Any luck fixing poor radio reception? - Subaru Outback - Subaru Outback Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Any luck fixing poor radio reception with the stock radio?

I'm interested to see if anyone has had any luck resolving issues with poor radio reception with the stock radio on their 3rd gen Outback. So far I've been to the dealer once only to be told that the reception was "normal". Whether it's normal for an Outback or not, it is certainly bad and I'm interesting in ways to resolve it.

I've seen a few posts where people mentioned replacing the antenna and/or the stereo itself, but I wanted to see if anyone here has had direct experience solving this problem. Any feedback/comments welcome.

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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 10:49 PM
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I have an 09 Impreza that I put a new Alpine in and had the same complaint. I attached the blue with white "power antenna" wire with the blue and white in the factory harness and it is much more what I expected. If you are on the stock radio, I have never been impressed with the stock components, but I will say they look very nice in the car.

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 12:53 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Cabin_dweller View Post
I have an 09 Impreza that I put a new Alpine in and had the same complaint. I attached the blue with white "power antenna" wire with the blue and white in the factory harness and it is much more what I expected. If you are on the stock radio, I have never been impressed with the stock components, but I will say they look very nice in the car.
Thanks for the response. Is your reception with the new Alpine deck better than it was with the stock radio?
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 02:10 PM
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I had a similar issue with a 2001 when I replaced the radio. The "power antenna" wire on some models is the power supply for the antenna amplifier. If the antenna amplifier is not getting power your reception will be crap.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
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I had a similar issue with a 2001 when I replaced the radio. The "power antenna" wire on some models is the power supply for the antenna amplifier. If the antenna amplifier is not getting power your reception will be crap.
Just to clarify, I meant to ask about fixing poor reception with the stock radio
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-20-2010, 05:08 PM
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Nice! I replaced my factory head unit with a Pioneer and the radio reception is horrible. I'll connect up the power antenna wire now and see if that changes things up.

-Jake
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 10:32 AM
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Originally Posted by ilmaestro View Post
Just to clarify, I meant to ask about fixing poor reception with the stock radio
From another forum.......
I have had radio issues for ten months. I have an 06 Outback XT. Very poor AM and FM. It happened suddenly. I did research on this forum. I cleaned up the grounds on the lift gate. I replaced the antenna amp. No better. I played the CD a lot.

Recently, I got a repair kit for glass antennas. I did a continuity check and could find no breaks. I checked for voltage to the amplifier. Was none. I read here and there was discussion about a board issue in the radio. However, I came across this post about a broken wire. I pulled off all the trim and the boot, and there it was, not one but two broken wires. One was a ground (I wonder whar wasn't working...) and the other was... the ANTENNA BOOSTER power lead. I used a straight pin to probe the power lead and found there was power up to the boot but not on the other side. Duh. Anyhow, thanks to you guys, my wife and I have radio reception again. And, I didn't have the dealer cost me $1K in trouble shooting! I am a happy dude.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 07-21-2010, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jack2004 View Post
From another forum.......
I have had radio issues for ten months. I have an 06 Outback XT. Very poor AM and FM. It happened suddenly. I did research on this forum. I cleaned up the grounds on the lift gate. I replaced the antenna amp. No better. I played the CD a lot.

Recently, I got a repair kit for glass antennas. I did a continuity check and could find no breaks. I checked for voltage to the amplifier. Was none. I read here and there was discussion about a board issue in the radio. However, I came across this post about a broken wire. I pulled off all the trim and the boot, and there it was, not one but two broken wires. One was a ground (I wonder whar wasn't working...) and the other was... the ANTENNA BOOSTER power lead. I used a straight pin to probe the power lead and found there was power up to the boot but not on the other side. Duh. Anyhow, thanks to you guys, my wife and I have radio reception again. And, I didn't have the dealer cost me $1K in trouble shooting! I am a happy dude.
My car is still under warranty so in theory the dealer could (and should) perform these checks for me, but on my first visit they claimed that there was nothing along these lines that they could do. I plan to try again with them, but from other stories I've read I am thinking that the radio reception just sucks, even when it's working as intended.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 12:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jack2004 View Post
from another forum.......
I have had radio issues for ten months. I have an 06 outback xt. Very poor am and fm. It happened suddenly. I did research on this forum. I cleaned up the grounds on the lift gate. I replaced the antenna amp. No better. I played the cd a lot.

Recently, i got a repair kit for glass antennas. I did a continuity check and could find no breaks. i checked for voltage to the amplifier. Was none. i read here and there was discussion about a board issue in the radio. However, i came across this post about a broken wire. I pulled off all the trim and the boot, and there it was, not one but two broken wires. One was a ground (i wonder whar wasn't working...) and the other was... The antenna booster power lead. I used a straight pin to probe the power lead and found there was power up to the boot but not on the other side. Duh. Anyhow, thanks to you guys, my wife and i have radio reception again. And, i didn't have the dealer cost me $1k in trouble shooting! I am a happy dude.
sorry, what do you mean by the boot? The trunk? Where the antenna is in the back window?
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-16-2014, 07:28 AM
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On the wagon model, the wires going between the car body and the rear hatch are contained in two flexible rubber, accordian-like, tubes. These are also referred to as "flexible boots". The wires inside the "boots" have been found to break due to flexing, particularly in the 2005-9 models.

See this thread for more info and photos: https://www.subaruoutback.org/forums/...reception.html

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