Subaru Key Fob Not Working – 5 Causes

Subaru Key Fob Not Working – 5 Causes

Is your Subaru key fob not working? It can be frustrating and dangerous, especially if your child or pet is locked inside the car.

Car key fobs are handy tools that let you unlock your vehicle, open the trunk or even remotely start your car engine.

Subaru Key Fob Not Working GÇô Causes

Faster than the standard car key and with an inbuilt panic button, we now rely on key fobs for safety and convenience every time we drive.

But what happens if the key fob stops working? Perhaps it loses signal, malfunctions, or needs replacement.

Can it be reprogrammed? We’ve answered these questions and more in this article!

Causes Of A Subaru Key Fob Not Working

Key fobs are an incredible convenience but could have dire consequences if they stop working.

If the key fob stops working, you’ll want to solve the problem immediately, but you can’t do this if you don’t know what caused the problem.

So, here are a few things that can make your key fob stop working.

Dead Battery

A battery is the primary power source for a key fob. The battery works alongside the transmitter in the key fob.

Many Subaru key fobs are fitted with lithium-ion batteries. These batteries have been found to have a long life cycle, which often makes car owners complacent.

A Li-ion battery powers a key fob, which means that a dead battery can cause the Subaru key fob to stop working, but the good news is that you can buy a replacement battery from local supermarkets or Home Depot.

The Key Fob Needs To Be Reprogrammed Or Reset

Key fobs are paired devices. It means the transmitter and receiver are dependent on each other.

So, the key fob must be programmed and then paired with the receiver in the Subaru. Essentially, if the key fob isn’t programmed to control the car, it won’t work.

New car owners don’t face this problem because the manufacturer has already programmed the car. The issue is more prevalent among second-hand Subaru owners.

It’s one of the problems that have been associated with buying aftermarket key fobs.

Wear And Tear

A broken key fob is another common cause for the key fob not working correctly. A broken transmitter might be technically classified as a broken key fob.

But this is only one aspect of the overall problem.

If the mechanical components and wiring inside the key fob are damaged or displaced, the key fob won’t work as expected, even if the receiver and transmitter are functional.

The mechanical pieces include the terminals of the battery and the soldered wiring.

Your Subaru key fob may be fitted with the correct transmitter, a receiver, and even perfectly programmed, but if the receiver’s buttons malfunction, your key fob won’t work.

Damaged Key Fob Receiver Or Transmitter

As mentioned earlier, a Subaru key fob operates on the fundamental communication principle involving signal transmission & reception.

A Subaru’s key fob works by exchanging the signals with the paired receiver. The transmitted signals are synonymous with the same action being undertaken.

The actions include opening the trunk, starting the car engine, or even unlocking the door.

If the key fob is damaged, it can’t successfully interact with the Subaru’s receiver. Internal damage and loose connections negatively impact the key fob.

It can be difficult for an average car owner to fix a damaged key fob on their own. So, if this happens, you should consider hiring a professional to fix the issue.

Moreover, if the car’s receiver is damaged, the key fob will not work.

Damaged Key

The car key itself might be damaged. It can happen when you wash or drop it.

Why Is My Subaru Key Fob Not Working

Fix Your Subaru Key Fob Not Working

For starters, before you tear the key fob part trying to fix the problem, you should check to find out the exact reason why the key fob isn’t working.

Subaru owners are always in a hurry to get back on the road, either for the thrill or because they are running late for work.

In the haze of this hurry, there are some things a Subaru driver might do that can mislead them into thinking that the key fob is not working.

First, you might have reached for a key fob belonging to another car, or the button you’re pressing isn’t the right one.

You should take enough time to evaluate the dilemma you’ve just found yourself in so you can know exactly why the key fob is not working.

Here are a few things you can do to diagnose your key fob not working.

Replace Key Fob Battery

As mentioned earlier, if you find that your key fob isn’t working, the simplest solution is to try and replace the batteries.

While this might not outrightly resolve the issue, it’s an important troubleshooting step. A dead battery is the most common cause of a key fob not working.

You have to open the shell, check out the type of battery you need and then purchase pair from the auto parts store.

Reprograming The Key Fob

Older cars have a Do It Yourself programming process for their key fobs, but the modern keyless ignition fobs require advanced procedures.

The more sophisticated the key fob, the more complex the programming procedure.

If the key fob stops working, you might have to reprogram it, which might not be easy because of the advanced security measures.

The newest car models come with key fobs that have been programmed with high-end signal encryption techniques to keep thieves from making unauthorized fobs or intercepting the key signals.

A New Set Of Keys

If your key fob isn’t working, you should replace your car keys. Keep in mind that the replacement cost varies based on your Subaru’s model, make, and year.

If you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, then you might have to buy aftermarket car keys rather than branded products.

Once you’ve acquired a new key fob, you’ll still need to hire a professional to do the programming work.

However, if you don’t use the official licensed Subaru key fob, you might not get a guarantee from professional installers that the key fob will work.

For instance, an aftermarket key fob may have limited functionality.

For this reason, we recommend purchasing the new key fob from the manufacturer for easy programming.

Right Key

It could be the key fob isn’t working because you’ve grabbed the wrong key. Always ensure you use the right key.


If you realize that your key fob isn’t working, we strongly recommend starting with simple solutions.

For instance, it could be that your key fob isn’t working because of a dead battery, so after you’ve changed the battery, you can proceed to other extensive solutions.

It is something you can handle yourself because you consider calling a professional.

Remember, key fobs are sophisticated devices that you can easily damage if you don’t handle them properly.

Therefore, if you still want to enjoy the convenience and improved security that key fobs bring, then you must do all it takes to ensure the key fob works correctly.