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Strange experiences with Subaru remote key door openers

The remote on my 2011 Legacy failed me one day recently when a thunderstorm was only seconds away. No matter where I stood near the car, the remote would not function. The same thing happened just before the same storm in the same city to a friend with a 2011 Tribeca. Three months before, this occurred with a friend’s 2004 Forester, just as thunderstorm approached. In all cases, once the storm began the remotes worked. The dealer said it was a mystery and maybe the codes needed changed. Subaru never heard of it. Any ideas?

I would not doubt that with enough stray static electricity in the air, many frequencies were saturated, preventing a remote from working. I don’t think this is a common thing, and certainly not a safety concern as far as Subaru is concerned, as it only happens for a few seconds or minutes, and then everything is back to normal. I doubt changing the codes will have any effect. Now you understand the concept of military frequency jamming, where an aircraft can fly over a city and black out all television reception or radio broadcasting. It’s actually quite an effective form of electronic counter measure (ECM).

I agree with BATJ stated. The storm cloud is very highly energized with all kinds of RF energy just looking for a place to discharge to. The moist air of the rain along with a lightening strike would help discharge that hugh RFI energy so things would go back to working normally.

That was a strange experience, no doubt.