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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #1
Just picked up my 3.6R Touring this morning. Drove it home. Drove it to lunch. Came out from lunch and the infotainment system is completely dead - blank screen, no response to buttons, etc.

Obviously it'll have to go back to the dealer, but has anyone else seen this type of early failure?
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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350 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
As another data point, I just went out to check a few things and now it's working. My sales rep also called back so I'm waiting for a call from the service manager.

Sent from my BTV-W09 using Tapatalk
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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971 Posts
There have absolutely been issues with the new H/K head unit in our 2018 models. I've had it happen twice since I got my car in November, while others have had constant issues. I'm waiting for my first service to get the latest firmware. Since you just got yours, I would have expected it to have the latest firmware, but maybe not. Not saying the latest firmware has it completely fixed, but it can't hurt.
 

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2016 OB Limited Eyesight 2.5i
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136 Posts
Sorry you are dealing with this. This is the only reason I have not purchased a 2018. I would be fuming at SOA over this and would get nowhere just like everyone else. The infotainment system is not everything, but in a car this expensive you should not have to replace the head unit with something aftermarket to get it to work consistently.
 

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Subaru doesn’t make these units. It is also why all cars typically have a 3yr 30,000 mile warranty. Faulty electrical stuff typically fails sooner than later.
 

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2016 OB Limited Eyesight 2.5i
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Subaru doesn’t make these units. It is also why all cars typically have a 3yr 30,000 mile warranty. Faulty electrical stuff typically fails sooner than later.
But I am not sure that replaced head units are free of the issues. And I would argue that having to consistently USE the warranty is evidence that there is a problem that Subaru has to deal with. Even if they don't make the head unit, they are sure selling it.
 

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'18 Outback 3.6R Limited. '11 Forester 2.5X Prem.
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45 Posts
The 8" H/K head unit seems to be a disportioncate source of owners complaints. In my mind, this is the #1 thing Subaru should address since it is square in the owner's face, every day, all the time. It is not the most important quality index so to speak, but it is certainly the most talked about. This infotainment system has hurt Subaru more than anything in Consumer Reports ratings. It *is* a great unit in terms of style and even usability. The frustrating thing is that there are persistent bugs that may or may not affect you, and in order to fix them, Subaru must rely on the 3rd party supplier. I've found Subaru to really care more than other manufacturers about their products but when a 3rd party supplier of a complex electronic unit like this is involved, it gets tough.
Dealers can only update the software if there is an update or replace the unit. However, it appears that not all the bugs have been totally worked out. So we have to rely on Subaru to get this sorted out. I think the software updates are getting better, fixing a number of problems, but not all of them.
The positive thing, that may sound strange, is that initially, there may be an issue with a head unit lock-up or other major problem, but it resolves itself and then does not happen again. If it doesn't happen again, then no blood, no foul. If there is a major persistent failure, then that is usually easily resolved (like updating/re-installing the software or in worst case new head unit). The smaller issues like losing presets, drop outs, etc are proving harder to solve.
 

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2016 OB Limited Eyesight 2.5i
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The 8" H/K head unit seems to be a disportioncate source of owners complaints. In my mind, this is the #1 thing Subaru should address since it is square in the owner's face, every day, all the time. It is not the most important quality index so to speak, but it is certainly the most talked about. This infotainment system has hurt Subaru more than anything in Consumer Reports ratings. It *is* a great unit in terms of style and even usability. The frustrating thing is that there are persistent bugs that may or may not affect you, and in order to fix them, Subaru must rely on the 3rd party supplier. I've found Subaru to really care more than other manufacturers about their products but when a 3rd party supplier of a complex electronic unit like this is involved, it gets tough.
Dealers can only update the software if there is an update or replace the unit. However, it appears that not all the bugs have been totally worked out. So we have to rely on Subaru to get this sorted out. I think the software updates are getting better, fixing a number of problems, but not all of them.
The positive thing, that may sound strange, is that initially, there may be an issue with a head unit lock-up or other major problem, but it resolves itself and then does not happen again. If it doesn't happen again, then no blood, no foul. If there is a major persistent failure, then that is usually easily resolved (like updating/re-installing the software or in worst case new head unit). The smaller issues like losing presets, drop outs, etc are proving harder to solve.
Bottom line for me is that fanboy or not, if they had found and implemented a way to deal with this issue, I would be driving a 2018 OB. Their loss.
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #9
OP here again :). So far it's still working, but I've only started it up a few times since posting. What I've been noticing is that there seems to be some sort of "initialization" issue going on. The "normal" startup consists of the Starlink logo screen, followed by the usage warning dialog, then the home screen. What is sometimes happening is that right about the time that the dialog box pops up, the screen flashes (almost think I hear a relay-like faint click or pop) and the screen goes dead. Then, after a second or two, it comes back on with the dialog and home screen or just the home screen. So far it was only the one time that it blanked out and stayed off.

I'll put a few more days usage on it before getting with the service manager to see what he wants to do about it.
 

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2016 Outback 2.5 Limited, Ice Silver and 2020 Outback Limited XT Cinnamon Brown
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122 Posts
Better than the issue a friend of mine is having with his. His radio won't turn off. He has been having to disconnect the battery every time he stops anywhere for an extended length of time. He was told it will be a two week wait for a replacement unit.
 

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2018 3.6R Touring, Dark Blue Pearl
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My 3.6R Touring's infotainment system seems to be working fine (knock wood); it came with the latest firmware already installed, so that was a relief. My prior car was a 2016 Honda CR-V Touring, and the infotainment system in that car seemed like a decade old in terms of design, responsiveness and function. That said, it was rock solid and was adequate enough with my phone connected through BT. (Sound quality, however, was an entirely different matter. The Subaru system sounds so much better it was shocking at first, and that's against the upgraded stereo in the Touring.) I really hope that Subaru devotes the time and resources to get this system to a level of stability so that it's not an issue anymore. It seems very advanced (and I really like the Carplay function), and sounds great, but the issues reported on this forum were part of the reason that I got a 8-year Gold Plus warranty.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 3.6R
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Just picked up my 3.6R Touring this morning. Drove it home. Drove it to lunch. Came out from lunch and the infotainment system is completely dead - blank screen, no response to buttons, etc.

Obviously it'll have to go back to the dealer, but has anyone else seen this type of early failure?
Had our Outback Premiere since February 2018 and thought I must be lucky, no issues with glitches etc. (not counting the turn the radio off thing). Just experienced a similar issue to the OP. After a highway trip of an hour or so the vehicle was parked and shut off for about an hour. When the vehicle was restarted the display was completely white and could get no response from any buttons and of course no back up camera. Shut car down opened and closed door to start the startup cycle over again. Screen still white but now has a 1/4" black frame around the edge and the white screen is all fuzzy where it blends into the black frame. No response from any buttons. As I drove away the screen began to dim out until all the white was gone and now just a black screen. Thinking shoot a trip to the dealer!! Had to make a stop down the road for about an hour. Got into the car again and the Starlight intro screen came up but wow!! Black frame still there but central portion was a washed out pink colour. Hmmm. Over the next 15 minutes or so the screen began to improve from washed out to something more like normal. Instead of the black frame there is a washed out frame around the edges of the display. Starting and stopping the car has no effect on the washed out frame.

Will see what the dealer has to say bout it Tuesday I guess, Monday is a holiday here in Canada:frown2:
 

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2018 Outback Touring 3.6R
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Discussion Starter #13
Had our Outback Premiere since February 2018 and thought I must be lucky, no issues with glitches etc. (not counting the turn the radio off thing). Just experienced a similar issue to the OP. After a highway trip of an hour or so the vehicle was parked and shut off for about an hour. When the vehicle was restarted the display was completely white and could get no response from any buttons and of course no back up camera. Shut car down opened and closed door to start the startup cycle over again. Screen still white but now has a 1/4" black frame around the edge and the white screen is all fuzzy where it blends into the black frame. No response from any buttons. As I drove away the screen began to dim out until all the white was gone and now just a black screen. Thinking shoot a trip to the dealer!! Had to make a stop down the road for about an hour. Got into the car again and the Starlight intro screen came up but wow!! Black frame still there but central portion was a washed out pink colour. Hmmm. Over the next 15 minutes or so the screen began to improve from washed out to something more like normal. Instead of the black frame there is a washed out frame around the edges of the display. Starting and stopping the car has no effect on the washed out frame.

Will see what the dealer has to say bout it Tuesday I guess, Monday is a holiday here in Canada:frown2:
Just had my first glitch since my original post. I was playing music from a USB stick when I shut the car off. Later, I started the car, switched to Media, pressed play to resume the music, then shifted into reverse. I guess that switching to the rear view camera just after resuming the USB caused this, but the screen froze up (no rear camera view) and the sound from the speakers froze right where it was, giving me a solid tone that I couldn't mute, turn off, etc. Had to shut the car off and restart and everything came back. But this time, I backed out of the parking place before I restarted the music!
 

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2018 Subaru Outback 2.5i Limited
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Infotainment Problem

We (actually my wife, Paula's OB) just had the same exact experience as Soob_4Me happen yesterday. She got the OB on 2/1/2018 and it has had no problems to this point. She said when she went to start it up while out on errands, the screen went all white and then black and stayed black until she got home. Then after being off a few minutes, I tried starting it up, and the screen was a white washed out image with a black border. She called the dealer right away and the scheduled her for Thursday morning. After finding this forum and signing up, I researched the H out of it, and my impression is software bug/glitch/whatever. Anyway, I noticed in multiple threads, an "overnight rest" seems to result in the unit's return to normal operation. And, whaddyaknow, this morning I go out to the OB and wah-la, it's working 'normal'. It will be interesting to see what the service department has to say this Thursday. BTW, I checked and we have the 2.17.43.30 firmware version. I read in one of the threads another firmware version is going to be released in June '18. I hope it helps this problem. I will post back after service appointment.
 

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'15 Outback 2.5i Premium
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We (actually my wife, Paula's OB) just had the same exact experience as Soob_4Me happen yesterday. She got the OB on 2/1/2018 and it has had no problems to this point. She said when she went to start it up while out on errands, the screen went all white and then black and stayed black until she got home. Then after being off a few minutes, I tried starting it up, and the screen was a white washed out image with a black border. She called the dealer right away and the scheduled her for Thursday morning. After finding this forum and signing up, I researched the H out of it, and my impression is software bug/glitch/whatever. Anyway, I noticed in multiple threads, an "overnight rest" seems to result in the unit's return to normal operation. And, whaddyaknow, this morning I go out to the OB and wah-la, it's working 'normal'. It will be interesting to see what the service department has to say this Thursday. BTW, I checked and we have the 2.17.43.30 firmware version. I read in one of the threads another firmware version is going to be released in June '18. I hope it helps this problem. I will post back after service appointment.
From the many consistent reports I've seen, the only rational conclusion is that Subaru provided *really* buggy 2018 head units. We can hope those can be remedied with firmware updates and don't require hardware changes to fix.

Many of us have gone back and forth over whether this or that feature or behavior should be the default, or included at all or not, but the current year radios seem to have many genuine "undocumented features" (sometimes called "unintended behavior" but more commonly known as "bugs.") At the basic level, it's a car radio. It should work. Period. All. The. Time! With no drama.
 

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2018 2.5i Limited w/EyeSight
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207 Posts
Our 2018 had terrible issues, from blank screens to stuck volume to unresponsive inputs on a weekly basis. A hard reset (pulling the head unit fuse) settled it down some and a software update helped further. Issues are down to a simply annoying, rather than infuriating at this point, though I'm still not sure why a $35k car can't have a fully functional radio. Even my $16k Kia didn't have these issues.
 

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2018 Subaru Outback Limited 2.5 w/Eyesight & Nav
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At 16K and they just ordered me a new radio.

I have had different minor issues with stereo like blackout, freeze and other little things.

This morning though, everything worked except radio, turned car off and on a few times nothing.

Dropped off at dealership and it miraculously worked when they moved it out of service lane. They said since I still have the 2018 stereo they will replace with a new 2019 one.

He said the 2018 stereos are junk from a junk supplier.
 
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