With no obvious previous symptoms my 1998 Legacy Outback Limited suddenly wouldn't start tonight. The instrument panel lights and the radio flash on and off about a dozen times or so, then stop momentarily, then flash again (over and over). This happens constantly - with or without the key in the ingnition. The red security light to the left of the steering column constantly flashes. When I try to start the car, I get nothing - the engine doesn't turn over; and I don't here a rapid clicking sound from the starter. The battery is not dead and doesn't appear to be low, plus I tried to jump the car with cables but didn't get any response from the engine. The flashing red security light makes me wonder if the security system has some how been triggered and this has disabled the ignition system. As far as I know there is no after-market or third-party security system installed on the car.
Has anyone experienced similar troubles? Any ideas?
Fortunately I was able to resolve this problem. After an extensive internet search I came across another post elsewhere in which someone described a similar problem with the flashing interior dash and radio lights (though that person didn't mention that the car also wouldn't start). Anyways, the solution was to push and hold the reset button while trying to start the car. The reset button is located under the left side of the dash behind the hood release lever. It is a small unmarked black button set in a black sheath with a diameter similar to that of a dime. I was pressing this button while sitting in the car with the door shut and the car started.
I still don't know what caused the alarm to trigger. I know the car has the remote key entry system, but I do not have the transmitter. I wonder if some sort of interference from another car's remote key system triggered mine.