I had the misfortune to blow the engine in my car a while back and while my car was being repaired, I rented a Subaru Outback (Photo 1). This was one of my first experiences with a Subaru because the closest Subaru dealer is 60 miles away. The car itself was nice to drive and I see why the folks...
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I had the misfortune to blow the engine in my car a while back and while my car was being repaired, I rented a Subaru Outback (Photo 1). This was one of my first experiences with a Subaru because the closest Subaru dealer is 60 miles away. The car itself was nice to drive and I see why the folks up north like them so much for winter driving. The heated seats were a decadent luxury for me here in north Florida in January. The locks on the vehicle were straightforward. The only thing that I didn’t like about the car was that the door lock controls, both manual and power, were the reverse of everything else I’ve ever dealt with.
Because all 2005-and-up Subaru products are equipped with a bicycle-style linkage inside the doors, using traditional inside the door car-opening tools is not practical. An under the window tool like the Tech-Train 1015 tool can be used on either the front door or the rear door. The rear door is generally easier because the fit of the weather stripping is not quite as tight. I use a wooden wedge on either side of where I plan to insert the tool (near the center of the door). Because the Outback uses multi-layer weather stripping, it’s important to use a plastic shim when inserting the wedges and the tool. If you don’t shim the lower layer of the weather stripping, it will roll under your tool and make the job harder or even damage the weather stripping.
Once the upper bend of the tool is below the base of the window glass, remove the wedges in order to relieve the pressure on the glass and make it easier to raise the tool. Failure to remove the wedges can over-stress the glass and may result in a broken window. Carefully pull the tool up inside the vehicle until the end of the tool pops free of the weather stripping. (See Photo 2)
Once the tip of the tool is free inside the vehicle, manipulate the end of the tool until you can operate the inside lock control rocker. (See Photo 3) The rocker on most Subaru products must be moved forward in order to unlock the door. This is the opposite of almost every other vehicle on the road. Because of the multi-layer weather stripping on the inside of the glass, you will need to use your shim again on the inside of the door to help remove the tool after the vehicle is unlocked.
An alternate way of unlocking the Outback is to use a long-reach tool such as the Jiffy-Jak Vehicle entry system shown in Photo 4. Because the Outback uses a “sashless” window system, which has no frame around the upper portion of the glass, you will have to exercise caution as you use a long-reach tool. For that reason, I prefer the first method. If you choose to use a long-reach tool, begin by carefully inserting an inflatable wedge between the glass and the door pillar.
After inflating the wedge slightly, insert a sleeve between the glass and the door pillar to prevent scratching. In this case, I’m using the sleeve that comes with the Jiffy-Jak kit, but a variety of different types of sleeves are available. In a pinch you can even use a flattened toilet paper tube. The main idea is to protect both the glass and the door pillar from your tool as you use it inside the vehicle. (Photo 4)
In order to minimize the stress on the glass, I’ve removed the rubber tip from the long-reach rod and protected the end of the rod with duct tape. A small piece of surgical rubber tubing can also be used over the threaded portion of the tool. You want to make sure that the bare end of your tool does not scratch the trim on the inside of the vehicle as you unlock the door. (See Photo 5)
Once the tool is inside the passenger compartment, you can use the end of the rod to operate the inside lock control rocker. Once again, the rocker moves in the opposite direction of almost every other vehicle on the road.
On many new vehicles, the inside power door lock controls are disabled when the door has been locked with the key or the remote, or when the security system is active. On the Outback however, the power door lock control will operate even when the doors have been locked from the outside. The tip of the rod can be used to push down on the power door lock control and unlock the door. The power door lock control on the Outback, just like the manual rocker, moves in the opposite direction from most other vehicles. (Photo 6)
All four use the GM Z-Keyway system and the “Circle Plus” transponder system. All can be programmed with the standard GM on-board programming procedure, which takes 30 minutes.
The new Ford Fiesta uses the new high-security side-milled lock system that Ford plans to phase in worldwide. It also has a transponder system that is essentially the same as other Ford products.