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2008 outback ltd 2.5 vdc pzev,Limited Slip rear axle
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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys I did a search but could not find a answer , our 08 outback with 33k on it has had a problem for about a year now, every now and then the radio and the hvac control lights will go out ,usually not coming back on till the car is restarted later on ,or the next morning. it hasn't done it in about a year ,now the lights flash on and off at a constant rate instead of going out all together,then the next day everything is fine, by the way the radio still plays and the heat still works except the radio volume will not adjust and the heater controls won't function,weird problem, I have read other posts on this, has anybody figured out what's causing the problem?, any help would be great as my dealer is useless, claiming to never heard of such a problem,and I have to do something quick,get the extended warranty or trade the car in,Craig.
 

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2008 outback ltd 2.5 vdc pzev,Limited Slip rear axle
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Discussion Starter #2
update!

The problem turned out to be cold solder joints on the main pc board in the stereo,
(not the front panel,the power for the front panel comes from the stereo) in the center of the board is a torroidal core,a round ferrite core with wire rapped around it ,on the solder side of the board the flash soldering done at the factory was poor in the center of the board,about 6 joints were the problem,resoldered them problem solved!,Craig.
 

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1998 Subaru Legacy Outback
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The problem turned out to be cold solder joints on the main pc board in the stereo,
(not the front panel,the power for the front panel comes from the stereo) in the center of the board is a torroidal core,a round ferrite core with wire rapped around it ,on the solder side of the board the flash soldering done at the factory was poor in the center of the board,about 6 joints were the problem,resoldered them problem solved!,Craig.
Did you by any chance take pictures of this?

I have the same problem with my 98 but it is only on the HVAC controls. The lights will go out, but I can still turn the fan on and the AC on. But when I go to change the direction of airflow, the buttons press but nothing moves. So what I used to do, for about 2 years now, was that I would hit the center dash and everything would come back on, but now hitting it doesn't solve the problem anymore.

I was thinking about buying a new HVAC control panel (~$190), but if that won't fix it, I'm not going to bother.

Thanks,
Andre
 

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2008 outback ltd 2.5 vdc pzev,Limited Slip rear axle
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115 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The 1998 is a different dash,but I have replaced bulbs in the ones you have,
fixing the lighting in the controls,I don't know about the other problem though, maybe someone else will chime in , Craig.
 

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2008 outback ltd 2.5 vdc pzev,Limited Slip rear axle
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Discussion Starter #6
premium 6-CD changer.
 

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08 O.B. radio/hvac control lighting prob

Craig, You describe the problem on our 08 2.5i LTD, right down to the lame response from our local Subaru dealer! But you lost me at:

in the center of the board is a torroidal core,a round ferrite core with wire rapped around it ,on the solder side of the board the flash soldering done at the factory was poor in the center of the board,about 6 joints were the problem,resoldered them problem solved!,Craig.
I am an occasionally sucessful, self-taught DIY (always on the steep side of the learning curve!), but can you be more specific in your guidance? Is this a matter of extracting the main PC board from the stereo and resoldering everything "on the solder side" of the board? I would be deeply grateful for any more specifics about how to do this fix. (The lame dealer rep said that even though they'd never heard of the problem, they'd be glad to charge me to replace our stereo head unit!!)

Thanks!!
 

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2008 outback ltd 2.5 vdc pzev,Limited Slip rear axle
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Discussion Starter #8
Yes you are soldering the foil side opposite of the components,if you find the core (looks to many people to be a transformer)in the center area of the board, the parts in the center of the board look heavier duty than surrounding parts,look on the opposite side of the board (foil side),and you should see some cold solder joints,sorry I didn't take any pictures,if you take it apart and take a picture I can point you in the right direction,Craig.
 

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I have an 08 OWB and have the same problem; took it into the dealer while still in warranty and they couldn't find the issue. It happened this morning (it happens in when the weather is in the 50s), so I'm going to video tape it and bring this post.

Thanks!
 

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2007 Outback 3.0
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Just experienced this exact problem on my 2007 H6 Outback. The lights on the radio and hvac went off and all the controls stopped working. Curiously, each unit continued doing whatever it was doing (radio playing and heater operating) at the time of the failure and couldn't be turned off. I found that light pressure on the front panel in the vicinity of the "3" button made it come back on. It works now, but now I'll know what to do if it happens again or gets worse.
Thanks for posting this solution.
 

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2008 Outback 3.0 LL Bean
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Did this fix work over the long term?
This issue of the flashing and non-working controls began happening to our car about a year and a half ago with the dealership providing no assistance whatsoever. It began happening after a road trip where after a fill-up, all of the dashboard indicator lights came on and began flashing. The car started and was running fine, but the service staff at our dealership said the car was unsafe to drive. They then did nothing when they received it from the towtruck and within days, the flashing began.
Most of the time it would blink for a short amount of time and then seemingly correct itself. Now, it just doesn't work at all. If the lights flash it is usually for about 3 seconds and only once every few drives. This is now a major issue as we have moved to Arizona where we might want A/C control. The last time it started flashing I adjusted the temp so we can maintain some comfort level in the car if it is hot, but that means a constantly running unit whether I want it or not.
Fortunately I have steering wheel controls and can adjust the radio off of kids music!
I was going to call the dealer tomorrow to see what they can do, but it's a minimum three hour drive I and I don't want to go without a specific fix.
I've also read in other forums where people have had the entire A/C-Radio unit replaced by Subaru even out of warranty due to a service bulletin and Subaru going back to the unit manufacturer directly for replacement. Anyone else aware of this? I don't want to do the fix myself and then have them tell me they won't replace it...
Thanks!
Thanks!
 

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I'm having the same issue with my 2007 Outback. Car was purchased in Dec. 2006. Flashing started Jan. 30, 2010 (40 days after the 3 year warranty had expired...although the car only had about 15,000 miles on it at the time). Battery died shortly thereafter. Car was OK for a few months after the battery was replaced, but then started flashing or totally cutting out again. Took car to my personal mechanic. He noticed the connection to the positive terminal battery was a bit corroded. He cleaned and sealed the connection. Things were fine for a few weeks and then problem started again. At his advice, I've taken the car to my local dealership and am now pitching a fit, starting with the dealership and slowly working my way up to SOA. The car only has 22,000 miles at this point and has been meticulously maintained (although by my mechanic and not the dealership, which seems to be a strike against me in their eyes...never mind we purchased two cars from them in the same year). I have not been able to find a Subaru service bulletin on this issue. However, Honda is experiencing a similar issue with their PCBs. Initially they would replace the boards if the customer specifically requested "goodwill consideration." Now, they have issued a service bulletin that covers the boards for 7 years or 100,000 miles. Wish Subaru would wake up and do the same thing!
 

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I have filed a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration regarding this issue...citing the inability to defrost front/rear windows as a visibility safety hazard. Complaint number is 10360944 and should be available online in two business day. I've included the text of my complaint below. I would strongly encourage anyone else having this issue to also file a complaint with the NHTSA at https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/index.cfm.

**********

Audio/HVAC controls flash or cut out altogether. Problem started intermittently in Jan. 2010 at about 15,000 miles but has now become consistent as of October 2010 at about 22,000 miles. When controls are acting up, not only does the panel not display properly, but also fails to respond to any adjustments. Not being able to adjust the audio or climate control is an inconvenience. However, not being able to defrost front or rear windows when needed is a safety hazard. Problem has been reported on Subaru forums (for example, http://legacygt.com/forums/showthre...ate-control-3459.html?p=2220291&postcount=114 [see #114 and #137, in particular] and http://www.subaruoutback.org/forums...-08-o-b-radio-hvac-control-lighting-prob.html). Problem seems to stem from a poorly manufactured circuit board. Honda has a similar issue with poorly made circuit boards, but has issued a TSB that now covers these units for 7 year/100,000 miles. It would be nice if something similar would be issued for Subarus as owners experiences with dealerships have ranged from then never hearing of this problem before and not being able to correctly diagnose it to having it be a known issue that they work with SOA to promptly address at no expense to the owner.
 

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MY2016 Outback Premium
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I will be curious as to how this turns out. I've been having this same issue for the last month or 2. Sometimes if the radio is off it will turn on by itself. I know german cars have electrical gremlins, but a Subie shouldn't.

Update. I called my local Subaru service dept and they said they have not heard of any issues like this. Typical. I am going to email SOA and see if I get a response.
 

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Anything new?

Any updates to this problem? My 08 just started doing this for the first time at 62,000 miles - just after replacing the battery. Wondered if a coincidence.
 

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2013 OB Limited 3.6R
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I have the same problem on my 2005 h6 llbean (w 6cd changer). I've had the radio / AC controls flicker before- but they would go back to normal. today (first warm day after a long winter) all the lights are off. the on/off button for the stereo works, so I can turn the radio on from the panel- and using the steering wheel controls I can control the stereo. However the AC controls are stuck, including the defroster. I'll take the car to the dealership and see if it can be covered under extended warranty. I'll let you know how it turns out.
 

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Legacy Outback Wagon 2.5i Ltd 2005 non-turbo, manual
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Radio/hvac control lighting prob.

Hi, this is the problem with my 05 Subie. There are no lights on radio, fan controls are off, and stays at most recent setting. Actually I can hear sound coming from the speakers with key off. Have you found out anything more about a solution? I may need to have my radio taken out to check the soldering. If my radio is still running(nothing more than a fuzz noise) AND my rear defroster is staying on with the ignition off I may end up with a dead battery. What can I do about that if I can't resolve the radio/hvac problem?
 

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My hubby disconnected the battery to clean the posts, and it unfroze the "on" light for rear defroster, and radio fuzz sound that would not shut off. Only a temporary fix-- but I won't have a dead battery in the morning!
 

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Radio/hvac control lighting prob.

I have an 08 OWB and have the same problem; took it into the dealer while still in warranty and they couldn't find the issue. It happened this morning (it happens in when the weather is in the 50s), so I'm going to video tape it and bring this post.

Thanks!
Did you have success with videotaping and fixing this issue? I know it was a year ago, but I need to fix it now!
Thanks.........


I read all the comments in the blogs similar or the same as my problem with radio/HVAC not working. I recalled someone saying they tapped on the 3 button, and that got it to work again. So today I just thought I'd try by pounding at the whole radio area with my hand. I really didn't think it would help. But when I got back into my car after an appointment I drove to without heat or music-- IT WAS WORKING AGAIN!!!!! Yay!! I hope it stays working again for a while. Obviously a loose connection somewhere in there!
 

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Yes you are soldering the foil side opposite of the components,if you find the core (looks to many people to be a transformer)in the center area of the board, the parts in the center of the board look heavier duty than surrounding parts,look on the opposite side of the board (foil side),and you should see some cold solder joints,sorry I didn't take any pictures,if you take it apart and take a picture I can point you in the right direction,Craig.

Can you see where the area is from this picture?



Thanks for any help!
 
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