Subaru Remote Start Not Working: Quick Troubleshooting Tips

Subaru owners love the convenience of remote start systems, which allow them to start their vehicles from a distance to warm up or cool down the interior before they even get inside.

However, sometimes Subaru remote start systems can stop working, leaving you wondering what went wrong and how to fix the issue.

In this article, we’ll guide you through some basic troubleshooting steps to get your Subaru remote start working again.

Subaru Remote Start Not Working - What to Do?


Possible Reasons for Subaru Remote Start Not Working

You might encounter the Subaru remote start not working issue for the following reasons:

Key Fob Battery Depletion

A common reason for remote start failure is a depleted key fob battery. If the battery is weak or dead, the fob might not transmit the signal effectively to start the vehicle remotely.

System Setup and Configuration

Incorrect setup or configuration of the remote start system could hinder its proper functioning. Ensuring that the system is properly configured and activated is essential for smooth operation.

Compatibility Issues

Not all Subaru models have the same remote start features. It’s crucial to verify whether your vehicle’s model and year are compatible with the remote start system you’re using.

Fob Range Limitations

Remote start systems have a specific operational range. If you’re too far away from your vehicle when attempting to start it remotely, the signal might not reach the vehicle.

Obstructions and Interference

Physical obstructions or electronic interference from other devices might disrupt the signal between the key fob and the vehicle’s remote start receiver.

Vehicle Conditions

Certain conditions, such as the vehicle being in gear or the hood not being fully closed, can prevent the remote start from working as a safety precaution.

Faulty Components

Internal components of the remote start system, the key fob, or the vehicle itself could be faulty, leading to issues in communication and functionality.

Subaru Remote Start Not Working - What to Do?


Software and Firmware Updates

Outdated software or firmware in the remote start system could lead to compatibility issues or errors.

Network Connectivity

If you’re using an app-based remote start system, network connectivity issues might prevent the signal from reaching your vehicle.

System Errors and Malfunctions

Remote start systems can encounter errors or malfunctions due to various factors, such as electronic glitches or software bugs.

Vehicle Maintenance Mode

Some Subaru models have a maintenance mode that disables certain features, including remote start, to prevent unauthorized use during servicing.

Battery and Power Issues

If your vehicle’s battery is weak or has low voltage, it might impact the remote start system’s functionality.

Basic Troubleshooting Techniques

Check Key Fob Battery

Make sure the key fob battery is not depleted. Replace the battery if necessary. Here are some symptoms of a low battery:

  • Decreased range
  • Inconsistent functionality

When replacing the battery, use a new CR2032 battery and make sure it is installed correctly.

Verify VIN and Vehicle Compatibility

It’s essential to ensure your Subaru’s remote start system is compatible with your vehicle. Check your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) to confirm compatibility. You need to:

  1. Locate your VIN on the driver’s side dashboard or the driver’s door frame.
  2. Refer to your Subaru owner’s manual or contact your local dealership.

Remember, not all remote start systems work with every Subaru model. Always use genuine Subaru accessories for optimal performance.

By following these basic troubleshooting steps, you can address the common issues with your Subaru’s remote start system.

Subaru Remote Start Not Working - What to Do?

Checking App-based Remote Start

The MySubaru app is designed to offer remote engine start for Subaru owners. However, if you experience difficulties starting the engine remotely, try the following steps:

  • Check your app for any updates.
  • Make sure your vehicle is within the app’s operating range.
  • Ensure your vehicle is not in service mode.

If issues persist, contact Subaru customer support.

Starlink Subscription

Subaru vehicles are equipped with Starlink, a subscription-based service that connects your vehicle to features such as remote engine start. To use this feature, ensure the following:

  • You have an active Starlink subscription.
  • Your vehicle is equipped with a compatible remote start system.

In case remote start still doesn’t work, double-check your subscription status and vehicle compatibility.


  • Convenient remote access to your Subaru
  • Enhanced security features


  • Requires an active subscription
  • Dependent on network connectivity
MySubaru AppStarlink Subscription
App-based remote startRequires subscription
Free to downloadAnnual fee
Can control multiple Subaru vehiclesCompatible with most Subaru models

Now, let’s have a look at a comparison table between the factory remote start and the STARLINK-enabled remote start offerings:

FeatureFactory Remote StartSTARLINK-enabled Remote Start
Remote engine startYesYes
Climate control settingYesYes
Vehicle securityYesYes
Compatibility with Android devicesNoYes
Remote vehicle accessNoYes
Vehicle finderNoYes
Speed alertsNoYes

Push-Button Start and Keyless Entry

The push-button start and keyless entry system in Subaru vehicles offer a convenient way to unlock, enter, and start your car.

However, sometimes the remote fob might not function as expected, leading to issues with the system.

In such cases, unpairing and re-pairing the remote fob can help resolve the problem.

  1. Begin the process by sitting in your Subaru and closing all doors.
  2. Within 10 seconds, press and hold the push-button start until the indicator light flashes orange.
  3. Wait for the light to turn green.
  4. Press the button on your remote fob while the light is green.
  5. If successful, the indicator light will turn orange and then off.

Here’s a quick comparison of the original and re-paired state:

Original StateRe-paired State
Remote fob not functioning properlyRemote fob functions seamlessly
Difficulty in unlocking/locking doorsSmooth unlocking/locking operations
Inconsistent push-button start responseConsistent push-button start performance

Notice that unpairing and re-pairing the remote fob can help in most cases where your keyless entry system and push-button start malfunction. If the issue persists, consider replacing the battery in your remote fob or consult a Subaru dealership for further assistance.

Subaru Remote Start Not Working - What to Do?


Resetting the Infotainment System

The infotainment system in your Subaru can affect your climate control settings, such as temperature, fan speed, and defrost options.

If you notice your Subaru’s remote start is not working correctly, or the climate settings are not properly responding, you might need to reset your vehicle’s infotainment system.

To reset the infotainment system:

  • Turn off your vehicle’s engine and remove the key from the ignition (if using a traditional key)
  • Disconnect the positive (+) battery terminal
  • Wait 2 minutes
  • Reconnect the positive battery terminal
  • Start your vehicle’s engine again

This process should “reset” the infotainment system and may resolve any issues with climate control settings or remote start functions.

Remember that vehicles with remote start will often set the climate controls to a predefined “room temperature” when started remotely. Consult your vehicle’s user manual for more information on using the remote start feature and its particular settings effectively.

In case your remote start is not working consistently, try the following:

  • Replace the fob battery
  • Reprogram the remote fob

Common Remote Start Errors

  • Dead fob battery: Most common issue; easily fixed by replacing the battery.
  • System reset needed: Disconnect the positive (+) battery terminal briefly to reset the system.
  • Faulty fob or system: Reprogramming or visiting a dealership for assistance may be required.

Comparison Table

Dead fob batteryReplace the batteryQuick and inexpensiveBattery needs to be replaced again
System resetDisconnect positive battery terminalEasy DIY fixMight not resolve every issue
Faulty fob/systemReprogram or visit dealershipEnsures proper fixMay require professional assistance


Troubleshooting Subaru remote start issues involves a step-by-step approach, from checking the key fob battery to exploring compatibility and system setup.

By understanding the possible reasons behind remote start failures and utilizing the provided troubleshooting tips, you can swiftly identify and address the problem, ensuring a seamless and convenient driving experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is my Subaru remote start fob unresponsive?

Check out the following factors if you find your remote start fob unresponsive.

  • Battery: Check if the fob battery is drained or dead and replace it if necessary.
  • Distance: Ensure you are within the recommended range (usually around 30 meters) of your vehicle.

What can cause the remote start to fail intermittently?

The remote start may fail intermittently due to these factors:

  • Keyless entry system issues: Faulty components in the keyless entry system may affect remote start functionality.
  • Vehicle security: A triggered security system or active alarm can prevent the remote start from working.

How do I troubleshoot my check engine light impacting remote start?

Use an OBD-II scanner to identify the specific issue causing the check engine light to illuminate.

Why is my remote start beeping three times?

Your remote start might be beeping three times due to the following issues.

  • Vehicle door/trunk: Ensure all doors and trunk are properly closed.
  • Ready mode: Check if your car is in ready mode; it should be off with the parking brake engaged.

How do I reset my Subaru’s remote start system?

  1. Disconnect the positive battery terminal.
  2. Wait 2 minutes.
  3. Reconnect the battery terminal.

Note: Perform these steps with the engine off and all accessories turned off to avoid causing any damage.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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