Subaru Forester supports remote start feature that allows you to remotely start the engine of your vehicle for the purpose of cooling or preheating the interior before the passengers gets to it.
The remote start feature on Subaru Forester has many benefits. You can start your vehicle in advance when the weather is too hot or cold outside. The system turns on the air conditioning or heating, making inside cabin temperature more tolerable when you get to your vehicle.
Before you start your Forester remotely, ensure that the vehicle is parked in a well ventilated area. Starting your vehicle in an enclosed space, like a closed garage, introduces risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Remote start procedure for Forester
You can remotely start your Subaru Forester by following these simple steps:
- Press and release the LOCK button twice within two seconds on the key fob of your Forester.
- Then press and hold the LOCK button for three seconds on the key fob.
- The horn honks, turn signal lights flash multiple times and the engine starts.
- Once started remotely, the engine will run for 15 minutes and then shut down automatically.
The vehicle remains secured when you have remotely started the engine. A valid key must be inside your vehicle to switch the ignition on and drive your vehicle.
If the engine turns over but does not start (or starts and stalls) the remote engine start system on Forester will power off and then attempt to start the engine 3 additional times. The system will not attempt to restart the engine if it determines a vehicle malfunction is preventing starting. If the engine does not start after 3 additional attempts, the remote engine start request will be aborted.
Start engine with remote engine starter fob
Subaru Forester vehicles equipped with remote start system may come with Remote Engine Starter Transceiver which can also be used to remotely start the engine.
Remote start procedure
The remote engine start system on Forester is activated by pressing the fob button on your remote engine starter transceiver (fob) twice within 3 seconds.
If the fob is within operating range of the system and the start request is received, the following will occur.
- The fob flashes and beeps once.
- The horn sounds once.
- The side marker lights, tail lights, and parking lights flash once.
The system will check certain safety preconditions before starting, and if all conditions are met, the engine will start within 5 seconds.
If the fob is not within range (the user is too far away from the vehicle), the fob will indicate two long flashes without beeping.
After engine starts
After your Forester engine starts, the following will occur.
- The fob flashes and beeps twice.
- The horn sounds once.
- The side marker lights, tail lights, and parking lights flash once.
While the engine is idling via the remote engine start system, the following will occur.
- The side marker lights, tail lights, and parking lights remain illuminated.
- The fob button flashes once every 3 seconds.
- The power windows are disabled.
Remotely stop Forester’s engine
There are two methods to remotely shut off Subaru Forester’s engine.
Method 1 (Key Fob): Press and hold the LOCK button on the key fob for three seconds. The engine stops and the doors remain locked.
Method 2 (Remote Engine Starter Fob): Press and hold the fob button for at least 2 seconds to stop the engine. The fob will flash and beep three times, indicating the engine has stopped. If the stop request is not received (for example, if the user is too far away from the vehicle), the fob will continue to flash once every 3 seconds.
Entering the vehicle while it is running via remote start
If your Subaru Forester is equipped with keyless access with push-button start system, you can enter and drive your vehicle without restarting the engine, otherwise the engine will turn off when you open any door on the vehicle.
- Unlock your Forester’s doors using the keyless access function and remote keyless entry system.
- Enter the vehicle. The engine will remain running provided the access key fob is present and detected by the vehicle.
- Press the push-button ignition switch once while depressing the brake pedal before driving your vehicle.
- The remote engine starter transceiver (fob) will flash and beep 3 times to indicate that the remote start system has been shut down.
Note: If Forester’s doors are unlocked manually using the key, the vehicle’s alarm system will trigger (if the alarm system is armed prior to activating the remote engine start system) and the engine will turn off. An alarm trigger may also occur if the vehicle is opened by the remote keyless entry transmitter within a few seconds immediately following remote engine start shutdown.
Video: How to drive Subaru after remote start
Climate control setting
Remote engine start will also activate HVAC controls in your Forester by defaulting to the condition they were in when the vehicle was turned off. Keeping your vehicle on the Auto Mode setting is recommended for improved vehicle temperature preconditioning.
Extend engine running time
When you remotely start the engine of your Forester, it will run for 15 minutes and then shut off automatically. When this happens, you can perform another remote start procedure which will run the engine for another 5 minutes. The maximum engine running time allowed is 20 minutes, after that you need to turn the ignition on and off from inside the vehicle before you can use remote starter again.
Automatic engine shutdown after remote start
For safety and security reasons, the remote engine start system on Subaru Forester will prevent starting or stop the engine if running, and sound the horn twice if any of the following conditions is detected. In addition, the fob (Remote Engine Starter Transceiver) will flash and beep 3 times.
- The total run-time has exceeded 20 minutes.
- The brake pedal is depressed.
- A key is in the ignition switch.
- The engine hood is open.
- The engine idle speed exceeds 3,500 rpm.
- The security alarm is triggered.
- The select lever is not in the “P” position.
If the system detects any door (including the rear gate) open during operation, it will prevent starting or stop the engine, and sound the horn and flash side marker lights, tail lights, and parking lights 6 times on your Forester.
In addition to the items above, if the vehicle’s engine management system determines there is a safety risk due to a vehicle-related problem, the vehicle will power down and the horn will sound 3 times.
Remote start system not working on Subaru Forester
If the engine on your Forester does not start when you perform the remote starting procedure, it can be due to a number of reasons:
- Your vehicle is low on fuel.
- The hood on your Forester is not fully closed.
- One or more of the vehicle doors are open, make sure they are securely closed.
- The transmission is not in park mode (P).
- The 12v battery voltage has gone too low.
- The service engine light is turned on in the instrument cluster.
- The battery in remote engine starter fob is weak or dead.
- Your Subaru Forester may not have the remote start feature. Get your vehicle checked by an authorized dealer to confirm if it is equipped with a remote start system.
Note: Remote engine start feature is not available on Subaru models with manual transmission.
Video Demonstration (key fob)
Remote start Subaru Forester with a mobile device
Forester supports Subaru Starlink Connected Services, which allows you to remotely start the engine of your vehicle with an Apple or Android mobile device.
- Download “MySubaru” app from App Store or Google Play on your mobile device.
- Tap the MySubaru app icon on your device to start using the app.
- Next, sign-in to your MySubaru account. If you don’t have an account, then create a new one at mysubaru.com by entering your vehicle’s VIN number.
- After you have logged in to your account, open SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services and then Remote Engine Start.
- Now touch the Start button. You will be asked to enter your PIN code.
- The turn signal lights flash multiple times and the engine starts. A confirmation message appears in the MySubaru app.
- Once the engine has been started, it run for 5 or 10 minutes, depending on setting, and then shut down automatically.
Stop engine with mobile device
To remotely turn off your Forester’s engine, touch the ENGINE STOP button in the MySubaru app and enter your PIN code.
Adjust engine runtime and climate settings
You can adjust the engine runtime and heating or cooling from within the MySubaru app. Touch Adjust Climate & Delay Settings under SUBARU STARLINK Connected Services > Remote Engine Start.
Select your desired engine runtime and climate settings and then press Save Settings and Start button.
Video Demonstration (mobile device)
Video: How to activate STARLINK Connected Services
These are warnings against actions which may cause injury to people/vehicle if the warning is ignored.
- Never start the engine of your Forester in an enclosed area (such as a garage or indoor parking lot) where exhaust gases may accumulate and create a hazardous environment with potential for Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning.
- Do not start the engine if a child or pet are present in or near the vehicle.
- Always turn off vehicle systems such as the windshield wipers, headlights and radio before leaving the vehicle. If left on, such systems may be damaged or vehicle battery depleted by remote engine start in extreme cold weather.
Engine idling law
There are laws against car idling with no passenger or driver inside in many states to protect the environment. It does not mean its completely illegal to use remote start, some states have time limit on how long you can keep the engine running. So check with your local state laws before using the remote start feature on your Subaru Forester.