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Also noticed that my overhead lights don't turn on or the doors now that you mention it.
The absence of the room (overhead, ceiling) lights and the step lights are a key. Fix the lighting issue and the others will probably start working again. Fuse #8, 20 Amps, in the engine compartment fuse box. On page 12-8 of your 2006 Owners Manual it might be identified as "Backup light". (Yes, strange . . .)

It's better to test fuses for continuity using a multi-meter or just replace it with a known good one.
 

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2006 Outback
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The absence of the room (overhead, ceiling) lights and the step lights are a key. Fix the lighting issue and the others will probably start working again. Fuse #8, 20 Amps, in the engine compartment fuse box. On page 12-8 of your 2006 Owners Manual it might be identified as "Backup light". (Yes, strange . . .)

It's better to test fuses for continuity using a multi-meter or just replace it with a known good one.
Thanks, I will give that a go Friday when I have a day off. Hopefully this helps to clear up some issues. I contacted my local independent Subaru shop (hate the dealer) and it appears the face plates are not easy to come by. I was informed it is on back order with an unknown arrival date & a step price tag. The local junk yards were a lost effort as well, not too many Outbacks here in the Low Country of South Carolina.
 

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2006 Outback
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Plain OM,

Everything is fixed, appears the spare 20amp fuse that was in the box was bad as well which lead me down all sorts of other rabbit trails. Picked up some new ones from the store, replaced the original "Backup light" fuse with a brand new, tossed the old spares under the hood and now it all works. I also managed to fix the intermittent controls when I cleaned up all the spring loaded grounds. I have no idea how or why both events occurred so closely together, but at least it was a cheap fix, and the wife is happy to have her AC back now.

Thank you for all the information.
 

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Sorry I'm so late to the party gang. I have a problem that sounds similar to what you all have been describing, but I want to make certain my problem required the same solution. Bare in mind, mine doesn't start acting up for at least 3-4 minutes. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

-Jason

https://youtu.be/xM3UCFfTXKU
 

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Sorry I'm so late to the party gang. I have a problem that sounds similar to what you all have been describing, but I want to make certain my problem required the same solution. Bare in mind, mine doesn't start acting up for at least 3-4 minutes. Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

-Jason

https://youtu.be/xM3UCFfTXKU
09 Outback 3.0R here. I have the problem, but it is not a flickering problem. The display goes out but the stereo keeps working. So does the climate control. I suppose mine will start flickering sooner or later, but pulling the headunit and cleaning the contact points and/or repairing the solder joints seems to be the right fix.

My question is if I replace the head unit using a metra kit and a different HU will that fix the problem.

Also, has the NTSA taken any action and has SOA responded with a bulletin? This seems safety related.
 

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2009 3.0R Outback
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Yay, I get to join the F'd up radio club!


Looking at some of the pictures in this thread, it seems like the problem stems from the contacts arcing, not just regular oxidation. When I take mine apart I'm going to see if I can run a couple of wire jumpers so those contact points no longer carry any current (or minimal current at least).


Probably won't be able to get around to fixing it until this weekend.
 

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Outback 2009 2.5i Ltd 4EAT NAV
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When I take mine apart I'm going to see if I can run a couple of wire jumpers so those contact points no longer carry any current (or minimal current at least).
Please post your results and take pictures of your work. Many would appreciate a better solution to this problem.
 

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Please post your results and take pictures of your work. Many would appreciate a better solution to this problem.

Ok, she's all better now.

First thing I noticed when I removed the unit was that someone had previously taken it apart, no doubt to try and fix the same problem. Looks like they disassembled the entire thing as some of the screws were a bit chowdered and they used a sharpie to mark the alignment of the brackets. The previous owner claimed to be an engineer and had autistic levels of OCD about organizing things, so I'm pretty sure it was him.

Anyway, my steps...

Only removed the face of the unit.
Cleaned the contact points on the steel panel with a 3M spot sanding tool (fiberglass abrasive) and then coated with DeoxIT Gold.
Very slightly bent all the spring tabs out further.
Tightened the screws for all the spring tabs on the PCB.
Attached a small wire jumper from one of the spring tabs to the steel chassis face.
Sprayed DeoxIT Gold in the two PCB electrical headers, just because.
Put face back on.

I couldn't find my crimp terminal assortment so I just attached the wire the best I could by clamping the one end between the PCB and spring tab and the other end I split and twisted the end to make a --o-- in the wire for the screw to go through.

Pretty confident this fix is permanent.
 

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PLASTIXX:

Thanks for the great photos and time to share your repair advice. May have missed it, but what year/model of Subaru do you have ? We have a 2009 OB limited with the Harman Kardon amp under the passenger seat, which normally produces good sounds to all speakers, but occasionally the sound gets "mutated" - volume drops to barely audible and very tinny sound - like a cheap transistor radio on full treble & 1/2 off the station. Adjusting controls only makes things worse or more offensive. Hoping your solution may apply to our problem. Will attempt repairs on a long weekend.
 

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Outback 2007 3.0Rn 5EAT Wagon.
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What's up with this capacitor?? Photo attached

All,
I have run into the faulty radio. Mine has started working intermittently, all lights, indications/channel selections etc good, just no sound. It's the Kenwood 6CD version with auto HVAC and satnav. The satnav has sound/voice directions, just sometimes/when going over bumpy road/nothing out the speakers on radio, cd or tape.
I stripped the head unit apart to solder the torroidal core as mentioned earlier in this thread. I also installed a jumper wire between the front face and the backing plate to support the spring earth/ground connections reported elsewhere as possible causes.
On getting at the main board, I spotted a capacitor (16v, 4700uf) with white, hard stuff around the base - see photo. Does this indicate anything/capacitor leaking etc or is it used during assembly to fix the cap in place (or something)?
On reassembly, having touched up both this capacitor solder joints and the torroidal core, the units sounds again! May be temporary!!
Thoughts on the capacitor?
Thanks in advance.
 

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2008 OB Limited 2.5i, Portland OR USA
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On getting at the main board, I spotted a capacitor (16v, 4700uf) with white, hard stuff around the base - see photo. Does this indicate anything/capacitor leaking etc or is it used during assembly to fix the cap in place (or something)?
On reassembly, having touched up both this capacitor solder joints and the torroidal core, the units sounds again! May be temporary!!
Thoughts on the capacitor?
Thanks in advance.
A hard residue is likely something from inside the capacitor, unless someone before you happened to have put it on the board as part of some other repair (not sure if you're the original owner). Chances are you repaired the power issue independently from this capacitor, and it's the same state as before (an open circuit) without much consequence to the sound out of the radio (at 16 V 4700 uF it's likely it's part of a filter network for decoupling the 12 V supply into the radio).

You can either leave it alone if you're satisfied with the sound, or find a suitable replacement and patch it in.
 

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08 OBW, 03 TS
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Big thank you to everyone that has contributed to this thread. I recently started noticing the flickering on my '08 OB... stereo and HVAC displays would both go blank, sometimes for <1 second and sometimes for several seconds. I think it's been doing it for a while but hard to notice when you're driving during the day. My wife as passenger would notice it even if I didn't.

Taking everything apart was pretty easy and straightforward using various youtube videos and the information here. I got some Deoxit D5 from Guitar Center and scraped / cleaned the points on the stereo case where the pins contact it. Very lightly bent the pins outward so they'd make good contact, then put it all back together this morning. We went for a short drive and so far so good, no flickering!

Here's the link to the video I found most helpful for stereo removal:

Another one I watched that was also helpful:
 

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2006 Outback 3.0r L. L. Bean, 2012 Outback 3.6R
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Hello All,
Just picked up a 2006 Outback 3.0 R LL Bean model. Has a ton of miles on it, (212K) did not pass inspection because of torn outer cv boots. I noticed when I test drove it that the radio display did not light, but the climate control display lit up but were fixed on 70º and nothing worked. AC seemed to be on, with a very slow fan speed. Need to fix axles first, then will tackle the radio/climate controls. I can control the radio by the steering wheel controls.. Just tried the # 3 button trick, and that did nothing, nor did the eject button for the cd changer... I have read this thread and others and have a very good direction to go on this. I was thinking as Plastixx did, to put a jumper in if possible. Thanks to Plastixx for the pics and the info! I also found this set of two videos on Youtube that shows the removal and repair. It helped me to visualize what to do when I get to it.



Will post when repair is complete... Thanks again to all that contributed.
 

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2006 Outback 3.0r L. L. Bean, 2012 Outback 3.6R
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Ok, so slammed the two axles yesterday, and that is done.... those were hard to find locally. Went with after market, I know could be an issue but it is what it is for now...

Pulled the radio/climate controls, took front off and cleaned up the arched areas. I only had three tabs on my 06. put it back together and every thing worked but the radio display :frown2: I removed radio again and removed the front of the front PCB. Only thing I found was a loose screw on the top tang. The plastic stand off was broke... I tightened bent smaller tangs over on inside face of board, and screwed the broken stand off on tight. Put a little ultra black on it and put it together. Hopeful that I had licked it, I put radio back in, not completely, just to test... still no radio display, but got all the controls and climate controls work again for now... did not use any jumpers at this point...

removed unit again, and dismantled down to the PCB below the cd changer.... Could see no visibly bad solder joints or any obvious issues....still have it apart... hoping it will be fixed when I reassemble it all. but was wondering if anyone knows what I can ck... I think its not getting power.... but everything else works fine... Suggestions? May just reassemble and live with it, till I get to putting a hands free radio in it....

Thanks for any help or suggestions.
 

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2006 Outback 3.0r L. L. Bean, 2012 Outback 3.6R
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Sadly no love... put it all back together and nothing changed... the nonworking climate controls are great and that is all working fine... the radio buttons and knobs light up, but there is no illumination of radio display. Not sure what to do next... maybe that display is toast... Could get a different radio I guess... but I am going to put some type of radio that offers hands free cell phone usage..... Havent gotten that far yet... I bet there is some module you can get for that..

Any one had a thought, Id appreciate hearing it,

Thanks!
 

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2006 Outback 3.0r L. L. Bean, 2012 Outback 3.6R
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Hey, not sure if no one has any ideas or this is just not being visited... I noticed when I had the front of the radio off, to ck what ever I could, that the upper left hand corner of the radio display (when viewed from its position when installed) there is like a burn mark on it.. like something blew up in there???? But I have see that on other displays on other threads... so maybe that is normal.... I just dont know what to do, if its not getting power, bad solder joint or what... Again any thoughts would be appreciated... thanks all!

Schaeff58
 

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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.
Love this forum. I had this issue, and with winter approaching I wasn't too happy about it. But sure enough, after pressing in the "3" area it's been working fine for weeks!
 

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2005 Outback, 2.5i 5 speed manual, limited
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I will be following the steps for our 05 outback with the same climat controls and radio issue. Thank you for the helpful posts!
 

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... so? Evidently, I'm not the Lone Ranger? Subaru North America knowing and deliberately pawned off defective electronics, on American consumers? And, yet once again, my local Subaru dealership's been lying, straight through their teeth, regarding so wanton, so blatant, and so painfully obvious a product defect?

"Oh, it's because women push buttons too hard! It's on account of your wife, pushing the buttons too hard!"

The Subaru people can't be bothered to QA their electronics? Much less can they be bothered for so simple a fix, to our radios and HVAC interface? Even the most obtuse of Subaru aficionado has no choice but begrudgingly concede, the Subaru North America people have been caught, red-handed, their heads firmly buried in the sand, in abject denial, ducking inexcusable quality oversight issues on their U.S. based Legacy/Outback platform, over a decade.

They even have dealership service people, covering up for them!

Exactly same issue on my '07 Green Bean, what appears to be a classical, short circuit issue with the HVAC and stereo indicative of Russian and Yugoslavian automobiles of the 20th century. 21 century manufacturing, this is inexcusable.

I'm going to have to tear into this, myself? I'll be giving this a try first thing tomorrow morning:



Subaru should be standing behind their engineering, not hiding behind mommy's apron. Were Subaru were running NASA? America's space program would never have made it, as far as the launch pad.


- Samuel, '07 Green Bean


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