to 20 seconds to realise that the engine had stalled AND I was being shown a pictogram advising I needed to use the key to restart the engine.

Of course turning the key did nothing as I was still in Drive but as I was all flustered I could not work out what was going on. The 45 ton truck immediately behind me sounding its air horns was also not helping.

After the traffic light turned red again I collected myself, selected Park, started the engine and awaited the next green light.

I suspect this is what may have happened to this Outback.

Seagrass
 
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If I'm not mistaken, once a car is started it doesn't matter if it looses contact with the fob. The car will continue to run until it is turned off, then it would not restart. No need to ask why as the safety ramifications of the car shutting off if it looses communication with the fob are off the charts!

SueY, I'm wondering if something containing metal in your purse acted like a Faraday case and blocked communication between the FOB and the car's sensors? This would mean that the car lost track of the FOB and the car shut down as a preventive (anti-theft?) measure. That is the only thing I can think of that would not set a code, but the "Access FOB not detected" warning should have appeared in this case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
SueY, I'm wondering if something containing metal in your purse acted like a Faraday case and blocked communication between the FOB and the car's sensors? This would mean that the car lost track of the FOB and the car shut down as a preventive (anti-theft?) measure. That is the only thing I can think of that would not set a code, but the "Access FOB not detected" warning should have appeared in this case.
My fob is in the outer thin pockets of my tote bag. I mean, I did get a new Stanley metal water bottle and I'm not sure if it was in the cup holder or in my bag... But there was no warning code as you stated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
A year or so ago I was driving a VW van with DSG gearbox and auto start/stop to a job I was doing for the next few days.

I had never driven this van before and when I stopped at the first traffic light (within five minutes of departing) the engine stopped. I thought the auto start/stop had activated but when I tried to accelerate away after the traffic light turned green, I had no response except beeping from the dash and a pictogram in the centre of the dash.

It took me around 15 to 20 seconds to realise that the engine had stalled AND I was being shown a pictogram advising I needed to use the key to restart the engine.

Of course turning the key did nothing as I was still in Drive but as I was all flustered I could not work out what was going on. The 45 ton truck immediately behind me sounding its air horns was also not helping.

After the traffic light turned red again I collected myself, selected Park, started the engine and awaited the next green light.

I suspect this is what may have happened to this Outback.

Seagrass
That sounds similar, although I didn't have the 45 ton truck blasting at me..😲. in fact, I didn't get any honking at all, thank goodness! :) But I also wasn't stopped but had just pulled into the lane. My auto start/stop does activate at stop lights and there's a 'clunk' of sorts when it does. My hubby doesn't like it and turns it off all the time as he read it doesn't save that much in gas. So it was totally unexpected to drive and then suddenly stop with screaming alarm and lights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If I'm not mistaken, once a car is started it doesn't matter if it looses contact with the fob. The car will continue to run until it is turned off, then it would not restart. No need to ask why as the safety ramifications of the car shutting off if it looses communication with the fob are off the charts!
I know, right? How freaky is that for the car to stop when you're driving, even if it loses contact with the fob! I'm so thankful I wasn't on the highway and it happened, which is why I'm concerned about this.
 

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2020 Onyx
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Sudden power loss (stalling) is a safety hazard so if I were you I would document your safety concerns and communicate them clearly and prominently to the dealer and to Subaru of America. If it ever happens again do the same. Safety issues are lemon law territory. Having a car stall is not "oh well just one of those things we can't explain".

Yes maybe the dealership lacks the ability to discern what happened, but it did happen, and whether they need to do road testing while logging, or some other extensive diagnostics, it's not sufficient for them to say "gee we don't see any codes" and leave it there.
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Sudden power loss (stalling) is a safety hazard so if I were you I would document your safety concerns and communicate them clearly and prominently to the dealer and to Subaru of America. If it ever happens again do the same. Safety issues are lemon law territory. Having a car stall is not "oh well just one of those things we can't explain".

Yes maybe the dealership lacks the ability to discern what happened, but it did happen, and whether they need to do road testing while logging, or some other extensive diagnostics, it's not sufficient for them to say "gee we don't see any codes" and leave it there.
Good idea! I wrote Subaru of America at [email protected]. We'll see what they say when they respond, hopefully that they do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Good idea! I wrote Subaru of America at [email protected]. We'll see what they say when they respond, hopefully that they do.
Subaru of America responded to me. They said they'd pass the feedback to Product Development for their review and consideration. They aren't aware of such a thing happening and suggested I go to my nearest Subaru retailer. I'd already mentioned the scenario to the retailer and there wasn't anything they could do and they just told me what I wrote before. Video record whatever happens, if it were happen again.
 
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