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I bought a 2018 Outback three months ago, and have had an on again-off again problem with the rear lift gate. Many times, when I press the lift gate button below the dash, I get three beeps and nothing happens. If I use the button on the gate itself, it normally opens, and it's the same when using the fob button. On two occasions, none of the three methods would open the gate, and I was wondering how I was going to open it. Of course, I was going camping, and my friends were ready to put their gear in the back when this happened. I used the fob to lock all the doors and then unlock them, and then the gate opened when I pushed the button on it. There is nothing blocking any sensors (the car is empty and clean), and the doors are unlocked. I took the car to the dealer twice now, and they told me it had to be doing this when I brought it in, in order for them to see what might be going on. I was told to bring it back in immediately when it happened. Well, I got home, and the button under the dash didn't work...just the three beeps. I took the car back in and it worked perfectly. I opened and closed the rear gate at least 30 times, and tried it with the driver door open, closed, with the engine on, and turned off. Just worked perfectly. This is frustrating. As I was leaving, a woman brought her Outback in, and I overheard her complaining about the same problem. The dealership acts like they've never heard of such a thing.

On another note, and this might be related, many times I have touched the door handle to unlock it (fob in pocket), and nothing happens. I have to fish the fob out and use its button. Then when I close the door and touch the front of the handle to lock it, I just get a prolonged single beep, and no locking. Have to get the fob out to do that, too. This is happening more and more often, and the technician at the dealership seemed to think that Subaru hasn't ironed out all the issues, and this is just a glitch I'll have to get used to. That's ridiculous to me. Why should it work some of the time and not others. There must be a reason. Again, they need it to be doing this when I bring the car in, and so far, I can't get it to do that.
 

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2018 OB Premium 2.5i Nav
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29 Posts
Yes, the dash button usually doesn't work. At least you might think the manual could say, it works under these conditions but not if... but it seems quite arbitrary and undocumented.
 

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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I am trying to figure out the least expensive way to turn the power lift gate into a manual lift gate. Does anybody have any ideas?
 

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2016 Tungsten Outback 2.5l Premium w/ES, OP 14, PP #4
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501 Posts

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The rear hatch will not open with the dash button unless it is unlocked. Also, the rear hatch does not automatically lock when you close it. You have to manually lock all the doors with the fob or by touching the door handle. If I remember correctly you get one beep when locking the car, and two beeps when you unlock.
 

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'18 OB 2.5 Ltd, No Eyesight, No Nav
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Can't say this is the least expensive but check out https://www.subaruoutback.org/threads/convert-power-lift-gate-to-manual-in-3-steps.277642/#post-3105682
There may be some aftermarket gas springs cheaper than OE parts
Thanks, I saw that, but I have since discovered there is no way to make the lift gate fully manual with any Subaru parts. My main goal was to make the button manual (i.e., works while battery disconnected). Even the gate on the base model has a button that requires battery power.
 

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2016 Tungsten Outback 2.5l Premium w/ES, OP 14, PP #4
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Thanks, I saw that, but I have since discovered there is no way to make the lift gate fully manual with any Subaru parts. My main goal was to make the button manual (i.e., works while battery disconnected). Even the gate on the base model has a button that requires battery power.
My wife's 2007 Cad. SRX works that way. There's a mechanical latch to lift the gate or the key fob to lift via power. I'd think it would take some major rework to install a working mechanical latch to disengage the latch plus have some locking mechanism such as a remote key or key integrated with the latch. But most problem have a solution some may take more resources to implement!
 

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2017 Outback Premium with eyesight
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21 Posts
I bought a 2018 Outback three months ago, and have had an on again-off again problem with the rear lift gate. Many times, when I press the lift gate button below the dash, I get three beeps and nothing happens. If I use the button on the gate itself, it normally opens, and it's the same when using the fob button. On two occasions, none of the three methods would open the gate, and I was wondering how I was going to open it. Of course, I was going camping, and my friends were ready to put their gear in the back when this happened. I used the fob to lock all the doors and then unlock them, and then the gate opened when I pushed the button on it. There is nothing blocking any sensors (the car is empty and clean), and the doors are unlocked. I took the car to the dealer twice now, and they told me it had to be doing this when I brought it in, in order for them to see what might be going on. I was told to bring it back in immediately when it happened. Well, I got home, and the button under the dash didn't work...just the three beeps. I took the car back in and it worked perfectly. I opened and closed the rear gate at least 30 times, and tried it with the driver door open, closed, with the engine on, and turned off. Just worked perfectly. This is frustrating. As I was leaving, a woman brought her Outback in, and I overheard her complaining about the same problem. The dealership acts like they've never heard of such a thing.

On another note, and this might be related, many times I have touched the door handle to unlock it (fob in pocket), and nothing happens. I have to fish the fob out and use its button. Then when I close the door and touch the front of the handle to lock it, I just get a prolonged single beep, and no locking. Have to get the fob out to do that, too. This is happening more and more often, and the technician at the dealership seemed to think that Subaru hasn't ironed out all the issues, and this is just a glitch I'll have to get used to. That's ridiculous to me. Why should it work some of the time and not others. There must be a reason. Again, they need it to be doing this when I bring the car in, and so far, I can't get it to do that.
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I have had many occasions when the dash button did not open the rear hatch. It seems if I push the unlock button on the driver's door, then push the dash button for the rear hatch, the hatch will open.
 
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