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2000 forester SF limited automatic
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have trawled the web for quite some time and asked plenty of subreddits to find these instructions and over and over again it has been the same response.

People are just directing everyone to the same link with the same instructions but these instructions are wrong. I'm posting this because I finally do have the instructions and others in the same boat (specifically Australian owners of the SF subaru of which there are many here). Additionally Subaru has given me the same response each time 'we'll get back to you' but it's too old and I think they have nothing to offer.

The issue is that all instructions available are only for the US model and this does not apply to Aussies.

Instructions first then context below:
The key fob for this model in AU is specifically the photo shown in this link. If others work, especially new ones from aliexpress or something, I have not been able to identify them. Automotive lock smiths have been seemingly unable to give me any details either. If anyone knows where I can buy a new replacement I'd be much obliged when and if this OEM one breaks.

Method 1:
1) Remove the lower trim cover. This is a piece of plastic next to your right foot if you were sitting in the car. There will be a single plastic plug holding it in. It is grey plastic and should come off easily. Connect the pole connector which is a plastic set of plugs that should be unplugged by default. This starts the program circuitry. See photos below.
Shorts Sleeve Yellow Waist Finger

2) I'm not sure if the door has to be closed or locked as it did finally work and I'm not sure which one did it (tried a few times). But the original instructions say to Unlock the door lock using the 'power switch' which is in the door handle. I locked it then unlocked it with the door closed.
3) Press any button of the transmitter fob twice while pressing the drivers door lock switch to unlock. I just kept repeating this a few times.
4) Door lock will automatically LOCK and UNLOCK indicating it's registered.
5) Disconnect the white pole connector from earlier and close up the trim cover again.
6) apparently if you have multiple remotes you can program up to 3 more you just hop back to steps 3 and 4.

If this doesn't work you can try method 2:
1) Remove lower trim, connect the registration pole connectors like before.
2) Unlock the door lock from the door.
3) Press any button on the transmitter fob twice.
4) Door lock will lock and unlock indicating it's registered.
5) pack up like before.

  • All the instructions and the fob came from 'remote4cars' ebay store who is excellent. He has old remotes, knows instructions that are hard to find and is happy to have you return the fob if it didn't work. His store is here and he is located in melbourne for easy returns.
  • The instructions on cars101 that everyone links to has the non US model but the instructions were added later on and only include instructions if you already have a functioning remote. Most people who were looking did not have one.
  • I went through the whole manual and there was a chapter on the key fob with photos but no instructions on how to program. Only on how to change the battery and how it works. I also checked the supplementary australian manual which has AU specific details but nada.
  • I've reached out to joe spitz from cars101 who has so much useful information on these cars to update the non-us portion of the site to include programming instructions for a new fob. Currently there is only information on programming a second fob if you currently have one that is already programmed.

Hope this helps and I hope there is now some instruction and aid for the many others like myself who have this great car second, third or tenth hand who have long ago lost the fobs. It makes a huge difference and I will also post any additional information I find for getting newer fobs.

I can't find any useful details about the OEM fob that would allow me to discover more modern replacements but I have a photo of it below in case anyone can get any information on it.
Product Font Belt buckle Bag Computer hardware
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