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Hi all, I have a 2006 Subaru B9 Tribeca. It works pretty well for its age, but the most annoying part about the car is the fact that the keyless entry fob will only unlock the passenger and rear doors, and I must use the key to unlock the driver's side door.

I've pored over the owners manual and haven't found anything-would anyone be able to point me in the right direction?



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It won't unlock it - will it lock the drivers door? 


Has that door ever had work done to it - new speakers installed, fender bender, window work...?


Probably the mechanism inside the door is problematic or the actuator itself.   

You can pull the door card and see what's going on inside.  For reference you can pull both door cards (drivers and passengers side) to compare what one is doing that the other isn't doing. 


Online Subaru parts vendors or google or opposedforces website have exploded view diagrams so you can get a general idea what's going on.  This is an 08 but it's not likely to be much different:




The bad news is this doesn't happen very often on Subarus so I'm not sure how fortunate you'll be finding specific information or someone that's repaired this before.  The good news is...this rarely happens!

Will it lock the drivers door? 

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Driver's door + most often opened/closed may cause a broken wire in the rubber gaiter at the door hinge. Pull the gaiter at both ends and check wiring.


A 10 year old car may have corroded harness connector at the door lock itself, or the door lock actuator motor may have carboned contacts on its brushes. Pull the inner door panel and check/clean the connector at the actuator, and if a no go, pull the actuator from the door.


There is a tiny electric motor inside the plastic case. If its brushes have carboned up, or the motor doesn't work when 12 volts is applied to its contacts, you've found the issue. The tiny motor can be taken apart and possibly repaired (I've done several myself over the years), or can be purchased separately on eBay for 2 or 3 dollars and swapped out. The plastic case of the lock actuator is usually heat rivetted together but can be opened by grinding off the rivet ends. Once repaired, just glue the case back together.


Do a google search fot "2006 subaru tribeca door lock actuator pictures" and look at the images that come up. You'll see the case, several opened up and the tiny motor, which can be bought online. Or get a used one from a wrecker (Tribecas are not common to find) or on eBay. Good Luck!

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