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Hello,

I was wondering if this is my own problem or someone also having similar issues. I bought a 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited less than two weeks ago and so far so good... except for one of the biggest reasons why I went for 2018 over the 2017 model. Apple Carplay.

The radio for some reason or another keeps disconnecting from my car. Its stays plugged in, even continues to charge the phone, but it will disconnect from the radio which drops out of Apple Carplay. The simple fix is to replug it back in.

Here are some steps I have taken to troubleshoot the issue.
  1. Cleaned out my iPhone port of lint
  2. Rebooted iPhone
  3. Two different iPhones
  4. Using a different lightening cord

It still does it and its always random. Anyone have any suggestions? At this point Im wondering if its a loose connection behind the radio unit.
 

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2018 Dark Blue Outback 3.6R Touring arrived 8/31/2017
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343 Posts
It likely isn't a hardware issue. I keep a lightning cable always plugged in, because cables are cheap and more readily replaced than sockets on more expensive larger devices.

I also bought 2018 with that as one of the reasons.

The fact that your phone keeps on charging indicates it's likely not hardware. I've seen weird behavior in the software, such as this, and being a software engineer by trade, I understand from experience what the likely causes are, and without going into details, they've simply not paid attention to details in implementation. If I had access to the code and a way to install custom builds on my head unit, I'd audit all the non Linux kernel code I had access to the code, and at a minimum, fix usability issues I see, as well as things like this I can see, within limits of what I have information to work with.
 

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'18 Limited 3.6; 08 OBXT
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I have an Android, and no issues so far, however I plug my iPod in to USB and after saying "loading media" for a bit, it came back with "unplayable" or something. Works fine in work truck, but not my new 18.
Sorry for thread drift, but Apple problem related.
 

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I have a 2018 outback that randomly drops airplay as well. I can?t find any consistent process that causes it, or how to get it back working. Are there any known fixes for this? I?ve been hoping some over the air software update will magically come up one morning.....
 

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I bought a 2018 outback in late December '17 and began having random Android Auto disconnects, with occasional crashes of the head unit. Got new high quality cables, yada, yada ... then got the latest firmware update in March '18. Now it doesn't crash or disconnect as much but it still happens. I've been experimenting with different cables, etc for a while now on the commute, and the disconnects almost always happen when going into a poor coverage area. So ... I'm coming to the conclusion that the problem is EMI/RFI.

Let me explain:

You go into a poor coverage area, and your phone has to throttle up the transmit power to talk with the cell site.

Where do you put your phone? On top of some coiled up usb cable in the cubby RIGHT UNDER THE HEAD UNIT.

I tried shorter cables, thinking it was a USB signal integrity problem. Got worse. I can rationalize this with standing waves on the cable ... get the wrong length, and the interfering signal will be strongest at the input to the head unit.

So here's my fix ... it's multi pronged:

Adjust your cable length. And get good quality cables. This one is my current favorite: a.co/hEG0Tuz

Put a ferrite common mode choke on the cable close to where it plugs into the car, like one of these: a.co/9ESDARb .. pick the size that fits your cable.

Even then, radiated emissions from the phone might get into the head unit ... leave your phone on the seat, or in the armrest.

This is beginning to make sense to me. Designers usually do a crappy job when it comes to EMC (electromagnetic compatiblilty) testing. Most certainly, the Android Auto software guys got this problem thrown in their laps, and few of them will have the design experience to even consider it. Hope this helps some of you; and I hope it keeps helping me. So far, with the ferrite choke, and moving my phone, I haven't had any problems.
 

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2018 3.6 Touring (Canadian, so Premium I guess?)
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Hello,

I was wondering if this is my own problem or someone also having similar issues. I bought a 2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R Limited less than two weeks ago and so far so good... except for one of the biggest reasons why I went for 2018 over the 2017 model. Apple Carplay.

The radio for some reason or another keeps disconnecting from my car. Its stays plugged in, even continues to charge the phone, but it will disconnect from the radio which drops out of Apple Carplay. The simple fix is to replug it back in.

Here are some steps I have taken to troubleshoot the issue.
  1. Cleaned out my iPhone port of lint
  2. Rebooted iPhone
  3. Two different iPhones
  4. Using a different lightening cord

It still does it and its always random. Anyone have any suggestions? At this point Im wondering if its a loose connection behind the radio unit.
I’ve been having the same issue, only fix I can find is to disable wifi when I plug in. It seemed like the problem came from my phone trying to connect to various public wifi networks and switching from wifi when I was briefly in range to LTE when I was out of the wifi range. It’s not perfect, but I’d say it solved 80-90% of my connectivity issues.
 

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2018 Outback 2.5i
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I had a lot of problems with CarPlay refusing to connect or dropping, even though the phone was charging. I made two changes -- removed the Bluetooth pairing and deleted the Starlink app from my phone. I believe Starlink was the culprit, but have not re-paired the Bluetooth to be sure. I always connect for CarPlay, so I have found the Bluetooth unnecessary.
 

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2018 Subaru OB Premium
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260 Posts
Mine has done this a couple of times but we have my wifes USB charger in the car right now which is junk

I'll double check mine which is clean and not kinked in a couple of days
 

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2019 Subaru Ascent - Radio dropped while using CarPlay

I have constant radio disconnects when my iphone 7 is connected via USB CarPlay. I've tried either USB port, turning off Bluetooth, brand-new Applie lightening cable (8" and standard length provided w/ iphone.) I have the most current iOS (12) update and all apps are current.) I've powered down my iphone. I don't have Bluetooth setting for CarPlay turned on so it can only be paired via the USB (I need to charge my phone.)

It's frustrating trying to use any maps app and when the radio disconnects, you need to click Radio, then go back to Apps, Map app used, to have the map shown on the screen because when you click the Radio the map goes away.

Also, this has happened since day 1 of owning the car. The tech guy at the Dealership is at a loss in problem solving a solution. I did just happen to notice that when I was listening to NPR (local city) the radio never dropped in a 30min drive. When I've listened to other local radio stations (same city broadcast) the radio drops almost every minute. I thought it was odd that the radio never dropped when I was listening to probably not a very popular station, but signaled right out of MSP.
 
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