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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has this happened to anyone else?

I saw someone waiting for the parking spot I was about to leave, so I pressed the start button and threw the car into reverse quickly to get out of the way. The car never fully started, although it did “wake up” (ie music, fans, screens lit up etc). I put the car back into park, put my foot on the brake and tried to start the car...nothing. Could not turn the car off (ie shut it all the way down), but also couldn’t start the car again, so there we sat waiting for roadside assistance until the battery totally died.

Got towed up to the dealer, who called me the next day to say I had a dead battery. (Yeah, I know!). After they got the battery charged up they said they were unable to recreate the problem, and as the diagnostics they had run turned up nothing wrong with the car there was nothing to fix. Needless to say, I was a little ticked but OK, I get it.

This has happened to me once more since then. My husband was able to get the car started again by turning off all the electronics that he could, waiting a minute and then trying the start button - that worked. But I wonder what the heck is happening? Now I just remind myself to take it slowly; I may need to be somewhere in a hurry, but if I’m not careful I won’t get there at all!
 

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Its a known thing.

Slow down lol.

If it happens shut it down wait a minute or two. Then try again. If that doesn’t work shut it down. And try walking away from it then try again.

There is something with the way Subaru resets the startup process that takes time to reset after doing this.

Our Ford just beeps at you and tells you to place it in park. Then restarts right away.

The push button start is easy to mess up ie thinking it’s running when its not.
 

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Modern cars are very very big computers. You need to let it boot up before using! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
That’s the thing - I couldn’t shut the car off! Nothing I did started it or turned it off. I just had to sit there until the battery died. (The tow truck took a loooooong time. I tried multiple different approaches but nothing worked.
 

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I have a habit of holding the button during start, like my old car with key.

My old car wouldn’t start if the shifter is in gear (e.g. reserve or drive) or the neutral/park switch (ie neutral safety switch) gets a little hung up at Park position. I would jiggle the shifter while turning the key to start, the engine would fire up. In other words, your car might not have been in park position properly.

What you experienced should not have happened. You need to report it to SOA
 

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Has this happened to anyone else?

I saw someone waiting for the parking spot I was about to leave, so I pressed the start button and threw the car into reverse quickly to get out of the way. The car never fully started, although it did “wake up” (ie music, fans, screens lit up etc). I put the car back into park, put my foot on the brake and tried to start the car...nothing. Could not turn the car off (ie shut it all the way down), but also couldn’t start the car again, so there we sat waiting for roadside assistance until the battery totally died.

Got towed up to the dealer, who called me the next day to say I had a dead battery. (Yeah, I know!). After they got the battery charged up they said they were unable to recreate the problem, and as the diagnostics they had run turned up nothing wrong with the car there was nothing to fix. Needless to say, I was a little ticked but OK, I get it.

This has happened to me once more since then. My husband was able to get the car started again by turning off all the electronics that he could, waiting a minute and then trying the start button - that worked. But I wonder what the heck is happening? Now I just remind myself to take it slowly; I may need to be somewhere in a hurry, but if I’m not careful I won’t get there at all!
That happened to me once. It's usually not like me to shift so quickly. The car is ready to go in the time it takes to buckle your seat belt, plug your phone in, etc.

I think there's a TSB for it. I have not had it performed to my car.
https://www.ascentforums.com/forum/59123-post1.html
 

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That’s the thing - I couldn’t shut the car off! Nothing I did started it or turned it off. I just had to sit there until the battery died. (The tow truck took a loooooong time. I tried multiple different approaches but nothing worked.
Put it in park. Then hold the start button down till it turns off. All button start cars will shut off with a long press on the button. Chances are you didn’t hold the on/off button down long enough.

It is frustrating but your like the thrid person to post about it with several others that experienced the same thing but got it reset.

All else fails unhook the battery for a few seconds that will for sure reset it. And won’t be a complete stranding / tow truck trip. Im not sure why Subaru has that behavior. Its like they missed the added computer code to handle a failed start thus reset the starting sequence.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Put it in park. Then hold the start button down till it turns off. All button start cars will shut off with a long press on the button. Chances are you didn’t hold the on/off button down long enough.

It is frustrating but your like the thrid person to post about it with several others that experienced the same thing but got it reset.

All else fails unhook the battery for a few seconds that will for sure reset it. And won’t be a complete stranding / tow truck trip. Im not sure why Subaru has that behavior. Its like they missed the added computer code to handle a failed start thus reset the starting sequence.
Subiesailor - thanks for that information! I have been unable to find any other posts about it, although I’ve looked. This isn’t the easiest website to use.
 

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Subiesailor - thanks for that information! I have been unable to find any other posts about it, although I’ve looked. This isn’t the easiest website to use.

Yes, it's been mentioned before. I did it on my 2015 Outback. After reading the fix on this site about disconnecting a cable on the battery to reset it, I purchased the proper size wrench and keep it in the glove compartment.


Thankfully, I learned my lesson a couple years ago and have not done it since.
 

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Subiesailor - thanks for that information! I have been unable to find any other posts about it, although I’ve looked. This isn’t the easiest website to use.
I've found that going straight to google.com and googling 'subaru ascent' followed by whatever info youre looking for will bring up the appropriate threads on this site. I agree that the custom search within the site isnt as easy to use!
 

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I think Carl has mentioned this but I push start, then put my seat belt on. That gives the car enough time to fully start before you pull it out of park.
Put it in park. Then hold the start button down till it turns off. All button start cars will shut off with a long press on the button. Chances are you didn’t hold the on/off button down long enough.
Then that.
 
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I saw someone waiting for the parking spot I was about to leave, so I pressed the start button and threw the car into reverse quickly to get out of the way.

This reminded me of the old study showing a lot of people take longer to leave their parking spots when another car is waiting for it. We are territorial animals, so take your time next time it happens!
https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1559-1816.1997.tb00661.x
Abstract

Three studies showed that drivers leaving a public parking space are territorial even when such behavior is contrary to their goal of leaving. In Study 1 (observations of 200 departing cars), intruded‐upon drivers took longer to leave than nonintruded‐upon drivers. In Study 2, an experiment involving 240 drivers in which level of intrusion and status of intruder were manipulated, drivers took longer to leave when another car was present and when the intruder honked. Males left significantly sooner when intruded upon by a higher rather than lower status car, whereas females' departure times did not differ as a function of the status of the car. There was evidence that distraction might explain some of this effect. In Study 3, individuals who had parked at a mall were asked about how they would react to intruders. Compared to what they believed other people would do, respondents said they would leave faster if the car were just waiting for them to leave but they would take longer to leave if the driver in the car honked at them.
 

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Indeed I've had a similar issue happen to me THREE times! Admittedly, I need to slow down, but I've learned that if I attempt to shift into DRIVE before the engine has completely started, it will lock up all electronics and I cannot turn the car off or on. I now keep a wrench in the console to disconnect the battery which will reset the system. Very Annoying because sometimes it seems to take FOREVER for the engine to start!!
 

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Like others, I've gotten into the habit of startin the car, then puttin on my seatbelt, then pullin away, which solves this problem. It's a good workflow to develop
 

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If you walk away from the car with the fob and stay away, it’s supposed to shut off. Who knows if it will. I’m having multiple problems with my Ascent touring and am not a happy Subaru customer and this is my first and most likely last Subaru. I’ve driven BMW’s for the last 14 years. I thought I’d try something less expensive and “new” being that we’ve bought our BMW’s as gently used 2 year old CPO’s which gives you a better price and warranty. I hear people say” oh why do people spend sooo much on luxury cars ( BMW’s, Mercedes etc) there’s no difference, blah blah blah” ..... well besides the obvious ride and handling being far superior on luxury cars, when I take them in for even a routine maintenance service, they give me a BMW loaner for as long as they have my car, they listen to what’s wrong with the vehicle and they FIX it no matter what it costs them because you paid that higher price. The Subaru dealer didn’t even mention a loaner and they didn’t fix the car. Now I have a rattle on acceleration along with the 2 other problems, I don’t even want to bother taking it in now because my daughter has my X5 temporarily so I’d be without a car if they did try to fix it, unless maybe I pushed for a loaner I don’t know. I don’t feel I should be having these issues with a 7 month old car with 5k miles on it. My 13 year old X5 seems more reliable at this point which is crazy because we got a new car in case we started having problems with the X5!
 

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If you walk away from the car with the fob and stay away, it’s supposed to shut off. Who knows if it will. I’m having multiple problems with my Ascent touring and am not a happy Subaru customer and this is my first and most likely last Subaru. I’ve driven BMW’s for the last 14 years. I thought I’d try something less expensive and “new” being that we’ve bought our BMW’s as gently used 2 year old CPO’s which gives you a better price and warranty. I hear people say” oh why do people spend sooo much on luxury cars ( BMW’s, Mercedes etc) there’s no difference, blah blah blah” ..... well besides the obvious ride and handling being far superior on luxury cars, when I take them in for even a routine maintenance service, they give me a BMW loaner for as long as they have my car, they listen to what’s wrong with the vehicle and they FIX it no matter what it costs them because you paid that higher price. The Subaru dealer didn’t even mention a loaner and they didn’t fix the car. Now I have a rattle on acceleration along with the 2 other problems, I don’t even want to bother taking it in now because my daughter has my X5 temporarily so I’d be without a car if they did try to fix it, unless maybe I pushed for a loaner I don’t know. I don’t feel I should be having these issues with a 7 month old car with 5k miles on it. My 13 year old X5 seems more reliable at this point which is crazy because we got a new car in case we started having problems with the X5!
My parents are on their second X5. They are not car people by any means. It's a status thing and my dad likes the zero maintenance expense. The first one was a purchase they kept it 5 years and dumped it because they didn't want to pay for maintaining a BMW out of warranty. Resale value was a joke, the depreciation of those things is amazing. As a result their second one is a lease. They've had a few random issues with it, but BMW covered everything and gives them a loaner. They also have been customers of the same dealer brand since 2002. With BMW the dealer loaner cost is charged back to BMW because it is part of warranty contract.

With "cheaper" brands loaners are a courtesy thing provided to the customer. Since I service my car at the same place that I bought it, I get the perk of a service loaner. If I was an outside customer I wouldn't be obliged to it for minor things, for major issues the dealerships should be pushing on SOA to get you the loaner since they would be charging it back to them anyway under warranty work. I think in your case this is more of a crappy dealership experience not working with you.

BMW does this right, by guaranteeing the customer a loaner, other brands are a mixed bag. Sometimes it also depends on the dealer. Some recognize that money is in service and don't care where you bought it, others act like they are better than you if you bought it somewhere else.

Overall BMW isn't the brand it once was and their resale value just isn't there. They are great performing cars with great warranty service, but they typically turn into money pits once that warranty goes away. I think in part this has to do with their long service intervals while under $0 maintenance and 10K oil changes. With luxury cars there is a bit of diminishing returns, you pay for the newest tech and you start getting less and less for the price, but you are getting the newest tech. Except for the stupid spinning knob system BMW does for their infotainment. Why just Why?

I would look at going to a different dealership. Mine has been great so far.
 

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This has happened to me multiple times and what I found is that the car goes into a somewhat startup mode. After having this happen a few times I changed my pattern to start car, buckle seat-belt, shift gear.

If I remember correctly the way I got out of the situation was as follows

1) Hit start button again as if you are turning off the car (Foot not on brake) this will start accessory mode with A/C blowing
2) Hit Start button again which should now be in the same mode as if you turned the car off after a drive
2) Open driver door to have the car think you are leaving and so it will turn everything off
3) Close door, foot on brake and hit start button

I probably had this happen about half a dozen times as I was so used to using a key beforehand.
 

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I get Subaru loaners whenever I need one from my dealer service department. I have no complaints about either my Subaru car or my Subaru dealer. It seems when it comes to Subaru, finding the right dealer is key. Despite learning to drive manual transmissions in a BMW, I have never been a fan. Didn't find the drive much better than the Japanese cars I've driven (if better at all), never cared for the looks of BMWs, and have never considered any sort of "luxury" they offer worth the premium they charge for it. Pretty much how I feel about most German cars to be honest. To each their own I suppose. I'd also agree that when it comes to the German cars, leasing is the way to go due to the silly high maintenance/repair costs. My younger brother got rid of his Mercedes and picked up a Caddy mostly for that reason.


Now Aston Martins... those are pretty pretty cars :D
 

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This happened to me TWICE. The second time my car was in accessory mode for 2.5 hours while I waited for a tow truck. To everyone who says to walk away from the car with they keys...nope. Tried that maybe 20x? I would walk way across a huge parking lot, sit there for 10 minutes. Go back and the car was still on. It was the most frustrating thing. Couldn't even lock the doors so I could just walk home. Finally got it to turn off, who the heck knows how (by then I had tried everything a million times, called every dealer nearby & used the emergency button in the car) and could call off the tow truck.

It's insane to me that a silly mistake like putting a car into reverse too soon can strand you for over 2 hours. What a mess. It totally ruined my day. I had to pick up 2 kids at 2 diff schools. Not a great excuse - I'm sitting in my brand new car at the Stop & Shop all day. Sucks. No one I called had ever even heard of this! Now I am SO careful to not do it, but I'm worried one day I will be in a hurry and forget. And all the "fixes" people mention are random. I think the car just does it when it wants to...and there isn't one fix. B/c I tried everything other people said a ton of times, and nothing! I wish I had gotten a real key. I didn't know that was an option at the time.
 

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I registered for this forum just so I could post my "me too" story. My wife was just stranded at her dentist office for 2 hours until I could get away from work to come get her. She doesn't know exactly what she did to get it in this state, but based on reading this thread she must have shifted into reverse too quickly. We tried a million things that have been suggested in this thread and others threads and none of them worked. We took the keyfob out of range of the car. Put it in gear then back in park. Held the start button down for a minute+. Opened/closed door. Nothing worked. On a whim I put it in park, then set the electronic parking brake and then pressed the stop button and the car dash "shut down". Once it was properly shut down, it started right up. Extremely frustrated that you have to worry about the timing of exactly when you put the car in reverse. This is the second time it's happened. First time we were at home so we just left the car for a little while (maybe 1/2 hour or so) and when we came back it started.
 
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