Rear Gate opened. Battery dead. Oh he77!

Went outside yesterday morning and found the car in the driveway, the rear gate wide open. Dang! Must have accidentally pressed the fob button before going to bed. I pushed the button to close the gate – nothing. Battery was dead as the proverbial doornail. So thinking I shouldn’t leave the car open, I manually closed the gate. (Yup – stupid!!) Then it dawned on me – I had a jump starter in the under floor storage – inside the now closed and totally locked car.

The owner’s manual is also kept under there. So I needed to read the owner’s manual to figure out how to open the gate manually. Couldn’t open the gate without the manual – couldn’t get the manual without opening the gate. Catch-22. Boy, was I feeling really stupid by now!!

Luckily, I have saved the owner’s manual PDF on my computer, so I read that to find out how to open the gate manually.
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Here’s the picture in the manual.

But I had to get in the car to reach that. So I was able to take the key from the fob and open the driver’s door. Then, I had to reach around and open the passenger door. So far, so good! I put both rear seats down and removed the cargo cover. Now, I had access to the rear.

Well, sort of… I’m 6’3″, 210 pounds, 74 years old, wear bifocals, and prone to leg cramps! It took a while, but I got in and used a trusty screwdriver to remove the cover to the manual release cubby. Here’s what it actually looks like:

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That’s similar to the owner’s manual illustration, but that electrical connector is right in the way, and I’m cramped in there, my bifocals focusing on anything but the stuff in the cubby. Finally, I did manage to get the gate released and opened manually!! Hoo-ray!

Now, to retrieve the as yet unused, untried jump starter. Here’s what I have:

Looked at it, and saw that the power switch was in the “on” position. As I suspected, it was as dead as the Outback!!! I hadn’t turned it off before stowing it many months ago. So, off to the house and a handy-dandy electrical outlet. It took quite a while to charge to almost 40% (the instruction manual says to use at 35% or more).

So, now was the time for the “Great Jump-Starter Test”… I hooked this little unit to the much, much larger Outlook battery (yes, the original battery, not a higher-powered replacement), and stepped to the driver’s door, and entered the cave of possible doom. I pressed the brake pedal (or as some in this forum might say, the break peddle!)… One hopeful press of the Start button – and the Outback immediately jumped to life!!!

Wow!! I am impressed by my stupidity and the power of that little jump starter! Took the OB for a half-hour drive, and have had no problems since.

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