Skip to Content

How To Turn Off Seatbelt Alarm In A Subaru

Disclosure: We may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.

Seatbelt alarm lights and chimes are effective in reminding drivers to wear their seatbelts. However, there may be some times when a Subaru owner needs to disable these alarms, but how do it in a Subaru? We've compiled our findings for your reading pleasure.

To disable the seatbelt alarm in a Subaru vehicle, you can choose any of the following options:

  • Buckle up the seatbelt even if there is no seat occupant.
  • Perform the 20-click method.
  • Install a seatbelt latch clip.
  • Use a seatbelt extender.
  • Have your dealer turn off the alarm via software.

Would you like to know more about the methods that we mentioned? Read on and we will tell you more about Subaru's seatbelt alarm function as well as how to disable and enable it.

Closeup of man fastening seat belt in car, How To Turn Off Seatbelt Alarm In A Subaru

How Do You Disable The Seatbelt Alarm On A Subaru?

Buckle Up

Truck driver. About 35 years old, African male.

The easiest and safest way to turn off the seatbelt alarm is to do what the alarm is reminding you to do: buckle up. 

However, in some in-vehicle instances, you may need or want to be unrestrained. Moreover, there might be something else in your car that causes the alarm to go off. In these cases, you may just try buckling the seatbelts up even if the seat has no passenger.

Subaru does not specify any do-it-yourself method for disabling the alarm in its owner's manuals. The manuals only state that if you want to cancel the seatbelt alarm's operation, then you will need to contact your Subaru dealer.

Nevertheless, many Subaru owners and experts have shared the methods that they have learned from their respective dealers as well as other Subaru owners.

20-Click Method

The 20-click-method requires you to perform quick actions using your seatbelt and your seatbelt latch/buckle.  Before performing this method, you need to ensure that you are parked safely.

Below are the instructions for both keyed ignition and push-button ignition Subaru models.

If Your Subaru Has A Keyed Ignition System

Shot of Car key and house key dangling from the ignition of car

  1. Get inside your Subaru with your car key and close all the doors to avoid any distracting "door open" alarms or chimes.
  2. Insert your key into the ignition and turn it to position 2, or the "on" position.
  3. Grasp your seatbelt and position the seatbelt's tongue close to the seatbelt latch.
  4. Prepare to press the red seatbelt release button on the latch. You may use one hand for the seatbelt and another hand for the latch if you wish.
  5. Within 30 seconds, you must "click" or fasten your seatbelt at least 20 times. You may do more but not less than 20 times.
  6. After the 20th (or 21st, 22nd, etc.) fastening, you need to leave the seatbelt unfastened.
  7. Turn your key back to the "off" position. This will end the seatbelt alarm's reprogramming mode.
  8. Turn the key clockwise all the way to position 3 to start your engine.

After starting the car, you may still hear a few chimes or beeps while the car's systems are initializing.

However, if you did the process successfully, then your seatbelt reminder light, as well as your seatbelt alarm sound, will no longer activate.

If Your Subaru Has A Push-Button Ignition System

finger pressing the Engine start stop button of a car

The seatbelt alarm deactivation process for push-button ignition Subaru models is almost similar to that of the keyed ones. Only the ignition button's operation is different.

  1. Get inside your Subaru with your smart key fob and close all the doors to avoid any distracting "door open" alarms or chimes.
  2. Press the car's "Engine Start/Stop" ignition button twice without stepping on the brake pedal. Your Subaru should enter the "on" mode.
  3. Grasp your seatbelt and position the seatbelt's tongue close to the seatbelt latch.
  4. Prepare to press the red seatbelt release button on the latch. You may use one hand for the seatbelt and another hand for the latch if you wish.
  5. Within 30 seconds, you must "click" or fasten your seatbelt at least 20 times. You may do more but not less than 20 times.
  6. After the 20th (or 21st, 22nd, etc.) fastening, you need to leave the seatbelt unfastened.
  7. Press the ignition button once to turn the car off. This will end the seatbelt alarm's reprogramming mode.
  8. Step on the brake pedal and press the ignition button once to start your engine.

As with keyed ignition models, you may hear some initial chimes after starting your engine.  

Some Subaru owners tried this method while seated, and others while not seated. Since Subaru does not have specific instructions on their owner's manuals, you may want to try either variation for your car.

Seatbelt Alarm Stopper

If you do not plan to use the seatbelt temporarily, then you may want to trick the seatbelt sensor into thinking that you have buckled up. One of the things you can use is a seatbelt clip, which is also called a seatbelt alarm stopper.

The seatbelt clip's design is similar to your regular seatbelt tongue. This tongue is the part of the seatbelt that locks onto the seatbelt's latch to complete the 2-point or 3-point restraining function.

Alternatively, you can try finding a seatbelt tongue from an old car, or perhaps from an unused seatbelt set. You just need to make sure that the seatbelt tongues have the same size.

We would like to emphasize, however, that you should always wear your seatbelt inside a moving vehicle. The seatbelt clip is only a temporary solution.

Visit Amazon for a good deal on this seatbelt clip.

Seatbelt Extender

If you intend to keep using your seatbelt, then a seatbelt extender may be a better choice compared to a seatbelt clip.  A seatbelt extender, as its name suggests, extends the usable length of the seatbelt.  

A seatbelt extender has its own tongue that you can lock onto the car's seatbelt latch. The extender has its own latch where you can attach your car's seatbelt tongue. In a way, it's like an electrical extension outlet for your household appliances.

Seatbelt extenders help the car's original seatbelt to accommodate big passengers and some child car seats.  Moreover, some extenders enable pregnant women to shift the seatbelt's placement a little farther away from their sensitive womb area.

Seatbelt extenders also lock on to the seatbelt latch and will make the car's computer think that you are buckled up.  Hence, the alarm should not activate.

Check out this best-selling seatbelt extender on Amazon.

Have Your Dealer Disable The Seatbelt Alarm Through Software

For safety and regulatory reasons, many automotive manufacturers and dealers do not encourage the disabling of seatbelt alarms. 

However, dealers can deactivate them on a case-to-case basis using their own brands' automotive software. The dealer may bill you for this procedure.

When Does The Seatbelt Alarm Go Off On A Subaru?

close up safety belt in a car

Subaru's vehicle speed and duration parameters for its seatbelt alarms are different for models that came out before and after the year 2017.

Before 2017

According to several 2015 and older Subaru owner's manuals:

  1. If a powered vehicle is at a stop or is moving less than 12.5 mph (20 km/h), an occupied seat with an unfastened seatbelt will trigger a steady seatbelt warning light.
  2. Alternatively, if the driven vehicle moves faster than 12.5 mph, the warning light will start flashing and a buzzer will start sounding.
  3. The flashing and buzzing will stop after 108 seconds, but the seatbelt warning light's pattern will change from flashing to steadily illuminated.

2017 Onwards

According to several 2017 and newer Subaru owner's manuals,

  1. The seatbelt light will flash and the chimes will sound for six (6) seconds after the vehicle ignition goes to the "on" or "start" position if the driver doesn't buckle up.
  2. If the driver is buckled up before the ignition goes to the "on" or "start" position, only the seatbelt light will flash if the front passenger hasn't buckled up.
  3. Should the driver not buckle up at all, the seatbelt light and chime will continue flashing and sounding.
  4. If both the driver and the front passenger are buckled up before the ignition goes to the "on" or "start" position, no alarms will activate.
  5. When the vehicle idles or starts to move below 9 mph (15 km/h) with a buckled-up driver and an unbuckled front passenger, the seatbelt light will flash.
  6. If the vehicle moves faster than 9 mph, any unbuckled front-row passenger will trigger both the seatbelt light and chimes.

Should I Disable The Seatbelt Alarm?

Below are some instances when you (or even we) may want to disable the flashing lights and buzzing sounds.

  1. If you or any of your passengers have medical conditions like misophonia or hyperacusis
  2. When your work requires you to unbuckle your seatbelt often while driving at low speeds
  3. If you are waiting in your car with the engine and airconditioning/heater on
  4. When you have heavy items on the front seat that can trigger the car's occupant detection system
  5. When the seatbelt sensor or the occupant detection system malfunctions

How Do I Enable The Seatbelt Alarm On A Subaru?

To enable your Subaru's seatbelt alarm once again, you only need to reverse the procedures of the method that you chose.

  1. If you disabled your Subaru's vehicle alarm system through the 20-click method, then just repeat the process to enable the alarm again.
  2. If you used the original seatbelt, a seatbelt clip, or a seatbelt extender, then you can just release them from the seatbelt latch.
  3. In case your dealer disabled the alarm through software, they can also enable it via the same method.

Finally, your car's computer will enable your seatbelt alarm again if you disconnect your car battery for a few minutes.

Wrapping Up

African Woman Buckling Up Seatbelt To Drive Car Safely

You can enable or disable your Subaru's seatbelt alarm lights and sounds through the different methods that we discussed. However, we should always remember to use our seatbelts whenever we are in a moving vehicle.

Thank you very much for reading. We hope that we were able to help you understand more about Subaru's seatbelt alarm feature.

For more interesting reads about Subaru's models and other automotive topics, check out these great articles:

How Big Is A Subaru Forester? [Dimensions Explored]

Can You Put Chains On A Subaru Forester?

How Wide Is A Subaru Outback? [Dimensions Explored]