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Registered
2008 Forester Automatic
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I've browsed the threads, tried to re-program my remote and still having this issue. (btw am new to posting)

I have a 2008 Subaru Forester. I have the tear drop remote. The "lock" button works fine but the "unlock" button doesn't work at all anymore. I've replaces the battery with no luck. I can't press the "lock" button 3 times to get it to unlock as the user manual says I should be able to.

Any advice before I try calling the dealer tomorrow and getting a "let's make you an appointment and charge you hundreds of dollars"? I'm guessing I need a new remote, just really dragging my feet. My neighbors are soon going to realize I'm not just a ditz who can't turn off her car alarm every morning at 7am and start complaining....
 

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Registered
2007 FXT 5MT
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185 Posts
I'm guessing your power door-locks function like normal with the buttons in the car, if that is the case it's likely the unlock button on your remote is shot. Do you have a spare remote to test with?

Welcome aboard btw.
 

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Registered
2008 Forester Automatic
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
No spare remote...

Nope, no spare remote, just have the one. Inside power locks work fine. Can turn the key in the door ro unlock it and therefore set off the alarm for the few seconds it takes me to get in and turn the key 3x in succession to get the alarm to stop. I was guessing it was the unlock button. It was difficult to use before and now just does not work at all. I'm just being cheap and trying every option prior to buying a new remote...

Thanks for the welcome have lurked here before, picking up information on Foresters, never had a reason to post before now.. lol
 

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2012 XT Touring 4EAT
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3,750 Posts
Welcome to the forum.

If one button on your remote works, but the other does not, then almost certainly your remote is defective.

Try this test: go to an auto parts store with a remote test display (AutoZone has one in my neighborhood - not sure what other stores have these. Some Batteries Plus stores have them as well). Try your remote - one button at a time. Does the problem button give off any signal at all? If 'no', then problem solved - get a new remote.

Even if 'yes', I would still be suspicious of the remote. Consider buying another remote (eBay, wherever) and programming your vehicle for it. Does it function properly? Completely? Remember that a spare remote can be handy to have.

BTW. if you have a friend with a Subaru vehicle (most any ' 05- '08 or even earlier vehicle uses similar remotes), simply borrow their remote and program your vehicle for it. Does it function properly? Completely?

If this is a really, really, really good friend, ask if you can program their vehicle to your 'suspect' remote. Result?

Final thought: If you disassemble your remote (as in replacing the battery) and look at the contact area where the problem button presses down, there might be a surface you can clean or contact you can re-bend. It's worth a look. [That time you dropped your remote in a maxi-sized Coca Cola, and left it there overnight, probably didn't help it].

-------------

If you look in the forum, there are lots of instructions on programming the remote (or, more properly, programming the vehicle since the remote is a fixed entity).

Based on my limited experience, here is my spin. I think this captures the nature of this beast a little better than some other write-ups:

0. Sit in driver's seat and unlock all doors (using the unlock button on the driver's door).

1. Open and close the driver's door

2. Insert key into Ignition

3. Turn the ignition key from LOCK to ON position 10 times within 15 seconds, stopping with the key in the LOCK position. This is not hard to do time-wise, so don't make yourself crazy. Be sure to stop at both LOCK and ON as you're doing this.

**ThE HORN WILL HONK ONCE to indicate transmitter programming mode has been activated.

** IF THE HORN DOES NOT HONK, JUST STOP RIGHT THERE. GO BACK TO STEP 1. TRY IT AGAIN. THE HONKING HORN IS AN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SIGN THAT YOU'VE GOT IT RIGHT.

4. Leave key in LOCK position and don't remove it from ignition.

You now have 45 seconds to complete the programming as follows:

5. Open and close driver's door

6. To Program a specific remote - push either lock or unlock button on the remote you want to program into your vehicle's memory.

** THE HORN WILL HONK 2 TIMES WHEN TO LET YOUR KNOW THIS WAS SUCCESSFUL.

6. Open and close driver's door again. This completes programming of ONE remote.

To continue and program other remotes at the same time: Push lock or unlock on the next remote, then open and close the driver's door, etc. The driver's door must be opened and closed between each remote you want to program.

Done programming?

7. Remove the key from the ignition.

** THE HORN WILL HONK 3 TIMES.

** THE HONKING HORN IS VERY IMPORTANT. It's the car's way of telling you that it got the message.

--------------

DELETE old codes? Reprogram the vehicle for your remote 4 times, it should overwrite any old codes.

I'm not really sure about this, but it probably works as follows: The vehicle's memory holds a maximum of 4 codes. Every time you add a code, it forces the oldest code out of memory - sort of first-in-first-out. By adding your remote's code 4 times, it forces 4 copies of your specific remote into memory, thereby deleting everything else. Maybe someone else can jump in on this point.
 

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2006 Forester X Prem 4EAT
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591 Posts
I had the same problem about a month ago with my unlock button not working on my remote, so I took it apart and I found that the little button thingy on the circuit board of the remote had seperated, so I soldered it back on and its good as new...

Check this before going to the dealer.. The dealer near me wanted $200 for a new remote! .... otherwise i'd go with one off ebay..

 

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2008 Forester Automatic
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, no luck with re-programming, no luck with cleaning, no luck with the little test center in Autozone. I think the unlock button is truly gone. When I open the remote it looks nothing like the picture, I amd guessing that is the back side of the green circuit board and I have been loath to try to pry that out of the black remote casing. Think I may bite the bullet and buy a new remote from ebay. Lesson to self--buy/borrow/plead while remaining that "aloof" auto-buying self when at the dealership for a second set of keys... It's been an expensive month for my Forester finally replaced the struts (90,000 miles and they finally went out), need to get a new rack because the factory-installed one finally busted a bolt and the dealership wantds $121 for just the front rack (plan to buy OEM), and now a new remote... There are days when I think leasing a car may be a better option.. lol
 

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2008 Forester Automatic
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Woohoo! I lied, I got the circuit board out of the casing (not as hard as I thought) and need to solder the litle piece on--luckily I have friends in IT who solder all the time.. there's $50 or so saved... :)
 

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Administrator
2018 2.5i Premium CVT
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18,737 Posts
Good news, and thanks for getting back to us with the report of your success.
 

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2006 Forester X Prem 4EAT
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591 Posts
Great! :biggrin: I also added a bit of solder to the other switch as well to strengthen it... Oh and you may be able the rack rethreaded by someone whose handy with a tap, i'm currently in the process of restoring mine after having it sit on my Forester for 6 Canadian winters :icon_frown:
 

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Registered
2008 Forester Automatic
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5 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Thank you all! And thanks for the tip with the rack, I will look into it. :) Anything to save a buck!
 

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2009 Forester Auto
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15 Posts
3. Turn the ignition key from LOCK to ON position 10 times within 15 seconds. This is not hard to do, so don't make yourself crazy. Be sure to stop at both lock and on. The horn will HONK once to indicate transmitter programming mode is activated.

** IF THE HORN DOES NOT HONK, JUST STOP. GO BACK TO STEP 1. TRY IT AGAIN. THE HONKING HORN IS AN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SIGN THAT YOU'VE GOT IT RIGHT.

4. Leave key in LOCK position and don't remove it from ignition.
I've tried this on an 08 Forester (new body), and it just won't honk after the 10 LOCK/OFF turns. I've tried various permutations - I'm actually getting pretty good at it :icon_biggrin: - record is 6 seconds (although I've also tried it slowly).

Should this definitely work on most models?

Cheers!


D
 

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1 Posts
Both of my remotes (2005 Outback) are having the same problem -- have to press many times to lock or unlock. This suggests the problem is in the car side. Any suggestions -- reprogram?
 

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2008 Forester
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1 Posts
remote unlock does not work

Hi there,
This is my first post and I wanted to say that this thread solved my unlock issue! thank you. It was exactly as described above and I did indeed have to resolder the switch back on. I had a electronics guy help me as this is not a big solder and requires a steady hand, magnifying lens etc...but it worked like a charm
pry the clam shell of the remote apart with a flat blade screwdriver. gently press the button to coax the green board out of its little rubber protector...nice and easy and you'll now you can gently remove it, flip it over and now you'll most likely see the broken button floating around. The picture already posted is exactly right.
anyway, i just wanted to let any poor soul who has the same problem that the solution here does work (at least for me)....resolder
good luck
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
Joined
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38,728 Posts
@dklinka I see this is your first forum post, so welcome to the forum from Oregon!

I've repaired 2 fobs for members & I decided those are the last ones I want to mess with!

You can view my post here in my Member Journal.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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Registered
2005 Forester
Joined
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20 Posts
Welcome to the forum



Yes. If one button on your remote works, but the other does not, then almost certainly your remote is defective.

Try this test: go to an auto parts store with a remote test display (AutoZone has one in my neighborhood - not sure what other stores have these. Some Batteries Plus stores have them). Try your remote - one button at a time. Does the problem button give off any signal at all? If no, problem solved - get a new remote.

Even if yes, I would still be suspicious of the remote. Consider buying another remote (eBay, wherever) and programming your vehicle for it. Does it function properly? Completely? Remember that a spare remote can be handy to have.

BTW. if you have a friend with a Subaru vehicle (most any '08 or earlier vehicle uses the same remotes), simply borrow their remote and program your vehicle for it. Does it function properly? Completely?

If this is a really, really, really good friend, ask if you can program their vehicle to your 'suspect' remote. Result?

Final thought: If you disassemble your remote (as in replacing the battery) and look at the contact area where the problem button presses down, there might be a surface you can clean or contact you can re-bend. It's worth a look.

That time you dropped your remote in a maxi-sized Coca Cola, and left it there overnight, probably didn't help it - leaves sticky gooey residue.

-------------

If you look in the forum, there are lots of instructions on programming the remote (more properly, programming the vehicle since the remote is a really fixed entity).

Based on my limited experience, here is my spin. I think they capture the nature of this beast a little better than some other write-ups:

0. Sit in driver's seat and unlock all doors.

1. Open and close the driver's door

2. Insert key into Ignition

3. Turn the ignition key from LOCK to ON position 10 times within 15 seconds. This is not hard to do, so don't make yourself crazy. Be sure to stop at both lock and on. The horn will HONK once to indicate transmitter programming mode is activated.

** IF THE HORN DOES NOT HONK, JUST STOP. GO BACK TO STEP 1. TRY IT AGAIN. THE HONKING HORN IS AN ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY SIGN THAT YOU'VE GOT IT RIGHT.

4. Leave key in LOCK position and don't remove it from ignition.

You now have 45 seconds to complete the programming as follows:

5. Programming: Push either lock or unlock button on the remote you want to program into your vehicle's memory.

** THE HORN WILL HONK 2 TIMES WHEN THIS IS SUCCESSFUL.

6. Open and close driver's door again. This completes programming of ONE remote.

To continue and program other remotes at the same time: Push lock or unlock on the next remote, then open and close the driver's door. The driver's door must be opened and closed between each remote you want to program.

Done programming?

7. Remove the key from the ignition and the horn will honk 3 times.

** THE HONKING HORN IS VERY IMPORTANT. It's the car's only way of telling you that it got the message.

----

DELETE old codes? Reprogram 4 times, it will overwrite old codes.

I'm not really sure about this. It may just force them out of memory. I think the car's memory is first-in-first-out and this step might force 4 'blanks' into memory, thereby deleting everything. Who knows? Why would anyone bother (unless you're messing with the neighbor's car)?
NOTE: There may be a slight error in the procedure as presented. After you press the button on step 5, the horn will not honk twice. You first have to proceed to step 6, open and close the drivers door.... THEN the horn will sound twice.

I was pulling my hair out trying to program fobs on my recently purchased 2005 Forester. I got frustrated in the middle of trying to program one of my three fobs, opened the door on accident, and when I closed it, then the horn did its thing.
 
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