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2005 & 2018 Outbacks
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My new 2018 Outback radio comes on whenever I start the car despite my turning it off before I turn the car off. I've talked to Harmon (the maker of the head unit) and they tell me Subaru asked for this design. I've talked with Subaru and they say they can't find an engineer to look into it (they are all in Japan). This annoys me. I've never had a car, including my 2005 Outback, where the radio comes on when I've purposely turned it off. Subaru tells me it is a new design. It's a very disturbing and poor design. I can't imagine why any designer thought this would be a good idea and Subaru won't tell me. Don't know if other editions of the 2018 Outbacks do this or if any other models of Subaru do this, but it bugs me that no one can even look into why it was designed this way or a way to fix it.

Also the CD player will not start up on its own. I have to eject the CD and insert it again. Subaru customer Service tells me the CD can be fixed by the local dealer. I won’t hold my breath.

Anyone else have a Subaru that does this, or any other car for that matter?

matcutter
 

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Tungsten 2018 Outback 3.6R Limited w/ES
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179 Posts
Yes, it does seem like some designer wasn't thinking about typical use cases. You're listening to music on a USB stick. You turn off the ignition and it automatically switches to the radio. Then you go to the Accessory setting, and it continues playing the USB stick, What the heck!

The Sirius channel 0 fix is a good solution; you just have to remember that if you switch to a different channel or AM/FM station, that's what you're going to hear the next time you start the car - whether you want to or not.

This is just one of the little annoying things that this car does. Would you like a list? I often think of improvements I would like; but in the end, you just get used to the way it is. If the only problems I ever have are related to silly trivial things, then I consider myself lucky compared to what possibly could go wrong with these complex machines.
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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602 Posts
I can just imagine the marketing blurb now;

"Sirius-XM channel 0, your place to go when you don't want to listen to anything."
 
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2012 OB , 2017 Impreza
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3,860 Posts
I believe the "formal" Subaru response is to turn the volume all the way down (just like an old-timey radio)... Of course, the 'music' still continues to play...you just dont hear it.
 

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2020 Hyundai Santa Fe Limited 2.0 T AWD
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608 Posts
Yes, just search for 2018 infotainment problems. If having the radio on after starting your car is the only problem you're having consider yourself lucky. And I believe the fix for that is turning the volume down before turning the car off, seriously.
Last week I had the all to often posted about no volume on start up, and had to turn around and go back home to fix it. Which took me disconnecting the battery for a minute or so. Which fixed it and strangely all my presets were still there.
 

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2007 Outback L.L. Bean 3.0, 2018 Outback Limited 3.6R
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163 Posts
I was discussing the quirks of my 2018 Outback head unit with my brother. Unlike me, he uses his cell phone a lot, so he mentioned that they probably designed the head unit to be "on" as much as possible. That way, if you are talking on the phone hands-free via bluetooth and turn off the ignition at your destination, you can continue your phone conversation hands-free. I guess having the unit come on automatically when you start the car would transfer an ongoing phone conversation to hands-free sooner.

I still think it's a dumb design, but apparently the drunk monkeys chatter on their phones all the time.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Crystal White Pearl with Ivory Cloth, with Eyesight and self dimming outside mirrors.
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358 Posts
List

My list of things to check to see if they have been corrected on later subaru's continues to grow. These cars continue to grow in the aggravation factor. Use of the radio should not be such a pain.
 

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78 Posts
I bought a 2018 in November. When I had the check-in chat to explain this or that, one item I brought up was how to not have the radio start blaring on startup. I was dumbfounded to learn that there is no way to do that. I turn the volume all the way down since I don't listen to music most of the time anyway. The Nav voice still works. What a pain.
 

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2007 2.5 L Obsidian Black Outback XTL
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602 Posts

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2018 Dark Blue Outback 3.6R Touring arrived 8/31/2017
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343 Posts
That being said about the Bluetooth, that makes sense for Bluetooth, but not for everything else: thst should be the exception case rather than the rule.
 

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This radio in this car has made me hate my dream car. Nothing about it works correctly even after the update it still locks-up and no controls work, the soft keys continue to have the initializing issue and sometimes when using the GPS you can not cancel the current route even once you have reached your destination. It has been almost a year and there has only been 1 update for this piece of crap radio so I suspect it will never be fixed. The dealer opened a tech line case with Subaru but that went nowhere. Some people have all kinds of issues like me and some don't have any and I am not sure why. I have demanded my ever replace the radio now trying something is better than nothing which is what Subaru is doing. So we will see how it goes.
 

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2017 2.5i Premium Crystal White Pearl with Ivory Cloth, with Eyesight and self dimming outside mirrors.
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358 Posts
How about if everyone's who's state has a Lemon Law filed a claim under their lemon law. If it can't be fixed make them buy it back.
 
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