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frustrating immobiliser problems

Old 05 January 2006, 09:33 AM
  #1  
Od the Scot
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Default frustrating immobiliser problems

Hi guys. I am new here!!

Anyone any ideas? I have a 2001 Impreza WRX and am having real problems with the immobiliser (including getting stuck on a garage forecourt before Xmas). I can lock the car with the remote then when I come back, it won't let me unlock it. SO, if I use the key to get in, off goes the alarm and I then try the remote to start the engine...no joy....although I found advice before on your site about sticking it right under the dash and that has worked now and again. However, in very cold weather, it just will not work. The RAC disconnected the battery when they came out and it worked then but I have hadto do that a few times since and it hasn't always worked. I am getting petrified about using the remote to lock it and now use the key so I can least get into the car before I discover I can't start it!!! I have also read about phone masts causing problems and we do have one across the valley but doesn't explain the petrol station incident...Oh, and the override keypad hasn't helped - it hasn't worked either. I called Subaru Assistance to ask how to do it and they told me...it didn't work.
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Old 05 January 2006, 01:08 PM
  #2  
Sigma Sam
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A helpful response! The keypad overide does work, unless the keypad itself is damaged. Unfortunately though, most owners are not given the PIN when cars cange hands and people are unaware that they can change the PIN to one of their own choosing or have little interest in either until the vehicle will not start.

The cut and paste below should explain the problem you are suffering from and how to avoid becoming stranded along with info on setting the PIN to your own series of numbers.

Radio Lock Out:
- All alarm systems manufactured for use in the UK in ’99 were required to operate on the frequency of 433MHz. Subsequently, in late 2000, the government allowed the introduction of the “Tetra” radio network for telecommunications companies, the military, police, fire and ambulance services etc, which was allocated the 420-430MHz bandwidths.

Although not exactly the same frequency, these “Tetra” transmitters are licensed and so are allowed to operate at around 20,000 watts, compared with the alarm systems 0.5 watt radio key (necessary so that your radio keys remain exempt from annual licensing fees!)

As a result, when you are near a transmitting “Tetra” mast you can get a degree of “bleed over” as their signal is so much stronger and this can swamp the transmission from the radio key.

This problem is not exclusive to this system and can occur on any number of manufacturers systems produced prior to 2001.

The receiver boards were redesigned to focus more accurately on the 433.92HHz frequency as soon as this problem became evident, however, systems manufactured before 2001, with the older receiver boards that may have experienced this problem, are not faulty and were not considered eligible for warranty.
However, as a goodwill measure, customers who suffered from “exceptional” radio lock-out (ie lived or worked below a mast) were offered an upgraded receiver board whilst the vehicle was still within the warranty period.

This goodwill period was extended for a further 12 months after the 3 year warranty period expired, but ended in December 2004.
Later ECUs are available from Subaru (part number SACC 3465) but these are now chargeable

Avoidance:
There are a few points that should be remembered:

- All vehicles that passed through the import centre from January 2001 are equipped with the latest receiver boards that are "Tetra Resistant" and so should not experience this problem.

- A keypad is fitted to ALL models with the UK standard fit alarm system (from 99 MY) as an emergency override, in the event of loss, damage, flat radio key battery etc. (The keypad also allows the driver to access a number of features and is a complete programming tool for the dealers) and so pushing/recovery of vehicle’s should not be necessary provided you know your override PIN and ow to operate the keypad.

- The keypad can NOT be affected by "Radio Lock-Out", as it is hard wired into the system and does not rely on a radio transmission.

Keypad Use:
- The keypad allows only THREE PIN attempts and then will "Lock Up" if an incorrect number is entered a third time. This is a secuity feature to prevent random attempts at steeling the vehicle, however, it is also an inconvenience if you are suffering "Radio Lock Out" and enter your PIN incorrectly.

- The PIN number should not be entered too quickly or too slowly - when a digit has been pressed the small LED built into the keypad will illuminate briefly as confirmation and only then should the next digit be entered.

If an incorrect digit is pressed or the delay between entering digits exceeds10 seconds, then the LED above the keypad will flash rapidly and the PIN attempt should be aborted and started again after 30 seconds.

Due to the small size of the keypad some users may find a rubber tipped pencil easier to use. DO NOT use the sharp tip of a ball point pen etc, or press excessively hard on the keypad as this will only damage the membrane and cause a digit to remain pressed, causing a continual incorrect PIN.

Summary:
My advice is to read the alarm system's instruction manual and practice entering the PIN before you need it. If you do not know your PIN, or bought the car second hand (in which case the PIN may have been changed by the previous owner) you can change the PIN to one of your own choosing, using the keypad, provided that you have a working Radio Key.

Changing your PIN:
- Arm and then Disarm the system using a working Radio Key.
- Within 30 seconds of disarming, type into the keypad: *17856*92*wxyz*wxyz# (where wxyz is your new PIN code)
- Arm the system with the Radio Key
- You should now be able to disarm the system using the new PIN code

Further information can be found in the systems Operating Instructions. If you do not have a copy of the Operating Instructions a link to a copy can be found in the post at:
http://www.subaru-impreza.org/subaru...pic.php?t=2476

Ensure your keypad is operational before you need it on a dark night!
If this is an ntermitent problem, use of the keypad should overcome the problem. However, if the problem is more frequent it may be worth considering a new control unit - An SACC 3465 should cost in the region of £70 from a Subaru dealer and your existing keys can still be used.
Although installation may take around 30 minutes, do not pay over the odds for programming the system, as this can be done in 5 minutes using the keypad.

Sorry that this is such a long-winded post, but I hope that it answers the questions raised and will keep everyone mobile.
SS
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Old 06 January 2006, 09:07 AM
  #3  
Od the Scot
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SS Thanks.

I did do all the "wait for the red light to stop before pressing next number" etc after Subarus Assistance told me to do so but that didn't work either. I wonder now if the keypad is damaged through my excessively pressing it hard in sheer frustration ..and I also used the end of a pen on it, so might be my fault......

I went to the dealer yesterday and to be honest, they didn;t have a lot of idea as to what to do but are ordering me a new key fob and will recode everything to see if that does any good.

Oh and the link in the post above didn't work...an old link or something.
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Old 06 January 2006, 10:52 AM
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If the keypad membrane is damaged this can be replaced - the part number is SACC3463-CVR. This should then allow you to use the keypad incase you need to use it in the future.
Thanks for letting me know about the link!
SS
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Old 06 January 2006, 01:43 PM
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Sam - very useful post - thanks for that.
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Old 09 January 2006, 10:10 AM
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Od the Scot
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SS

It happened again yesterday!! When I tried to use the keypad, after the first number, I got the single red light flash then when I put the next number in, I got a rapidly flashing red light - does this suggest the membrane is damaged then?
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Old 10 January 2006, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Od the Scot
SS

It happened again yesterday!! When I tried to use the keypad, after the first number, I got the single red light flash then when I put the next number in, I got a rapidly flashing red light - does this suggest the membrane is damaged then?
Mmm... I doubt it.
It sounds to me asthough the PIN you are entering is incorrect (the second digit anyway).
If the membrane was damaged the LED built into the Keypad would be flashing all the time, even without pressing a digit - the fact that the keypad responded correctly to the first digits suggests the membrane is ok (Can you see any indents in the membrane?)
For the built in LED to flash after the 2nd digit suggests either the button is not responding at all and the system is exiting programming automatically as it is not seeing an input within 10 seconds or the second digit of the PIN is inccorrect.
I would try to reprogram the PIN (see post above) but avoid using the second digit you are currently using incase that digit/button is inop.

SS
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Old 11 January 2006, 12:23 PM
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Od the Scot
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SS
Thanks. Will have a go at that....
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Old 11 January 2006, 12:38 PM
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...and I guess the alarm goes off in your ears while you try to disarm it using your new passcode!!! Got used to that when I had to use the key to get into the car having armed it with the fob....And by the way, should you have the key in the ignition or not when using the keypad? Ignition turned to on or off?
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Old 11 January 2006, 02:58 PM
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Sorry, should have mentioned ignition off when entering the PIN.
Do you have a working Radio Key at the moment or are you trying to disarm the system with the existing PIN - if using the existing PIN and this is incorrect or one of the digits on the keypad for this PIN ahs failed then it will not be possible to change the PIN.
The system must be in a disarmed state before a new PIN can be taught for security reasons.
SS
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Old 13 January 2006, 11:38 AM
  #11  
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I have a working radio key (well it does sometimes!!). The problem comes when I lock it with the radio key fine but then when I go back to it (like at the petrol station) and it won't disarm and open the doors, so I then use the good old fashion key in the lock method and hence set off all the alarms. I then try the keypad and it isn't disarming it with the PIN supplied with the car or the overall override numebr which I have been given too. The PIN certainly used to work as I used it a few times in the past when I parked near a police station with all their antenna and at a mate's house as she is near a telecom mast. It just seems to have been over the past couple of months that the keypad hasn't disarmed it while I have been sitting in the car with the alarms going off all round me! I have changed the batteries in the fob and the dealer has now got a new fob and offered to recode them all if I go in.
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Old 13 January 2006, 01:01 PM
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A new fob won't fix the primary problem - ie the fobs not operating the system occasionally. The only solution is to fit a later alarm ECU with a later receiver board. I imagine the unit is 2001 or earlier, these older receiver boards can become swamped by the near-by radio signals in certain areas.
The receiver boards were redesigned in 2001 to prevent this issue as soon as it became apparent, due to the introductio of the Tetra radio systems in 2000.

The keypad no longer working is a secondary problem, unfortunately this is the intended form of overide if the above occurs. The dealer would be better spending their time getting this to work for you by repairing/replacing the keypad or reprogramming the PIN as necessary.
With the keypad operational again, if you feel you are having to use this too regularly then the only option would be to fit a new ECU (part number SACC 3465 iro £70) your existing fobs can be programmed into the new ECU keeping costs down.

I'm sorry I've not been able to help you with the keypad problem, but it is a little hard to diagnose the fault without the car - I trust your dealer will be able to do this for you.

SS

Last edited by Sigma Sam; 13 January 2006 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 13 January 2006, 01:19 PM
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SS

Thanks. Think I will ask the dealer to order the new ECU..then they'll charge a fortune to fit it I guess....
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Old 01 February 2006, 01:38 PM
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Well £200 lighter in the pocket and a new ECU fitted so hopefully no more problems. Thanks for all your help. Oh and I had to put two new tyres on last week at another overall cost of over £200 so this car is costing me a fortune at the moment....!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 19 January 2016, 02:47 PM
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Can ayone help me
i have a 2004 sti type uk before christmas i went shopping locked my car when i got back to my car i unlocked it tried to start it and nothing all lights on dash fuel pump priming but nothing they key wouldnt even unlock or lock the door anymore
got the AA out who changed the bat in the key fob and off she went
3 weeks later same thing at the petrol station key in nothing all lights fuel on no start
its like the key keeps forgetting the car it has been in to subaru for this problem who just replaced the key at £170 so its a new key but still same old problem i am currently satrting it by a wire straight from the starter to the bat and she starts fine!!!!
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Old 06 March 2018, 10:27 PM
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tomwatt
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Angry immobiliser and keypad problems in my impreza 04 wagon

Hi,
I am wondering if anyone can help me?
I have been having immobiliser problems in my 04 Impreza for months now. Its so unreliable. The remote works some days and other days it does nothing.
At first I thought it was the battery in my key. It wasn't. I put new one in. I also got a new key insert and a reprogram from subaru. That didn't help so it's not the key.
I have been using the keypad to start the car, but I am on my second one now (first one stopped working and had to get a tow to subaru garage)
They replaced the keypad and told me it would be too expensive to replace the alarm system and would take them ages. The second keypad is unreliable and only sometimes works. They are the worst quality.
It is very frustrating and quite often I can't use the car for days at a time.
I asked Subaru if they would just bypass the whole system as I would rather have no alarm and for the car to start than to have a system that is clearly not working. They said they can't bypass it.
I have rang around auto electricians and independent garages in my area and nobody will touch it.
I wonder has anyone got any advice? I am running out of options.
I feel like it is crazy to have to scrap a perfectly good car because of a bad alarm system.
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Old 06 March 2018, 11:53 PM
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"Apparently" Subaru do an M30 to S30 upgrade kit.............

https://www.scoobynet.com/security-1...l#post11988740
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Old 26 May 2019, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tomwatt View Post
Hi,
I am wondering if anyone can help me?
I have been having immobiliser problems in my 04 Impreza for months now. Its so unreliable. The remote works some days and other days it does nothing.
At first I thought it was the battery in my key. It wasn't. I put new one in. I also got a new key insert and a reprogram from subaru. That didn't help so it's not the key.
I have been using the keypad to start the car, but I am on my second one now (first one stopped working and had to get a tow to subaru garage)
They replaced the keypad and told me it would be too expensive to replace the alarm system and would take them ages. The second keypad is unreliable and only sometimes works. They are the worst quality.
It is very frustrating and quite often I can't use the car for days at a time.
I asked Subaru if they would just bypass the whole system as I would rather have no alarm and for the car to start than to have a system that is clearly not working. They said they can't bypass it.
I have rang around auto electricians and independent garages in my area and nobody will touch it.
I wonder has anyone got any advice? I am running out of options.
I feel like it is crazy to have to scrap a perfectly good car because of a bad alarm system.
Hi , just wondered if you found a fix for this problem happened to me yesterday key fobs do nothing alarm not even going off immobiliser light does not come on key pad not responding hence car will not start
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