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I have a 2010 outback with the upgraded harman kardon upgraded stereo package and the sound stopped working a couple weeks ago. The radio faded over about 20 minutes (sounded like a cd was skipping?) and has stopped working. No radio cd or iPod... But power is going to the headunit, display works...

I took it to a dealership and they told me the amp was blown and I would have to pay $1K to fix.

I'm skeptical so I called a sound guy I trust and he told me to verify power was goingbto the amp on both sides (12v into both?) and that the fuses were still good.

How do I do that?
 

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2015 2.5i Limited Carbide Gray
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I don't have the diagram here with me at work, or the car, but I'll see what my '12 looks like when I get home. Generally the larger wires will be +12v and ground. I would go to a junk yard (or possibly ebay) to see if you can find one that you could swap. As long as it's from a '10 or '11 it should be a remove and replace. You could look into replacing the H/U and wiring around the amp for the speakers. I would stop by your local specialty stereo shop and see what they can offer.
 

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The audio system uses three fuses, two in the main fuse box in the engine compartment and one on the fuse panel to the left of the steering column.

The two engine area fuses are #6 and #10, and the in-cabin one is #24. Your Owners Manual should have a diagram of the fuse panels with the numbering of the fuses. These should be checked for continuity, or just replaced with identical fuses (same Amperage).

If all the functions work, that is, the radio display comes on, the volume and radio frequency can be changed, the CD function can be selected and a CD "played" but all without any apparent sound, there could be a loose connection/connector between the head unit and the amplifier, or a broken wire, or worst case, the amplifier is indeed faulty.

I believe the amplifier for the H-K system is under the front passenger seat, and accessible when the seat is moved fully forward. There should be three connectors at the amplifier.

I would have expected the dealer to have checked the connectors and the power to the amplifier, but who knows. I wonder what diagnosis, if any, did the dealer do to come to the conclusion that the amplifier has failed? Did they have the car in the shop for some time, or was the "diagnosis" made based only on your description of the problem?

Most dealers and even auto radio stores are usually interested in replacing; not repairing. But that doesn't mean a radio or amplifier can't be fixed. Sometimes it could be just a bad solder joint, or a faulty part that can be replaced. (Granted, sometimes a part can fail, and replacements aren't readily available, but there's no knowing until one tries.) What about the sound guy you spoke to?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
They told me their diagnostic test consisted of taking the amp out and trying it in another car.

They charged $150 diagnostic charge which in my mind works out to about $300 an hour labor rate. Plus they gave me a list of another $1,700 worth of repairs and maintenance they said I needed.

I obviously took my car and left but I still haven't felt that fleeced in a long time.

I got back at them though, I wrote a real stern letter to their customer service manager. That'll teach them to mess with me.

I hate most dealerships. This one was Mid-city Subaru in Chicago.

Thanks for the advice, I'll check the fuses and wires going to the amp.
Kevin
 

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Same problem

My 2010 Outback with the Karman Harden sound system has the audio fail after driving for about an hour. Audio starts to sound like bad reception, but with CD or Blue tooth or whatever. If I stop the car (but leave running, like at a red light) it works again. Fails as soon as I start driving. It also is fine after it sits for awhile. My dealer offered a replacement amp for $600 plus labor or a refurb one for $333 plus labor. I looked at the connections, and they look like they are seated. I may try to have an independent audio shop try and troubleshoot. Let me know if you solve it.
 

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I know that this thread is old, but after searching for cheaper solution to buying a new amp for quite a while I was able to find a business that helped me greatly. I was able to get my amp fixed for $195 with a 1 year warranty from United Radio Service in East Syracuse, NY. They let me know that my amp failure was caused by "liquid intrusion."

Anyway, hopefully this helps someone else.

Automotive Electronics | United Radio
 

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Amp Blown - Now Fixed

We had the amp making crackling noises from time to time and it finally quit altogether. I pulled it out from under the passenger seat in our 2013 outback with HK speakers. After some internet searches I sent it to Radios and More in E. Syracuse NY. I paid $215 on ebay, shipped it in and had another one back in less than a week! It looked like a new unit or at least a different unit but with the same part #. Put it in and it did not come on so I checked the fuses and found that the old one had blown the 25 amp audio fuse in the engine bay fuse box.

My unit had been almost completly underwater. I could not find where the water was coming in but I had driven it in very heavy rain for several hours. A body shop guy found the front two sunroof drains were plugged up and he blew then out for me. I usually do not buy sunroofs but this was a used car and had one. So if your amp is water damaged and the floor is wet under the passenger sear make sure these drains are open. Get a replacement amp from radios and more on ebay and you will be back with sounds again.
 
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