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How to make my car alarm stop?
February 26, 2008 12:34 PM   Subscribe

I bought a Forester without the key fob & the alarm won't stop going off.

I bought a 2007 Forester from a dealer without the key fob. They gave me three keys, but no remote lock thingie.

When I unlocked the car with one of the keys, a bad thing happens and the horn goes off and the lights flash. I somehow made this stop but am afraid of it happening again. I used one of the other keys and it only chirped at me a few times, but I was able to start the car and drive it.

Can someone who owns a Forester tell me why this is going on? Is it connected to locking the car using the power locks? Do I need a replacement remote lock thing? Will getting a replacement lock thing involve a lot of money and a Subaru dealer?

Is there a trick in the meantime that will allow me to lock, unlock and drive my car without making the alarm go off?
posted by Sheppagus to Travel & Transportation (15 answers total)
 
There might be a fuse you can pull to disable the alarm. either fine the Chilton book that corresponds to your make/model or call the dealership where you bought it, or look online for forums that are directed towards your car.
posted by edgeways at 12:36 PM on February 26, 2008


fine = find
posted by edgeways at 12:37 PM on February 26, 2008


You owner's manual shows you where the alarm fuse and wires are located. It can be disarmed but I would contact your dealer pronto to get your alarm fob.
posted by jadepearl at 12:48 PM on February 26, 2008


To clarify - the alarm isn't actually going off at this second.

But I'm worried that there is a connection between locking the doors with the power (central) lock, unlocking them with a key and having the alarm go off. Can anyone who owns a Forester confirm if this is the case? If so, it seems like not using the central lock to lock the car would be a temporary workaround.

I'm really hoping someone who has a Forester or who knows how Forester alarms work can chime in and let me know if my theory is correct.
posted by Sheppagus at 1:09 PM on February 26, 2008


I've got a 2000 Forester with two unreliable key fobs. It's been awhile since it's squawked at me, but this has worked in the past:

1. Stand right next to driver's side door.
2. Bend knees
3. Quickly unlock and open the driver's door
4. Lunge into the seat while placing the keys in the ignition. Keep your right hand on the keys and your left hand on the wheel.
5. Simultaneously turn the steering wheel (any direction) and jiggle the keys (only to battery, then off, then to battery...).
posted by fleeba at 1:28 PM on February 26, 2008


Also, you want to do step 5 quickly and as many times necessary to shut the alarm off.
posted by fleeba at 1:29 PM on February 26, 2008


Ok, my neighbor has one of these, and was outside, so I walked over and borrowed the owners manual for a 2008 Forester. I suspect the 2007 is the same, but who knows?

In section 2-13, it says to deactivate the alarm:

1. Disarm the alarm system (either with the transmitter, or by cycling the ignition switch from "lock" to "on" 3 times within 5 seconds);

2. Sit in drivers seat with all doors shut;

3. Turn ignition switch to "on";

4. Hold down the UNLOCK side of the driver's power door switch, open the driver's door within the following 1 second, and wait 10 seconds without releasing the switch.

The horn should sound twice to tell you it is deactivated. Repeat the process to reactivate.

If this works, let us know so I can tell my neighbor who is curious about what the internets want to know about his car's owners manual.
posted by Forktine at 1:37 PM on February 26, 2008


As far as getting in without triggering the alarm, I haven't figured it out. Unlocking via the door locks (from the inside) triggers it, so your basically screwed without a fob. If you get good at the jiggle-turn trick, your car will only honk once or twice. Think of it as one of those chirping unlock/lock honks on other cars :).
posted by fleeba at 1:37 PM on February 26, 2008


This is a hunch, but based on this page, if you don't use the key with the embedded chip, the car thinks it's being stolen. Do all of the three keys look alike? Is the key that set off the alarm different from the others? If so, my only suggestion would be to use what looks like it might be a factory key.

If that doesn't work for you, sign up at this Forester forum and ask your question. Somebody there might be able to help.

I echo what everybody else said about contacting the dealer, but have you checked the glove box for the key fob remote?
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:43 PM on February 26, 2008


Thanks Forktine - I'm going to try that when I get off work.

If that doesn't work, I'm going to perfect the Fleeba Technique until I can get a new fob.
posted by Sheppagus at 1:46 PM on February 26, 2008


How did the dealer get in without setting the alarm off? If Forktine's trick doesn't work, maybe the dealer you bought it from knows how to disable it.
posted by ctmf at 4:19 PM on February 26, 2008


This post covers how to associate the chip in the wireless remote with your car . This allows you to buy a fob off of eBay if the car dealership is giving you problems.

You might want to try this with your non-alarm-disabling key in the ignition and see if it works. If not, there's probably a similar technique to re-associate the chip in the key - I'd ask the dealer. Failing that, take your bad key to one of the key stalls (Like in home Depot) along with a key that you know turns the alarm off reliably and ask them to reprogram it using the stall gizmo.
posted by Orb2069 at 4:25 PM on February 26, 2008


I have an '07 Forester and if you ever hit the lock key on the keyring, you have to select the unlock key on the keyring (as opposed to using your key to open the door) or else the alarm will sound. I haven't found any way around this (outside of NOT locking with the lock key on the keyring which arms the alarm) so you'll probably be best just hitting the lock door switch on the door when you leave the car.

Also recommend that you talk to your dealer and see if you can't get yourself some new keys and keyring to make it all work like it should...
posted by royalchinook at 7:15 PM on February 26, 2008


My wife has a 1998 Forrester and she also doesn't have the keyfob. Here is how I've turned off the alarm. Under the dash beneath the steering wheel is a switch to either arm or disarm the alarm. If I accidentally hit the switch when I get in to drive the car (my legs hit it because my wife's legs are much shorter than mine and I always forget to move the seat back before sitting down...) next time I get out of the car and lock the door, the alarm would be armed. when getting in the car, the alarm would go off.

to turn off the alarm when this happens, I hold in the switch and turn the ignition. Alarm goes off, car starts. All is well.

Until my wife busted the switch off. So I cut the wire and used a twistcap to connect them. Now the switch is always pushed in, so there is no alarm.

I'd hope by almost a decade later this horrible alarm system would have improved some, but maybe it hasn't.
posted by jrishel at 7:05 AM on February 27, 2008


After some trial & error, I have (I think) solved the alarm problem.

There are three keys - one is an immobilizer key and two are regular metal keys. The immobilizer key has some sort of chip in it that connects to the ignition and the alarm is triggered when a non-chip containing key is used.

I can lock the doors with the power lock (which turns on the alarm) and turn it off using the immobilizer key without setting off the alarm. If I lock the doors with the power lock and use the regular non-chip keys, the alarm is activated and I have to use the FleebaMethod to turn off the alarm.

The valet setting was an option I considered, but when in valet mode the flashers don't work and I worried that might cause problems down the road.

My short term plan is to use the immobilizer key for now and go to the dealer tomorrow and get fobs and immobilizer keys for me and my spouse.

I have decided against the eBay fob purchase, because all the keys and fobs have to be set to the same code and I'm not confident in my ability to wipe the code from the existing key and then reprogram it to match the two fobs and new key. The fobs are $120 each from the dealer and the immobilizer key is $50. I'm not thrilled about shelling out all this cash, but I figure it will be worth it to avoid any future alarm incidents.

Thanks for the advice and tips. The FleebaMethod got me home with minimal beeping and realizing I have one key with the correctly coded chip has gotten me around today.

There is also a setting in the manual that tells me how to permanently turn off the alarm. I decided against this because I want the fancy remote unlock feature on my spiffy new car anyway and getting the key fob solves the alarm problem, but this might be something to look into for others who don't want to pay for the hassle of having the codes reset.
posted by Sheppagus at 3:31 PM on February 27, 2008


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