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2018 3.6R Touring
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I feel like maybe I should start a new thread just to make this more easily searchable, but it is a 2018 head unit, soooo...

I get annoying artifacts that I'm pretty sure are related to data interruptions when streaming Pandora or Spotify via Bluetooth from my iPhone: The music will sometimes cut out for a half second and sometimes speed up (I assume it's skipping data to 'catch up').

It seems to happen more often when just starting to stream or in specific areas, leading me to think it's a bandwidth issue.

The weird thing is, this didn't used to happen. I've changed several variables since I first noticed it - new iPhone, updated head unit, etc. so I'm unable to narrow it down to any specific change. It only happens on my Outback touring, not my other bluetooth head units and only when streaming Pandora or Spotify, not when playing back locally stored content (audiobooks, etc) and only when on bluetooth, not when wired.

It's annoying as heck and sort of ruins the whole streaming music experience. Has anyone seen this before and solved it? I'd think if it was a known issue, I'd have an easier time finding other reports, but so far I can't find anyone with a similar issue.

Something I just thought of - Does anyone know if the BT antenna in the head unit is external? Maybe Subaru unplugged it and forgot to plug it back in at some point.
 

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Hi, I am considering purchasing a 2018 outback tomorrow from a dealership. It has been deemed a lemon status over the infotainment issue. However it has had the software update and seems to work fine now. They have priced the car at just over $26K and it has 15K miles on it.

I am naturally concerned about the lemon status but it seems alot of folks have been fine since the software update. If you were in my shoes, what would you do knowing what you know now?
 

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Hi, I am considering purchasing a 2018 outback tomorrow from a dealership. It has been deemed a lemon status over the infotainment issue. However it has had the software update and seems to work fine now. They have priced the car at just over $26K and it has 15K miles on it.

I am naturally concerned about the lemon status but it seems alot of folks have been fine since the software update. If you were in my shoes, what would you do knowing what you know now?
i just got my 18 lemoned, primarily over stereo issues. mine was also kept by the dealer and put on their used car lot. i had issues even after the update. if you plan on using carplay or AA i'd steer clear, if not then the issues shouldnt present themselves as often. keep in mind the stereo may be the official reason for the lemon, but there could be other issues that were annoying to the previous owner as well. what the carfax show?
 

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2018 White Outback Touring 2.5i
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I just had 2 weird issues with the radio playback volume and with the bass unit under the seat. I don't know if this is related or not but I've noticed a small rattling noise coming from behind the dash since the recalls have been fixed. 1st issue was with Android Auto's Waze app and my phone while being USB cabled up. The waze directions and radio playback seemed to be coming from the center speaker under the mirror only. It sounded very low like it was off in the distance and wouldn't get louder no matter what buttons or controls I tried to use. 2nd issue was my bass unit under the seat started sounding like the adults speaking in a Charlie Brown cartoon. WAH WAH wah wah. It sounded like the bass speaker had blown out. Anyways after turning the car off and back on again these issues have healed themselves and haven't come back. Anyone else have this happen to them?
 

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2018 Outback 3.6 Touring
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21 Posts
I just had 2 weird issues with the radio playback volume and with the bass unit under the seat. I don't know if this is related or not but I've noticed a small rattling noise coming from behind the dash since the recalls have been fixed. 1st issue was with Android Auto's Waze app and my phone while being USB cabled up. The waze directions and radio playback seemed to be coming from the center speaker under the mirror only. It sounded very low like it was off in the distance and wouldn't get louder no matter what buttons or controls I tried to use. 2nd issue was my bass unit under the seat started sounding like the adults speaking in a Charlie Brown cartoon. WAH WAH wah wah. It sounded like the bass speaker had blown out. Anyways after turning the car off and back on again these issues have healed themselves and haven't come back. Anyone else have this happen to them?

I recently had the same problem as you describe above, where sound only came out of speaker in center of dash. The problem cleared itself after restarting the car. Had it in to the dealer a couple weeks later for oil change and they apparently did another update at the time. Will see how this goes.
 

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2018 White Outback Touring 2.5i
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I recently had the same problem as you describe above, where sound only came out of speaker in center of dash. The problem cleared itself after restarting the car. Had it in to the dealer a couple weeks later for oil change and they apparently did another update at the time. Will see how this goes.
Just strange. The car has been fine for 1.5 years and 19k miles and both those things happen within 2 weeks of each other and now it's back to normal again. I just did the latest Map Downloader update too so we'll see if these things return.
 

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I had HU unit replaces about 6 months ago and everything was working fine with a few freezes until the screen went blank a few days ago.
All other components are working except RAB.

So the Service Manager in absolute frustration tells me I need a New Radio. Why because I've been in the shop no less than 12 times because of the prior HU together with 02 Censors issues going wrong. Usually I'm the one showing frustration but I guess because he's also fed up with how the problem wasn't resolved.

I forgot to ask him but is the Radio completely different from the HU ?

I'm thinking it must be otherwise the eyesight, lane departure and adaptive cruise control should not function.

What I'm I missing ?
I wanted to update what finally resolved all my issues with my 18 OB 3.6. It turns out my front O2 cencor was causing the issues that were not the same as when the HU went bonkers. Turns out my 2nd HU was a success along with the updated software. Ever since the front O2 cencor was replaced I haven't had any issue with any system.
Imagine that
The annoying part was I keep telling the service guy that every time it would jolt into reverse things would light up then return to normal after a day or two. He finally listened and replaced it. A year prior the rear O2 cencor was also replaced.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 2.5i
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328 Posts
Just to follow up on Waze/AA, it looks like the Waze devs have fixed the bug where waze loses gps lock when running under android auto. I just drove an hour using Waze 4.58.0.1 beta and AA 4.9.594934 without problems. Waze 4.58 isn't on the play store yet, but the beta showed up on apkmirror on the 11th so the release version should be out soon.
 

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I just had 2 weird issues with the radio playback volume and with the bass unit under the seat. I don't know if this is related or not but I've noticed a small rattling noise coming from behind the dash since the recalls have been fixed. 1st issue was with Android Auto's Waze app and my phone while being USB cabled up. The waze directions and radio playback seemed to be coming from the center speaker under the mirror only. It sounded very low like it was off in the distance and wouldn't get louder no matter what buttons or controls I tried to use. 2nd issue was my bass unit under the seat started sounding like the adults speaking in a Charlie Brown cartoon. WAH WAH wah wah. It sounded like the bass speaker had blown out. Anyways after turning the car off and back on again these issues have healed themselves and haven't come back. Anyone else have this happen to them?
I've also had this problem. The audio gets stuck in map mode. Volume controls show a map icon. I've been able to fix it without restarting the vehicle if I can get the built in map to say something. Then the audio goes back to normal audio mode. It's like my use of AA will sometimes make the Subaru software miss a transition between map and normal audio modes.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited
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178 Posts
Has anyone had issues with Apple CarPlay dropping out completely? I have used older Apple lighting-to-USB- cables and even a brand new one, and at random times when I have my phone plugged into the USB port under the radio that the Apple CarPlay icon will drop off the screen, thus, CarPlay unable to work. I then have to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in a few times and then the CarPlay icon will appear and "engage" per say and work but there are times when I have to do this half a dozen times and it gets to be really annoying. I have the latest firmware update as well and nothing seems to correct this issue. Is the problem with StarLink, Subaru, or on Apple's end?
 

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2019 2.5i Premium w/Eyesight, "Wilderness Green Metallic"
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584 Posts
I've also had this problem. The audio gets stuck in map mode. Volume controls show a map icon. I've been able to fix it without restarting the vehicle if I can get the built in map to say something. Then the audio goes back to normal audio mode. It's like my use of AA will sometimes make the Subaru software miss a transition between map and normal audio modes.
I have this occasionally. I seem to prevent it by starting the car; watch the telephone screen until all the buttons have lit up (messages is the last one); and then plug in the phone to activate Android Auto. I don't think I have EVER had a problem doing it this way; but very often have it if I plug the phone in too early.

Makes me think of a computer booting up.
 

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20 Outback Premium
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Hi, I am considering purchasing a 2018 outback tomorrow from a dealership. It has been deemed a lemon status over the infotainment issue. However it has had the software update and seems to work fine now. They have priced the car at just over $26K and it has 15K miles on it.

I am naturally concerned about the lemon status but it seems alot of folks have been fine since the software update. If you were in my shoes, what would you do knowing what you know now?
Guess it depends on the trim level because it seems for about the same price you could get a 2019 or even a 2020. As others have said, there may have been more issues than just the infotainment, let the buyer beware.
 

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Has anyone had issues with Apple CarPlay dropping out completely? I have used older Apple lighting-to-USB- cables and even a brand new one, and at random times when I have my phone plugged into the USB port under the radio that the Apple CarPlay icon will drop off the screen, thus, CarPlay unable to work. I then have to unplug the USB cable and plug it back in a few times and then the CarPlay icon will appear and "engage" per say and work but there are times when I have to do this half a dozen times and it gets to be really annoying. I have the latest firmware update as well and nothing seems to correct this issue. Is the problem with StarLink, Subaru, or on Apple's end?
Not sure if it's Apple or Subaru, but we have seen this with both our 2019 and 2020 Outback. Usually it just comes back on by itself within a minute. Worst case we have to unplug the phone, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in again.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited
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Not sure if it's Apple or Subaru, but we have seen this with both our 2019 and 2020 Outback. Usually it just comes back on by itself within a minute. Worst case we have to unplug the phone, wait a few seconds, then plug it back in again.
What I am finding is there are times when I unplug the cable from the USB port, wait, and then plug back in and the icon doesn't reappear. It takes several attempts to get it to return some of the times, while other times, it comes back once. But it is frustrating nonetheless and should not do it at all, hopefully if its an Apple issue it gets fixed, and likewise if its an issue with Subaru to address via another firmware update.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Limited
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47 Posts
I got one too. No action needed, warranty extended to 5 years or 100k miles. All considered, not a bad deal. No serious issues with my HU yet - all updates were done on time and it works just fine. Hopefully won't need to use the extended warranty.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i Limited with Eyesight
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126 Posts
Got mine..should get $300 for 3 visits to the dealer and something for not using the warranty option. I have a 100k/10 year on the car


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Test drove an new '18 Limited w/ Eyesight & Nav a couple of times. On at least 2 occasions on different drives, the head unit completely froze up. No response to soft or hard buttons or dials. Turned the car off and on again, but it was still frozen. Turned the car off and left it for a while, and all was OK again.

Has anyone else experienced this problem?:frown2:
Exactly same issue. Head unit has the up to date software OTA.
 

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