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How to Program a Subaru Key Fob

Key with key fob in hand

Using a Subaru key fob is simple and intuitive, but what if your buttons have become unresponsive? Capitol Subaru is here to help. Whether you need to know how to change a battery in a Subaru key fob or how to program a Subaru key fob from scratch, this guide will walk you through the steps. As a certified Subaru dealership in San Jose, we’re here to assist you with all of your automotive needs, so don’t hesitate to visit if you’re in the Sunnyvale area!

 

 

Programming a Subaru Key Fob

Before you learn how to program a Subaru key fob, it’s important to figure out what type of fob you have. A teardrop-shaped key fob can be programmed in your garage in Fremont, while the rectangular shapes need to be programmed by a certified dealership. If you aren’t sure, you can check your owner’s manual for additional guidelines. But if your key fob is programmable, follow these steps:

  • Open the key fob case and look for the transmitter circuit board inside. The board will contain one or two sets of numbers that are 8-digits long.
  • Write down the first 8-digit number to keep it handy.
  • Close the key fob case.
  • Get in the driver’s seat of your Subaru. Make sure the engine is off and the doors are closed.

To complete the next step, you’ll need to move quickly to get the timing right, but the process is very simple:

  • Open the driver’s door, use the door button control to unlock all doors, then close the driver’s side door once more.
  • Place your key in the ignition. Turn it to the first position, where the electrical systems turn on but the engine remains off. Turn it back to the off position. Do this ten times in a row in rapid succession.
  • After the tenth round, you’ll hear a chime from the instrument panel.
  • Open and close the driver’s door again. Listen for a confirmation chime and watch for your dome lights to flash.
  • You now have 45 seconds to enter the 8-digit transmitter number into the engine computer while the chime sounds.

Finally, follow the steps of how to program a Subaru key fob transmitter number:

  • Look for the lock/unlock button on the driver’s door. The buttons are next to the window buttons.
  • Find the first digit of your transmitter number and press the lock/unlock button the same number of times. Repeat this process for each digit.
  • For example, in the number “12345678”, you would press the button once for the first digit, twice for the second digit, and so forth.
  • You’ll hear a chime outside of the vehicle when you have successfully entered the number.
  • Enter the number once more for confirmation.
  • You’ll hear the vehicle’s locking system click in engagement.
  • Open and close the door, then press the lock/unlock button on the key fob.
  • Pull the key from the ignition and listen for the chime.
  • Open and close the door a final time. The key fob should start working in 5 seconds.
  • Test your newly programmed key fob!

How to Replace a Subaru Key Fob Battery

Sometimes you don’t need to complete the programming sequence, you just need to pick up a new battery at our parts department! However, you’ll need to figure out what type of battery you need before you determine how to change the battery in your Subaru key fob in Santa Clara. Take a look at the different types of key fobs by shape below, and then learn how to replace a Subaru key fob battery.

New Subaru Key Fob (Rectangle)

  • Purchase a new 2032 battery.
  • Open the key fob using your metal key or flathead screwdriver.
  • Look for the flat round battery inside the fob.
  • Release the battery from the small tabs. Put the new 2032 battery in its place in the same direction as the old battery.
  • Put the key fob back together.

Older Subaru Key Fob (Teardrop)

  • Purchase a new 2025 battery.
  • Look for a small space in the seam that separates the front and back of the key fob.
  • Pop the key fob open with a small flathead screwdriver.
  • Take the old battery out and put the new 2025 battery back in. Make sure it is facing the same direction as the old battery.
  • Pop the key fob pieces back together.

 Actual Subaru Key (Metal Key with Buttons)

  • Purchase a new 1620 battery.
  • Look for a small space in the seam that separates the front and back of the key fob.
  • Pop the key fob open with a small flathead screwdriver.
  • Take the old battery

Find Out More with Capitol Subaru

Still have questions on how to replace a Subaru key fob battery? The service department at Capitol Subaru is here to offer personalized assistance for how to change the battery in your Subaru key fob, so contact us with any questions!

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