Updated at: 01-09-2022 - By: Lucas

No matter how much you try to avoid using the trunk of your car, it’s always there. It is the most dependable component of the vehicle that transports the majority of your belongings. When it comes to our daily routine, the trunk is where we keep everything from a baby stroller to our monthly Target run.

With your hands full, what happens if the trunk lid refuses to budge?

After you’ve crammed your belongings into the trunk of your car, you may be left wondering why the trunk failed and what you can do to fix it.

In particular, we’ve looked at why the Subaru Outback is prone to this kind of problem. You’ll be more prepared if something like this ever happens to you now that you’ve read this.

There are a number of reasons why your Subaru Outback’s trunk won’t open. Dead battery, broken/failing trunk latch, and key fob malfunction are some of the most typical issues.

Stay with us as we take a closer look at why this can happen and how to discover your remedy.

Problems and Solutions

Subaru Outback Trunk Won't Open

Identifying the root cause of the problem will be necessary before you can fix it and open your trunk.

1. Dead Battery

At the most inconvenient of times, a dead battery always shows up.

Let’s face it, having a dead battery is never convenient. Assuming you’re stranded outside your vehicle and discover that you can neither open the trunk nor any other doors, the most likely cause is a dead battery.

In this case, the manual door locks on an earlier Subaru model come in handy. It’s unfortunate that the latest models don’t support manual locks and only have an automatic locking feature.

Even if you can get into your car and turn the key, a dead battery won’t cause the engine to start.

What can I do?

The first step is to ensure that you and your passengers are safe and away from any major roads or traffic. This step involves recharging the vehicle battery. The cavalry must be summoned!

Your friends and family members are more than happy to lend a helping hand at this time. They can help you jump-start your vehicle and recharge your battery.

Jumper cables, in my opinion, should always be kept in the car’s trunk, but that trunk cannot be opened, so that advice is essentially useless. Having some jumper cables on hand will be really helpful when you need assistance.

Once the engine of your friend’s car is running for a few minutes, you should be able to unlock the doors of your own vehicle.

Begin your automobile and release the jumper cables when it is running. A long drive is recommended to assist recharge the battery following this.

If you know anything about engines or automobiles, you might want to look into what caused this. Car batteries typically have a long lifespan, therefore running out of power shouldn’t be common. Before you get out of the automobile, be sure that all of the car’s power is switched off.

Your Subaru Outback battery can be drained by using the radio, lights, air conditioning, etc.

2. Failed Trunk Latch/Lock

Subaru Outback Trunk Won't Open-2

It’s never a good thing when the trunk latch fails!

If a dead battery has been ruled out, this could be the cause of your problem. It is possible for Subaru Outbacks to experience this issue.

Many factors might lead to defective locks and latches. As a result of repeated use, hard shutting, or driving on rocky ground, the trunk locking system may be compromised.

Broken latches can lead to the following:

What can I do?

To begin, a new lock must be installed in place of an old one that has broken. If this is the problem, you’ll need to identify the locking mechanism to be sure. If something isn’t broken, why bother fixing it?

It is necessary to remove portion of the Outback’s paneling in order to discover the lock, which can either be broken or just stuck. You’ll be better off doing this yourself or hiring a professional to do it for you because it’s a lot of work.

For a lock problem, you’ll need to replace the old one.

3. Key FOB Fault

The Subaru Outback is no exception to the rule of having a key fob. Your automobile can be opened and started by simply pressing a button on the FOB. There’s no need to worry about a battery issue if your automobile starts right up.

If the trunk latch doesn’t click, it’s probably not broken.

This would imply that it’s the FOB in question. Being a vehicle FOB now has its perks. In a handbag or squashed in the back of your trousers, these little objects can get smashed or rolled.

Most common causes of FOB failure are battery replacement, unsecured wires inside the device, or a software update.

What can I do?

The first step is to figure out what’s causing the problem with the FOB. If that doesn’t work, I’d get advice from a specialist. Otherwise, I’d try replacing the battery.

When in doubt, ask your local mechanic for assistance. If you are confident, you can check the wiring or try to reset the FOB yourself.

Liftgate Problems

If the liftgate on your Subaru has stopped working, you may have to reset it to get it to work properly again. In order to do a system reset, follow the steps listed below:

The best course of action if you’re still having issues is to consult with a specialist, as there may be a more serious issue at play.


How do I manually open my Subaru Outback trunk?

To open your Subaru Outback, you’ll have to do it yourself. To manually open the hatch, locate the small plastic square by the latch from the inside of the car (bring down the back seats first).

Please keep in mind that this should only be used in an emergency and not on a regular basis to avoid damage.

How do I reset my Subaru liftgate?

Resetting the tailgate is as simple as following the above-mentioned step-by-step guide. There is, however, an alternative method of resetting the device.

Afterwards, press and hold the rear liftgate close button until it beeps four times, then release the button. Keep pressing and releasing this button. The liftgate should now be closed.

What is the power liftgate off?

If you’re in a location where the ceiling is lower than normal, the liftgate’s ability to be turned off can come in handy. In order to open the liftgate to its full extent, there is a 3/4 setting.

How does a power liftgate work?

A power liftgate is a hatch that opens and closes on its own volition. Pressing a button on your key fob or a button inside the car will activate it. Only if the car door is unlocked can the liftgate be used with an older model Subaru.


There are a number of reasons why your Subaru Outback’s trunk won’t open, including a dead battery, a broken key fob, or even a locked trunk latch. In order to take care of all three difficulties and get back on the road, a quick and simple diagnosis is all that’s required.

You may have found the problem with your Subaru Outback’s trunk after reading this. Finding a problem with your vehicle, much less a parking space that is frequently utilized, is the worst possible situation.

Having your hands full of shopping bags is the worst possible time for this to happen!

It is my goal that this essay has thrown some light on the causes of these errors and the steps to correct them. These steps may all be done by anyone with little or no car knowledge, but if the problem persists you’ll need to seek the help of a professional mechanic.