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Mike V.
Mike V., Subaru Technician
Category: Subaru
Satisfied Customers: 25309
Experience:  Certified Subaru Technician, factory trained by Subaru.
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My car is in immobilizer mode - key lock and I can't figure

Customer Question

My car is in immobilizer mode - key lock and I can't figure out how to turn it off. I can't drive now
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix with Subaru. The Subaru Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Tell me a bit more about what's going on so he can help you best.
Customer: My car is a 2010 Subaru Outback and I have a remote key, not a pin
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: Yes
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: Unlocking and locking car with actual key and with radio key (click button thing)
JA: Many things can cause a car to make those weird sounds. Some simple, some complicated. Fortunately, the mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else the Subaru Mechanic should be aware of about your Subaru?
Customer: I have read the manual - nothing seems helpful . This has happened once before and k managed to turn off the issue- not sure how
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Subaru Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Subaru
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Hi there,

What exactly is the car doing when you try to start it?
Does the engine crank at all?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
No engine is cranking . The car is in a security , anti- theft mode
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.


If in fact the immobilizer is set you can't turn that off without the dealer scan tool. This would mean the key lost it's programming. I hate to say it but there isn't another answer. You will also need all the keys and the tags that come with the original set of keys so they can recode the keys.

If the engine isn't cranking at all, then I would try a jump start in case the battery itself is actually the issue, otherwise it's going to need to be towed.

I am sorry to give you bad news, but it's just not something you can resolve on your own. If you could, then thieves would be able to steal your car.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not a battery issue
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I resolved it myself in the meantime
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Not sure how though
Expert:  Mike V. replied 1 year ago.

Interesting, you fixed it but don't know how. I suspect whatever happened the car wasn't immobilized. At least not with the factory system.

Glad you got it working though!